The Parish Council would like to send a massive ‘THANK YOU’ to all those fantastic volunteers who have been coming to the aid of all residents of the Parish in various ways; from delivering hot meals on a Friday to those who are vulnerable or living on their own referred to us from other agencies, to shopping, prescription collection, weekly phone calls, random acts of kindness, pocket money stalls (the list is endless to be honest) and generally being there for one another during such an unprecedented time.
We have volunteers and those in receipt of help to send us their words about how they have found the whole experience and some parts of some of the comments that we received are below.
Friends of the Woodland Garden Committee Chair
In a time of increased new building and the dwindling of open green spaces, Littleport has a newly developed community garden: Peacocks Meadow.
The people of Littleport have really taken this lovely green space to their hearts. It has been especially beneficial during the period of lockdown, which saw a huge increase in families and residents of all ages visiting this natural amenity. The garden is managed by a small group of volunteers. However, we struggled to negotiate the highly complex legal and financial issues associated with land use. This is where the Littleport Parish Council came to our aid. The PC have now leased the land on behalf of the community from Sanctuary Housing. The Parish Council has also taken on the role of ‘banker’ for our group, thus enabling us to pursue more substantial grant funding. Because the Parish Council effectively controls the space, we now have the benefit of coming under their Public Liability insurance too. In addition, the Parish Council also funds fuel costs for our mowers and strimmers.
Individual members of the council have also carried out huge improvements to the garden alongside our volunteers. Clive Webber has helped us to build pathways, benches, and a new ramp to facilitate disabled access. He has personally built beautiful planters for the community to use. He has lent manpower, machinery and materials to us. Without his help and support we would not have been able to carry out this work.
The Parish Council have also been a source of invaluable advice.
Peacocks Meadow is a community initiative to be proud of and we are immensely grateful for the support with have received from Littleport Parish Council since the garden was taken into community management 5 years ago.
Littleport Independent Food Bank; A Volunteer’s Thoughts
‘The first half of 2020 has been very busy since lockdown. Working for the food bank hasn’t been easy, but it has its rewards when I see the smiles on the faces of stressed people when I leave them a bag. It had helped me know I have helped in a little way. We have been very lucky with the donations from the good people of Littleport, and that gives me the confidence to know what I am doing is a good thing. I suffer with depression myself but working with the food bank has taught me, there are people out there worse than myself. I live on my own, so it has helped me to still connect with other people at a safe distance. Elaine and Susan (Food Bank coordinators) keep in contact with me on a daily basis.’
Recipient of Hot Meals on a Friday for 10 weeks
‘To all at the Parish Council – Thank you so much for all the meals you have been delivering to me on Fridays. It is so nice to be remembered sometimes and you will never know how much the meals meant to me. They were delicious and much appreciated. Yours Truly.’
Many residents have been expressing an interest in continuing to volunteer in the community in some way, and we are very keen to set up a volunteering network. The Parish Council are currently working with the co-ordinators of the Covid Help and Support Group on a way forward. We are hoping to further develop the current Help and Support Group page so that we can post volunteering opportunities, training that is available to volunteers, and volunteer events where everyone can get together. The intention is also to build a distribution list of volunteers so that information and opportunities can be sent by email on a regular basis.
If this is something you would be interested in, have any thoughts/ideas on volunteering, or would like information on setting up a new community group please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
This whole experience has proven that we are a fantastic community. THANK YOU again to everyone who has helped, and please remember that if you are in need of help there are volunteers still available to offer you support.