Chilworth2gether Annual Report of activities and beneficiaries 2016
This report runs from December 2015 through to the end of November 2016.
The accounts on which this report is based have again been examined by a local qualified expert, and passed as accurate and our proceeds spent in line with the objectives of Chilworth2gether, which are to bring the village together, and make it a good place to live or work in.
It has been another good year for Chilworth2gether, trying to bring the community together in a variety of ways, promoting community participation and engagement, and investing in projects which will benefit the community.
We are extremely grateful to a generous local family for donating Christmas trees for enjoyment by the village. Feedback has been very positive to the trees we’ve erected at the station and on the Hornhatch corner. We’ve bought sets of battery operated lights so they can be lit up at night, and invite anyone with spare decorations to decorate the trees.
A small third tree, situated on the main road by Blacksmiths Lane is dedicated to the children of the village. Before Christmas 2016, we worked with the Chilworth Brownies who used their last meeting to take ownership of the tree and decorate it with their own home-made edible decorations for the Birds to enjoy. Chilworth@gether then provided transport and put the Bird Tree in place. It also made a donation to the Brownies to help cover the cost of the materials.
Subject to availability, our benefactors have asked us to identify any families who otherwise wouldn’t have a tree. Chilworth2gether will act as the confidential intermediary, and seeks help from the community to identify any such family for next year.
Duck Race 2016
For the last five years we have organised the highly popular Chilworth Duck Race on Easter Monday, and 2016 year was better and bigger than ever. Again we received sponsorship from Seymours which helped us to keep prices down and give away lots of prizes. Overall, we made £1966 profit, after the significant expenses associated with a big event like this, (including for example £308 for public liability insurance), were taken into account. Thanks too, to GBC who would normally charge another fee for using the public space. Because of our local volunteering work in the Gunpowder Mills, we were able to negotiate to have this fee waived.
As well as Chilworth2gether’s profit from the race and the burgers, the churches also benefitted on the day from the sales of teas, coffees and drinks. We try to encourage others to get involved so that all Chilworth can benefit from the day.
Chilworth C of E Infant School received a cheque for £150 from Chilworth2gether, in thanks for letting the public use their facilities and Car Park on Race Day.
We are delighted to be able to announce that Chilworth C of E Infant School have asked to take over the management of the event in 2017.
Chilworth2gether will continue to act as mentor and facilitator, and has lent the community’s 500 Racing Ducks and Race paraphernalia to the school. This will allow Chilworth2gether the opportunity to concentrate on other projects, and it will increase the number of locals involved in community events.
Village Hall Trophy case
In response to a local request, a bespoke wooden cabinet was paid for by Chilworth2gether to house the historic trophies from past sporting competitions centring on the Sports Field. We also paid for its installation for all to see in the Village Hall.
Tents for the Brownies
Chilworth2gether has been able to buy a set of tents for the Chilworth Brownies which have been much enjoyed this year. It has given the pack the chance to experience the camping life in the safety of the village hall. Each trio of Brownies successfully assembled and struck camp, and managed to get them back in their bags for storage! This is our way of supporting young people in the village to come together and make new friends.
Obelisk and Roses
Chilworth2gether was hoping to obtain a license from Railtrack to plant the five white rose trees they have bought on the triangle by the station. This has been subject to many setbacks. However the white roses previously planted by the railings beyond the pub and cottages are doing well (subject to the odd nibbling by deer) so we have decided we will plant the roses there instead. The aim over time is to try to soften the visual impact of the railings by encouraging the roses to ramble through. The obelisk originally bought to support the roses will be used instead for temporary display at Christmas and other times.
Major donation to Chilworth2gether to spend in the village
We were very proud to be selected this year to become the beneficiaries of the proceeds from the Friday night performance of Pimms and Picnic, held at Chilworth Manor in June. Friday night is traditionally the night in which the proceeds go to a local charity or organisation, for the benefit of the village.
This significant donation has allowed us to install two new defibrillators, thanks to the agreement of the “hosts” of the two machines. These are installed on the Car Park wall of the Percy Arms and will serve the east of the village and the station as well as the pub. The second new machine is installed by the front entrance to St Martha’s Court in Hornhatch, where it will serve the community at the west end of the village. The original machine, situated at the Village Hall, continues to be available in the heart of the village. All three have Car Parking immediately by the machines, which are accessed by dialling 999.
From the proceeds of Pimms and Picnic, we have spent £3230 on the defibrillators.
Chilworth2gether continues to convene and support the volunteering session in the Gunpowder Mills. Volunteers from the village and beyond meet with the GBC Countryside Wardens to help to maintain and improve the Gunpowder Mills site. This year, we have tackled the invasive species, Himalayan Balsam which has invaded the site, cleared waterways, coppiced trees and improved the picnic area, which is well used by walkers and locals. We provide two BBQs a year, to thank the volunteers for their efforts, and create a good atmosphere. We have been joined by several families for sessions this year, and we are pleased to encourage others. Sessions are advertised on this website (see Gunpowder Mills) and by poster at the entrances to the site.
Heritage weekend in the Gunpowder Mills
Every September, Chilworth2gether joins with the Gunpowder Mills Group and GBC Countryside Wardens to put on a family friendly event in the picnic area of the Gunpowder Mills. This year, the Mayor and his party visited the event and BBQ, as part of the project described in the item below. As well as the BBQ and the archeological display put on by the Gunpower Mills Group, there was sculpture and a nature trail for the children, and a special storytelling session featuring Job the Gunpowder worker.
Everyone is encouraged to bring the family to this event, which takes place from 12.30 – 3pm. Activities are free and the BBQ and refreshments will be available from 12.30. The date for the event this year is Sunday, September 11
Other projects supported by Chilworth2gether:
Tails and Trails of the Tillingbourne Valley
This Lottery Funded project was run by Surrey Hills Board, but relied heavily on local participation. Chilworth became a flagship village, giving full support to the project and in return, receiving many benefits.
One strand of the project aimed to bring the story of all the industries historically associated with the Tillingbourne Valley to life, with a view to involving the next generation. Children at our two schools researched real historic characters (ours was Job, a 21 year old Gunpowder Mills worker), and, with the help of an artist/model-maker and a storyteller, helped develop his story. Then Tillingbourne School also enjoyed a dramatic presentation with the Guildford Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre.
It is hoped that a legacy can be created so that more of our children get to take part and hear the history of our village.
Chilworth also now has volunteer River Wardens, as a result of the project. This means the quality of water in the Tillingbourne River will be regularly monitored and reported as part of a national monitoring initiative.
Planned projects for 2017
As part of the Pimms and Picnic donation, we are working to install a new audio visual system in the Village Hall. We have allocated at least £8000 for this project, the bulk being funded from the Pimms and Picnic proceeds. We are currently researching whether we can attract any other funding that would help us upgrade the equipment we can afford.
This system will, we hope, increase the enjoyment of the many residents visiting the regular sessions held in the hall, and also make other initiatives possible in our village – our own Film Club has been suggested, for example. We’re exploring what opportunities there are to get help with funding if this initiative goes ahead. This is exactly in line with Chilworth2gether’s aims, and we would want to support any such venture.
We have been given some leads for advisors and suppliers of equipment, but we would welcome any help from any audio-visual experts in the village. Please leave us a message here on the website (not published). We are looking for a simple and robust system that can be used with laptops for presentations, but which is also good enough to show full length films.
The Chilworth2gether Bank balance is currently standing at just over £11700, swelled by the Pimms and picnic monies earmarked for the Audio visual equipment. Of the money we have raised from our fund-raising initiatives we are retaining £1000 to fund future events and a contingency for the Sound system. If funds allow, and if Shalford Parish Council upgrade the play area at Hornhatch as planned, it is hoped Chilworth2gether may also be able to make a contribution to that initiative in this financial year too.