Brighter Heathfield celebrate their first anniversary
As 2017 draws to a close, the volunteers of the Brighter Heathfield group will be celebrating a successful first year. The group came into being in early 2017, when Jean Lenihan felt the urge to go into the Parish Council Offices and voice her concerns over the unloved state of Heathfield – she had noticed piles of rubbish, dirty signs and untended plots of land and wanted to do something about it. She was delighted to find that there were other like minded residents, Ruth and Jenny, who had also voiced similar concerns, and she joined forces with them to form the voluntary group ‘Brighter Heathfield’.
The group of between 10 -15 volunteers meets every Tuesday at 10am outside the Co-op, you have probably seen them around in their hi-viz gilets (sponsored by Averdell Gardening), with their long sticks and brushes, litter picking, weeding, planting, cleaning signs and bagging up rubbish. Most are retired people who enjoy the social element and the thought that they are making a difference to their town. They recently tackled the Newnham Stream which was blocked by trolleys and a variety of rubbish impeding the flow of the water and giving off a foul smell. It was a tough job but very rewarding to finally see the stream free flowing again.
Brighter Heathfield operate on a shoestring budget and have been supported by the Parish Council, The Co-op and Waitrose. At the recent Heathfield Funday, the Co-Op Manager and the staff kindly used the opportunity to hold a home made bake sale at the store, and raised an amazing £300 for the group. Jean said ” We are always looking for new ways to make Heathfield brighter, and have ideas for 2018 which include more planters, planters on wheels, and planting up patches of waste land with bulbs and plants. We will put all funds raised to good use for the community.”
Jean is on a mission, she hopes to start a charity in 2018 to make Heathfield brighter for everyone; her initial focus will be on the young people of the town, who since cuts in funding are very much in need of support and resources to encourage them to use their spare time productively. What this space!
Jean left with the hat and Ruth front right