Civic Pride: Celebrating Community

Come along and help us celebrate the transformation of Rawtenstall and the surrounding area.

Kay Street Baptist Church, Rawtenstall
Saturday 21st October 11am to 3pm

FREE admission


Learn about our exciting plans for the future and tell us what you think.

Meet Jake Berry MP (11am), the Mayor and Mayoress of Rossendale who will present Civic Pride with the

Queens Award for Voluntary Service (1pm),
Alyson Barnes Leader of the Council and David Foxcroft County Councillor and those unsung heroes – the volunteers who work so hard to make Rossendale a better place to live and work.

Relax with friends over a cup of tea and enter our fun competitions!
See you there!

Dog Poo

Civic Pride Rossendale recently started a new project of creating yellow signs on the pavement in areas where dog fouling has been an ongoing problem. Early signs are good, in that the number of both un-bagged and bagged and discarded faeces appear to have been reduced. This is obviously in line with our hopes and expectations but why does it work?

It’s claimed that leaving dog fouling on a public path is anti-social behaviour, but is it?

‘The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 defines anti-social behaviour as acting in a manner that has “caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household” as the perpetrator.’ Wikipedia.
Does treading in dog poo cause harassment, alarm or distress? I’m sure that anyone who has had this unpleasant experience (and who hasn’t?), will answer yes!

What if it’s been bagged? It’s not pleasant for anybody walking past it and certainly not for our volunteers who have the unenviable task of picking them up! Again, the answer is most certainly yes.
Maybe otherwise law abiding and respected members of the community, as they walk their beloved pooch; with one eye on the lookout for existing dog poo, are simply reminded of their duties as a responsible citizen and dog owner to pick up what their dog does naturally.

Let’s hope so.
A dog maybe man’s best friend but leaving its pooh could leave you with far fewer human friends than you had before!



2017 AGM

Big Clean Up-38-Edit mediumThirty six people attended the Civic Pride AGM in the upstairs room last evening at Hop, the new bar on Bank Street, Rawtenstall. Chris Blomerley (Chair) spoke of a record year for the charity including the collection of an estimated 18 tons of litter across the borough which was achieved by the various Pride groups including Haslingden, Edenfield, Waterfoot, Bacup, Weir and the main group based in Rawtenstall. 4 derelict public gardens were reclaimed, 3000 bulbs and plants were obtained and planted by the gardening group as they maintained a further ten gardens, winning two awards from Britain in Bloom in the process!low-res
Several new business sponsors were found as the charity moves away from being reliant on grants, to enlisting the assistance of local companies who recognise the benefits of supporting organisations working for the benefit of the whole community. An up to date list of sponsors can be found at /donate . Recognition of the invaluable support from RBC was also given as well as the help from young people via local organisations, uniformed and not.
Due to the sheer scale of their activities, seven volunteer managers and heads of department have been appointed to help reduce the workload on the four officers. For 2017 Chris Blomerley was elected as Chair, Roger Grimshaw – Vice Chair, Helen Thomas-Laight – Operations Officer and Catherine Wilkinson – Finance Officer.
‘Civic Pride is in the midst of real change’ said Roger Grimshaw ‘the pioneering work is complete; the challenge now is to build on what the efforts of our wonderful volunteers have achieved. To do this we constantly need new people. As one volunteer wrote ‘I’m so proud to be a part of this organisation.’ A feeling, I’m sure, shared by us all.’ If you’d like to help please contact them on 07955 110199 or

Where Has All the Litter Gone?

Walk down Bacup Road in Rawtenstall early on Sunday morning and you’ll doubtless see plenty of fast food litter, cans, bottles and cigarette ends strewn across the pavements. Take Away corner is a reminder of what most of Rossendale used to look like before Civic Pride and other volunteers got to grips with the problem.
Still that’s only a small area and Rossendale generally looks so, so much better. It looks like the problems been resolved then. Think so? Then think again!
Civic Pride estimates that 3,000 bags of litter will be collected across the borough this year. That sounds like a lot of litter, particularly when you consider that each bag weighs around 6kgs when full! So, that’s about 18 tons of litter that will be picked up across the valley this year.
Let’s put it another way. Each bag contains an average of between 500 and 600 items. Paper, crisp packets, take away containers, bottles, cans, wipes, cigarette ends and even ladies knickers and other items of clothing! OK, so let’s do the maths. 3000 x 500 (the lower figure) is 1,500,000 pieces of litter that will be collected from Rossendale streets in 2016. One and a half MILLION pieces of litter!
The A682 from the fire station roundabout to the A59 is about a mile long. It has two verges and a central reservation. Civic Pride volunteers clear its litter regularly. On the last few occasions it’s been done every 10 days. Each time, we’ve collected over 3.5 bags. That’s around 2000 items of litter or 200 pieces that are thrown out of the windows of vehicles every single day – 8 for every hour of the day!
Now not all of these people will be residents of Rossendale but they must live somewhere. What is it that gives people the right to ruin our environment? Is it too much to ask people to take their litter home or drop it in a litter bin? Is it fair that willing volunteers should risk life and limb picking up other people’s rubbish?
The lady who left a note of thanks on my car windscreen summed it up nicely ‘…we live with people who do not value and litter (the area). You redress the balance…You make my heart smile’.
Please help us by not dropping litter, by preventing others and by picking up what you see as you go about your daily business. Thank you.

There’s Just So Much Going On!

As the days shorten and the growing season draws to a close, you might be forgiven for thinking that Civic Pride packed everything away and waited for Spring! The reality is rather different.6-b-ofg-low-res
Having created or regenerated 13 fabulous gardens, as recognised by two recent Britain in Bloom Awards, the fun starts here! Maintaining them is the next big challenge. Our willing volunteers are busy planting, dead heading, cutting back and generally getting them ready for winter. Litter never stops and more will be revealed as the undergrowth dies back.
We’re therefore introducing new ways of working to give our gardeners even more opportunities to work when they want, in the way they want and still make a difference whilst they make new friends!
We’re also looking for local businesses to support us financially and we’re pleased to announce that we now have a main sponsor – Mr Fitzpatrick’s Temperance Bar.
fitzpatricks-low-res‘Mr Fitzpatrick’s are proud to give something back by supporting Civic Pride volunteers who use their own time and effort so generously to keep our town clean and attractive’ said Ashleigh Morley, owner. ‘We’re blessed to be in a part of town facing Civic Pride’s main garden which provides a wonderful display throughout the year. Many of our customers comment on how beautiful and inviting it is. ‘
‘We cannot stress too strongly how important local sponsorship is for us to achieve our goals and we’re delighted to have Mr FitzPatrick’s, such an icon of Rossendale’s rich history, as our main sponsor’ stated Hazel Cridford, Head of Sponsorship Development. ‘We’re pleased that so many businesses recognise the benefits we bring to the town and expect several more sponsors to follow’
If you would like to be part of our future as a gardener, litter picker or sponsor please contact us now. As we say in Civic Pride – JDI (Just Do it)!  After all, Civic Pride works – for you, your family, your neighbourhood!
Email: info@civic-pride or call 07955 110199

We Did It!

On Friday 28th October at the Britain in Bloom Award Ceremony we were finally made aware of how much the Royal Horticultural Society were prepared to recognise the dedication, inspiration and sheer hard graft shown by our hardworking volunteers and supporters.brit-in-bl-28-10-16-2-low-res
Eight of us traveled to Southport to learn our fate. After coffee we took our places at the lunch table whilst winners of specific competitions were announced – including Best Newcomer, Civic Pride Rawtenstall!
That was it for us for the morning session although our hands were burning from clapping the worthy winners of so many other awards.brit-in-bl-28-10-16-24-edit-low-res
A pleasant three course was followed by the announcement that we had won Silver Gilt in the Urban Community sector. No mean feat with 13 gardens to create, maintain and show off to their best. Well done and thank you all.

Our Chair, Chris Blomeley said  ‘The prestigious Royal Horticultural Society have acknowledged Civic Pride Rossendale’s volunteers with two separate awards? Well, dead right! Out of well over 100 entries, only 3 other groups managed 2 awards.  CP’s “Best Newcomer” award, together with the Silver Gilt medal for the overall standard across the town, is a marvellous achievement, especially considering that the majority of competitors were either wholly professional outfits or had at least some paid staff.  Civic Pride Rossendale is entirely run by volunteers, local folk in their own time making our town a lovely place to be in. It’s a real privilege to be associated with such a dedicated and determined community organisation and I wish publicly to thank every single one of ’em! These awards are mainly for the many gardens which CP has resurrected and now maintains. But let’s not forget Civic Pride’s litter-picking crews, out there 365 days a year, who contribute massively to the area’s appearance.’
If you’d like to make a difference whilst you make new friends, please contact us (details at the bottom of the page).

Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Civic Pride were nominated for this prestigious award last year in recognition of our achievements in helping to transform our valley for all to enjoy, residents and visitors alike. It was proposed by Alison Barnes, Leader of the Council and supported by Jake Berry MP.
Unfortunately we were not successful on that occasion so imagine our delight when we were told we were being given a second chance! We’re now awaiting a visit from our assessor, hopefully we can win the MBE for charities this time.
When the news of our nomination appeared in the Rossendale Free Press last year, these were some of the comments on social media printed by them the following week.
Jan E Taylor: Well deserved guys. Rawtenstall looks all the better for you. Congratulations Civic Pride Rossendale.
Margaret Rusden: So pleased for them, they deserve the recognition. They do a great job keeping surrounding areas looking great, just look at the planters outside Asda – gorgeous.
Louise Dobson: I’ve been thinking for ages that they deserve recognition for all their hard work. Well done everyone!’
Hopefully your good wishes will bear fruit this year!

Small but Beautiful

Sitting at traffic lights is not most people’s idea of fun and I’m no exception but a few mornings ago the red light got me as I drove down Newchurch Road to turn left onto St Mary’s Way.

Directly opposite me were the two small gardens on the corner of Haslingden Old Road/St Mary’s Way where the early morning sun was highlighting the shape of the bushes.  I’m aware that three of our volunteers have been working hard as ‘Lone Stars’ (volunteers from our gardening team who go out on their own or in small groups and just get on with it) but I hadn’t realised they were practising topiary!low-res

The shrubs have been pruned and clipped to produce a living sculpture!  What a delightful little garden.  On later investigation I found that the bramble covered patch leading to the river has also been partially cleared and in its place are plants and over 100 bulbs waiting for the Spring!

It appears that a couple of our male volunteers have been doing the sculpting whilst one of our extremely active ladies starts her day with an hour or so helping to transform this small part of Rawtenstall.  Unfortunately it’s not all visible as you drive past but I’m told there’s a steady stream of people walk past and stop to say hello and thank you as they do.

If you feel you’d like to help maintain a small piece of garden we’d love to hear from you.  It needn’t take a lot of time and it’s down to you when you turn out so why not drop us an email

Are Councils Bad News?


An article appeared in the Daily Mail last week about a man in Sunderland being threatened by his local council for breaking Health & Safety rules when clearing his neighbourhood.

As a consequence, we received a phone call today from a researcher for the BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Show to see if we’d be prepared to join a phone-in as the subject was debated.  I didn’t hear the show but I understand it went pretty much the same way as the newspaper article and unfortunately we were not, in the event, asked to join in.

Rossendale Borough Council (in common with most councils) comes in for a lot of adverse publicity and how much is justified I really don’t know because as I’m not in full possession of the facts, I don’t feel I can form a reasoned opinion.

However, after many years of liaising with both elected and non-elected council members at many levels, I can only say that we (Civic Pride) generally receive excellent cooperation, help when its required and minimal bureaucracy.

Some would argue that we’re doing their job for them but our answer is simple ‘they have neither the money nor the resources to do what we do, so it’s either live with litter, vandalism and neglected, overgrown gardens or do something about it.  We choose the latter.’

It’s easy to moan about things that should be done and harder to do what the gentleman in Sunderland or the team in Civic Pride have done but at least we know we have a cooperative council.  Thank you RBC and to those who want to change things for the better across Rossendale – please join us!

Email: or call 07955 110199

Civic Pride Goes Global!


Following a visit to the valley last year, a resident of a village near Hereford was so impressed by what Civic Pride has achieved that he formed Civic Pride Fownhope.  With several litter pickers the B4224 running through the village is regularly picked free of litter in addition to other projects to improve the appearance of the village.  Gratifying but not really newsworthy!

Early in August we received a message on Facebook to say that Junaid Jamshed, a prominent artist and personality in Pakistan was so impressed with what has been achieved in Rawtenstall that he’s started a campaign to clean up image2Karachi!image1

It’s interesting to see that whilst the underlying principle of eliminating litter CpqXzqkVMAEJw0Lis the same there as here, the messages may differ as can be seen from this Twitter post!

If you wish to show him your support or simply follow what he’s doing @junaidjamshedPK