West Parley Parish Council's Annual Volunteer Celebration Evening 2019

December 2019
The Parish Council's annual reception took place towards the end of 2019, where the West Parley Residents' Association (WPRA) Volunteers are thanked for their contributions in keeping West Parley at its best. The evening is quite informal seeing guests enjoy a light buffet funded by the Parish Council, along with beverages donated by local stores. It also gave an opportunity for the village's NeighbourCar scheme’s co-ordinator, Clive Butcher, to make a plea for any additional volunteer drivers who could give up the odd hour each week to drive residents in need, so they can attend medical appointments. The Chairman of West Parley Parish Council, Cllr Philip Bamborough presented awards to all the recipients.

images of volunteers receiving awards

The Volunteers of the Year for 2019 were Andy Steele and Diana Penwill who work discreetly but tirelessly in West Parley. Their activities include weekly / twice weekly litter picking the recreation ground, Parley Wood, Council's car park and Sports fields, as well as emptying the bins which involves regular visits to the local recycling centre. Together they have undertaken countless emergency repairs to the play area, bridges in the woods and fallen trees. They have assisted with marshalling parking on the recreation ground for local events and are also volunteers for distribution of the Council's twice yearly all house newsletter. This year however, their efforts surpassed the previous 10 years contributions, when the lease & licence ended on the Sports Club building and it reverted back to the Parish Council. The Club has now been renamed as the West Parley Community Sports and Social Club, and as ex-members they are passionate about getting the clubhouse back to being an accessible hub for the community. They spent every single day in the summer at the premises, undertaking minor repairs, doing A LOT of cleaning, clearing out the ditches and removing waste left by the outgoing tenants.

. In addition, every Wednesday Diana meets the Health Walkers group, to enable them to complete their necessary paperwork for the group to continue. To enable sports to continue during this transitionary period, Diana would open the premises to give access to the toilets and close up at the end of the playing day. Diana also co-ordinates the village's team of litters pickers, who you will notice collecting litter from all the main roads, wearing their luminous tabards Diana is dual-hatted as she is also a member of the Parish Council so a large remainder of her time is spent on Council activities, including meeting trades at the Council's premises, working on sub groups, covering emails in the Clerk's absence, providing admin support for the facebook page as well as the usual Council activities of attending meetings.

Two runners up prizes were awarded to John & Anne Smith and Robin & Sheila Gooden. They were largely responsible for co-ordinating their team of helpers, planting and tending the numerous beautiful floral displays around the village, which the Parish Council funds. Again, adorned in their luminous WPRA volunteer tabards, they would water the planters from 6.30am when many are still ticked up in bed. A long service community award was presented to Mr Gary Peskett for his dedication and involvement with the West Parley Memorial Committee for over 35 years. The hall is well used by many groups and organisations, and operates because of people like Gary who give up their time to help provide facilities for residents. The last presentation of the night was to John Dinsdale who co-ordinated the evening.

If you are interested in volunteering to making a difference in the village please do get in touch:
- to join the Parish Council - contact the Parish Clerk on enquiries@westparley-pc.gov.uk
- to join the West Parley Residents Association - contact John Dinsdale 01202 872974 or Richard Heaslip 01202 594982.
- NeighbourCar - 07592 860 104