Winton social club

Winton Social Club are honouring their manager David Connolly, who recently passed away, by planting a memory garden funded by the local community.

Mr Connolly, who managed the 450-strong social club, was described as a key part of the community and a popular figure within Winton.

The club came up with the idea of creating a memorial garden, asking for plants to be donated and also setting up a JustGiving page in the process.

“He was jovial, always had a big smile on his face.”

Andrew Barcas

Since creating the page five days ago, over £3000 has been raised to help the club, over 600% more than the original target of £500.

 

Andrew Barcas, a committee member, spoke on behalf of the club to Salford Now.

He said: “Dave worked here since he was 18 years old, for the last seven years he was the manager.

“He was more of a friend to the members rather than just a member of staff.

“Dave got involved with everything at the club. He was a very central cog at the club itself.

“We had open days, he would be there 12 hours a day, making sure people got welcomed when they came in, explaining how to become a member of the club and what activities we had.

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“Dave was just so well liked, I don’t think any people had a bad word to say about him. He was jovial, always had a big smile on his face.

“He always had a forthright opinion, he was a big Manchester United fan and whenever a football conversation came around, David was in the middle of it.”

The idea behind Dave’s memory garden

The space where Dave’s memorial garden will be planted. (cc: Andrew Barcas)

The club intended to put something on the plot of land for a while, but did not have a significant idea that everyone agreed with.

Andrew mentioned the idea of a memory garden to Dave’s partner, Caroline.

He said: “She loved the idea but wanted to speak to the rest of the family. Within half an hour, every member of the family was texting saying ‘we love it, can we get it sorted?’

“So we were talking over the space of a day about what we could do and it was a simple thing at first you know, a few pots, a bit of gravel”, he chuckles.

“We put it on JustGiving and it escalated a bit from there.

“Even the family members, they were all very upset when David had passed, but I can see smiles on the faces that they realised he was going to have a lasting legacy at Winton Social.”

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Some of the early progress on the memory garden from volunteers can be seen above.

Supporting Dave’s memory garden

Photo sent from the club on Facebook. Permission given.
cc: Winton Social Club

 

“We know it’s very difficult in this age of the Coronavirus, that you can’t get out to the shopping mall, but if you had something in your garden that you thought you could donate, we would gladly take it and give it a place in the garden.

“More than anything, we need ideas as well. But we just thought if you’ve got your own plants in there, when you’re walking past you can say, ‘I gave that there’.”

In terms of excess money from the fundraising, the club want to use it for several areas to improve the service the club provides as a community hub. from building a memory wall in the beer garden, to a children’s play area with a fountain.

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