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Last Updated: Monday, 20 February 2006, 05:40 GMT
Making a difference
Trolley in the river Freshney
Tuesday: Chris was so fed up with this river, he decided to clean it up
Faced with decisions taken by local authorities, big business or property developers, many of us feel powerless.

We might complain bitterly that things aren't what they used to be - but very few of us actually bother to take things further than a mild grumble into our morning paper.

This week, on Breakfast, we're meeting five people who've decided it's time to make a stand.

With the help of the BBC's online Action Network, they've mounted campaigns which have made a real difference to their home towns and the people who live there.

  • All this week, Breakfast has been hearing their stories in their own words, in a new series, Making a Difference.

  • Monday: 2 up 2 downs 2 go

    Sylvia Wilson in one of the streets she's campaigning to save
    Monday: find out how Sylvia fought to save these streets

    Sylvia Wilson was born and brought up in a traditional two up two down terraced house in Nelson, Lancashire. Now, the government's taking a bulldozer to many of the streets she knows, in an effort to regenerate the area.

    But Sylvia wants the homes and communities she's known for decades to stay.

  • We found out more about how the Action Network operates, with its Director Martin Vogel and Elizabeth Salter of Community Service Volunteers

  • Tuesday: Tales from the riverbank

    Chris Scott beside the river that he helped clean up
    Today, Chris' local river is a haven of tranquillity

    Chris Scott from Grimsby got so fed up with the rubbish in his local park that he decided to do something about it.

    He's now the head of a local action group which has cleaned up the river Freshney.

  • Wednesday: The word on the street

    We'll meet Street Pastor Mike Royal, who goes out on the streets of Birmingham to preach on Friday and Saturday nights.

    Street Pastor Mike Royal works in Birmingham at night

    His work involves close contact with homeless people, drunks and drug addicts. So - what makes him carry on? When we went to film Mike, he said, "it's about citizens, saying I'm gonna be a stakeholder in my community"

    And we met the writer and comedian Alexi Sayle, who regularly volunteers on a garden project in his area. He explained that he thinks it is important to put something back into society:

    If you do mix with people in a community it is much more satisfying than watching TV - Alexi Sayle

  • Thursday: Organic sell-off

    Charlotte Hollins on the family's farm
    Charlotte's been given first refusal, but she needs 800,000

    Charlotte Hollins grew up on one of the UK's first organic farms.

    But, just as shoppers are beginning to go organic, the family farm is up for sale to developers. To save it, Charlotte and her brother must raise 800,000 by the summer.

  • Friday: growing and learning

    Adam Myers (left) with two of the people who work for him
    Adam's nursery employs people with learning difficulties
    Adam Myers run a gardens nursery and craft centre in York. He's also set up a charity to teach people with learning difficulties how to grow organic vegetables, fruit and flowers. It's had a waiting list ever since it started, more than 10 years ago.

  • Find out how you can make a difference in your area, with the BBC's Action Network

    Why bother to get involved?
    We talked to Martin Vogel and Elizabeth Salter of CSV

    Monday 20 February: Sylvia's story
    One woman's fight to save the terraces of Nelson, Lancs

    Tuesday 21 February: Chris Scott
    Fed up with complaining, Chris decided to clean up his local river himself

    Wednesday 22 February: the Word on the street
    We follow the work of street pastor Mike Royal

    Thursday 23: Saving an organic farm
    A brother and sister are trying to save a farm for the community

    Friday February 24: growing and learning
    Adam Myers' garden centre teaches people with learning difficulties how to grow their own

    Your Comments
    10 Dec 04 |  Breakfast

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