A GROUP of volunteers are raising money to buy tools to care for graves in Farnworth.

Friends of Farnworth Cemetery has spent the last year working on the site, clearing grass which has grown over the edges of the roads and footpaths.

After a bit of help from Farnworth and Kearsley First councillors, and a digger and tipper truck from O’Connor Utilities, the team have been able to clear almost all of the grass.

They are now ready to move on to other jobs around the site, tending to the areas around each grave to tidy up the memorials, but don’t have the tools for the job.

Craig Weatherby, one of the volunteers, set up a GoFundMe page to raise enough money to cover the cost of the tools.

He said: “We’ve spent the last year doing the really hard back-breaking jobs removing the grass from the edge of the roads and pathways and we’ve managed to square most of that off now.

“We’re trying to tidy up around the graves themselves, the bushes and some of the grassed areas and we need a few tools to be able to do this.

“We’re looking to buy a strimmer, a petrol hedge trimmer, and a leaf blower with any money we raise.”

The group started working on the site just over a year ago, after one of the volunteers came up with the idea watching the council cut nearby grassy areas.

They spend a few hours each week, usually on Tuesdays, working on the site to keep it neat and tidy.

Volunteers and local firms got involved with the project from the start, with Blast Away Industrial Cleaning working on the gates and gate posts to the cemetery in August 2019. Dozens of people from all over the borough have helped with the clean-up.

Mr Weatherby added: “The council cut the grass around the cemetery but they obviously can’t do much in the way of clearing up the graves.

“It’s not an easy thing to try and do and I have a lot of sympathy with them, people have this idea that graves are all perfectly lined up but it’s nothing like that in Farnworth and it must be really hard for them.

“It’s well worth doing though. We get a lot of people who say they’re grateful – quite a lot of people who live elsewhere and have loved ones buried here.

“They can’t maintain the plot themselves and they comment on the Facebook page to thank us.”

The group are trying to raise £400 to cover the cost of the tools they need to finish tidying the rest of the cemetery.

So far, 16 people have donated £270 to the campaign.

Visit gofundme.com/f/friends-of-farnworth-cemetery to see the campaign or to make a donation.

You can see updates on the group’s Facebook page by searching for Friends of Farnworth Cemetery.