Rural Life PUPILS GET GARDENING
Your monthly update of news and views from the Rural Community Council of Essex
All primary and special schools in Essex have been invited to take part in designing a healthy kitchen garden plot and to then create a tasty recipe for a healthy packed lunch using the produce grown from the plot.
The Growing Communities project is managed by Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE) and the aim is to encourage young people to eat healthily, understand and learn about food provenance while capturing their imaginations.
This year there will be three categories: primary schools reception to Year 3, primary schools Year 4 to Year 6 and special schools ages five to 16.
Each winner will receive £500 of gardening equipment for the school and a planting day with a gardening expert. The first 25 schools to register will also receive a free potato planter kit, kindly sponsored by Perrywood Garden Explorers (Tiptree).
VILLAGE HALLS IN SPOTLIGHT
In October, the annual RCCE Village Halls and Community Buildings Conference was held at Peldon and Wigboroughs Community Hall, which was opened earlier this year.
The event was once again very well attended, with a full programme of speakers. The conference heard from Kirsty O’Callaghan, head of strengthening communities at Essex County Council, about the success of the Community Initiatives Fund.
Lucy Dickinson, also from Essex County Council, spoke about the Superfast Essex Community WiFi Scheme and explained how communities can participate and get involved.
The conference also heard from Suzanne Howe, who explained how Ramsey Village Hall Community Library was set up – where the idea came from, how it was set up and the difference it has made to the local community.
Essex Police were represented by Chief Inspector Ian Gennery, who heads up the Gypsy, Traveller and Rural Engagement Team. Ch Insp Gennery gave a very detailed, informative talk about the work of the team, fighting rural crime and explained how, through focused, visible policing, the aims are to reassure rural communities, to deter crime, to gather (and share) intelligence, and to bring to justice those who commit crimes in rural areas.
Nick Shuttleworth, RCCE’s executive director, also spoke at the event, sharing a quote from RCCE’s patron, Lord Petre, who said: ‘In recent years, throughout the county, there has been a considerable surge, encouraged by RCCE, in the refurbishment or complete replacement of dilapidated village halls. In almost every case, this has led to a remarkable renaissance in village life with new groups and activities springing up to make use of what have become attractive facilities.’
ABOVE: Peldon and Wigboroughs Community Hall