I grew up near Victoria Park. It was the park I played in as a child. So when I saw it going downhill I felt we had to do something. We got the community together, held a general meeting and formed the Friends of Victoria Park. That was back in 2002.
In the beginning, it was all very loose and we didn’t really have policies and procedures. We were a small group making a difference by doing little things. Now we’ve evolved into a registered charity.
I’m also Chair of Stretford Children’s Theatre, a governor at Victoria Park Infant School and on the board of Stretford Public Hall. And by day I’m a Project Controls Manager at Network Rail.
You have to be very organised to fit everything in but I make the time because it’s important to me.Shelly Quinton-Hulme
Chair, Friends of Victoria Park and Stretford Children’s Theatre
The groups we’ve set up have improved people’s lives by bringing the community together – giving them things to do that are affordable, accessible and within their community. That’s what it’s all about.
It’s a great feeling getting people together. It’s addictive, just amazing.
I love being part of the community, and feeling like I make a difference. It’s such a boost to your self-esteem.
My brain works in such a way that I love paperwork – I like spending my evenings filling in forms. And I love going to meetings. I’ll happily sit in a council meeting or watch them on my phone.
The biggest thing for me is watching the kids grow up and knowing that I’ve made a difference to their lives. That’s the be all and end all.
Stretford is a very close community and there’s a lot of stuff going on. Without that it would be sterile and not somewhere I’d want to live.
Life without a sense of community would be very dull. I can’t imagine living in a place where I didn’t know people and no-one spoke to each other.
I love being part of what makes Stretford tick. It’s what I do.
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