Volunteer Good News Story: Community Within Communities

People volunteer for many reasons and can get a lot back from it, whether that’s to make new friends, improve or gain skills or give back to their local community. During Volunteers’ Week 2022, Volunteer Centre Sefton is sharing good news stories from volunteers across the borough. Here is Community Within Communities Volunteer Researcher’s story.

Volunteer Researchers have been at the heart of the Community within Communities project since March this year. They have been focusing on 9 different areas across Sefton to uncover and preserve important aspects of local heritage. Volunteers have been using archived maps, photographs and newspapers as well as recording people’s memories to help create a Historic Townships exhibition that will take place later this year. The stories that have emerged have helped to bring people together through conversations that have strengthened a sense of local identity and community.

Our volunteers have decided on themes to follow and created interview plans designed to help people to see and speak about their own connections to the past. As we have found out, everyone has a story to tell! In Bootle we’ve explored life after the Second World War by focusing on prefab houses, the opening of The Strand and the Territorial Army (TA). We also focused on the significance of football, particularly the Bootle JOC league. For a while we were unsure what JOC stood for but soon discovered it was short for Juvenile Organisation Committee. These committees were set up nationwide as part of an initiative introduced to increase positive leisure activities for young people after the First World War. One of our volunteers recorded the memories of a local resident who remembered playing in the JOC League for 13 years starting in the late 1960s when he began on the Richmond Sausage Factory team. He recalled his embarrassment at having to wear a kit with a badge on it that included a porky pig holding a sausage on a fork! His football career did not stop with the JOC as he went on to captain a team in the TA and play nationally.

Without our fantastic volunteers, stories like this one might not have been shared. We have also heard memories of The Beatles playing at The Albany in Maghull in 1961 and Harvey Smith show jumping at the Formby Show in the 1980s.

We are still on the lookout for people to share their stories of Aintree, Crosby, Litherland, Netherton, Southport and Waterloo so please get in touch if you would like to get involved and visit: seftoncvs.org.uk/project/heritageproject/

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