Celebrating Dacorum’s Community Champions

Dacorum Borough Council are delighted to announce that Tring Community Garden – Tring in Transition, and Anna’s Funky Art are this year’s Clean, Safe and Green Community Champion Award winners.

Boho Boxmoor and Kirsten Riemer are also Highly Commended.

The Community Champion Award is now in its tenth year, and recognises individuals and groups who go out of their way to make Dacorum a cleaner, safer and greener place to live.

To celebrate the hard work that the 2018 Community Champions do in their neighbourhoods, an awards ceremony was held on Wednesday 17 October where the Mayor of Dacorum came to deliver these accolades.

Councillor Janice Marshall, Portfolio Holder for Environmental, Sustainability and Regulatory Services at Dacorum Borough Council, said: “These awards are a perfect opportunity to showcase the selfless people that we have in Dacorum, those who dedicate their spare time to making their communities cleaner, safer and greener. Your hard work is an inspiration to others and does not go unnoticed. Thank you for making Dacorum a better place for all to enjoy!”

The awards are sponsored by Arco, the UK’s leading supplier of personal protective equipment, work-wear and workplace safety products.

Tring Community Garden – Tring in Transition

The Community Garden was once a litter-strewn, derelict site, but following a partnership between Tring in Transition, Tring Allotments Association, Tring Town Council and Tring Together in summer 2016, it has since been transformed.   Hard-working volunteers have now provided a safe, clean garden.  The garden provides an area for growing annual crops in raised vegetable beds and hosting barbeques and gatherings.   Part of the garden is also being developed as a Forest Garden – with a selection of fruit trees, bushes and smaller plants all of which produce something edible for the community to harvest and enjoy.

The garden is well integrated in the Tring community; the Scouts, Cubs and Beavers have helped develop the area and use it for their outdoor activities, enabling the Scouts to obtain their Community badge.  The garden is also wheelchair and pushchair accessible and offers small children the opportunity to enjoy playing in their specially created digging bed.

Christine Hopkins, one of the founding members of Tring Community Garden explains: “The garden is for everyone in the community to enjoy. It’s a peaceful place to sit and relax, to enjoy and share the produce – and maybe do some gardening. We hope more people will come and share the garden and participate in its continuing development.”

Volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds and ages and the garden always welcomes anyone who comes to help.

Volunteers meet on the second Sunday of every month 10am – 12pm. If you would like to learn more about Tring Community Garden, the work they do, or how you can volunteer with them, you can find out more on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TringInTransition

Anna’s Funky Art

Anna has been recycling and upcycling local people’s unwanted furniture since 2016 when she began her enterprise ‘Anna’s Funky Art’. She takes people’s unwanted items, which would otherwise either be scrapped or potentially fly-tipped and turns them into something useful or beautiful again and sells it on at affordable prices.

Anna told us “I have always been a keen recycler and try to reuse or pass things on that I no longer use. I just don’t like throwing things away that are still useful! So to me it makes sense to give new life to old furniture and there are just so many different ways to make old things look beautiful that I have a lot of fun doing this!

Anna feels that it is important to share the skills and expertise that she has developed and so now runs workshops from the art studio that she has built at her home in Hemel Hempstead. Adults and children are encouraged to consider what they are throwing away, and think about other, creative ways to reuse their old or unwanted items.  The variety of workshops include a regular mindfulness and creativity group (Wednesday and Thursday evenings), furniture upcycling, beginners drawing and painting and other crafts using recycled materials.  People are encouraged to bring along something to the workshops which they already have and want to upcycle.  Workshops are also run with local charities such as DENS in Hemel Hempstead and Work Aid in Chesham.

You can learn more about Anna’s work on her website www.annasfunkyart.com
or search for #annasfunkyart on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Highly Commended

Boho Boxmoor won our Highly Commended certificate in the Group category for their devotion to improving their local community in Boxmoor through a range of activities including community gardening, flower competitions, dog fouling campaigns, hosting seasonal events such as Easter Egg Hunts and their local Christmas Tree light switch on, as well as running a community Facebook page.

Kirsty Riemer won our Highly Commended certificate in the Individual category for her work to organise ‘pavement playing out’ sessions for the children in her road and arranging an annual summer street party.

Find out more about the Community Champion Awards

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