What a very positive year it’s been for the Istead Rise community. Despite all those months of “lockdown”, and many trials and tribulations for some of us, generally our community has weathered the storm and thrived throughout. In particular, much generosity has been displayed with many residents giving their precious time and effort to fundraise for various well deserving charities. So much positive activity has shown the real strength of our community. Below are some of the main highlights of the year:-
A joint capital fund application by Istead Rise Community Association and Meopham Parish Council was submitted to Kent County Council for a pathway to connect Istead Rise to Meopham.
The Community Centre was used to film the Kent County Council Try-Angle awards. Hannah Runting won the overall county award for music in Kent, and Harriet Howes won the award for community in Gravesham.
“Lockdown” produced a social action project, organised by Jugan Sahota and staff at Kiddiecare local nursery. Staff and children distributed daffodils and smiles to delighted elderly and vulnerable residents.
Easter egg hunt around Istead Rise, organised by Harriet Howes and Kerry Porter, raised just over £300 for the Ellenor Hospice.
Young Risers nursery school garden was expanded and upgraded with the help of local residents, Gareth Nimmo, Bill Goodwin and Andy Meek.
15 yr old resident, Bonnie O’Brien, trecked the 25 miles along the Thames from Erith to the London Eye with four friends, raising £3,000 for Young Epilepsy.
10 yr old Jenson O’Neill raised £1,000 for the NHS by running 100 laps around the community field.
Bella Rochford raised nearly £800 for the Little Princess Trust with a plant sale and the cutting off her lovely long hair.
A Teddy Bears Picnic, organised by Emma Hawkins, Stacey Westcott, Stewart Marks and Dakota Dibben, raised just nearly £2,000 for the Istead Park Project.
Launch of our community website, ircatoday.com. Developed and published by Mark Fraser, with support from Darren Cullern, Jane Chapman and Stewart Marks.
The annual Elliott Holmes Football Fun Day raising just over £1,600 for the Elliott Holmes Memorial Fund, Healthy Minds and the Istead Park Project. Organised by Peter Scutts, Scott Thomas and Dakota Dibben.
A Recharge Community Award presented to Bonnie O’Brien and her friends, Ellen Jenkins, Charlotte Benson, Mia Pennington and Olivia Ray, for their fundraising efforts.
A Halloween event raised more than £500 for the Istead Park Project. Organised by Emma Hawkins, Stacey Westcott, Stewart Marks and Dakota Dibben.
10yr old Erin Malpas Cryer raised £1,300 – and still increasing – for the hungry and homeless.
A Scarecrow Trail raised just over £700 for the Friends of Istead Rise Primary School. Organised by Candy Adams and Anita Newson.
Istead Rise ward councillor, Dakota Dibben, shortlisted in the nominations for the Local Government ‘Young Councillor of the Year’ awards.
Erin Malpas was presented with a certificate by Gravesham Foodbank for her valiant efforts in raising over £1,300 for the hungry and homeless.
’Twelve Days of Christmas Trail’ raised £129 for the Istead Park Project.
Northumberland Christmas Lights switched on. Organised by Damien and Kevin Brown, along with neighbours, for Stand Up To Cancer. This has raised over £4,000 during the last four years.
Carols Around the Lamp Post, organised by Annette Schiavi, Vic and Jill Newberry, and neighbours.
Rosegarth Lights switched on. Organised by Luke Palmer raising £660 for SOS SEN (a nationwide helpline for parents and others seeking help and advice on special educational needs).
Yarnbombers of Istead Rise WI produced yet another wonderful display to decorate our local post boxes.
These are not the only highlights of the year – there are many other residents who have given their time and support to organise fundraising and community activities. A very big thank you to all of you. You really have shown what a strong and committed community can achieve together. I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.