Higher Croft Action Group, a passionate and dedicated group of volunteers who are making a real difference to the lives of young people in Blackburn, is the latest winner of the Prime Minister's Big Society Award.
Higher Croft Action Group was set up in 2008 by two determined volunteers, Christine Robinson and Pat Cocker, who decided to take action to engage, support and inspire young people in the area.
Since then, and with the help of other volunteers, their hard work and determination has helped to establish a Friday night youth club, build facilities such as new sports changing rooms and two recreational parks, and organise numerous activities such as cohesion carnivals, football tournaments, ‘clean-up’ campaigns, day trips and a residential weekend.
As well as giving their time, the group have worked to secure funding for their various initiatives and facilities, most recently for their biggest project to date, a new multi-use games area that will benefit the whole community, with building due to start later this month.
Congratulating Higher Croft Action Group, the Prime Minister said:
This is a great example of people seeing something they want to improve in their community and deciding to get involved and do something about it. Exactly what the Big Society is about.
Higher Croft Action Group’s enthusiasm, hard work and commitment have helped make a real difference to young people in their area.
Congratulations to Christine and Pat and all the volunteers they have inspired who have made Higher Croft Action Group such a success.
Christine Robinson, Chairwoman of Higher Croft Action Group said:
We have worked tremendously hard in engaging with the youth of the estate and we have had ‘very trying times’ in order to break the pattern of anti-social behaviour, but by ‘mentoring’ and providing a youth club facility, sports events, activities etc. we have earned the respect of the youth by fulfilling what we promise and they are now gaining valuable insights to make the right choices.
We are extremely honoured to receive the Big Society Award, not just for our work, but for all volunteers out there who share the same passion and dedication as ourselves, who wish to make a difference. We also accept this award on behalf of all our support partners, ward councillors, community beat team, Twin Valley Homes and everyone that has touched the Higher Croft Action Group, but most of all for the youth, for without them we would not exist.
Members of the Higher Croft Action Group will join other Big Society Award winners at a reception at Downing Street later this week.
More on the Big Society Awards:
The Prime Minister recently launched a new weekly award that recognises the best examples of the Big Society in action taking place all around the country.
As well as celebrating the fantastic work already being carried out across the country, the Prime Minister hopes that the Big Society Awards will inspire many more people to get involved in their community.
The Prime Minister said:
There are some amazing projects and remarkable voluntary work going on in towns and cities up and down the country, by all kinds of organisations from large enterprises to tiny grassroots schemes and inspirational individuals.
These awards are a chance to pay tribute to those making a valuable contribution to their community, the real champions of the Big Society, but perhaps more importantly, I hope they will motivate many others to take action, get involved and drive change in their area.
Individuals, businesses, charities, community groups and other organisations are all eligible if they illustrate the Big Society in action.
These might be:
People or groups who are bringing their community together and helping to give people more power to take decisions and shape their area
People who are transforming our public services, staff setting up their own cooperatives, or new providers or frontline staff finding innovative ways to deliver better services to the public
Or people who are giving their time and money to help others, the unsung heroes changing lives in every neighbourhood of the country.
People can submit nominations via the No 10 website. Nominees will then go through a selection process which will eventually involve a panel of previous winners and individuals from civil society organisations, Government and the private sector.
Award winners will receive a certificate from the Prime Minister and will be invited to a regular Big Society Award Winners Reception at Downing Street.