A dedicated resident has been spending days on end tidying a cemetery with help from members of the community.

Zahid Nawaz, 45, from Heaton lost his father, Haji Haque Nawaz in February to heart failure, and since then has dedicated his time to help keep Heaton Cemetery clean and tidy with help from others who have loved ones there and members of the local community.

He had created an event titled 'Bolton cemetery tidy up' intending to bring together as many as 90 members of the community on September 13 to clean up Heaton cemetery, however, this event had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus.

This hasn't stopped Zahid and his family visiting his father's grave everyday.

Mr Nawaz said: "Dad was a big help to the community always helped neighbours no matter what they needed or who it was.

"He taught me a set of morals to live by, to help the community, and that God will always be behind me. He was taken too soon.

"Since I lost my father in February I was visiting the cemetery three times a day to visit his grave and look after it.

"When I was there I started noticing a lot of the graves seemed to have been unattended and so overgrown.

"I felt very sad seeing this, you wouldn't want your own grave to look like this so nobody's should.

"Straight away I thought this is what I want to do, I want to keep the cemetery tidy, it's what he would have wanted me to do, it's the morals he taught me.

"I went straight to Bolton Council and and told them what I wanted to do and I got great support from Cllr Adele Warren to help make a proper group that the council approved.

"But I wanted to make sure it wasn't just me so we've made sure everyone knows they're welcome and anyone who wants to help out can, from litter picking, to cutting grass, cleaning graves and benches."

Mr Nawaz said that it was his children, including daughter Alisha Zahid, 18, who encouraged and helped him to create a group on social media to get as many people as involved as possible.

This has also encouraged local businesses to help out by supplying equipment such as shovels and hand sanitizer, to help Mr Nawaz and his fellow volunteers.

He continued: "We're not doing this as a business at all, we're doing this because we just want to help and keep a nice cemetery.

"People have offered donations but I don't want that. I happily take equipment because everyone can use that, and I know that it can be used well into the future too even if I'm not around.

"I'm here for the community and just want everyone in Bolton to be looking after each other.

"It's all about people getting together and giving back to the community and doing something for a good cause.

"It makes me really unhappy to see a messy grave, or see people cleaning one on their own, so it's great to have a community.

"It feels nice to be doing something and making an impact.

"After my dad died I got the feeling I'd just wasted a lot of my life, now I get a lot of pride walking through the cemetery.

"I wouldn't be able to do this without the help of the whole community and I want to thank them for their help."