Tag Archives: volunteers

Blaby’s Bouskell Park given new lease of life

Victorian Ice House, Bouskell Park
Victorian Ice House, Bouskell Park

Volunteer rangers have been busy at Blaby’s Bouskell Park helping to improve the green space and give it a new lease of life.

Since September 2013 the group of dedicated conservation volunteers, who range from 17 to 70 years old, have been hedge laying and clearing the pond area with the aim of generating new growth and creating a better wildlife habitat.

James Poynton, Green Space Engagement Officer at Blaby District Council, said:

“Most of the volunteers have not had any experience in laying hedges, but this didn’t deter them and they were willing to learn new skills.

“The work has opened up a forgotten and well hidden corner of the park, and we have had comments from residents who have said they had never seen the pond before we cleared the area.”

The volunteers also do regular litter picking in the park and check for fallen branches on the pathways to ensure it is a safe and pleasurable place for the public to visit.

They have been trained to use strimmers to keep the grass around signposts, bins, benches and paths at bay, and the Council has also trained some of the rangers to use a wood chipper so brash from the hedge laying can be recycled and used as wood chippings on the paths.

Interested in becoming a volunteer ranger?
For more information email james.poynton@blaby.gov.uk or call 0116 272 7704.

Community Speed Watch

Enderby Parish Council seeks the assistance of Enderby parishioners to help coordinate a ‘Community Speed Watch Scheme’ in hot-spot areas.

For a Community Speed Watch Scheme to go ahead, a minimum of 6 volunteers is required and it is also difficult, although not impossible, to find a safe location from which volunteers may monitor traffic.

To volunteer, please contact the Clerk,

Ms S Hansford;
Tel: 0116 2753711
or email:

speeding issues

Blaby police volunteers win Volunteer Team of the Year award for the fourth time

The team of police volunteers at Blaby are being presented with the Force Volunteer Team of the Year award for the fourth time in five years today (Wednesday March 6th 2013).

The ten strong team will have their dedication and commitment recognised at an awards ceremony this evening and will receive a certificate from the Chief Constable, Simon Cole. They will now be nominated for the prestigious national police volunteer team award which they have already won three times in the last four years.

The volunteers put the needs of the victim of crime at the heart of everything they do ‘helping people to help themselves.’ They work alongside officers at Blaby local policing unit tasked directly by them. Sometimes working in a preventative way, talking to community groups to help them understand ‘what the burglar sees’. On other occasions they follow up directly in the homes of victims of crime to show them what they can do to strengthen their property. They also provide a service to Blaby residents through the police or Blaby District Council to provide evidence of crime, anti-social behaviour, or domestic abuse using low cost cameras.

In their activity in setting up ‘No Cold Calling Zones’ they have added an extra dimension by following up zone violations. They have recently approached a national advisory body to try and change policy for nuisance door to door surveys.

In a recent initiative to reduce lead theft from churches, they have developed a protection strategy that churches can use to protect themselves and have coupled it with a live pilot project to ensure its effectiveness.

The team say they work best when given a project to solve, developing their own processes, training their own teams and funding their own administrative costs without being a drain on police resources.

Inspector Sanj Pattani, Commander of Blaby Local Policing Unit, said; “For yet another year the Blaby District Police Support Volunteers have again demonstrated their impact on the local community and their significant contribution to the LPU. Although they have been in existence since 2002 they will not stand still and have continued to evolve in 2013. They remain self funded and are making good use of technology which has enabled them to effectively support victims and those who are most needy. I am delighted that their dedication and commitment has once again been recognised.”

This is how the volunteers reacted when they heard of the award:

Jeremy Collingridge said; “It is an extraordinary privilege for our team to work alongside our police colleagues to help bring the kind of policing that our community wants and do it to the best of our ability.”

Chris Ainge, said; “It is great recognition for what we know we do to provide help and support to the community.”

Shabbir Aslam, added; “A great achievement for our team, helping our diverse community to be safer. I have been pleased to apply my own particular skills to our success.”

Cliff Branson, said; “It’s very good recognition of what the group is doing. I love joining in with the group when I can. The group is so keen on helping our community.”

Nigel Calver, added; “Winning for the fourth time, I feel elated to know that we are recognised by our police colleagues for what we do

Gay Dent, said; “We are delighted to receive recognition but this is perhaps secondary to that from the victims of crime we visit.”

Lorna Murphy Welch said; “I am really chuffed, nice to see our work has been appreciated yet again”

And finally Margaret Jones said; “It is wonderful for us to be recognised for the work we do helping the vulnerable and victims of crime.”

Throughout 2013, recruiting has began for up to 90 further volunteers specifically to support the new Beacon Officer role on the Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) and others to support the whole SNTs with community initiatives. If you would like to become a volunteer please call 101.

Volunteers from Blaby District help out at London 2012 Games thanks to council

Volunteers receive their cheques at special presentation

Six local volunteers are set to make an impact at the London 2012 Games thanks to a helping hand from Blaby District Council.

The volunteers are gaining support through the Leicester and Leicestershire Games Maker Grant Scheme, which provides a bursary of £250 to go towards travel and accommodation expenses.

The scheme is the first of only three in the UK that is providing financial support to local Game Maker volunteers. It is providing bursaries for over 60 people in Leicester and Leicestershire, six of which are from the Blaby District.

Councillor David Clements, health improvement and corporate services portfolio holder at Blaby District Council, said:

“Volunteers are vital for the 2012 Games, but it is also a huge commitment. This scheme ensures those you wish to help get the financial support they need to do so, as well as making sure volunteers are in the place for the Games.”

Volunteers received their cheque at a presentation evening on July 5, at Sport Park, Loughborough University.

Ann Barwell, from Blaby, will be volunteering within event services at the Olympic Park. She said:

“Having recently retired from education, the grant will enable me to stay in London for the Games. I am in the mobility team helping people with disabilities and so there are some very early starts at the Olympic Park, some as early as 5.45am. Knowing that I can get there on time will make all the difference.”

Tim Walton, from Kirby Muxloe, is volunteering in control commission for the rowing at Eton Dorney. He said:

“Umpiring at rowing regattas takes me away virtually every weekend between April and late August and this is the very first time that I have been offered a contribution towards costs.

“Being a Games Maker at the Olympic regatta is a dream come true and the grant will help defray the considerable accommodation and travel costs that will be incurred during the 12 days that I am at DorneyLake.”

The Leicester and Leicestershire Games Maker Grant Scheme has been funded by Inspire LeicesterShire, Leicester-Shire and Rutland Sport, Blaby District Council, Charnwood Borough Council, Harborough District Council, Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, Leicester City Council, Melton Borough Council, North West Leicestershire District Council and Oadby & Wigston Borough Council.

Shimul Haider, 2012 Games Legacy Director for Inspire LeicesterShire, said:

“Volunteers are crucial to the successful delivery of the Olympic & Paralympic Games. Without them, the Games would simply not happen.

“It’s absolutely fantastic that with help from all our partners, we have been able to give some of our local Games Makers a financial hand and make their experience all the more rewarding.”

Office team take on environmental challenge

Staff from an accountancy firm swapped their suits and ties for gardening gear as they put in a shift at Fosse Meadows Nature Area in Sharnford.

The 15 volunteers from KPMG East Midlands worked with Blaby District Council’s countryside officer to take out 355 metres of old fencing and netting to allow easier access to growing woodland.

The exercise was set up through Leicestershire Cares, an organisation that co-ordinates businesses who want to help with local community projects, often through staff time and volunteering.

Craig Parkin, director at KPMG said:

“When you’re used to sitting in an office all day it’s great to get outside and put in some elbow grease while doing something positive for the environment.

“Everyone seems to enjoy working in the community and taking part in a real team effort.”

Businesses and organisations who want to find out more about working with Leicestershire Cares should email info@leicestershirecares.co.uk or call 0116 275 6490.