HELEN BURTON: Alive with the sound of buzzing...

Helen Burton

Helen Burton

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You can tell it’s grant funding application time again.

Instead of dreams of sugar plums dancing round my head it’s sustainability and match funding. Yesterday I had two meetings back to back, and realised at 2pm that I was physically shaking because I had skipped breakfast and lunch but overdosed on coffee! Still, it’s exciting. Last year I was successful in achieving over £6000 in funding for Incredible Edible Pevensey and Westham through Pevensey Parish Council, Wealden District Council and the Wealden Sustainability Partnership. An unused plot of land in Pevensey is now alive with the sound of buzzing as the occupants of five hives on site now go about their business. Pevensey Apiary has gone from being completely derelict, with brambles and nettles so tall the site was not able to be accessed properly, to being a place of real calm and beauty. With the majority of the clearance work completed the fun of planting a forest garden begins, and we are meeting next week to choose plants and trees for the site. It’s a lovely project to be involved with but my favourite moments of the past year are exploring the site Indiana Jones style, hacking through the undergrowth and finding a beautiful clearing filled with primroses, a picnic on site with the volunteers and one occasion when I was there working by myself and stopped to have a cup of ginger tea and soak in the surroundings. If you want to get involved with this project email incrediblepaw@aol.com With my Pevensey Volunteers hat on I had a meeting with the chairperson of the Pevensey Senior Support Group and the chairperson of Pevensey Villages Partnership, defining our project’s roles in the parish and exploring ways we can work together. One exciting outcome was that we will be holding our monthly meetings together from now on, starting up again after the summer break on October 3, venue to be confirmed. For more information email pevenseyvolunteers@gmail.com or visit our website www.pevenseyvolunteers.co.uk Pevensey Volunteers is working really well at encouraging volunteering locally and bringing people together, so one of the most exciting grant applications I’m making is to support a similar project in Eastbourne. As part of this project there will also be monthly meetings to bring potential volunteers and existing community groups together. Key charities and local projects are coming together to support the idea, and when the initial plans are finalised I’ll tell you more! One of the benefits of volunteering is the people you meet. Over the last few weeks my family has been through a rough time, made trickier because I managed to sprain my knee and couldn’t drive for a couple of weeks. The offers of help I received from people I didn’t even know a year ago was wonderful, and lifted my spirits through the worst of it. Flowers and Turkish Delight were particularly welcome, thank you Barbara! When you volunteer you not only help others but trust me, your life improves in so many ways too.