2016 Review

As we approach the end of another successful year for Civic Pride it may be appropriate to review some of the highlights. Silver Gilt and Best Newcomer – again – (don’t ask!) for Britain in Bloom, ‘Thriving’ in the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ competition and another assessment for the Queens Award for Voluntary Service. Well done to all our fantastic volunteers. Talking of BiB, a copy of the judge’s report makes very interesting reading (did I really write that?). Trouble is it seems to be encouraging the gardeners to enter again in 2017!
The Christmas party was as good as ever thanks to the stunning food (thank you Whitaker) and marvelous company. If you missed it, make sure you attend next year. We had a number of new faces who thoroughly enjoyed it as well as a lot of old ones (make of that what you will)! Still in a festive mood, the CP shop windows are full of glitz so thanks to all concerned. If anybody has polystyrene balls that they can donate for January snow please let Suzy know suzyzak@gmail.com.
Raising our profile has been a priority this year and thanks must go to our Twitter Ace, who’s done an amazing job, supported by good coverage in the press (including The Scribbler) and local radio.
Thank you to all those who responded to our request for views on communication. It seems that we’ve basically got it right with QT, T’Witterings, Newsletter and email. Facebook and other social media had little interest internally.
It is no exaggeration to say that in 2016 we’ve seen major changes in the way we operate and these will continue into the New Year to ensure that the transition from the creation to the maintenance of gardens runs smoothly. This requires not only a different mindset but a new funding stream because whilst grants are available for new projects, they are rarely awarded to keep projects running. We’re therefore incredibly pleased to have Mr Fitzpatrck’s as our main sponsor in addition to several others who support us financially and in other ways. Thank you one and all. Full details can be seen here.
The workload for our aging Chair (how old are you in 2017 Mr Blomerley?) and annoyingly young Operations Officer Helen needed reducing and so we’ve created some new positions to ease the strain, formalised some others and kept a few as they are.
Outreach – Sue and Barry Flint. They’ve been doing a fabulous job of this for a couple of years’ now with local schools, scouts, guides, cubs, brownies, youth clubs D of E etc etc
Litter – Ben Parkin. Hopefully things will be back to normal in the New Year after his new arrival (the baby, not the kitchen – although which was most stressful is possibly debatable)!
Sponsorship Development. Hazel Cridford. Hazel introduced us to Mr Fitzpatrick’s and L&JR Footwear and is a perfect choice for this new position.
Social Media. Jackie Taylor. Jackie had never used Twitter before but we now have more than 800 followers!
Rivers Team. Josie Malloy and Eddie Grimshaw (no relation!). Following the devastating floods a year ago, Eddie and Josie filled a huge quantity of bin bags with rubbish before they even heard of CP! They’ve not really stopped since!
Gardening. Pam Ormerod. We’ve finally decided on a name for our fabulous Lone Stars who are taking on a designated garden. The Secret Gardeners (a cross between Enid Blyton and John le Carré) these volunteers are key to our future success, so if you’d like to join, please let us know. Pam’s role be will very much one of coordination to take some of the work off Helen.
Waterfoot. Liz and Ian Hoskin. Have you walked down Turnpike recently? Noticed the area around Burnley Road East/Booth Road? Trickett’s Memorial Gardens? Liz takes on the gardening whilst Ian picks the litter. Amazing results.

The roles of the four officers will be reviewed at the AGM (please don’t nod off at the mention of the AGM)! Nic Bailey has recently resigned from her position of Administration Officer due to time pressures and whilst we are grateful for her fulfilling that role for the last couple of years, I’m sure we all understand. Catherine Wilkinson has been co-opted into the position for the remainder of the term of office. Get the date in your diaries please. Thursday 9th February 7.30pm. Venue, agenda etc will follow later.

Finally, (honest) we’re holding a special detox, healthy exercise and fitness session but ONLY for our wonderful volunteers. January 2nd 2017, James Street car park (outside Hamer’s Chapel of Rest). No turkey (sandwiches, stew, curry, risotto), mince pies, Christmas cake, chocolates, glasses of sherry or other festive items allowed! Flasks of tea and coffee will however be very welcome. The exercise will come from clearing litter from Bacup Road and its adjoining streets – parts of it are absolutely appalling. Sexy hi vis vests, fancy litter picking wands and gorgeous green bags will be available without charge. How lucky we are to be able join in this prestigious event which will be faithfully reported by the Rossendale Free Press, Lancashire Evening Telegraph, BBC Radio Lancashire, Sky News, CNN etc (or not as the case maybe).

Have a wonderful Christmas and remember that when helping Civic Pride – only do what you’re comfortable doing and don’t feel guilty if you don’t do as much as you meant to. After all, we’re all volunteers!

RG 16.12.2016

Senior Civic Pride Official Arrested for Flashing in Town Square