Since May 2011 I have worked tirelessly day in, day out, week in, week out for our community, spent hours and hours, hundereds if not thousands of hours campaigning to improve the community where I live and beyond. I have probably delivered around 35,000 to 40,000 leaflets in that time in Swinton and beyond. I have paid for all the leaflets myself camapigning on local issues and my activities has cost me perssonally so far about £1,000.
Every single second, minute, hour, penny, pound has been worth it. I have helped so many people and made an impact in our community for the better. I have made small differences and made some big differences to peoples lives.
Really, I have done this all my life from 16 years old but usually in was in a professional capacity at work. If it was not dishing out benefits I was trying to help find someone a roof for the night.
Taking time out from full-time work has enabled me to do what I like doing best and that is to help people whether its from a housing problem to benefits to a local problem to more serious issues like anti-social behaviour.
I have walked miles and miles and miles around SWinton, in the freezing cold, in rain, sleet and gales to get my information out in the hope that some people read what I am trying to do for everyone.
And to think this started because I was the victim of serious anti-social behaviour not once, twice but several times where my landlord just rehoused morons into the community that made my life a living hell. Just to give a taste of what I had to put up with one idiot was jailed for 2 x 2 months for what he did to me for nearly 12 months on a daily basis regarding extremely loud music at anytime of the day.
Time after time my landlord made the same mistakes so in the end I had enough and printed 10,000 lealfets to be delivered in Swinton called "City West Housing - Shambles ?"
I did not want to do it either because I knew but they did not and nor did anyone else know what I was capable of. I sat there for 4 years enduring anti-social behaviour in my block with an incompetent landlord who kept making the same mistakes.
I said "Mike dont do it" and held myself back in the hope that one day I could live in peace in my home. Even now its not perfect (my next door neighbour has a setof drums) but this is nowt to what I put up with.
In the end I had no choice. It was not fair on me or my good neighbours so I said thats it........I have tried not to but what has to be has to be.
I gets threatened with eviction, being fined, sued, injunction and even imprisonment. But I took them on........
Community cohesion is returning because the housing stock is being better managed now but for how long ?
From starting out campaigning about anti-social behaviour....people come to me now about alsorts of problems and I am very willing to help. What pleases me the most is helping elderly residents. Seeing an elderly lady smile or hugs me for something I have done is great but to me its just normal to want to help especially if its someone who is elderly.
Community work is in my blood. Many years ago I formed The SWinton & District Allotments & leisure Gardeners Association and we worked tirelessly to improve and regenerate allotments in Swinton. So this type of work is nothing new to me just different.
I am now involved in the referendum for Mayor because I think its a good system of local government which I have passionately believed in for many years and I am now campaigning on other strategic issues in the city too.
I am not expecting anything from my activities. I am doing what I am doing because I believe fighting for your community is a worthy cause.
I will always continue to do so !
A small gift from a dear friend who I met through my activities in Swinton says "Blessed is he who expects nothing for he shall not be disappointed"
I will never be diappointed. Just motivated by the fact that each and every one of us is valued and we all at times are in need. If something I can do nomatter how small helps others then how can that be a disappointment ? It cant be.