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Istead Rise
Saturday, April 17, 2021

Local councillor reflects on the past year and gives thanks

I would like to start off my reflection for this year by thanking everyone who volunteered to support the Community Support Scheme during the first lockdown. Thank you to all the pupils who spread kindness in our community and completed acts of kindness both at home and in the neighbourhood. Furthermore, I was so proud to present rosettes and flowers to the “Unsung Heroes” in our community and also how the community came together to celebrate VE Day in May. 

Well Done to George Duffort and Angela Jarrett who have worked so hard this year on our community food bank, especially throughout the first lockdown and in the October half term. 

Thank you so much to Julian Kent for maintaining the flower beds surrounding the sign of the community, especially for Remembrance Day with the displaying of poppies!

I would also like to reflect on how the community came together to support Elliott’s family. Kerry and Pete really do appreciate the support from the community and a special thank you goes to Max Deakin who organised the football match in August at the community recreation field and also to Chloe Dalton who organised the implementation of the bench in the community recreation field.

I would also like to thank everyone at the Community Centre, bar staff, office staff, the committee for all their mammoth effects in making the Community Centre a safe and enjoyable place to be during these difficult times, especially for organising the Garden Gig and BBQ Bank Holiday Monday in August this year, it was a great success and we look forward to many more soon.

A special thank you goes to everyone who participated in the Zoom Q&A surgery. I really thought this engagement activity was very successful. This has really helped me to understand the issues of the community and how we can find resolutions to these. 

Additionally, I have increased my social media entries on Facebook on the important issues in our community of Istead Rise. I think it is so important to publish the positive actions that everybody has been working on, to show you the changes that have happened in our community. 

I find that you are more likely to get in touch with me via messaging me directly via social messenger as a first platform of interaction. I have outlined on social media how you can do your bit as residents such as the submission of fly tipping via a new online system GBC set up this year. 

I think it is really important to have a continual stream of engaging activities, such as the artwork for Remembrance. Thank you to all the residents who submitted artwork directly to me. 

I have also sought it necessary to have some Christmas engagement activities such as the Reverse Advent Food Bank Calendar; this gives one food item to represent the 25 days of Christmas. The response was amazing and thank you to everyone who gave a food parcel.

The other activity was the Christmas Creative competition which we held during the festival period. This enabled you to submit your creations directly to me so I could share in an article on this site.

Furthermore, we have published nearly thirty articles for the community and thank you to everyone who has written and submitted articles this year – Harriet Howes and Jane Chapman. 

I must also say a special thank you to Mark Fraser and Darren Cullern who have worked so hard on building and continuing the development of this website. Your support has been amazing! I can’t emphasise the importance of these activities enough – to continue the levels of engagement that I think we all need in this difficult period.

Thank you so much to Damien Brown and neighbours for organising the annual Northumberland Rd Christmas lights switch on. It really does bring Christmas joy to the community! 

Thank you so much to Rebecca Cross for organising a light trail around the Rise, to boost morale in our community this Christmas and to all the pupils of Istead Rise Primary School for their adaptation on Zoom of the Nativity with St Barnabas Church. 

Well done to the residents who participated in fundraising activities, such as Martin Thompson who cycled from Lands End to John O Groats for Ifield school; Ellenor and Grace Westlake who made Hamabead keyrings for the RSPCA and the residents of Haven Close who fundraised for the Ellenor Hospice. Your efforts are amazing!

Don’t forget the community tree now needs decorating, please respect social distancing. Why don’t you take a selfie when you add a decoration? 

If possible you can also make a donation to the Ellenor charity. You will find a box in the Co-op, or alternatively you can text 70085 to donate to the ISTEADRISETREE followed by your donation amount. Thank you to everyone who has taken a selfie and added their decoration so far. 

A final thank you to the residents for how you have been engaged with the local plan consultation – a special thank you must go to Alex Hills and Jackie Luckhurst for coordinating the leaflet drop around the Rise. The deadline for the consultation is the 31st December! 

I feel our community has gone from strength to strength, especially during this time. I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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