• In 2010, mum-of-one Sarah Whitehead, 27, of Weaste, Salford, completed the Salford Apprentice course.

    The initiative, which teaches participants about politics, local government, and funding, is designed to empower people with the knowledge they need to make positive changes to their lives and communities.

    Inspired by what she learnt, Sarah subsequently established the BCD Community Gardens Association and transformed her rubbish-filled alley into a community garden. Surrounding streets have since been inspired to create their own gardens.

    In March 2011, Sarah set up the Weaste Area Forum. As well as providing a democratic voice for local people, the forum have also created a jobs centre, community gym, and cafe in their local social club.

    Sarah is now a mentor for other Salford Apprentices.

    This case study was commissioned by Church Action on Poverty, whose Community Pride Unit runs the Salford Apprentice course in partnership with Salford University.

    To read my Big Issue in the North story about Sarah’s journey and the Community Pride Unit, click here; to read about an article about her work with ex-offenders published in Mule newspaper, click here

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