Keep your new year resolutions and commit to get involved

The Leigh Neighbours bike giveaway
The Leigh Neighbours bike giveaway

A local charity is urging Leythers to make a New Year’s resolution to commit to getting more involved in their community.

The Leigh Neighbours is hoping for an even bigger and better 2017 after a year in which it has channelled more than £100,000 into grass-roots schemes and community events.

Signing the deal for the refurbishment of Kingsleigh Methodist Church's community centre

Signing the deal for the refurbishment of Kingsleigh Methodist Church's community centre

The project has delivered 16 free activities and events for the local community and funded a further 26 initiatives by groups including schools and charities over the past 12 months.

Members of the charity’s board, which is made up of local residents and community leaders, are now hoping that many more residents and businesses will join them in their efforts to improve their neighbourhoods.

The National Lottery-funded charity was created in 2012 when it received a £1m pot to stimulate community cohesion, tackle social inequalities and promote environmental improvements in and around the Leigh West area.

During 2016, the charity organised a diverse range of free activities such as the popular bike safety workshops which promote safer cycling and encourage fair-weather cyclists to climb back into the saddle and hanging basket workshops which help residents make their neighbourhoods brighter.

From clean-up campaigns and craft events, to wholesale community facility renovations, no project is too big or too small for us to consider investing in.

Susan Gredecki

The efforts of green-fingered gardeners were recognised by the project’s own In Bloom competition, which saw Findley Street resident Derek Cunliffe scoop a trio of prizes for his beautiful floral displays and hanging baskets.

Leigh Neighbours helped out in the town’s classrooms too, assisting Sacred Heart RC Primary School to deliver a special summer school for pupils who needed a boost ahead of the new academic year, gifting re-conditioned bikes free to primary schools so children could learn to ride a bike and donating tools for the Clean for the Queen litter picks.

The project also gave Atherton and Leigh Foodbank additional reserves to draw on so they could assist even more clients over the Christmas period.

Leigh Neighbours is also keen to invest in longer term projects. The charity recently made a significant investment to Kingsleigh Methodist Church so they could improve facilities at their thriving community centre used by everyone from Slimming World to charities helping asylum seekers and refugees and invested in several apprenticeships to develop local talent and give people access to employment and training opportunities.

The summer school at Sacred Heart RC Primary School

The summer school at Sacred Heart RC Primary School

The Resident’s Fund is also open to people who live or work in the area to apply for.

Susan Gredecki, chairman of Leigh Neighbours, said: “From clean-up campaigns and craft events, to wholesale community facility renovations, no project is too big or too small for us to consider investing in.

“The Resident’s Fund is a pot of money which we draw on to invest in ideas from residents who live in the Leigh Neighbours patch. We can’t do it all ourselves, we need your support.

“Ultimately, the million pounds we received from the National Lottery is your money to apply for, to spend on projects that will improve your area.”

A free Leigh Neighbours wall calendar will soon be available to pick up from As in Eden, Kingsleigh Methodist, Leigh Town Hall and Leigh Library.

To find out more or to apply visit www.lnpb.org.uk