Mayor’s Report – April 2016
Kingfisher Day Centre Open Day – Friday 15th April
The Kingfisher Centre started way back in the 80’s at the Methodist church in Whitchurch, moved to Testbourne School and following refurbishment of the old sports and social club at Laverstoke, now makes that its home. Today it caters for older folk in need of day care and can pick up anywhere between Oakley and St Mary Bourne. The centre operates for those in need of care or those that just find it a friendly place to enjoy company. With a two course lunch and a wide variety of activities folks are well catered for, even hair dressing can also be arranged in house. It was good to share with the dedicated staff and trustees at the centre and to see first-hand the work carried out there. If you have a friend or relative who maybe would benefit from attending Kingfisher get in touch with Nicola at the centre on 01256 893333 for a visit.
Whitchurch Youth Project – Saturday 16th April
The Whitchurch Youth Project celebrated their 10th anniversary and it was a nostalgic moment, as founder of the project, to be asked to say a few words at their celebration. The Youth Project was born from a time when Whitchurch had a very severe antisocial behaviour problem. Testament to the project’s success is that the incidence of antisocial behaviour instantly decreased and is not a major problem today. Some of the leaders and helpers were the very ones that started it off way back in 2005 and have stuck with it through good and bad times. If more leaders (especially female) were to commit to just one evening a month then the club for the older youngsters could run again. It was good to see the young leader training paying off. A great evening celebrating all that is good about youth work in Whitchurch.
Brian’s Bingo – Tuesday 19th April
It gave me great pleasure to visit this regular weekly gathering at the Sports and Social Club. Brian’s Bingo is, not surprisingly, run by Brian. Brian Cousens has been running this very popular session for over 20 years and attracts folk from as far as Winchester. I was able to present Brian with a Service to the Community Award certificate which in my opinion is much deserved as he brings together local folk who just love the game – and the company.
Community Awards – Thursday 21st April
The annual community awards ceremony is a time to recognise folks who have been nominated by others to receive a community award for outstanding service. No less than 7 awards including a youth award were presented by me accompanied by the Mayoress at the Annual Town Assembly at the Parish Hall which was packed with nearly 90 people present. The very best of what volunteering in Whitchurch means, was celebrated and ranged from editing the Parish Magazine, creating a parish burial register, to training and becoming young leaders at the local Scout Group – fantastic.
The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration Service – Sunday 24th April
Winchester Cathedral was the venue for this splendid occasion with its pomp and ceremony as folk from across Hampshire came together to celebrate the grand achievement of our Queen having reached her 90th birthday. The Very Reverend James Atwell, Dean of the Cathedral welcomed us, and the visiting The Right Reverend John Waine, former Bishop of Chelmsford and Clerk of the Closet brought the sermon. Hymns especially important to her Majesty were sung such as Crown Him with many crowns; I vow to thee, my country; Praise my Soul the King of Heaven and Jerusalem (and did those feet in ancient time) were sung heartily by all. Tea and cake outside in the marquee, provided by the Women’s Institute, gave us time to meet with an interesting array of people from all walks of life.
All Hallows Bell Ringers – Monday 25th April
The bell ringers at All Hallows were another group of volunteers who by their selfless action provide something that we perhaps all too easily become familiar with – the sound of the church bells. The Mayoress and I visited them in a rather cold bell tower where the tower keeper and made us both very welcome. We were able to convey the town’s grateful thanks for the joy of hearing the bells rung regularly. As with most groups we have visited over the past year they need more volunteers to step forward – so why not go round to the church one Monday evening soon, have a talk with them and have a go!
Public Exhibition – Thursday 28th April
The public exhibition at the Parish Hall by David Wilson homes laid out what the new development of 100 dwellings off Winchester Road should look like. The provisions being offered as part of that development were clearly shown and it was evident that negotiating with Town Council and the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee had been a great advantage for the town getting the best from this perhaps unwelcomed development.
Cllr Barry J Jackman
Mayor of Whitchurch