FIVE Wirral-based community groups have received funding boost after entering a national competition.

Blooming Greasby, Friends of Coronation Gardens, Pensby Bowling Club, Birkenhead Venture Boxing Club and Salacre Allotment competed against thousands of community groups across the country for a place in Skipton Building Society's Big 160.

Part of the organisation's Grassroots Giving initiative, it recognises groups across the country who go the extra mile to make life better for people living in their communities.

After being shortlisted, their applications were put to public vote to see if they were worthy of winning £500.

They each secured a big enough proportion of the 20,000 votes received to be crowned winners.

David Cutter, Skipton Group's chief executive said: "It is these kind of groups that make communities and neighbourhoods stronger, especially in difficult economic times, and we're delighted to have been able to showcase some of the unsung heroes across the UK who are really going the extra mile to make life better for everyone.”

Blooming Greasby was set up only last year in order to beautify the village. Its three volunteers work extremely hard, planting new trees and flowers.

They plan to install wooden seating and plant herbs and sensory plants, next to the community centre.

The Friends of Coronation Gardens is based in West Kirby and was set up after local residents signed a petition to transform a disused car park.

The Salacre Allotment Society works to safeguard and enhance the local allotments. It plans to create a bee colony to benefit crops in the allotment, and hold open days to encourage more local people to become more environmentally aware.

Birkenhead Venture ABC was set up to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, as well as obesity in young people in the area.

The donation from Skipton means they can now purchase new equipment such as skipping ropes, safe guards, gloves and sit up mats, to broaden the range of activities.

Pensby Bowling Club was formed 77 years ago and is run by 20 volunteers. The funding will be used to buy new equipment.