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Here you'll find our most recent news articles, from important tenant updates and new housing developments, to new community initiatives and activities.

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Congratulations to Willow Hey members

Congratulations to Willow Hey members

You may remember that in June we shared news that volunteers from the Willow Hey Community Project would be honoured with the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

They’ve now received their Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service award from Karan Lee, Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester.

We support the Willow Hey Community Project, which is based in Farnworth and encourages the local community to come together to reduce social isolation through its food growing and woodworking sessions.

Over recent years volunteers have transformed a one-acre former allotment site into a green oasis to provide local families with lessons on growing their own organic food and preparing and cooking healthy meals.

Visiting the site has helped people from different parts of the borough to meet new people, form friendships, learn new skills, increase confidence and build mental health resilience.

Willow Hey is also home to the inspirational Men in Sheds project which helps to tackle loneliness and depression in men through woodwork, carpentry and gardening sessions. Many of those involved have said it has given them a new purpose and lease of life.

Initially set-up to address food poverty and upskill local residents, the project exceeded its original aims and has expanded to offer forest school activities for children and run DIY and woodcraft groups specifically for women.

Around 20 volunteers of all ages support the activities at Willow Hey, each offering a different skill from grounds maintenance through to running workshops and supervising the food growing.

Willow Hey is open to people of all ages in the Farnworth and wider Bolton area, with any newcomers encouraged to call Anthony Holt, our Community Development Apprentice, on 07747 764558, before visiting the site.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It's the MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for volunteer groups.

Here’s what some of the Willow Hey members shared with us:

“We’re like one big family. I love coming here. I haven’t got much mobility but when I’m at Willow Hey it feels like I’m in a different world.”

The future of Willow Hey is only onwards and upwards. It’s special, with the friendships and camaraderie we’ve built up.”

“You just get a sense of peace from the minute you walk in. There’s always a smile waiting for you, with a brew and someone to talk to. I just love the magic of the place.”

For more information on the group and their activities, and more photographs of the award presentation, follow the Willow Hey Community Project on Facebook @willowheycommunity.

Pictured above, left to right, are Bernadette Tither, Karan Lee DL, and David Caulfield.

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Tap4 issues

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This quarter, we thought you’d find our 2020/21 Annual Report more useful than a standalone issue of TAP4.

Why? Because it includes more detail on many of the topics we’d otherwise include in the latest TAP4 issue.

  • a breakdown of how we spent EVERY PENNY from each pound of rent you'd paid us, 

  • how building NEW BUILD HOMES benefits you, regardless of whether you live in one, 

  • and the exact number of COMPLAINTS we’ve received, as well as some examples of how we’ve learnt from them (such as missed appointments, fly tipping, and our Antisocial Behaviour Policy). 

Want to read a previous issue of TAP4? No problem. They're listed below:

Past TAP4 issues (newest first):

Click here to read TAP4 Issue 7

Click here to read TAP4 Issue 6

Click here to read TAP4 Issue 5

Click here to read TAP4 Issue 4

Click here to read TAP4 Issue 3

Click here to read TAP4 Issue 2

Click here to read TAP4 Issue 1