HELEN BURTON: Pevensey’s volunteers, including the fabulous Patty

Helen Burton SUS-150709-171138001
Helen Burton SUS-150709-171138001

I was collecting the keys to open up the cafe where we hold our monthly Pevensey Volunteers meeting when I bumped into Patty Charley, a fabulous lady who was picking up rubbish to help keep our village tidy.

She was wielding a shopping trolley with a bin liner in it and had just filled it with rubbish left around the Pevensey Bay car park. Pevensey Parish Council are now organising monthly litter picks and have bought some ‘litter pickers’ which mean you don’t even have to bend down to pick up the rubbish.

At the first litter pick last month I thought my back would be killing me after an hour but it was no problem at all and my daughter loved it, thinking of it as a treasure hunt! It’s sad that some people think it’s okay to drop their litter wherever they want and there is a big cost to our environment and our local councils but thank goodness for people like Patty!

If you want to get involved with the Pevensey litter picks the next one is this Saturday April 9 at 11.30am meeting at Pevensey Castle car park. Please contact the Parish Clerk at pevenseypc@btconnect.com or phone 01323 743900 to let us know you are coming!

The Pevensey Volunteers meeting was very interesting and it brought together several local projects and representations from Pevensey Parish Council, Eastbourne Borough Council, Wealden District Council and East Sussex County Council. All councillors were there in a personal capacity but it is great that local councillors can see the value in encouraging volunteering in our communities. Helen Owen Marketing Enterprises (HOME found at www.helenowen.me.uk), Rotary Club of Sovereign Harbour, Pevensey Villages Partnership and Pevensey Senior Support Group were amongst the community-based projects in attendance and the discussion was lively!

Two key ideas emerged from the meeting. The first was that HOME offered to run some workshops in the parish to help community groups to get online and make use of social media. The second idea was that we need a workforce to deliver leaflets in the parish in order to reach people who don’t use the internet.

This idea could link up with a concept I’ve been mulling over for a while of having a ‘community representative’ of some sort in every street who can deliver leaflets but also make sure that people are informed in case of an emergency such as flooding. Something else to look into! What was great about the meeting last night was that people who care about their community were coming together to share ideas and co-ordinate efforts.

Eastbourne Can are now running similar meetings at Eastbourne Town Hall and if you want to get involved follow their group on Facebook to find out meeting dates. Meetings like this work well because the focus is not just on one project but how projects fit into the big picture. Last night I felt we were creating something important, and this is just the start!