Heavy showers couldn’t dampen the volunteers spirits!

Despite heavy early morning downpours, and it being a Bank Holiday weekend, 20 volunteers turned up and got stuck in at the monthly action day at Hollinfare Cemetery in August.

As if to thank them for their commitment the sun shone for the rest of the morning and together they happily put in 70 hours of graft.

The Friends of Hollinfare Cemetery group has been in operation for nearly 8 years and during that time has welcomed over 40 volunteers in total – all contributing in different ways. Mandy Eccles, Chair of the Friends group said: “It is because of the volunteer’s kindness and hard work that the cemetery is looking so green and cared for and I can’t thank them enough. I feel extremely proud of each and every one of them.”

It’s not surprising then that the cemetery received its 7th Green Flag Award this summer, given it’s level of community involvement. Sean Kelly from WBC Bereavement Services said: “The Friends of Hollinfare Cemetery deserve an enormous pat on the back for their tireless efforts year in – year out. Without them Hollinfare simply would not achieve the required standard for the Green Flag award and therefore the award is wholly down to their outstanding commitment. I am proud to be associated with them.”

Each year the Friends group have seen new volunteers turning up to help out, which is a great testament to the warm welcome they receive from other volunteers. Pete Higson, Secretary and one of the founder members of the group said: “We always like to emphasise that there is no pressure on the volunteers who come to help. If they want to come every month that’s great, but if they can only make 1 month a year, even if for an hour, their help is valued just as much. We provide tools, equipment and gentle guidance so that volunteers can quickly get stuck in and feel useful.”

The Friend’s Group aim is simple – ‘To Improve the Look and Feel of the Cemetery’ – and over the year’s this has become more and more evident for all visitors to see. Volunteers themselves also feel uplifted after giving their time and energy, often saying how much pleasure they get from working outdoors alongside like-minded people and the sense of achievement they feel when helping to make a difference.

Cemetery Action Days are on the last Saturday of each month February to November from 10am-1pm. If you are interested in volunteering, then simply turn up on the day or if you would like more information please contact Pete Higson on 0161 775 2802 or email [email protected]

Posted on: 28th August 2018