Click here to send us your inquires or call (852) 36130518

countdown to the

voting deadline

0
0
0
DAYS HOURS MINS

Better Together Winner 2014 – Gorgeous Gorse Hill

The Better Together initiative in 2014 was open to charities, community groups, local action groups and neighbourhoods across Cheshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester. Its aim was to support any existing projects, or kick-start new ones, that enhance the community and bring people together for a better quality of life all-round with a £25,000 prize.


Whether it be landscaping a derelict open area to create a children’s playground or providing equipment to start a communal vegetable garden, the Better Together campaign was open to all possibilities.


Along with the grand cash prize, the winning project, Gorgeous Gorse Hill, also received help from Groundwork MSSTT – an environmental regeneration charity which works in partnership with local people to deliver a range of projects. It has completed over 250 initiatives, from converting derelict alleyways into bright open communal spaces for residents, to creating children’s play areas.

Better Together winner Ruth Hannan shares her winners story

Tell us about the progress you have made with the Gorgeous Gorse Hill Project since winning the Better Together campaign last year.

We’ve accomplished a lot, including decorating shopfronts and street bollards. We have decorated the wooden and concrete bollards around the local area in colourful mosaic to incredible effect. It’s inspired a really positive reaction in people. We have also continued our work with replanting the ‘rest space’ areas. These had become very overgrown and the benches needed to be replaced. We have commissioned an artist to paint the ground and installed two large planters to be filled with woodland plants. We have used various bulbs and are looking forward to seeing the results. The bird boxes will then be set up in the spring.

How do you feel winning ‘Better Together’ has made a difference to your efforts within the Chester Road community?

Winning has meant we could fulfil our ideas faster and more successfully, galvanising the local community into action and encouraging volunteer rates drastically. The people who live on Chester Road are continually thanking us for all the effort we have put into the regeneration project and it has lifted everyone’s spirits.

What is your opinion on community spirit and do you feel it can be seen in your work with Gorgeous Gorse Hill?

Nowadays, everyone leads busy lives and they don’t always get a chance to talk to their neighbours. It makes people feel better to know that things are getting done and that, when everyone pulls together to take on little tasks and make small changes, it all combines to create something really inspiring.

What advice can you offer to anyone putting themself forwards for ‘Britain Has Spirit’? How can the winner best utilise the opportunity based on your experiences?

The best piece of advice I can offer is that, even if you think your idea is truly inspired and revolutionary, that’s not reason enough in itself to push on with it if the community isn’t behind it. I came up with this wacky idea for Gorgeous Gorse Hill and people liked it and so we all agreed as a collective to go ahead with it. But it’s only succeeded due to the community’s enthusiasm and support. Remember to work with your local council and include them as much as possible. Any relationships you can build with them will help you to understand each other’s priorities, and to move through the red tape as quickly as possible without unnecessary mistakes slowing down the process. Lastly, be patient. We had to learn that things do take time to come to fruition and it’s best to allow more time in your schedule than to be disappointed when deadlines get pushed.