Friends of Egmont Street waiting for news of fund boost

A MOSSLEY group that has rejuvenated a once run-down area of land is waiting to hear if it has hit the jackpot.

Friends of Egmont Street (FoES) has got through to the final of the Aviva Community Fund where it could be given a £950 handout.

Already, Lesley Rigby Arnold from the society has an idea of what she would spend any cash on – more improvements for the gardens.

Now all she has to do is wait for the call to see if they will be getting what they asked for, which is expected on January 24.

“I was absolutely gobsmacked to be told that we’d reached the final,” said Lesley, who lives off Staley Road.

“It’s down to a lot of hard work from a small group of people, as it has been for all the small groups in the running.

“We’ve attracted the number of votes we needed to become finalists – now we’ve done the paperwork required.

“We’re not a registered charity as we don’t have a turnover of £100,000 and we had to supply a copy of our annual accounts – but we only opened our bank account in May!”

Should the FoES receive the money it wants, plans are already being drawn up on how to spend any money the group receives.

It will see a second garden finished off – and fruit trees being planted. Although, more than Lesley thought.

The group wants to create a memory garden on the site, which would see volunteers clear a patch of the border and fill it with beautiful scented flowers.

Lesley added: “We asked for £950, which has been broken down into different things with the Mossley Town Team.

“They’re pushing for a community noticeboard and have been for a long time and if we can secure half of the funding needed – some £250 – they’ll supply the other half.

“Another £200 would be used to finish off the gardens. 

“When we first did it, we had plastic edging as we had no money, so we’d get that done with logs.

“Then there’s another £500, which will go towards sorting out the other garden. 

“We’re just setting up at the moment but we’re going to start digging in January.

“The general idea of what happens next is a memory garden. 

“We’ve been asked in the past to put something in the garden in memory of someone who passed away as she wanted to remember all the good times, so we’re putting a rose arch in with a bench underneath it.

“We’d want the whole thing to have a pretty relaxing and calming feeling.

“We may have a little break after this one to be honest but Tameside Council has thrown a spanner in the works.

“The Greenspace team offered to get us a couple of fruit trees but then when they read out what they’d got, they’d got four of them – apple, damson, medlar and quince

“And some of them – notably quince – grows to 12ft tall. I thought it only grew on a small bush or a shrub!

“I’ve not managed to place all four yet but it will take a little moving around.

“And once we’ve finished it off, I’d want to put some small signs in place that explains when the fruit is ready and what it actually is and how it grows as people don’t really understand how it grows and what to do with it.”

FoES has taken on a life of its own since being formed about three years ago after people wanted to do something about an area that was ‘gradually declining’.

In stating their case for votes in the community fund poll, they said: “We painted over all of the graffiti. We still get occasional outbreaks but we just go and quietly clear it up again. 

“We litter pick the field and woods every week and keep it tidy, so that everyone can enjoy it.”

Now Lesley is waiting to hear if it is good news or not over the money.

She said: “If we get it, we get it. If we don’t then there’s nothing we can do as we weren’t expecting to get this far in the first place.”

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