'People want to get involved' with Leigh Neighbours

Leigh Journal: The mosaic at the Jubilee Garden on Gordon Street The mosaic at the Jubilee Garden on Gordon Street

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

SINCE receiving the money, the Leigh Neighbours Project has tried to improve the area for everyone who lives there.

Whether it is making it green and clean, safer and healthier or providing work experience opportunities, the volunteers who run the project have tried to make it happen.

More importantly, through making these things a reality, they hope to instill a sense of community spirit with people from all backgrounds getting on together, mixing together and respecting each other.

Stephen Ruffley said: “The first time I went to the wasteland on Gordon Street it was just grim. It was covered in dog mess, old road signs and someone’s Christmas tree from last year.

“With the help of volunteers, the neighbouring school, residents and people on community service, we have transformed the land into a jubilee garden, somewhere that people want to go and look at or to go and sit and eat their lunch when it is warm.

“The schoolchildren grow potatoes there now and there is a vegetable patch that a resident tends to as well as flower pots and plants.

“A lady approached me not long ago and said her and her neighbours would like to put some hanging baskets up along their street. All they needed was the money for the brackets, baskets and plants. She had found a handyman who would hang them for free.

“These are people from everyday life who have that push and they believe in what they are doing and that they can make a difference. It is so great to work with people who want to get involved.”

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