Two well-known dinner ladies in Alt, Steph Wilde and Red, have been praised at a ‘local heroes’ reception in Parliament by Labour leader Ed Miliband for the contribution they have made to their local community by setting up an allotment in Alt Academy and creating the Café Alt with support from First Choice Homes (FCHO) and Forever Manchester.
I nominated the pair for the trip to Parliament after seeing their community work. It was a fabulous reception hosted by Ed Miliband and it was a pleasure to introduce him to our very own local heroes from Alt – Steph and Red!
Steph, who presented Ed Miliband with two pots of jam made from fruit grown in their orchard, said: “It was an honour and privilege to attend and 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 and we just hope he likes them enough to pop in and see us in the Café Alt for some more!”
Red, who says all the MPs she met were ‘really approachable’ and ‘made them both feel really welcome’, said: “It was a such an enjoyable day and we’d like to thank Debbie for nominating us and First Choice Homes and Forever Manchester for all the help they’ve given us with the café.”
The Café Alt now also offers a free breakfast club for local residents in school holidays and has a started a Funky Fitness class. Along with Steph and Red the ladies at ACCT, who are hoping to offer educational courses from the building, have also built a community garden outside the café.
FCHO are funding a tutor twice a week for the homework club and are looking at the feasibility of establishing a proper play area on the estate.
Cath Green, CEO, First Choice Homes Oldham, said: “I was delighted to hear that Steph and Red from Alt had been chosen to represent Oldham at the Local Heroes reception at the Houses of Parliament. They are a real credit to the town, and the work they have done in their community by inspiring others through their actions; with the school garden, the community orchard and now Cafe Alt, makes them heroes fully deserving to be recognised. I am proud to work with such amazing women.”
They are truly amazing women and ones for whom the term ‘local hero’ was invented!