A SQUAD of volunteers who bring a splash of colour to their community are hoping to be crowned ‘blooming’ marvels at an awards ceremony.

For several years Ashtons Green Urban Community has received outstanding marks in the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ category of the Britain in Bloom competition and is looking to build on its success.

Reg Massey is the driving force behind the group and this year marks his half a century working on the allotment.

To mark the golden milestone, Reg and other volunteers are planting 300 sunflowers and covering a nearby roundabout in cordylines, as part of their entry.

Reg, 77, is being helped by Helena Partnerships, as he prepares for judging at the end of the month.

Praising Helena for its help, he said: “This allotment has gone from a fly tipping site in tonnes of rubbish to a community to be proud of.

“When an area looks nice, it has a knock-on effect and everyone wants to keep it that way.

“We’re a community and it’s all about improving the place we live in, whether it’s through how it looks or the activities and events we run.

Fifty years on, the people in this community and their commitment inspire me every day.”

A number of other community groups will also be entering the competition from Thatto Heath, Parr, Clock Face, Fingerpost and Eccleston.

Joanne Lyon, from Helena, said: “It’s important for us to help groups like Ashtons Green Community, because we’re not just about housing.

“We’re about building communities and helping them thrive and Reg is as committed to this as we are.”

To find out more about the activities at Ashtons Green allotments, call Jo Lyon on 01744 671593.