ONE of the oldest charities in Chester has been rebranded to celebrate donating £90,000 to good causes across the city in just 12 months.

Along with a new website, the rebrand sees Chester Municipal Charities become The Chester Bluecoat Charity, inspired by the Bluecoat building that the charity owns and runs, shining a light on the charitable efforts that go on there.

Although thousands of people wander past the historic building on a daily basis, many are not familiar with the purpose of this city centre landmark.

Last year, The Chester Bluecoat Charity donated £90,000 of funding to organisations that work to change the lives of people in need across the Chester area.

The charity also committed a further £40,000 in 2019 to future projects – and gave away £110,000 in school bursaries.

This year, The Chester Bluecoat Charity’s work has included a £30,000 donation to a fund set up by Cheshire Community Foundation to help vulnerable people affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bluecoat has joined other donors in supporting the Covid-19 Response Appeal, launched to provide vital support to charities that are helping individuals and families in Cheshire and Warrington.

Peter Catherall, chairman of The Chester Bluecoat Charity, said: “Our rebrand celebrates the support we continue to provide to organisations that use education and community development to improve people’s lives across the Chester area.

“Our new name and website will help us raise awareness of this work, so we can reach out to more worthwhile causes that need our help now more than ever before because of Covid-19. It’s all part of our mission to tackle the causes of poverty, disadvantage and inequality in and around the city.”

The local charities and community organisations that have so far welcomed funding from the Bluecoat include:

• Fallen Angels Dance Theatre – for people in recovery from addiction

• Platform for Life – which offers free counselling and play therapy

• Passion for Learning – which helps children struggling to read and learn

• Live! Cheshire – which provides clubs and social activities for disabled children, young people and adults

The Chester Bluecoat Charity owns and is based at the Grade II*-listed Bluecoat building, which also provides rentable office space for the third sector. As such, it has created a hub for charities and voluntary organisations in Upper Northgate Street, Chester, as well as supplying much needed meeting room space for the city.

Peter said: “The Bluecoat is not only our base for our charity’s work, but it provides office space for other local charities and voluntary organisations, and meeting rooms for hire.

"So, as well as being part of the history of Chester, the Bluecoat building itself plays a vital role in supporting the valuable work of good causes across the city, now and in the years to come.”

As The Chester Bluecoat Charity looks forward to the future, it will use the rebrand to let more people know about another part of its work – its almshouse accommodation.

Mr Catherall added: “Our almshouses have been providing homes for local people in need since the 18th century, and today we have a small estate of 16 one-bedroom homes in Bluecoat Square, at the back of the Bluecoat. People with a strong connection to Chester, who have limited financial means, and can live independently and are ideally aged 60 or over, can apply for this accommodation.”

To find out more about The Chester Bluecoat Charity, visit the charity’s new website: