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Better Neighbours, Better Borough
Tuesday 20th October, 2009

Better Neighbours, Better Borough
Reece Hedley (with trophy) and friends at Aspull Wrestling Club

Here’s eight year old Reece Hedley, wrestling champ, model citizen and friend of the top brass of Wigan & Leigh Housing.

Reece is a member of Aspull Olympic Wrestling Club, and after only twelve months with them, has just achieved third place in the national junior championships in Derbyshire.

“I want to be world champion next!” says Reece.

With the support of the Better Neighbourhoods Fund, he may just do it too. As part of Wigan & Leigh Housing’s vision for better estates, they created the Better Neighbourhood Fund. This is a pot of money designed to help promote “cleaner, greener” and “safer, stronger” estates and engage with local communities.

John Latham, tenant participation officer, says: “We want to work closely with our Area Housing Forums. One such group is the marvellous Aspull Wrestling Club who are encouraging young people to get physically fit and develop a controlled, positive attitude.”

Aspull Wrestling Club is holding sessions during school term at PEMBEC High School. Youngsters from Norley Hall, Worsley Hall, Marsh Green are attending these lessons.

John adds: “The benefits for the community are that youngsters have a constructive activity to do, rather than hanging around on street corners. To help fund these lessons the club applied help from the Better Neighbourhood Fund. The bid was presented to the Wigan Area Housing Forum and the members voted to grant an award to assist with the running costs of the lessons.”

Tenants are encouraged to get involved in their local forums and see how they can help their wider communities. Last year, the fund even supported Santa and his sleigh. Communities on four estates in Wigan – Norley Hall, Worsley Hall, Pemberton and Marsh Green worked with Housing’s contractors to fit out a float, raising over £1000 for local charities. And Santa will be back in those areas in December this year giving out Christmas cheer and neighbourly spirit.

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