“We did really well together last year,” Damian said. “The borough received a total of 11 awards from the Royal Horticultural Society and that’s a superb achievement and a credit to individuals, groups, as well as the partnership we have forged between business, residents, tenants, housing and council officers and your local ward members.”
Last issue, Borough Life reported that the council had received a Gold award and environmental quality award from Northwest in Bloom, as well as prizes for community groups in Ashton, Orrell, Standish and Howe Bridge.
And there were a clutch of other awards from organisations such as Keep Britain Tidy and House Beautiful magazine.
It’s a record that Damian feels is a just reward for the In Bloom ethos, but it’s genuinely not the winning but the taking part that’s important.
Most people will be aware of the six million bulbs planted – and now blooming – on verges and open spaces all around the area, as well as new trees and public art.
Cost effective and attractive though this is, Damian says the scheme is really about empowering locals to create the community scene that they want.
Last year, he staged events to give people a chance to get involved with activities like growing their own food and planting seasonal containers.
He added: “This year we will be working hard with new groups who want to get involved, school establishments who want to improve their grounds and local businesses who would like to lend their support. Look out for events in your local Life Centre.”
Dorothy Walls, chair of the Orrell Network, said: “Damian has supported us as we have transformed grotspots and created new landscaped areas.
“It’s really brought so many people together and we’ve achieved things which are appreciated by us locally as well as by visitors to Orrell.”
Getting our ‘thriving neighbourhood’ award last year was brilliant – and I’d encourage anyone reading this to get involved.”
Damian can put you in touch with a group in your area, or help you and a few like minded friends to start one. He continues to work with local businesses and is keen to hear from more. A timetable of upcoming events is available online, as well as from your local library or Life Centre.
For details call Damian on 01942 488299 or look online at Wigan Borough in Bloom (external link).