Cheers to dedicated duo
Capital treat for community champions Steph and Mariea
TWO community champions were hailed as local heroes as they were welcomed to Parliament.
Steph Wilde and Mariea Maguire, from Alt, were invited to a special reception in the commons by Labour leader Ed Miliband.
The pair were put forward for the Local Heroes reception for their years of work to improve their neighbourhood.
The dinner ladies at Alt Academy have gone beyond the call of duty to make life better for resi- dents by setting up a community allotment at the school, starting a jammaking club and creating a community cafe with help from First Choice Homes Oldham and Forever Manchester.
Steph used the opportunity to present Mr Miliband with two pots of jam made from fruit grown in their community orchard.
The 44-year-old said: “It was an honour and a privilege to attend and it’s something we will remember forever.
“I think Ed was a bit surprised to get two pots of jam from us, but he seemed very pleased with them. We just hope he likes them enough to pop in and see us in Café Alt for some more.”
Mariea, 51, known locally as Red, added: “A ll the MPs were really approachable and made us both feel really welcome.”
Steph says the pair have been working to ‘build a community’ on the Alt estate over the past eight years.
She added: “Before we started there wasn’t much sense of that but now everyone knows each other and people are coming together and talking to each other.
“We’ve made Alt a much nicer place to live and we’ve been told that since we’ve started doing what we do reports of antisocial behaviour have gone down. We’re very proud.”
Steph and Mariea were nominated to be local heroes by Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams, who accompanied them to the reception.
She said: “They are truly amazing women and ones for whom the term local hero was invented.”
●● Steph Wilde and Mariea Maguire in the Alt Community Cafe
●● Steph and Mariea with Ed Miliband