The festive season may be over, but it’s still not too late to think of a New Year resolution. For anyone still thinking of what theirs might be, they might like to consider getting involved with a community project that will help brighten up an East Riding town.
Beverley in Bloom is seeking volunteers who want to put something back into the community – and that doesn’t just mean planting bulbs and flower!
As the voluntary group make plans for the coming months, it has plans to revamp its corporate image, work on some innovative new projects and aim towards achieving gold in the next Yorkshire in Bloom competition.
Jim Whitfield, the group’s chairman, explained: “Beverley in Bloom has been working hard to brighten up the town with floral displays for fifteen years or more. We work with local businesses, community groups and residents to achieve this and were thrilled to be awarded silver gilt at this year’s Yorkshire in Bloom awards, which has inspired us to go for gold. To accomplish this there are a wide range of tasks we need to complete, ranging from planting more displays and looking at local conservation, to environmental work and community engagement.”
To help with this endeavour, the group has restructured itself, going from one large committee doing little bits of everything, to a smaller, focused management committee, with a range of subgroups working on specific areas.
Beverley in Bloom’s Coordinator, Peter Tomkys, said one of the aims of this is to enable people to give as much or as little time as they can afford: “In the past, everyone was doing a bit of everything, from planting bulbs to raising funds.
“With this new format we have divided things up a bit. For example, we now have a group that is focusing on floral displays around the Minster and another taking responsibility for fundraising.”
“We appreciate that not everyone enjoys gardening and time is precious, but a lot of people will have vital skills that can help the organisation, which is why we are seeking a wide range of volunteers. You can give as much or as little time as you can afford – that could be once a week, once a month or even once a year. All support is valued. ”
The group is now appealing for anyone with skills in desk top publishing, corporate design and marketing to join the Publicity and Recruitment Subgroup. No gardening skills are required whatsoever and the aim will be to give Beverley in Bloom a dynamic new image and raise its profile.
This could be a great opportunity for a graduate to gain vital experience for their CV, for someone retired who is looking for a new challenge or for anyone who just wants to meet new people and give something back to the community.
A minute taker is also being sought, to support the central Management Committee. Mr Tomkys added: “We need someone who is willing to keep us on track and become a vital member of the team.”
Over coming months, businesses will also be approached, not just see what they can do for In Bloom, but see what In Bloom can do for them!
Over recent years, many businesses have agreed to have a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). As a group that is always seeking support, both financial and ‘in kind’, Beverley Bloom is perfectly placed to help businesses fulfil their CSR goals.
Mr Whitfield said this sort of support is about partnership working: “We are viewing this as more than us just seeking a few quid from shops for hanging baskets. Whilst that sort of work is still a key part of Beverley in Bloom’s success, we want to reach out to businesses that can assist us by letting their staff help us plant up communal floral areas near their premises or can give us advice on how to raise funds rather than giving us money. These sorts of partnerships not only benefit the wider community, but also assist businesses to fulfil their Corporate Social Responsibilities and give them some good publicity.”
Margaret Pinder, the Mayor of Beverley, echoed these comments: “Beverley Town Council has had a long and fruitful relationship with Beverley in Bloom. They are one of our closest community partners and I urge the business community to throw their full support behind their endeavours. It would be wonderful for Beverley to be awarded gold – not only does entering the competition create a beautiful environment for our residents, but it is also another accolade for Beverley that will encourage even more people to visit our town. Let’s get the whole town working together to go for gold in 2013.”
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