Chilworth 2gether annual reports 2018 and 2019, and future plans
Chilworth2gether accounts have now been examined and signed off for 2018 and 2019.
At the beginning of 2018, the core group of Chilworth2gether volunteers agreed to change their way of working, to try to encourage and support activities in the village organised by others as well as Chilworth2gether itself.
Following several years of active campaigning and fund-raising, it was time for consolidation and the maintenance of many of the initiatives we have initiated in the village, and which are now mainstream resources.
For example, the three defibrillators in the village needed replacement electrodes and batteries, successfully restored by our local rapid response officer with Chilworth2gether support.
We also had to address vandalism of the bench and chair that we had funded and installed on the main road. Unfortunately attempts were made to rip these benches from their fixings. The chair has successfully been reinstalled, but the big bench has taken time to repair and will be installed soon near the layby used by the Fish and Chip van.
Some things have become an annual feature of our village. Chilworth2gether works with a local benefactor each year who donates Christmas trees for the enjoyment of the village; Chilworth2gether takes one for the Brownies to decorate, and supports the evening with funds, and erects it on the main road by Blacksmith Lane.
A large tree is erected on the main road by Hornhatch; more lights and batteries need to be bought each year to maintain the display.
Following the purchase by Chilworth2gether of audio visual equipment for the village hall, a very successful Community Cinema has been set up and organised, independent of Chilworth2gether, but supported by it. Chilworth2gether volunteers have joined the team of volunteers that are present at screenings; we help with publicity and have funded spotlighting to illuminate the village hall on Cine nights (once a month on a Friday).
Working with other organisations, Chilworth2gether now funds a Volunteers’ thank you party, that includes volunteers working across the village, not just C2G. Held at the height of summer this BBQ event is held simply, with volunteers contributing, and is an opportunity for all those who do so much unsung work for the village to be thanked and to take centre stage. In 2019 volunteers from the Care Committee were invited, and it is hoped to continue this bigger event in the future. Chilworth2gether funds this event.
Every year, Chilworth2gether takes part in a Heritage event in the Gunpowder Mills, and provides a BBQ and volunteers in partnership with St Martha Parish Council, Friends of the Gunpowder Group and GBC. Looking forward, 2020 is a special year for the Gunpowder Mills site, being its 100 anniversary of closure. Chilworth2gether is hoping to hold a special Duck Race on September 13 as part of Heritage weekend, subject to permissions, sponsorship and sufficient helpers coming forward to help on the day. Details when confirmed will be advertised on the Chilworth2gether website.
This website continues to be maintained and administered by Chilworth2gether, but we would like it to become a wider, community resource in the future.
As well as preparing for the Duck Race, Chilworth2gether has started 2020 working with St Martha Parish Council, the new Friends of the Gunpowder Mills Group and newly elected Borough Councillors to lobby to save West Lodge from being sold off by GBC. This is in line with the consultation events Chilworth2gether has held in the village over the years.
This campaign is likely to become a major effort this year. In line with the Chilworth2gether approach to other initiatives, Chilworth2gether believes it might have a role in providing resources and man-power initially to re-furbish West Lodge to be used as a local resource, for example as a base for Forest School in the Gunpowder Mills and as a low-key meeting room. We are working with partners to see whether a leasing structure can be arranged, whereby GBC remain owners of the building, but the users maintain it. Our aims are to help in
- Retaining the building as part of the Gunpowder Mills, recognising its historical story whilst having a new role in the community
- Retaining the appearance and connection with the site
- Stopping the loss of the building for ever, the severing of links with the site, loss of facilities for the Gunpowder Mills, and potentially inappropriate development
Chilworth2gether February 2020