Community Stars: Year in Review

12th January 2023

In 2022, after over 5,000 votes, we shared £12,000 to 21 Charities. Here's how to first year of #CommunityStars went.

Community Stars - Year in Review

During 2022, our first year of Community Stars, our goal was to give to more local not-for-profits doing excellent work in our community, whilst also getting more members of our community involved than ever before. Here's how we did...


As a mutual, we operate on the principle of people helping people. In response to the humanitarian crisis which is still currently happening in Ukraine, we donated £2,000 to the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC). This donation helped them provide food, water, shelter, and healthcare to refugees and displaced families.

This was all done with the help of Stockport Ukrainian Club, and we couldn't be more thankful for their support.


For the second quarter of 2022, we took a colleague vote to decide which local not-for-profits would receive a share of £2,000:

  • Transport for Sick Children - £1,000
  • Jump Space - £750
  • Bare Necessities Toiletry Bank - £550
  • Poynton Pedal for All - £450
  • The Garden House Marple - £250 

Marie-Anne Eckersall, Communications & Fundraising Co-Ordinator at Transport for Sick Children, said:

“We’re thrilled to be given such a large donation from the Vernon Building Society Community Stars fund.

“As a small charity covering Greater Manchester, this will make a big difference, allowing us and our volunteer drivers to support more families who are struggling to attend vital medical appointments for their children.”


After over 2,600 votes in our first public vote, we were ready to announce the five local not-for-profits who received a share of £2,000 from our fund:

  • The Cherry Tree Project - £700
  • Norbury Lacrosse Club - Girls Section - £550
  • Vale Jets Morris Dancing Troupe - £350
  • Together Trust - £250
  • Just 4 Dads St Chads - £150

Rachel Bresnahan, the founder of The Cherry Tree Project in Romiley, said: “This money is massively important to us right now. More important than if we’d won it at any other time.

“Every penny will be spent on food – 100 meals a week that we can provide to those that need them. We cook everything ourselves, so we’ll make it go far.

“With winter around the corner, we’re concerned about people choosing between heating and eating. We can provide a warm space and a healthy meal to those who fall through the support gaps.

“It’s fantastic that Vernon supports local organisations and they have been doing this for a long time. They are genuinely committed to the local community.”


For the final quarter of 2022, we gave away £5,000 to ten local not-for-profits after another public vote:

  • The Garden House Marple Charity - £1,000
  • Romiley Marina Swimming Club (RMSC) - £1,000
  • Handy Ladies Feeding The Community CIC - £650
  • Bare Necessities Toiletry Bank - £550
  • Supportability - £450
  • Stockport Canal Boat Trust - £350
  • Autisk - £300 
  • Pursuing Individual Excellence (PIE) - £250
  • Jump Space - £250
  • Mentell - £200

Jeremy Lawson, chair of the Romiley Marina Swimming Club committee, said: "This gift will really help our club at a time when we most need it. We’re a small community club with big ambitions and members based across Stockport. 

“We are hugely grateful to Vernon Building Society because, with this money, we’ll be able to train three new young swimming teachers."

Janet Bennett, the founder of Autisk, which supports families of children with disabilities and educational needs, added: “This money from Vernon will help enormously. We’re running four children’s social groups a week in Stockport and our rent is high.

“We had funding up until March and this award means we can run for another month until April. Like many local charities, we’re struggling to access funding and every bit really helps.”

Looking towards 2023

We're extremely proud of the work we did with Community Stars in 2022 - we shared £12,000 with 21 charities, more than we've ever given to in a year before.

Steve Fletcher, CEO of the Society, said:

“We love supporting these wonderful local organisations through our Community Stars scheme and, by sharing our fund regularly throughout the year, we’ve been able to help more groups, including larger charities and smaller not-for-profits. 

“As Stockport’s local Building Society, we’re committed to finding, recognising, and supporting more of the real stars in our community during 2023.”

We can't wait for you to see what we have planned for Community Stars in 2023. To stay up-to-date possible, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.