by Vincent Walsh, community development worker

Thank you again for allowing me to attend your meeting. I note that my apologies were recorded in the May minutes but the names of the 11 residents who did attend were not recorded – their presence is more important than my absence! 

I have continued to work in partnership with a number of groups and agencies….. 

1)   First Steps Parent and Toddler Group

The group has expanded from one morning to three with the encouragement of Ann Wood as Broomwood is baby booming. I have facilitated the group to become constituted and open a bank account. This will enable them to access more funds. I am working with Sue Pullan in applying to the Local Network Fund for a grant to buy a Toddler Gym. 

2. Health Walkers

Trafford South Primary Care Trust Health Visitors Ruth Speight, Sue Long and I were trained as Health Walk Leaders in preparation for Broomwood being pioneering Trail Blazers. Trafford Council officers Ian Trickett and Lindsey Howard have been supportive. Mary Eastwood and the Friends of Brooks Drive have been ever keen. The Over 50s help with refreshments.

On 16 May over forty people aged from 2 to 82 braved pouring rain to take part in the first Health Walk in Trafford. Ann Wood was our saviour, offering to host the launch at the last moment when the Youth Centre roof sprung a leak.

MP Graham Brady rushed back from Westminster to join us, his ample frame protected by a giant umbrella. The Walks will continue monthly – the next one is on Wednesday 25 June at 11 am from the Youth Centre. All are welcome.

We would like to include Fairywell Wood but there are obstacles. I am liasing with Jean Greer, Council Rights of Way Officer to improve access to this beautiful area. In the autumn Broomwood intends to host Walk Leader training for volunteers from throughout the Borough. 

3. Broomwood Bikers

National Bike Week has come and gone – did anyone notice? In Trafford it had a low profile – Town Hall staff were enticed to cycle to work with a free breakfast.

It is rumoured that Ann Wood will abandon her new car for the day and lead her staff on a ride to work??!! Earlier in the term the School invited Bike Right to deliver Cycle Skills training to the Y5s and an After School Bike Club. It is important to build on this enthusiasm.

In Britain the decline in cycling is mirrored by the rise in childhood obesity.  The health benefits of cycling far outweigh any perceived dangers. 

Our evaluation meeting with Ann Wood, Denise Latham, Tina Huxley, and trainer Chris supported a Cycle Fest in September, based around the Youth Centre – perhaps to coincide with official opening of the Pitches. I will contact all the parents of pupils who participated in the School cycling to set up a steering group to organise the event. Other volunteers - cyclists or not - are welcome. 

4. Community Café

The Over 50s are loyal users of the Youth Centre and are keen for the building to be used by other community groups. Towards this end the kitchen has been equipped with a new cooker, microwave, fridge freezer and dishwasher. The council has hinted it will match this commitment with a major refurbishment. Subject to Council approval, A Healthy Eating Cook and Taste Course will be offered in September led by Monica Bannister who is well known for her work at the School.

I led a fact-finding visit to Sale West which has launched Sunshine Café

open weekdays 11 00 – 15 00 hours 

(hot food 12 00 – 14 00 hours)

Pop across to Sale West and grab a healthy lunch.

5.    Five a Day

The Maritime Housing Association has a small but significant presence on Broomwood.

Ruth Speight and I are meeting their development officer Peta Stephens tomorrow (24 June) to explore expanding the local opportunities to buy fresh fruit and veg.  I will survey the health walkers and Over 50s to assess the interest. If we generate greater demand for fresh produce the existing Briarfield Road shops may respond by increasing their stocks and range.  

6. The Youth Centre Gym – more adults please

The gym remains open on Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 10 to 12 noon. Instructor Gina Jones is available. Users are asked to pay a fee of £2 per session. At Green Lane High School you pay £4.50 If the community shows sustained interest opening times could expand. I am negotiating with senior council officers but need the support of community users.  

7. Broomwood – a Centre of Footballing Excellence

I am working in the middle of a building site. Has Broomwood bid for the 2008 Olympic Games?! Trafford Council is spending much money on the Youth Centre: new electrics, alarms, ventilation, roof, windows, (toilets and showers?).

Outside, the pitches and play area will be ready by early-mid August. A small group including Irwell Alley Housing Association, Trafford Youth Service and Sports Development are planning the official launch. It may have to wait until September – perhaps to coincide with the Cycle Fest.

The community can have a vital role in managing and sustaining this important resource - particularly at weekends.

I understand the Council would welcome this opportunity for partnership.

Also it fits neatly with clause 2 of the Community Association’s Constitutional Objects:

2 b) establish or secure the establishment of a Community Resource Centre and to maintain and manage the same in furtherance of these objects (the benefit of the inhabitants of Broomwood Estate).” 

8. Altrincham Festival 2003 (Saturday 5 July)

I am supporting Broomwood’s float in the Altrincham Festival.


Vincent Walsh

Telephone: 0161 980 0696 (Youth Centre), Mobile 07729 875687