It was quite a weekend when we won that funding, as the next day I went on to do 26 miles of the Manchester Bike Ride!
The project has really gained momentum since then, with growing interest from local residents and businesses. I feel very excited about it and think it has the opportunity to do a lot of good for Gorse Hill. If I’m honest I feel really passionate about it; every time a person joins the Facebook group or follows us on Twitter, I get a little thrill.
If I think about this project too much I start to worry that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew as it is pretty extensive: decorate all the roller shutters in Gorse Hill, the same with the BT exchange boxes and any other street furniture – and that’s just the start. It seems straightforward when you first think about it; but then you start to think about all the shops and businesses you have to talk to, the council, housing associations, owners of land and street furniture… Then, you have to convince them all that this is the most awesome idea they’ve ever heard of (which naturally it is), and that it will be a piece of cake and they should completely support it and agree with it. The thing is, people – not everyone, but most – like the idea; they understand what it would mean and look like to live in an area filled with art, plants and flowers.
So, let’s give some credit to these forward-looking people!
The businesses that have so far agreed to have their shutters decorated are: Lunch Box, North Trafford Group Practice, Premier Stores (Chester Rd), Gorse Hill Pharmacy (and the former pet store), Pepper Parts Discount Motoring, Peter Pan and Captain Cook. I’m so delighted that they have agreed and I hope more will follow. If you are or know a local business with a roller shutter and want to get involved, drop us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gorse Hill Primary School is keen to get involved, getting the children to work on designs for the art in the area. The school also has two roller shutters which they are interested in having decorated.
St Vincent’s Housing Association has agreed to allow us to put community noticeboards on their site (near Taylor’s Rd bus stop). I’m also speaking to them about how else they might get involved.
This has been great and we’ll hopefully have more good news to come… I’m meeting with Trafford Area Services team next week about decorating the BT exchange boxes in the area – so cross fingers they go for it.
Stretford High School has been contacted to see if they want to get involved in the project.
We’ve submitted two funding bids this week – so hopefully we’ll have more funds to add to those we won in June. Additionally, I met with James from Forever Manchester to find out how the community builders can support us.
We’ve also finalised meeting dates for the next 12 months: here are the dates – pop them in your diary.
I really hope I haven’t missed anything or anyone off the list. Like I said, this is a big project but I feel we’re a few steps closer to making Gorse Hill Gorgeous!