Volunteers are key to life in our small town

wet  Pictured from left promoting the Easter egg hunt are Welcome to Wetherby team members Stewart Bolton, Kazia Knight and Cindy Bentley.  (130311M3)
wet Pictured from left promoting the Easter egg hunt are Welcome to Wetherby team members Stewart Bolton, Kazia Knight and Cindy Bentley. (130311M3)

The theme of my two years as Mayor was volunteers and in the last week, I have seen so many examples of just how much our volunteers do for the town.

It started off the previous Saturday morning down at Sandringham Park.

The chairman of the Friends of Sandringham Park, Kazia Knight, had obtained over 100 small trees and shrubs from the Woodland Trust to plant in the Park.

We duly turned up in wellies and equipped with spades to help with the planting. Volunteers seemed a bit thin on the ground, but we did have most of the Maltby family, including little Alex who wielded his pink spade like a true gardener.

Mum Joanne was escorting Bob the Builder round the town to promote Phlok - a national loyalty scheme for independent businesses.

Tom Bird from Renton and Parr (sponsors of Sandringham Park) was busily digging holes and we had some local residents litter picking. It was a lovely sunny morning and the park looked wonderful.

On Monday, it was the monthly meeting of our Welcome to Wetherby team.

One of the items on the agenda was making final arrangements for our Easter Egg Trail, sponsored by the Wetherby Business Association, reported in last week's Wetherby News.

Entry forms are now available from the library, the foyer of the town hall or from Dotties Lil Peeps (the children's shop on Bank Street). There will be 20 numbered Easter eggs displayed in windows round the town from Monday, April 7 to Wednesday, April 16.

All correct entries will be entered into a draw to be made by our town Mayor and prizes will be awarded on Thursday, April 17 at noon.

We had a large number of entries last year and we are hoping for even more this year.

It is something fun for your children and grandchildren during the Easter holiday. Another item on the agenda was decorating the town for the Tour de France.

We are hoping that some of you will volunteer to knit little yellow jerseys for us - unlike Harrogate, we aren't aiming at miles of them, but just enough to decorate the town hall.

If you are a knitter, we can provide the pattern - just contact the Wetherby News or call in at the town hall.

Last Tuesday morning, the Wetherby Twinning Association organised a welcome for a party of 28 students and three staff from our twin town Privas who are spending a week with their opposite numbers at Wetherby High School.

Volunteers from the Civic Society joined in to provide guided walks round the town which were followed by an official welcome by our town Mayor and a picnic lunch.

In the afternoon, they split into two groups and spent time at Crossley Street and St Joseph's Schools, teaching the younger children to sing French songs.

They were a delightful group of young people who seemed to be thoroughly enjoying their visit - in spite of the somewhat inclement weather.

Wetherby High School students will be going to Privas next week for the return visit and I sincerely hope that they will have better luck with the weather.

On Wednesday, it was the turn of another group of dedicated volunteers - the Board of Governors at Wetherby High School.

I have commented before in this column that becoming a school governor is not something to be undertaken lightly, but it is an extremely important job and a very rewarding one.

Wetherby High School is very fortunate in having a group of individuals who are totally committed to the school, its staff and students.

On Thursday, I had been asked to talk to the Friendship Club which meets once a month in St Joseph's Church Hall.

It was set up by Sue Grafton and her volunteer colleagues to cater for the many people who are unable or reluctant to go out in the evening.

When I walked into the hall, it looked so warm and inviting - tables covered with gingham cloths and vases of daffodils everywhere.

After my talk on twinning and Privas, everyone had tea and cakes and a good chat. It was such a friendly group and doubtless a welcome break for those in our community for whom socializing can be difficult.

My school motto was 'Non Nobis Solum' - not for ourselves alone. I think that motto could well apply to Wetherby, don't you?