Facebook chance to make FAB friends
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COMMUNITY members are being urged to make friends with like-minded people and to make their neighbourhood a better place to live - by signing up with Forward Action Burntwood's Facebook page.
The community group appeal comes from Michael Pritchard, neighbourhood investment manager with Bromford, a leading social housing group with more than 1,000 homes in Burntwood, Staffordshire.
Bromford works in partnership with Lichfield District Council to support Forward Action Burntwood (FAB) in a number of ways - and the Facebook page is seen as a user-friendly way of sharing helpful information and ideas.
Facebook enthusiast Michael believes that the social networking activity helps groups like FAB to thrive and grow.
The FAB Facebook group already has nearly 90 members and Michael would like to double that figure - and more.
"Forward Action Burntwood is a great example of what local people can do to make things better in their community," says Michael.
"In this case, people get involved in everything from the Burntwood Lantern Parade and fun days to local walkabouts where they inspect local streets and open spaces, keeping an eye on problems like vandalism.
"It's also a great example of what can be achieved through the support of Bromford's active local partnership with Lichfield District Council."
Such is the success of the group that it is soon to set up a ten-strong organising committee chaired by teacher Sharon Whitchurch.
Putting the group on a more formal footing will also enable it to bid for funding from the local authority and other organisations.
"This is Big Society in action, with people taking responsibility for making sure that things get done locally to make life better," says Michael.
"Joining our Facebook page is really easy. All you need is access to a computer or smartphone, to sign up with a few basic details and you're off and away."
Burntwood resident Brian Skeen is equally keen about local empowerment and the benefits of social networking.
"FAB is a great thing for the local community," he says, "and the Facebook page is really useful way for members to find out about what's going on as well as see what their friends, and others in the Facebook community, are saying about events and relevant topics."
Would-be friends can find FAB by logging in on the Facebook site, searching for Forward Action Burntwood and asking to be added as a friend. New Facebook users can complete the joining up process in a few minutes by following the homepage prompts.
People who want to know more about FAB or to come along to a meeting can reach the group by emailing email@example.com
Councillor Helen Fisher, Lichfield District Council's cabinet member for community services, urges people to sign up, saying: "I have lived in Burntwood all of my life and it is fantastic to see people coming together, through Forward Action Burntwood, to make the area even better.
"The FAB Facebook group is a useful way to keep people in the loop about the group's activities, ask for volunteers and to get feedback after events.
"We're really keen for more people to get involved in local projects, so do take a look at the group's page to see if you're interested in meeting new local friends and creating a stronger community."
Pictured left to right: Community development worker Ryan Waldron, Forward Action Burntwood volunteer Sharon Whitchurch, Lichfield District Council partnership support officer Cheryl Rice, district and town councillor Helen Fisher and Michael Pritchard, neighbourhood investment manager with Bromford.