A VILLAGER, who is part of a group that helps keep her area clean, is encouraging residents to join in with the tidy-up as the community aims to achieve a Best Kept Village award. Alison Pooler, of Kingsley, is part of a group of residents that meet on one Sunday a month to go around the village and spruce it up. Stemming from an initial idea a few years ago, the initiative now attracts around seven members per meet-up and now, starting in mid-April, the group will be coming together on Wednesday evenings too in order to both keep the place in good nick and also strive for a Best Kept Village award.
The award recognises villages that are cleanly, well-maintained and show initiative among other factors.
“People started to take note of what we did when we had welcoming results and last year someone suggested that we enter the Best Kept Village competition,” Alison explained to the Times and Echo.
“We entered at the last minute but managed to get ‘highly commended’ which was really quite pleasing.
“Then we thought we’d just carry on, and we noticed starting this year that we are miles ahead from where we started last year, so we want to keep it going.
“It makes the area a little nicer – everyone wants to look at nice things where they live.”
She went on to explain that the group had since been awarded funding by Kingsley Parish Council and that during last year’s Best Kept Village award bid, children at St Werburgh’s Primary School in Kingsley designed posters – something that Alison is encouraging pupils to do again this time around.
“I’d ask the children to do Best Kept Village posters which will all be entered into a competition for the Staffordshire area,” she urged.
“Once they have created them, they (the school and parents) can message the Kingsley Village Hall Facebook page and I will come to collect them, laminate them and then dot them around the village.”
Alison stated that the school is also planning to do a litter pick this year and have adopted flower tubs to upkeep.
“Children are getting more aware of keeping the village tidy. Last year they produced some really nice posters,” she continued.
Alison revealed what plans the group have going forward, stating: “We would like to develop the rose garden and add in a trough and grow some herbs in it so people in the village can help themselves to them.”
The Keele University Medical School lecturer has been part of the tidy-up group since the outset after the first ever gathering was formed from an initial invitation from the Kingsley Village Hall committee to community members.
Now, Alison is encouraging others to help in their own way. She said: “I have got to know some really nice people and make new friends that I didn’t know before.
“You can just turn up, everyone is welcome. We don’t expect you to get on your hands and knees, there are lots of different jobs to do depending on your capability.
“Even just walking around with a litter-picking stick helps, it’s surprising how much can be done in an hour.
“We don’t expect everyone in the village to turn up, we are aware people are busy and can’t help because of various reasons so we just ask that people keep the area outside of their house tidy, by removing litter, weeds and leaves – it all helps and makes a massive difference.”
Alison said that the meets are also a social occasion with a cup of tea and refreshments available at the village hall afterwards, adding to “increasing community spirit.”
The group usually meets at the village hall for these ‘pop-up’ Sundays, the dates of which are advertised on the ‘Kingsley Village Hall’ Facebook page.
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