A self-employed mum in Little Sutton who set about bringing new life to the village is up for an award.
Julie Aldcroft, then Julie Perry, threw herself into a determined effort to revitalise the community and the village centre which had seen better days.
Her campaign argued the thriving shops of yesteryear had been replaced by empty premises, estate agents, restaurants and takeaways.
St Paul’s ward councillor Angela Claydon (Lab) had frequently referred to the decline of the village shops when commenting on planning applications before the borough council and the previous Ellesmere Port and Neston Council.
But the ‘Bring Life to Little Sutton’ group on Facebook saw Julie and a group of residents teaming up to improve the area.
Since then there have been changes and events galore with the campaign’s third big summer fair, now entitled the Little Sutton Summer Festival, taking place outside Little Sutton Community Centre on Saturday (June 24.)
She believed the village and residents would benefit from a community hub and cafe and fresh nutritious food.
Julie conducted a survey asking residents what they would like to see in the neighbourhood that would improve their lives with the top answers being more access to a range of shops and activities for children.
In response to this she organised a summer fair in partnership with Danielle Slater of the popular Lily Betts pop-up vintage tea room which has gone from strength to strength.
Other activities have included everything from a children’s Halloween party to a pop-up food fair now running every month at the community centre.
She said: “I am passionate about making Little Sutton a great village for my little girl to grow up in.
"We are acting in response to the residents’ demands.
“I loved living in the area but felt that the village was a little neglected and seemed pretty quiet.
“Working in health and well-being I also felt that it would be nice to see a community hub/cafe/bistro and better food variety and quality available.
“I knew that the people are lovely and I wanted to help them get together and to have more of a community feel in the village. So a group of us started to use the community centre for public events and get it known.”
She added: “I want to thank everybody who has helped to grow the group and our village community.
“Thanks to the local businesses, our MP Justin Madders, my friends and family for all their support and especially Danielle Slater who works so hard with me to make the event such a special one.”
Community award nomination
Her efforts have resulted in her being nominated for a community award in the 4th BizMums Awards.
Winners will be announced on Sunday October 8 at the annual BizMums Conference & Awards taking place in Cheshire. The day will bring together 100s of mums in business from across the region to network, learn and celebrate each other’s achievements of the past 12 months
For now, though, Julie has her sights on Saturday’s festival and says: “Do come along on Saturday and see us, you are sure of a warm welcome. It is a free event and there are lots of activities for all ages and around 40 stalls - shop local!”