Inspiring Generations: a cricket strategy for Greater Manchester

Using cricket to improve young people’s lives and create stronger, healthier communities in Greater Manchester.

The Inspiring Generations strategy is a partnership between Lancashire Cricket FoundationCheshire Cricket Board, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, all match-funded by VIY through Sport England, using cricket to improve young people’s lives and create stronger, healthier communities in Greater Manchester.

We’re part of their 10-Point action plan, renovating 30 grassroots cricket clubs in 10 priority areas across Greater Manchester, providing employability-boosting opportunities for local young people not in education, employment or training, or at risk of disengaging from mainstream education and/or becoming unemployed.

Here’s what we’ve achieved so far.

1. Stalybridge Cricket Club

Our first project was at Stalybridge Cricket Club, where we and 15 young volunteers from Active Tameside built a brand new decking area to invite more local spectators to enjoy games and support the club’s financial sustainability and newly renovated hospitality facilities.

Read more on this project here

“We would not be able to afford the time, labour or materials to complete such a project. The juniors, parents, spectators will benefit massively having a fantastic seating area in a sunny spot. We also know we have hopefully helped some young people on the right track to developing new skills that will help them on a career path.”

Keith Bowers, Secretary, Stalybridge Cricket Club

2. Blackley Cricket Club

5 young people from Manchester Youth Zone and the local area volunteered on a tough job removing old flaking paintwork and repairing damaged concrete panels, before a complete external repaint of the external buildings and two shipping containers, currently used as a changing room and a ground equipment store.

Read the wonderful story of this club here

I’ve really enjoyed my time at VIY, the project has come out really well, and looks so much different to how it started. Construction is something I want to go into now.”

Kyle, young volunteer with VIY through the Hatch programme

3. Springhead Cricket Club

We converted a large storage container into a small kitchenette from which to serve refreshments during match time, including fit for purpose flooring. We then also converted two existing small rooms into changing rooms within the cabin, for females and referee changing facilities which were not there initially.

4. Newton Cricket Club

We created an impressive raised decking area overlooking the pitch for more spectators to watch their local cricket games, enjoy refreshments and host events for the local community, helping the club to become financially sustainable and secure. With 15 young volunteers from Active Tameside, Tameside Youth Justice Service and St Thomas More College.

Read more on this project here

5. Werneth Cricket Club

Over in Oldham, here at Werneth we redecorated the tired old changing rooms, painted the viewing room, upcycled old benches with a fresh repaint and made new bespoke benches for spectators to watch the matches from.

6. Unsworth Cricket Club

Through a full paint refresh of their changing rooms and corridor areas, we used the power of paint to boost pride and respect in the club, players and visiting teams through the Unsworth club colours. We’ll also return to the club to build a brick BBQ and help local young people gain a City & Guilds accreditation in bricklaying.

See the impact VIY has had on local young people

7. Rochdale Cricket Club

We built new benches and planters to be placed at the sunny side of the pitch to allow spectators to enjoy the cricket in the summer months, and invite more people to enjoy and support this community club.

8. Stockport Cricket Club

We built and hung new barn doors to replace old rotting ones, to repair and maintain storage huts, enabling the club to look after their property, reduce financial loss and safely store their kit and materials.

“VIY are an integral partner in the successful delivery of the GMCA Inspiring Generations Strategy. Their proactive approach to developing and delivering projects that make a demonstrable difference to young people, cricket clubs and the communities in which they are situated is invaluable in helping to highlight the success of the strategy as a whole.

The projects not only help breathe life back into the recreational cricket clubs they support but also ensure that local young people are invested in the club and help to provide an invaluable source of volunteer support for the clubs to tap into.”

Sandy Mitchell, Head of Community Growth, Lancashire Cricket Foundation

9. Denton Cricket Club

Over in Tameside, we created a large decking area to allow the club to attract more spectators to watch their cricket games and help the club become more attractive to hire out for functions and events, and ultimately help the club to survive.

10. Wigan Sports Club

26 local young people, through organisations like the Prince’s Trust and the Hatch programme, volunteered to build this double storey decking area. This will help this prominent sports club, offering cricket, football, hockey and squash, cater for wider audiences and external events – building connections with local communities such as taxi driver cricket games and safe female-only social gatherings.

“The committee is delighted to be involved in the construction of a new decking area
overlooking the cricket pitch. Not only will this create a new seating area for spectators, it will enhance our function room facilities – we’re already planning to use the decking as a stage for musicians who will perform to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the club on 27th August 2023. The project itself gives an opportunity to young students in the Wigan area to learn new & practical life skills which hopefully will give them a head start in their chosen career path.”

Paul, Chair, Wigan Sports Club

11. Heywood Cricket Club

A cricket club with a history in Oldham of over 150 years. To help them serve a safer and more welcoming purpose for their community, we removed dangerous and dilapidated seating and instead created a decking patio that can serve multiple uses for the club, including spectating and external hire for social functions, to keep the club going strong.

12. Norley Hall Cricket Club

Returning to Wigan, this local cricket club wanted to improve community spirit at the club. We built sheltered seating booths outside of the clubhouse with the aim to attract more families to watch the cricket matches and be able to attract more people to hire out the function room, contributing to their financial sustainability and survival as a club.

13. Deane & Derby Cricket Club

Over to Bolton where the social space and facilities for the club were non-existent; to host events and functions, in order to be a sustainable club and improve the experience for their members and surrounding community. We’ve helped them to create this space from scratch, including outdoor seating and a brick BBQ – bring on the socials!

14. Ashton on Mersey Cricket Club

A community run club situated on the banks of the river Mersey, in an idyllic location. We’ve helped spruce up their changing rooms, instilling club spirit for the teams through redecorating in club colours.

15. Hindley Cricket Club

Formed in 1920, Hindley St. Peter’s Cricket Club has been playing cricket at its Wigan Road ground close to the centre of the town for a hundred years. On a record-breaking VIY project, with 60 young volunteers supporting this project from Groundwork Cheshire/Lancashire and Three Towers Alternative Provision Academy, we have fully refurbished the changing rooms with a modern feel as well as building a BBQ outside to invite the local community to hire the club for events. On the whole creating a more welcoming place to play cricket for players and the local community to contribute towards the financial stability of their local club.

16. Micklehurst Cricket Club

We helped to instil pride back into this rural community cricket club, through full redecoration and fresh decking outside for spectators to look over their expansive playing fields, as well as host external events to boost their financial sustainability. We were also joined by 14 volunteers from the Dulux Decorator Centre HQ team based in Manchester, as well as three colleagues from Barratt Homes, including two apprentices in joinery and bricklaying – sharing their skills generation to generation with our young people.

17. Heaton Cricket Club

With a large local muslim population who play at and use this club in Bolton, the club wanted to make the experience more inclusive, with areas where alcohol isn’t served.  We built an outdoor tuck shop, to serve soft refreshments and snacks, as well as creating a league-compliant and safe Umpires room, formerly the scorer’s hut, by adding a door and boarding, plastering & painting the interior.

18. Clifton Cricket Club

We helped this historic club, founded in 1854 in Swinton, freshen up their changing rooms to bring their club colours and pride back to life, and make it a welcoming place for away teams to use. Like many of the clubs we support, support to complete renovations like redecorating provides much-needed help to the volunteers running these places for their local community for free or on shoestring budgets.