Leigh Neighbours want to bring 'lasting and positive change'

Leigh Journal: Leigh Neighbours volunteers Susan Gredecki and Lisa Brew Leigh Neighbours volunteers Susan Gredecki and Lisa Brew

Journal Reporter Sophie Arnold looks at how Leigh Neighbours is using a £1 million grant to transform an area of Leigh.

THE Leigh Neighbours project is funded by Big Local, a funding stream which gives residents in 150 areas around England the opportunity to use at least £1 million to bring about lasting and positive change in their community.

Susan Gredecki, joint chair of the Leigh Neighbours Project Board, said: “It’s about bringing together all the local talent, ambitions, skills and energy from individuals, groups and organisations who want to make their area an even better place to live.”

Big Local is run by Local Trust, which is working with more than £200m from the Big Lottery Fund and a range of partners providing expert advice and support for residents.

The four objectives for Big Local are:  

  • Communities will be better able to identify local needs and take action in response to them.
  •  People will have increased skills and confidence, so that they continue to identify and respond to needs in the future.
  • The community will make a difference to the needs it prioritises.
  • People will feel that their area is an even better place to live.

Lisa Brew, a 21-year-old former art student from Leigh, is an ardent Star Wars fan and also fanatical about Leigh.

And as joint chair of the Leigh Neighbours Project Board, she has an opportunity to make a real difference in her home town.

“Leigh Neighbours Project is a grass roots community organisation which aims to give a voice to local people and to encourage residents to get involved in initiatives to improve the area,” she said.

“I’m involved because I think it’s really important that the interests and opinions of young people are represented on the board. I also think that by getting young people involved in the project, we can really start to challenge the negative perception that some adults sadly have about young people in the area.

“I want to help to build bridges between young people and adults, so we can make a positive change in the area by bringing everybody in the community closer together.”

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