'Incredible' volunteers recognised for their commitment to the borough

Our Stars steering committee members launch the nomination period for the volunteer celebration
Our Stars steering committee members launch the nomination period for the volunteer celebration
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A community group celebrating the borough’s best volunteers took to the streets to raise awareness of its work.

Our Stars is a small organisation, run by volunteers itself, set up in 2014 to recognise the army of people across the borough who give up their time for nothing to help others.

Volunteers at the Hindley branch of the Wigan and Leigh Hospice Shop are put in the frame for the Our Stars celebrations by Communities Officer Liz Ramsden

Volunteers at the Hindley branch of the Wigan and Leigh Hospice Shop are put in the frame for the Our Stars celebrations by Communities Officer Liz Ramsden

And after a brief hiatus last year, Our Stars is back for 2018 and ready to honour even more brilliant work done across the borough.

They will do so by holding an annual awards ceremony and celebration evening next March to highlight the incredible work done by these volunteers.

Its founder, Sam Broxton, said: “People don’t even realise what these volunteers do for the community, so we are just trying to give them a bit of recognition.

“There are so many fabulous community groups around the borough, and so many people doing brilliant things, but a lot of people and small organisations don’t have the funds to celebrate this in the way they would like to. So we wanted to bring these smaller groups together so share a memorable time.

Volunteers at the Chapter One Cafe Hindley Community Centre, Clare Chislett and Kathy Lightfoot place their nomination for the Our Stars celebrations

Volunteers at the Chapter One Cafe Hindley Community Centre, Clare Chislett and Kathy Lightfoot place their nomination for the Our Stars celebrations

“We’ve had some incredible stories at our awards evenings.

“They are very moving events because half the volunteers don’t realise what an impact they are having.

“We’ve had people who cook hot meals for others on Christmas Day, who take terminally-ill children to the hospital, who have set up choirs, who help those with learning difficulties and who have run committees and arranged events for their communities.

Sam added: “It’s really moving to see. It’s a chance to thank those people who have never had a thank you, or don’t even understand what they’ve done for the borough.”

The celebration evening at the DW Stadium may be months away, but work has begun in earnest to raise awareness of Our Stars and to get people nominating any volunteers they know.

On Wednesday, August 29, the Our Stars team took to the streets of Wigan to encourage people to get involved with their inaugural Starlight Walk at Haigh later this month - which will act as a fund-raiser for the big bash next March.

To find out more about Our Stars and to nominate a volunteer who you think deserves some high praise, visit ourstars.co.uk.

Nominations for the volunteers celebration in March will run until October 29. Application forms can also be downloaded and dropped off at a number of community facilities around the borough.