27 January 2003  

by Vincent Walsh, community development worker  


I am employed by Voluntary and Community Action Trafford. On Halloween I tore my calf muscle playing badminton but was determined it would not stop me starting work in Broomwood. Now I am back on my bike commuting across the River Mersey, through Wythenshawe Park and along Brooks Drive to my office base at the Youth Centre. The highlights of my first months have been addressing Broomwood School assembly under the watchful eye of head teacher Ann Wood, sharing Christmas dinner with the senior citizens and witnessing the Friends of Brooks Drive forcing Trafford Council to realign a border fence.

Broomwood is blessed with a range of small shops – unusual in these days of superstores. They are vital in the life of any community. We can work together for mutual benefit such as promoting the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables.

The Medical Centre is keen to expand and offer more facilities to its patients. I am liasing with their health visitor Ruth Speight on various health-related projects.

Outside my office window I am anticipating the construction of the all weather 5-a-side pitches. Inside, the gym will soon be opening up for daytime adult use.  


Update on Healthy Living Project

The Healthy Living Event on 14 November was a launch pad for a series of grassroots’ initiatives. In administering the project and supporting groups I have consulted closely with Sunny Haynes who manages a similar Healthy Living Project in Sale West.


Christmas Dinner for older people.

Took place on Sunday 15 December at Broomwood Primary School. Big thank you to Joe Statham for organising and Ann Wood for hosting the event. There is scope to re-engage the 50 diners around other healthy living activities such as Health Walks.


Broomwood Spotlights

The grant of £1000 is inadequate for a meaningful lighting rig. I am in negotiations with Ann Wood about some cost-sharing. The school is keen to open up for community drama and performance.


Community Directory

For the virtual form Paul Huxley has approached a website designer. South Trafford College could offer some appropriate training.


Cook and Taste

Sharon Gleave is collecting equipment and plans to launch in second half of term (week commencing 25 February). The venue is the parents’ room in school – day and time to be confirmed. A crèche will be available.


Entertained the diners on 15 December. Visited Manchester Library Theatre. Planning performances for Valentines and at Easter. Seeking a facilitator to run workshops.

First Steps Mother and Toddler Group

Sue Pullman has moved into the role vacated by the departure of Debbie Hancock.

A representative from the Children’s Information Service has visited the group and offered advice on health & safety, training and resource suppliers.

First Steps has taken out Public Liability Insurance and registered with Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation. Ann Wood and School very supportive. 


Tina Huxley is planning an Adventure Weekend at Edale Youth Hostel for young people at end of month. Other grant-supported local sporting activities starting in February. 

Community Café

Kath Warrington and the Over 50s are keen to equip the snack bar kitchen but awaiting decision on re-development/investment in the youth centre.  

Fitness Club

Youth Centre users have started induction in using gym equipment. Adults to follow. Then there is scope to open gym to community adult use during daytime. I am pursuing a sports development worker to train up community members to supervise their own groups in the gym. I am liasing with Paul Evans from Mental Health Association over option of restarting drop-in sports session – Wednesdays? 

Bingo Club

New machine has been purchased and is packing them in to monthly sessions.  There is scope for attracting some of the Xmas diners. 

Young Women’s Project

Youth Worker Sue Green is planning a programme of aerobics, drama, self-defence relaxation and aromatherapy – starting in February. 

The Youth Centre – what role in Broomwood?

The Youth Centre has great potential but will require investment by the Council and a community commitment to the building. Sale West is seen by some as a model for progress in Broomwood. ( Lark Hill is not appropriate – it is a new build funded by a large Lottery Grant (now no longer available) and is run totally by volunteers.)

I am co-ordinating a visit for Broomwood residents and agency representatives to Sale West Youth and Community Centres to meet their community leaders.

The date is Friday 7 February. Meeting at 9 00 am at the Youth Centre – transport is available. We anticipate returning by 12 30. The Community Association has been invited.

I have proposed setting up a working group of users/ potential users to explore reconfiguration/refurbishment of the Youth Centre – once funding situation is clearer.


Summer thoughts…………


Contact Vincent Walsh …….

tel 0161 980 0696 (Youth Centre), Mobile 07729 875687