A BRIERFIELD community group is hoping £260,000 of lottery cash will help bring the town’s residents together and improve their social and economic wellbeing.
Brierfield Action in the Community, which has offices in Colne Road, has been given the three-year funding for Project Pride, which will focus on employment, young people, social cohesion and cultural awareness.
The group now has a team of staff dedicated to the project and those behind the scheme hope they can make a difference and give the town and the people living there a boost.
They have already arranged for members of Brierfield Methodist Church and St Luke’s Church look around the town’s two mosques and plans are in the pipeline to return the visit.
Brierfield Action in the Community was set up in 2002 by residents and delivered a cyber cafe project, providing IT skills for people of all ages. The group has supported people who were out of work and young people, particularly NEETS – people who are not in education, employment or training.
With the funding, the group now plans to set up a community cafe to encourage more people to use the building to socialise, gain advice and information and people are being encouraged to drop in for a cup of tea and a chat.
Mrs Lynne Mitchell, who is working on the project, said: “What we are hoping to set up is a community cafe. Brierfield is definitely missing somewhere to go and chat and have a brew and that’s what has come through from residents.
“We just want to let people know that we are here and that we are open. We want residents to come and use the building.”
An employment day, organised by the group, was held at Brierfield Community Centre and Library where residents were helped with CV writing, job applications and given advice from recruitment agencies, the Job Centre, the Volunteer Centre at the Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale CVS, colleges and training providers.
Next month BAC will host an exhibition of memorabilia from the Smith and Nephew factory with former employees and their families urged to submit photographs and any other memorabilia to form part of the display. Anyone wanting more information can search for Brierfield Mill on Facebook or Twitter.
Artist Paul Hartley is also helping to engage with young people by carrying out a series of creative projects at Brierfield Library.
From Monday a Girls Group, for young girls aged 11 and over, will take place every Monday between 4-30 and 6-30pm at the BAC building.
For parents who are struggling to cope with their teenagers, the Tea Talk and Teens group will run on the first Thursday of every month from 9-30am at Brierfield Library and a free eight-week course for women to build confidence and self esteem will start at 10am on Monday, September 24th, at the BAC building. To book a place or to find out more call .The group is also looking for volunteers and donations of kitchen equipment or crockery to help set up the community cafe.
The BAC building, 1-3 Colne Road, is open between 2 and 4pm on Tuesdays, from 10am until noon on Wednesdays and between 5 and 7pm on Thursdays.