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Blog - Community

Community Champion is Blooming Brilliant!

Time to honour another local hero! This month’s Community Champion is Menston in Bloom’s Gemma Kelmanson who's been out braving the elements with her team to make sure our village looks fabulous come spring.Menston In Bloom is a community organisation run by volunteers with the aim of helping to make Menston a lovely place to live through a wide range of horticultural activities. Come rain or shine, Gemma and the Bloomers are out and about in the community doing some amazing work brightening up the neighbourhood, and we feel really lucky to have them as a part of the village community.From organising and producing the beautiful Tour De Yorkshire showstopper earlier this year, running the annual plant sale and cream tea afternoon at Heather Bank in May and co-ordinating the ‘Great Menston Bulb Plant’ every autumn, the team works tirelessly to ensure Menston is always blooming (whatever the British weather throws at us!)Last year they planted two and a half thousand  bulbs on a cold November morning - helping to prepare Menston for wowing in the spring - this year they have planted closer to 3000!We were delighted to support the team in donating some additional bulbs to their project in addition to treating them to a voucher for Tres Bon Raymond, for some warming cups of coffee and much deserved cake when they were all done!Gemma said: "Thank you for coming down to see us this morning and bringing the bulbs and vouchers - both greatly appreciated! We planted the bulbs along the wall in Butterfield Park, which should make a lovely display in the spring. When they are flowering I'll make sure I get a photograph and send it to you! I'll keep you up to date with our projects, in particular the Peace Beds, which we will be planning and planting over the winter and spring.Thanks again for your support".Menston In Bloom are always on the look out for volunteers - Currently Bloomers meet every Thursday morning at 9.30am, for 2 hours. For further information, please email Gemma at menstoninbloom@gmail.com or visit their Facebook PageSo, a big shout out to Gemma - we do appreciate everything you do

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Awards - Blog - Community

Community Champion Bowls us Over!

This month for our ‘Community Champion Award' we reward Dave Holder who was nominated for his work inspiring youngsters - particularly girls - at Menston cricket club, to take up the game.His work led to the cricket club being able to field a full girls team for the first ever time at the end of the 2016 season!Of his work Dave said: “The junior section at the cricket club has gone from strength to strength, we have over 50 u9 kids being coached plus around 20 u11’s. The girls now number around 15, this success is recognised by Yorkshire County Cricket Club who are bringing a Yorkshire Diamonds, The Yorkshire women’s team, roadshow to the ground on Wednesday 5th July”.Dave’s work in the community also includes organising the biennial FoMPS Golf Day and he was in charge of the annual Yomp for 3 years for the FoMPS committee.  Just as comfortable on the football, as well as the cricket, pitch - Dave regularly helps out with refereeing duties and until earlier this month Dave was also a Director of The Menstone during its period of massive change.Moving into the Village in 1975, spending a few years away here and there but always being drawn back, Dave said: “ I love the friendliness of the village, there is still that sense of community. Over the last 40 years I have seen massive changes in the village but in so many ways it also remains unchanged, the change is very much the infrastructure, housing etc, whilst unrecognisable from 1975 in its size it is still very much a village community, I feel the school is very much the centre of the community but at the Cricket Club we are trying to put the club back at the forefront of people’s minds".On his nomination for the award Dave said “ I am honoured, reward is something I don’t seek but it is nice to get recognition for the hard but fun work. I’ll get some stick from mates I’m sure but it will only be jealousy!”Well done Dave - our community relies on the hard work and dedication of people like you. We rewarded Dave with some much deserved Beer Vouchers for The Menstone so he can take a bit of time out to relax!Find out more about the Yorkshire Diamonds Summer Roadshow hereDo you know a local hero who has given their time to support the neighbourhood - then let us know by emailing lisa@ribstonpippin.co.uk

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Blog - Community

Community Champion Brightens up the Neighbourhood

We were totally delighted by the response we had from the launch of our Community Champion Scheme, set to recognise those in our neighbourhoods who go the extra mile, and it's fantastic that this month's is a nomination from a community member.Guiseley resident of 38 years, Chris Parapia, has been nominated by Nicola Denson.After Chris' retirement in 2010 after over 37 years as a social worker, sitting back and relaxing was not an option! It was after taking up regular local walks that she was shocked to witness the state of Parkinson's Park, a place of relaxation and beauty on the Chevin, which was full of rubbish with grass near to waist height. Not one to hang around, she hit the shops later that day and they had a sign saying they had an environmental grant available. The availability of the grant ended that day and, amazingly, having filled in the forms, she received £50! Spurred on by this she got together a group of 19 people and began clearing the park.Fast forward and now Chris is the Chairlady of 'The Friends of Parkinson's Park' which has recently become the first local Community Interest Company. Since she has been involved, the group has planted a community orchard, wildflower areas, erected benches, organised a children’s gala and really want the wider community-schools and local groups to use the park.Sadly, there has recently been a spate of anti-social behaviour at the park so a 'ParkWatch' initiative has been launched to encourage local residents to keep an eye out for any acts of vandalism and improper use of the park and report them and also to encourage more people to get involved in projects to improve the space.A definite outdoorsy person, Chris is happiest when she is out in the fresh air gardening and is a huge fan of the local area and loves it for the brilliant amenities- rail, schools, shops, surrounding countryside and the lovely people she has met.Chris has always been a busy lady and is also the proud Chair of the 'Aireborough Supported Activities Scheme' which organises short breaks for children with disabilities with their parents.On being told the news of her nomination Chris said "Helping people has always been the biggest part of my career and now it is my passion".Lisa was absolutely thrilled to honour her - "Chris is certainly a lady of action - she has been fundamental in ensuring the local beauty spot of Parkinson's Park is restored for all the community to enjoy for a long time to come- Well done Chris, this award is richly deserved!"Know a local hero? Get in touch with us to nominate them for our next community champion - we love hearing your stories.If you want to help protect Parkinson's Park or would like any further information then visit parkinsonspark.co.uk, visit their facebook page or email parkinsonspark@gmail.com 

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