Kirklees stories

Below you will find a compilation of some of the things that local residents are doing in Kirklees, where we continue to train Community Builders.


A passion for Thornhill history

Lalia Ahmed, Community Engagement & Community Officer, completed community conversations with about 14 people in Thornhill. Through those talks a strong sporting heritage and history came out as the main passions for people. “I love Thornhill because it is steeped in so much history, dates back to the Bronze Age and we are even mentioned in the Doomsday book”, a neighbour said.

A local resident and Community Connector knew of a local historian who delivers presentations on the history of Thornhill and the history of the textile industry across Kirklees. The session was booked and leaflets were distributed. The event, presented as “An evening with Stuart Hartley, local historian. The Mills of Dewsbury”, also included a free supper of pies and sandwiches.

More than 30 residents attended the history talk, the youngest being in their early twenties, and the elders being in their 80s.

In between the talks and presentations people were able to wander over to the asset map that had ben done by local residents. Participants could add their thoughts on what they thought was missing on the map and also share their skills and passions. The asset map was left at the sports centre, so people could continue to share their thoughts on the area and as well as the things they care about.

Brass Band Event in Thornhill

Graham, local Connector, and a committee member of the local Tenants and Residents has a passion for music. He had conversations with local people and had links with the local working men’s club.

In Christmas 2014 they organised a traditional brass band activity for everyone in the community.

Graham then booked the Altofs and Normanton Brass Band and he hosted at The Whistling Blackbird workingmen’s club, who laid on a buffet. His wife Marlene organised a raffle and the club laid on a lovely buffet for the evening.

Over 50 people attended the session; there was a good mixture of people including young families and people over 60,s.

“Thornhill is the friendliest place to live”.

Kate, aged 16.

“Thornhill is a lovely place to live, lovely views from every angle”

86-year-old resident.

“Thornhill has good schools, but community spirit is disappearing fast. Well done for trying to revive this!”

Local resident.

Connecting through a local alley

Two Tenants and Residents Committee members were keen on clearing a neglected alley way that ran along the back of their house. The area was badly overgrown and no longer maintained by the Council, which resulted in residents being put off from walking along it.

The alley clear up was organised by local neighbours Joyce and Maurice, who also got young people involved in helping weed and clear a path. During the day people also talked about the skills and talents they would like to share with others.

Other activities

Plenty of other activities were organised and run by local people and volunteers and took place during the six week holidays, involving over 100 people from Thornhill of all ages. These include:

· Barge Trip – mainly for elderly residents, a time to relax, socialise and see the beautiful views across Kirklees canals.

· Family Fun Day – brought together lots of small local groups (football, bowling, tombola, bouncy castles and much more. All organised by local mums.

· Superheroes and Princess Event – bringing together three generations in families for children to dress up as their favourite superhero or princess. Organised organised by local mums.

More on what our Kirklees Learning Site: here.

Which of our team members is in Kirklees: Associates Sarah Frost and Chris Shaw.

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