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.

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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Carers Week 2019

It’s like waiting for a bus. You go ages doing the same old thing, week in week out, then everything happens at once. That’s Carers Week for you. Good fun but I’m half glad it’s over, I’m knackered!

First off, a trip to the Bridgewater Hall for the Halle Orchestra performing The Lark Rising, including a mini tour and buffet. What a treat. What a spectacular building and how lucky are we to have such talented musicians in our city. The ice-cream tubs (I mean it would be rude not to) were divine.Next up, Walking Football at Manchester City Training Stadium. Walking Football, if you didn’t know, is an actual thing that people do. The game has its own set of rules, even its own league and the Man City trainers run these sessions twice a week. It was a brilliant afternoon, the training facility was awesome and the buffet… delicious.The third event on my list was an Italian meal at Dom’s Tavola Calda on Deansgate. I decided to make a day of it and took an early tram into town. Had a rare mooch around the Arndale before meandering through M&S to the restaurant.Tucking in into Italian??

I soon spotted someone I knew, plonked myself down and had great time. Fabulous atmosphere, like being on a works do. Finished with a tiramisu as light as air, washed down with a glass of vino blanco – bellissimo!

Finally, and much needed after all that food, the week rounded up with a brisk walk, courtesy of Manchester and Salford Ramblers, around Salford Quays and Media City. It was easy to get to on the tram and the weather was perfect.

The walk took us past the Imperial War Museum and Ordsall Hall, both of which are free. I had a meander through the Blue Peter Garden and a nosy around the Lowry Shopping Centre. Thoroughly impressed and I’ll definitely go back.Somewhere near Salford Quays

There were lots of other things going on that week that I didn’t get to but a massive thanks to the organisations involved for their time, funding, facilities and hard work.  I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to get out, have some fun and meet new people.My fellow walkers outside Ordsall Hall

Carers Week isn’t a one-off. There are regular meetings, trips out, free training sessions, coffee mornings and activities going on all across Manchester all through the year and you can easily access them as well as get advice, information and support.

Not sure if you’re a carer? This might help…If you are local to Harpurhey/Moston, workshops run by Manchester Carers Network have been held at Broadhurst Community Centre. Manchester Carers Forum hold monthly meetings at The Avenue Library and Learning Centre in Blackley, Age Exchange run an activity club at EachStep on Charlestown Road and there are rumours that Manchester Carers Centre will be running sessions at Harpurhey Wellbeing Centre on Church Lane starting next month.

Further information on other localities and details of future events can be found by clicking on the links below:

Manchester Carers Network, Manchester Carers Forum, Manchester and Salford Ramblers, Manchester City Walking Football, Broadhurst Community Centre (FB)Imperial War Museum North, Ordsall HallAge Exchange, Bridgewater Hall.

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