Money confiscated by police from thieves, armed robbers and fraudsters will go towards making Little Hulton a better place after £18,000 seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act was donated to 17 deserving groups.
On Saturday nervous community groups had to pitch to a packed room at Harrop Fold High School for Commnuity Piggy Bank funding they thought would do the most good in their local area.
They ranged from £500 for a dementia care group; £1,500 to pay for a new bed for St Ann’s Hospice; £444 to the Dad’s Shed group, who use old bits of wood to make incredible play equipment and household furniture; to £1,500 to expand and improve Peel Muay Thai Boxing Club.
Little Hulton has had a rough time in past months with criminal gangs carrying out shootings, violence and disruption.
Little Hulton house shooting: Three age 17, 18 and 20 arrested
Little Hulton shooting: 21-year-old bailed after attempted murder
Little Hulton shooting: Gunmen on motorbike mow down dad, 34, in street
On Saturday though, it was clear these lurid headlines don’t relate to what’s going on in the real Little Hulton.
In the school’s auditorium were nearly 100 people who dedicate their lives to improving kids’ life chances, those who try to make elderly people more engaged and more comfortable, and those who just offer activities and a friendly ear to anyone who needs it.
SalfordOnline.com pitched for funding to replace old computer equipment donated to us when we started up in 2008 – we weren’t successful, but can’t complain given the brilliant initiatives who won out.
28-year-old Alan Cavanagh from Little Hulton Community Cinema told us: “We’re providing a family-friendly environment for people to come and create good memories with their loved ones.
“At the start we had some problems with kids outside throwing stones but that ended when our members went out to meet the children and invite them in.”
13-year-old Macelee, who lives on Wallbrook Crescent, told SalfordOnline.com about the Enthusiasm youth group he’s been attending for the past three months.
“It’s fun, you get somewhere to go instead of standing on the streets causing havoc. You have a laugh, playing pool or board games and it’s just a good place to go.”
Youth worker Brian Talabi, 28, said: “We have 20-25 boys and girls coming along, it’s a chance for them to get switched on and learn about the consequences of their actions while having a good time too.
Josh helps to run the Bridgewater Youth Group Bike Club, which successfully pitched for £1,490. “The idea of maintaining, riding and repairing bikes came from some of our young people; it’s all they want to do.
“It’s about a safe place for young people where we can give them a bit of trust and responsibility that they might not have had before; some of our trips out of Little Hulton are the first trips they’ve ever been given the chance to go on before.”
Winners in full
Harrop Fold School Choir: £1,500 for coach trips, microphones, T-shirts and a trip to Disneyland Paris
Walkden Volunteer Police Cadets: £1,500 for Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award and new campaing equipment
Salford Dadz: £350 for first aid courses
St Ann’s Hospice: £1,500 for a new bed
Autistic Spectrum Support for People: £520.95 to visit a sensory play area and the cost of a visit from an autism fun bus
St Paul’s Parish Community Hall: £1,296 for four new windows
Starletts Morris Troupe: £1,500 for new costumes and equipment
Peel Muay Thai Boxing Club: £1,500 to buy a small boxing ring, gloves and body armour
North Walkden Football Club: £1,500 towards new kits for three teams, footballs and training gear
Little Hulton Community Cinema: £1,363 for a 12-month licence to show films cheaply to local families
Bike Club (Bridgewater Youth Centre): £1,490 to cover the cost of BMX, mountain biking sessions, tools and parts to repair bikes
Bridgewater Girls Group (Bridgewater Youth Centre): £1,500 to pay for a new sewing machine, materials and group outings
Dads Shed: £444 to cover workshop tools and a new paved pathway
St Paul’s Peel Playgroup: £1,463.94 for the cost of an outdoor ‘mud kitchen’ and signage
Kenyon Residents Association: £200 for a new stereo system and CDs
Toddlers Everywhere: £386 for toys, dress-up clothes and a visit to an animal show
Chat and Craft Group: £500 to pay for 150 balls of wool for group members to use
Councillor Kate Lewis, who represents Little Hulton, said: “I thought the Community Piggy Bank was a fabulous event. It was so moving to hear the stories from people who could make so much difference to people’s lives with just a little extra cash.
“Their efforts just go to show what an amazing community there is in Little Hulton and so much potential for even bigger and better. It was such a shame that not everyone could walk away with what they wanted but they should not give up.
“There are other grants they can access so if they get in touch with me I can help point them in the right direction.”
You can contact Councillor Lewis by email to email@example.com.
All the pictures taken at this event will be available for free on SalfordOnline.com volunteer Community Photographer Albert’s site later today at itookyourpic.com.