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A Newcastle-under-Lyme community advice and information hub has reached a notable milestone, as it celebrates 20 years of providing support to the Greater Chesterton community!

Chesterton One Stop Shop, which is run by volunteers from its office in the heart of the village, hosted a socially distanced outdoor event to celebrate the anniversary and to offer its thanks to the many partners and volunteers that have supported the community during that time.

We attended this great celebration, along with representatives from Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and Staffordshire Police, Stoke-on-Trent North MP Jonathan Gullis, Newcastle MP Aaron Bell, and High Sheriff of Staffordshire James Friend.

Formed in 2001, the One Stop Shop was designed as a base for the Chesterton Community Forum. The forum and the shop encourage local people to become active in their community; working with local partners, council representatives and businesses to help benefit the community.

The shop was awarded The Queens Award in 2011 for providing advice, support, and access to services for residents living in the community. Lilian Barker, who runs the One Stop Shop as a volunteer, was awarded an MBE for her services that same year. Now, Lilian has been awarded a commemorative plaque by Sinéad Butters, Group Chief Executive of Aspire Housing, to thank her for her dedication over the past 20 years.

Lilian said: “I was humbled to receive my MBE, and now I’m honoured to be able to celebrate 20 years of the One Stop Shop. We have so many wonderful volunteers who give up their time for the residents of Greater Chesterton, and for other local areas too. I cannot thank them enough for everything they’ve done.

“I can’t imagine being without the One Stop Shop. It is a huge part of Chesterton and a big part of my life. It’s my baby – I’m very proud of the shop and of our community.”

The shop is an active resource for members of the community – advertising events for local groups, providing drop-in services, assisting individuals to get in touch with local agencies, and acting as a community liaison for local partners such as Newcastle Borough Council, Staffordshire Police, and Aspire Housing.

A former mining village, Chesterton, now homes over 11,000 people and around 500 businesses, which employ around 6,500 people.

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