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Futures secured for neighbourhood groups

Two neighbourhood action groups which work to improve their local communities have come together to become a bigger force and secure their future.

High Street South and Boston East Neighbourhood Action Group has been formed out of the previous High Street South and Main Ridge East Placecheck groups. The new group has also agreed to take Tower Road and Lindis Road under its wing.

Jody Raggo, previously secretary of the High Street South group and now of the new partnership, said: "By coming together, the High Street South and Boston East groups now have an even bigger voice when tackling and raising community issues with our service providers such as Lincolnshire Police and Boston Borough Council.

"The themes of littering, street drinking, anti-social behaviour, street parking and speeding are common for these two areas and, as our neighbourhoods back onto each other, it was a natural fit to join up and tackle these issues together."

The groups decided to merge after the leaders of the previous Main Ridge East group stood down. It left that group without leadership and the other group was beginning to struggle for members.

Mandy Exley, Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service (LCVS) community development worker, provided free support to help the groups find a way to form a partnership rather than let either of them fold. Mandy then supported the groups to ensure bank accounts and paperwork were properly completed to allow the merger.

Mr Raggo said: "Not only do we try to be the voice of our community, we also carry out regular litter picks and environmental improvement projects such as shrub removal and planting to make our area a more attractive place to live.

"We're passionate about Boston and helping to improve the area. If you are too, the group would love to hear from you. We're all like-minded people who care about our area."

The groups were originally formed under the Placecheck Project, a partnership between LCVS and Boston Borough Council funded by the Health and Wellbeing Programme, which aimed to enable community engagement to drive positive change in Boston neighbourhoods and began in 2009.

LCVS works to help community-minded individuals and groups to get established, achieve their goals and flourish through providing support with paperwork and governance, resources, sourcing funding and finding and training volunteers. In addition, LCVS's health trainers work with individuals to help them kick bad habits and get on the path to better health.

High Street South and Boston East Neighbourhood Action Group meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 6.30pm at Boston Baptist Church, High Street, Boston. All welcome.

For more information contact Jody Raggo on 07903 857263 or email highstreetandbostoneast@gmail.com