Tributes have been made for Shaun Hillam, a community champion who volunteered a lot of time making his neighbourhood a better place for others, after his sudden death on Tuesday 16th June aged 54.

Shaun volunteered for Chapelfield Tenant and Resident Association (TRA) in Radcliffe for over 5 years. In addition to being a TRA committee member and its Chairman for the last 2 years, Shaun also spent countless hours making the estate look fantastic for his neighbours as a volunteer gardener.

Shaun was also an active member of Six Town Housing’s Customer Review Group, providing feedback on services delivered by the organisation to help them improve and adapt to the needs of tenants living in the 8,000 homes they manage on behalf of Bury Council.

Shaun moved to Chapelfield ten years ago, after growing up in the Walshaw area of Bury, and quickly became part of the community.

His sister Wendy Hillam said, “Shaun had a rollercoaster life and did have some struggles, which included him living in a hostel for 16 years. When he moved to Chapelfield Shaun instantly felt welcomed by his community and I feel they helped him turn his life around. He grew to see his neighbours as his extended family and we know that they felt the same. Myself and his nephew Kieran are so proud of how far he has come in the last decade, directly supporting others and helping influence decisions that have a positive impact on people living in council homes both on his estate and across the borough.”

With a keen interest in gardening, Shaun first got involved with his TRA through their allotment. He regularly mowed the communal grassed areas on the estate, turned eyesores into “grow-your-own” patches and helped tackle fly-tipping problems. As a committee member, he also helped organise clean-up days and social events to bring local people together of all ages, helping create a thriving community.

When new kitchens and bathrooms were installed in homes by Six Town Housing on behalf of Bury Council last year, Shaun recognised that there might be families in need of respite from the work and arranged for a trailer to be set up where neighbours could have a break and catch up with others over a tea or coffee.

Shaun won the Community Rock category at Six Town Housing’s Community Heroes Awards in November 2019, in recognition of his selfless work supporting neighbours.

Debbie Standring, a Community Development Worker from Six Town Housing who works closely with the TRA, said, “Shaun dedicated so much of his time to improving the quality of life of local residents and was always there to help others. He was a lovely, kind man with a heart of gold and we will all miss him very much.”

Louise Shine, a close friend of Shaun, is fundraising for a memorial garden in tribute to him, his work and love of gardening. Donations can be made via a Just Giving page which describes Shaun as the “heart of the community around Chapelfield Village” and there is also a donation box in the Mace Shop on Stand Lane, Radcliffe. For more information, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/louise-shine-

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