Broadhurst Community Centre

I work for 4CT, a charity based in East Manchester, and 12 months ago we were offered the opportunity to turn the old Broadhurst Park Surestart into a community centre!What have we done?

It’s very difficult without money to make things happen but I’ve been very lucky to have had the support of many within the Moston community. My initial focus was to concentrate on getting the centre busy and above all recognised as a community centre for all ages.

It was clear that the building was fondly thought of amongst local parents so we looked at developing some classes for the younger children. A local parent got in touch called Sarah Foster. Sarah is multi skilled and qualified in childcare. She shares my passion and visions for the centre and we now run numerous stay and play sessions throughout the week. They’re very popular and have developed a real sense of community.Another person who is passionate about the centre is Michael Green. Michael’s been involved here for many years and we’ve built on his walking group and coffee mornings. It’s safe to say you won’t meet many kinder people than Michael. His groups are thriving but always looking for new members.

A key focus of the centre is health and fitness and we’re very proud to have our own Broadhurst Community Running Club. It runs twice a week with one session focused on family fitness. We also offer two Hiitstep classes every Monday evening run by the amazing Leonie Painter from Mostonian Coaches. Definitely an energising way to start the week.

We also have a monthly Night Owl Walking Group, our sensory room is amazing and we’re planning a Halloween Party later this month, as well as a coach trip to Blackpool.

In December we’ll be giving the ‘Manchester Christmas Pudding 5 Mile Dash’ a bash and have lots of activities planned in the run up to Christmas. Further ahead there are plans for a small allotment to complement our outside play area, which is perfect for sunny summer days.My vision

It’s been an amazing ten months but we have a long way to go. My vision is for the centre to be used seven days/evenings a week, offering activities that meet the needs and interests of local people. For it to be known by everybody in the community (some still don’t know we are here) and be self-funding.

I am extremely proud of the work we’ve done so far and the team I have around me.

Last but not least I’d love the Broadhurst Community Running Club to complete a race in 2020.

Looking forward to seeing you.

Mark O’Pray

Broadhurst Community Centre is located on Lightbowne Road, M40 0FJ, close to FC United.

As some activities need to be pre-booked and incur a small charge please get in touch or call in for details. Information can also be found on our Facebook page.

Sarah’s ‘Baby Needs’ facebook page can be found by clicking here and to read more about Morriso Health click here.

Failsworth community making connections

On 26th September Failsworth Town Hall hosted a new event ‘Community Connection Forum’. Bit of mouthful, so what was it all about, who was there and why?

The flyer summed it up as ‘giving residents the opportunity to explore the wonderful community groups we have in Failsworth’. The emphasis was on health, wellbeing and volunteering. A good cross-section groups and organisations were represented, loaded with information on who they were and what they were about.

I like the town hall. It has a feel good factor. Built in 1880 it currently homes the local library and the fabulous Wholesome Cafe. It occupies an enviable spot alongside the Rochdale Canal but I’ve never ventured upstairs to the main function room before.There’s an air of awkwardness while people work out what the order of play is. I was late, announced my arrival by spilling water across the floor, so thank god Failsworth Community Choir hadn’t quite started. I like a choir, that feel good factor again. They kicked things off with songs like ‘Lean on Me’, ‘One Day Like This’ and successfully broke the ice.There were free cakes and biscuits as well as hot drinks on tap. I filled my boots, it’d be rude not to. Most of the stands had freebies on offer. Lucky I’d brought a carrier bag.

Wouldn’t say there was a big rush to start with but as the evening unfolded there was a definite ‘buzz’.

I looked about the room and started with the ‘Virgin Liaison’ reps. They impressed me. I’m not usually all that impressed when the pavement gets dug up. But they got across their pride in the company and a genuine keenness to connect with the public and resolve issues.

The Failsworth Growing Hub display caught my eye. It included some truly awesome photos taken by one of their members. Oh and they offered me a free selection of their produce. Straight in the bag! They meet on Thursdays at this great spot alongside the canal next to the Wholesome café…Action Together, Age UK and ROAR (Rochdale and Oldham Active Recovery) were also full of enthusiasm. I picked up a brilliant booklet listing all the activities for the over 50’s in Failsworth. Well worth a look and I reckon you can pick up a copy at the library or click here for the link.

Moston Brook Friends Group’s stand was the place to go if you like the outdoors. Lots to do, regular woodland walks and nature events a plenty.

If you’re energetic, or more to the point if you’re not, Making the First Move had some clever ideas to help you exercise more, sleep well and feel better – without spending loads of cash.There were groups offering support for people struggling with issues such as anxiety and depression, amazing to talk to and all local. The organisers are getting ready for next year’s Failsworth Carnival and have set the date, 16th and 17th May. The Girl Guides were inviting new members/volunteers and, back where we started, Failsworth Community Choir want your voice.

It was an excellent event and hopefully there will be more. If you get chance, go along and see for yourself what’s going on.  Fill your boots… oh, and take a carrier bag.

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Taking nothing for granted

I rarely read newspapers or watch news programmes. Truth is I avoid them. Now and then, though, something catches my attention, like the fires raging out of control in the Amazon.Far away on the other side of the world the Amazon rain forest was a place I read about at school or saw on TV documentaries. A permanent fixture so ancient and vast, it would always be there and always flourish. Then, there’s the oceans, all that plastic rubbish… and dying fish.

I took these places for granted.

I’m very lucky. I live a short tram ride from an amazing city and am free to enjoy all it has to offer from theatre, music, shopping, cafes and bars. The nearest airport is half an hours drive. Most of the best known supermarkets are within easy walking distance… and I take all that for granted too.But it doesn’t end there. Moston and the neighbouring areas have art, music, dance, theatre, a radio station, football stadium, fishing, cycling and running. With a range of social clubs to entertain and activities to engage all ages, whether you’re a cub scout, on a diet, a boxer, gardener, a champion bowler, love photography or a gripping game of chess, there’s something for everyone.Not to forget the parks, several large open green spaces, the Rochdale Canal, Moston Brook. Even a nature reserve; our very own piece of countryside.

How lucky are we? This weekend alone there’s been:

A Nature Day event next to the Lower Memorial Park.

FC United drew against Atherton Collieries in an FA Cup match.

Wayne Jacobs broadcast live reggae from the Miners Club Radio.

North West Theatre Arts Company performed at Openshaw’s Festival

At Boggart Hole Clough Simply Cycling were out in force. As were North Manchester Fitness walking group (one of their members was elsewehere at the Great North Run) and King William IV Angling Society Juniors were, oh yes, angling. The cafe was busy as ever.As for me, I nipped across the fields to the Nature Day. The carrot cake on the cake stall was to die for. A young lady, who I thought was there to help serve them up, delivered a pitch that would have had Alan Sugar ditching his diet.

Birds from Vale Royal Falconry put on a fabulous display, you could cast a fishing line, try your hand at wood carving, weaving, all sorts.Back across the fields again and through the park. The sun was out and it looked glorious.

I don’t take it for granted.

If you’ve been busy, missed out and want to find out what’s going on, have a nosey at the noticeboards in the supermarket and library. Or search Facebook and check out some local groups. Here’s a few:

Moston Brook Friends Group,  Lakeside Cafe – Boggart Hole Clough,  Miners Community Arts,  Broadhurst Community Centre,  Harpurhey Neighbourhood Project – The Centre,  Simply Cycling,  North Manchester Fitness, King William IV Angling Society,  Forever Harpurhey and Moston,  NWTAC,  Vale Royal Falconry.

Photos: Vale Royal Falconry, Piccadilly Gardens Manchester, the guys from King William IV Angling Society, Lower Memorial Park Failsworth

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