Streets ahead as Lottery money boosts community

Community workers and residents have transformed an alleyway close to Sherbourne Road thanks to funding from the Health Lottery.  Pictured are members of Claremont Ten.
Community workers and residents have transformed an alleyway close to Sherbourne Road thanks to funding from the Health Lottery. Pictured are members of Claremont Ten.
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A project which aims to turn lives around in one of Blackpool’s most deprived neighbourhoods has secured £283,000 of funding.

The Ten Streets scheme tackles priorities including reducing isolation, providing opportunities for young people and improving the environment in Claremont.

A steering group of residents has been formed and work done so far includes transforming a rundown back alley.

Rubbish and weeds have been cleared with shrubs and flowers being planted in their place.

It is now hoped to extend the project to other alleyways.

The Claremont First Step centre is co-ordinating the project which is funded by the People’s Health Trust through the Health Lottery.

A ‘Local Conversations’ initiative has seen volunteers going door-to-door to find out what people want for their community.

Money will also be used to put up hanging baskets and a ‘welcome to Claremont’ sign in a bid to instil community pride, while activities for young people include holding DJ-ing and rapping sessions.

Joanne Shepherd, chief officer at Claremont First Step, said: “The main aim is that it is community led and what we are trying to do is encourage community spirit which has been lost through apathy and false promises.

“We want to show that change is going to happen through the community having their say and getting more and more people on board.

“It is enhancing the area but also means residents can walk down the street and say hello to someone they have been working with.”

The Ten Streets area is between Sherbourne Road, Ashburton Road, Carshalton Road and Richmond Road.

Joanne added: “It is a mixture of families, transient residents and also people who have lived here for years.

“But unfortunately what has increased deprivation levels here is a lot of former guesthouses have been converted to flats and there are a lot of HMOs (houses of multiple occupation) in the area.

“One of the biggest things to come out of the engagement process was issues around isolation.

“Sometimes residents don’t have the confidence to get involved in the community.

“Since the Local Conversations project residents are getting involved in community lunches and by getting to know each other in this way, they are also learning more about the Local Conversation in Ten Streets.”

David Jones, director of grant programmes at People’s Health Trust, said: “Through the Local Conversation in Ten Streets, residents are having real input into the future of their community.

“This is an exciting time for residents in Ten Streets because when local people truly have a say in what they want in their neighbourhood, ideas are much more likely to succeed.”