A community stalwart renowned for her dedication and generosity has been honoured with a star in Wigan’s Believe Square.
Council bosses surprised Barbara Nettleton, centre manager at Sunshine House in Scholes, with the accolade yesterday.
Barbara joins Wigan luminaries Dr Nayyar Naqvi OBE, Stuart Maconie, John Winnard MBE, Shaun Edwards OBE, Billy Boston MBE and Sir Ian McKellen as star recipients.
Sunshine House has been lauded in recent years for characterising the Wigan Deal; the council’s flagship scheme to encourage community groups to help it tackle the effect of budget cuts.
Lord Smith, leader of Wigan Council, said: “There is no better way of acknowledging her remarkable dedication to the people of Scholes and beyond than with this honour. We know she just loves to get on with helping people and these kind of awards are not what she would ask for but we think she is so special she deserves this public recognition.
“Barbara has embraced The Deal and in the process has helped to transform so many people’s lives for the better. The stars in Believe Square are to highlight the amazing work and success that has come out of this borough and there’s nobody more deserving than Barbara, our star of Scholes!”
Scholes based Sunshine House acts as a community hub for residents, offering a range of services under one roof, including a new financial advice session provided for social housing tenants.
As part of her tireless work, Barbara has helped thousands of residents feel connected to the communities, a council spokesperson said.
Barbara is the first recipient to have two stars placed as she will be honoured outside the Life Centre and at the entrance to Sunshine House itself.
Barbara said: “I’m speechless. It’s an honour to receive this accolade.
“At Sunshine House it is all about putting the community first.
“We came from out of the blue and 20 years later we are still here.
“The best thing about my time at Sunshine House is the ability to change and take a risk. I love The Deal because it gives you the freedom to do things differently.
“But this isn’t something I can do on my own. I love Wigan and this star is for my team because you can’t achieve what we’ve done here by yourself. It has been a team effort.”