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Housebuilder spreads the love post Valentine’s Day

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Housebuilder spreads the love post Valentine’s Day


Published by Claire Tinston for IPB Communications in Housing and also in Communities

CAPTURING HEARTS: Anne and Dennis Kershaw celebrate their Valentine’s win with a kiss. CAPTURING HEARTS: Anne and Dennis Kershaw celebrate their Valentine’s win with a kiss.

Oldham residents have felt overwhelmed by love this Valentine’s Day after their neighbours named them the “sweethearts” of their housing estates.

Maxine Garfoth, of Ammon Wrigley Close in St Mary’s, and tenants Ann and Dennis Kershaw of Longfellow Crescent in Sholver, scooped the top prize in a competition hosted by community regeneration specialist Bramall Construction to find the residents most deserving of a Valentine’s reward.

The winners were presented with their bouquets of flowers on Tuesday, and can now look forward to continuing the celebration by receiving high street vouchers.

Single mum-of-three Maxine lives in a First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) property adjacent to the site where Symphony Housing is currently delivering a £12 million development, comprising 93, two to five bedroom two storey family homes.

Bramall, one of the Keepmoat group of companies being merged with Apollo  in February/March, is constructing the development at St Mary’s on behalf of Symphony Housing Group which formed when Contour Housing Group merged with Liverpool’s Vicinity Housing Group.

Maxine was nominated for the award for overcoming personal difficulties in her life to successfully complete a Social Development Programme delivered by Symphony Housing at the St Mary’s Hub.

Liz Douglas who works as a Director for the Roots project - which works in partnership with Symphony Housing to help families back into employment - nominated Maxine for the award.

Maxine, 36,  was praised in the nomination for her dedication, never missing a session and taking the knowledge she had learnt home with her, as well as helping to implement new life skills within her family.

Now, Maxine will return to the Social Development Programme as an ambassador where she will engage with tenants and encourage them to take greater control of their lives like she has.

Maxine has also been accepted onto a Volunteer Training programme at the new Mahdlo Leisure Centre where she will act as a community ambassador for local youths. Maxine’s role entitles her and her family to free access to leisure facilities at the centre.  

Maxine said: “I was really pleased to receive the flowers and the voucher, it was a really nice gesture.

“The social development programme has done so much for me in terms of improving my confidence and self esteem and providing me with certain life skills that I didn’t have before. I’m now really looking forward to helping other people in the same way.”


Golden couple Ann and Dennis, who have been married for 28 years, were also nominated for being good neighbours.

Ann said: “I received a big bouquet of roses for winning the competition and was over the moon – they’re beautiful.

“I’ve also been given a £25 voucher to spend in a supermarket.

“We’re very grateful to the gentleman who nominated us, I think he did so as we’re always very friendly towards him and make an effort to be sociable.”

Bramall Construction launched the competition at the Sholver estate where the company is currently carrying out improvement works to 90 homes on behalf of FCHO.



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