Blackthorn Good Neighbours and Growing Together reveal new merger today

Blackthorn Good Neighbours Nursery plays host to about 40 children in the area where a chef cooks the children a hot meal every day.
Blackthorn Good Neighbours Nursery plays host to about 40 children in the area where a chef cooks the children a hot meal every day.

Blackthorn Good Neighbours and Growing Together have merged to become one organisation, which will continue, and develop the work of both organisations under Growing Together Northampton.

Blackthorn Good Neighbours (BGN) is a community development organisation and charitable company, which was established 15 years ago to work with the community of Blackthorn and the surrounding area.

Goldings 27,000 playground, located in Goldings Road, is overseen by Growing Together and is one of 150 local programmes funded by a 1m grant from the Big Lottery Fund across England.

Goldings 27,000 playground, located in Goldings Road, is overseen by Growing Together and is one of 150 local programmes funded by a 1m grant from the Big Lottery Fund across England.

It predominantly works with residents to improve lives and create a better place to live.

The Blackthorn Good Neighbours community association set up a nursery in the building once occupied by the Pig and Whistle pub towards the end of 2014, with the help of National Lottery funding, and was last rated as Outstanding.

Now, they are merging with National Lottery's Growing Together, which was awarded £1 million pounds to spend on the estates of Blackthorn Goldings Lings and Lumbertubs.

Chief executive of the new Growing Together Northampton, Kathryn White, said: "We are really excited about the new merged organisation – whilst we will continue to do all that we did separately the new organisation will have more trustees who are part of the local community so they can set the plan for future work so that we are really connected to the local communities, which we are part of.

"It's an exciting time for us all, especially as the need for organisations like ours, grow as life gets increasingly tough for people with lots of cuts to services over the last few years."

The decisions on how the money is spent is made by a partnership board comprised entirely of local residents.

To date the organisation has funded new play areas on every estate, given cash boosts for youth work and support for older people, improvements to the natural environment alongside supporting local schools and groups.

The work of the new organisation will carry on with the same work both organisations currently carry out - including the nursery, community groups, Brookside Hub and Blackthorn Community Centre.

Members of the Growing Together Partnership Board are becoming trustees of the new organisation alongside the existing BGN Trustees. The new organisation will continue to work with its current partners and to build relationships with other organisations and groups in the area.

The merger, which took place on April 3rd, is officially launching today (April 18) at Blackthorn Community Centre.