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COLUMN: Birstall Chamber of Trade president Anne Thompson wants more support for local voluntary groups

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Recently the Chamber of Trade were invited to a meeting at Batley Town Hall to celebrate the achievements of local volunteer groups, and the work that we are doing within our communities.

It was a lovely evening, and the presentations from the various groups gave a really interesting insight into what’s happening in our area. The range of projects was incredibly diverse and the enthusiasm was a joy to see. It was clear that everyone had worked incredibly hard, but the one that stood out for me was the Manor Gardens ‘Dig In’ in Batley. They’ve taken over what was a derelict plot of land used for fly tipping, and are turning it into a fantastic community asset. They’re planting fruit trees, soft fruits, herbs and ve which they can harvest and share. The ‘before and after’ photos are truly amazing and show exactly what can be achieved when someone has a vision, and enough people are willing to see it through.

It really gladdens the heart to spend an evening with so many positive people who give freely their time, skill and energy into making our communities a better place to be. I look around Birstall and there they are; the Birstall in Bloom-ers, the Friends of Birstall Library, and our own members of the Chamber of Trade. All quietly beavering away, getting the job done.

It’s a fact of life that if we want green spaces, our libraries used for greater community purposes, and Christmas lights, we need to keep on working together. So wherever you are, if you can do something, however small, please try to support your local groups. There is no council funding for Birstall’s lights this year so we’re having to raise the money ourselves and we’re starting next month with our annual Quiz Night with buffet on Friday April 22, entry £4 per person. Tickets will be going on sale at the start of April.