Trafford, the home of the Trafford Centre, Manchester United, Lancashire Cricket Club, Kelloggs, the Imperial War Museum and the first place where the NHS was officially launched.

It’s also the place where Forever Manchester has invested £4m over the last eight years into neighbourhood initiatives.

On the edge of Trafford Park and Streford lies a small residential district of Lostock. Seven years ago Lostock Park was a vandalised, burnt-out shell. It was such a mess that local young people preferred to hang about on the streets. Now Lostock’s young skaters welcome enthusiasts from across the North West to the skate park they designed themselves, thanks to the help of Forever Manchester as part of the Fair Share Trust programme.We worked closely with Lostock Residents society and Friends of Lostock Park, but more importantly the young people who now use the skate bowl on a regular basis

Following the success of the skate park which has now been fully operation for 5 years, James Hapson our Community Builder has continued his work with residents of Lostock to generate more ideas and initiatives to further connect the neighbourhood and build a real sense of pride and belonging, which has already seen the successful development of several small projects.

More recently we have been actively involved Barton Clough Primary School Kid’s Café ran by local resident and volunteer Alison Hill. “I love bringing people together”, enthused Alison who’s daughter Paige attends the school. “I thought that the best way to bring families at the school together was through the kids and it’s worked. Running the café keeps me occupied too. I suffer with mental health so I like to have lots of things to focus on”

Our presence in the area has also led to a partnership with Trafford Housing Trust who provide office space for our workshops and gathering and part-funding the continuation of the Community Building position.

James has planned in a series of Ideas Workshops, held at The Quest Centre, where local residents can come together to share ideas and meet people. He poses the questions “What do you want to change about your community? Do you care about where you live? and ‘What are you passionate about”. He also offers £250 to local residents as part of our Cash 4 graft scheme which has already been a huge success with the development of new Community Allotment and a local ‘Handy Man’ service.

James together with recently appointed Community Builder Lyndsey Ashworth are now looking forward to working on a new patch in Gorse Hill and Stretford where he will use his experience gained from Lostock to connect further into Trafford neighbourhoods.

We’re looking for volunteers to help promote and assist at our workshops, so if you fancy getting involved and helping our fantastic communities in Lostock, Gorse Hill or Stretford just send James a quick email on JHampson@forevermanchester.com

Forthcoming Ideas Works in Lostock

Tuesday 27th August and Tuesday 8th October at 6.30pm at the Quest Centre, Barton Road, Stretford M32 9PL – agencies and residents welcome!