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Unsung Hero award for Manchester Community Centre

WINNING TEAM: Members of the Barlow Moor Community Association picking-up their Be Proud Awards

A MANCHESTER community centre has been recognised at the recent Be Proud Awards for the life-changing work they deliver to local young people.

The Barlow Moor Community Association (BMCA) provides a range of social and leisure services for people of all ages from their base in Merseybank, south Manchester.

Successfully fighting-off other nominees in the Unsung Hero category, representatives from the BMCA’s Youth Zone collected the award for the work they do with hundreds of youth every year.

“We were nominated a few times by different people,” said Youth Zone Manager Lucy Ingham.

“Some of our young people nominated us and some of the parents also. I was also nominated in the Unsung Hero individual category too.

“For us, it’s lovely to recognised for the work that we do. We do it because we love working with young people and making a change to their lives. I think when someone comes back and says, ‘you’ve really made a difference in my life’ it’s really, really humbling and nice to hear.”

Government cuts to youth-orientated services across country haven’t fazed the Youth Zone team, insists Ingham:

“There is a huge history of single parents, out-of-work parents and health problems in the area. It’s an area of deprivation that's in the top 5% of areas of deprivation in the UK.

"However, we are stuck in the middle of Didsbury and Chorlton which are quite affluent areas, so we don’t really flag up in Government stats. But then you have this estate, which has a lot of drug and alcohol issues. There are a lot of social problems that wouldn’t be relevant to the surrounding areas.

“BMCA are continuing to make a difference here. We were recently nominated for a Queens award which is like an OBE for businesses for the impact that we’ve had using volunteers.

“We want to grow and offer more services to the people in the community and just to solidify what we currently deliver and develop.

“There have been other youth clubs in surrounding areas that have shut down, so we would like to branch out and reach the wider areas and work with more young people. It’s what we do best.”

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