Volunteers reunite at ‘welcome back’ event

It was a night to come together at The Priory Golf Centre in Wimblington on September 15

It was a night to come together at The Priory Golf Centre in Wimblington on September 15, as volunteer groups came together to recognise their efforts through the pandemic. Councillor Peter Murphy, second from left, presents a foldable litter picking cart and XL litter pickers to Gorefield Street Pride group members, from left Emma McGuire, Councillor Sam Clark and Councillor Michael Humphrey, to celebrate the group’s 10th anniversary. - Credit: Fenland District Council

A number of volunteer groups have come together to honour and recognise the efforts made by them all through the pandemic. 

After 18 months of halted group activities and putting plans on hold, Fenland’s Steets Pride, In Bloom, Friends and Getting It Sorted recycling volunteer groups came together on September 15 for a special ‘welcome back’ event. 

Over 70 volunteers attended the evening which was held at The Priory Golf Centre in Wimblington. 

Fenland District Council usually hold an awards evening in October where awards are presented to the volunteer groups for their hard work to improve the district’s streets, parks and open spaces, and recycling efforts. 

There was no event last year, but following the wishes of the volunteers to meet, the council decided to hold this year's event.

Even though it was in a slightly different format, they were still able to say thank you to volunteers who have continued with individual litter picks, maintenance projects and online activities throughout the pandemic. 

The Council’s Portfolio for the Environment, Councillor Peter Murphy, said: “Not all groups have been able to do projects in the last 18 months.

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 "We decided to hold a welcome back event to celebrate getting back together and plan for an exciting year ahead. 

“Despite a difficult period, the volunteer’s enthusiasm has never waned. 

“They are as eager as ever to get their activities and plans back on track. 

“A great night was had by all, with everyone enjoying music provided by local band ‘The 59ers’.” 

The event also had a fish and chip supper provided by Stotts Fish Restaurant in March, and vegetarian meals by The Exchange, March. 

“I’d like to pay a huge thank you to The Priory, Stotts and The Exchange and everyone else who helped make it such a fantastic evening,” said Peter. 

“Special thanks must also go to the council’s volunteering team for organising the event. 

"It was a different format than usual, but the team made sure it ran really well.

“Some volunteers commented on how much they enjoyed it and said staff had gone to a lot of trouble to make sure everyone felt comfortable and safe which was great to hear.”