Billingshurst has good reason to celebrate.
It has been benefitting for over 10 years from the work of the award-winning Community Partnerships, which holds the coveted Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The partnership was formally incorporated in November 2005.
Since its formation in 2002, the partnership has raised over £800,000 to help toward funding such initiatives as Burnt Row Woodland and Jubilee Fields Fishing Lake, the Sports Complex and the Family and Child Care Centre in Station Road.
It is currently working on an exciting new youth facility for the young people of Billingshurst. Its ongoing projects include a luncheon club for the elderly and a youth enterprise scheme finding work experience places for our young people, arts and craft initiatives and working with the police regarding many community safety issues.
Explaining the role of the partnership, its chair, Denise Campbell, said: “It is a privilege to work with the Community Partnership because we benefit from having strength in numbers and because we have access to funds that are not available to other groups, including Parish Councils. We work closely with these other groups for the overall benefit of Billingshurst,” she said.
The partnership is a Company Limited by Guarantee and is made up of a board of directors, a management committee, and representatives of some 15 other groups of volunteers. These include the Billingshurst Lions and Rotary, Station Road Garden Committee, the Billingshurst Chamber of Commerce, the Billingshurst Choral Society, the Billingshurst Historical Society and several other social, welfare and church groups as well as individuals. Anyone is welcome to join our meetings and our website Billingshurst-community is regularly updated with information on our activities and other community information.
While each group has its own programmes, the Partnership runs overarching projects with the support of the other groups. Everyone involved is dedicated to delivering results that enhance the well-being of Billingshurst and its surroundings. The partnership works closely with the parish, district and county authorities to achieve its objectives.
Mrs. Campbell said: “The Billingshurst Community Partnership now moves forward with its member groups, the District and Parish Councils and Chamber of Commerce to deliver Billingshurst’s community-led plan. The village’s vision is ‘That of a thriving community with our residents, young and old, proud of our village and celebrating our surroundings, our achievements and our future’. We endorse that totally,” she said.
Mrs. Campbell said that under community-led plan 2015-2020 that the partnership signed jointly with the Parish Council and the Chamber of Commerce, it leads on a number of Topics.
She said: “We lead tasks that work with youth of our community, safety and security, the senior citizens, the disadvantaged, anti-social behaviour, certain economic and transport projects, commercial and tourism initiatives and the arts and sports and recreation projects”.
“The last ten years were just our first ten years,” Mrs. Campbell concluded.
Report and picture contributed by Patrick Perks.