TWO Trafford community groups are celebrating this week after discovering they are one of Skipton Building Society’s ‘Big 160', securing a slots as winners in its Grassroots Giving initiative after winning the hearts and minds of the public and triumphing over nearly 1,000 other applicants across the country.

After being shortlisted in the campaign by the UK’s fourth largest building society, the group’s application was then in the hands of the public vote, to determine if they were to win £500 in funding.

Shortlisted on Altrincham based Friends of Denzell House and the Devisdale and Sale’s Manor High School’s stories were shared nationally, as well as via Skipton’s social media activity – as a result the local groups all secured a big enough proportion of the 20,000 votes received to be crowned winners.

Each of the winning groups is run by a small handful of volunteers, who all undertake activities to add value to their local areas. Often self funded, or having to source funding from donations, The Friends of Denzell House and the Devisdale is a community group aiming to build stronger community spirits, by hosting free events in the area.

Set up in 2003 by 10 volunteers, the group organises a wide range of activities for all age groups, including book fairs, plays and maintaining the community garden.

The group’s most current project is to improve the wildlife pond in Denzell Gardens, clearing it up and allowing more plants to grow and wildlife to inhabit it.

Manor High School is a community school in Sale, with 140 pupils aged 11 to18. The school’s pupils all have slight learning difficulties, some with autism.

The school strives to meet every child’s needs, and offer them a fulfilled and enjoyable education. Manor High School’s most recent project has been to set up a community vegetable garden, which would be accessible to both pupils and other members of the community.