Lyme Regis Town Council and volunteers help community garden to flourish

community garden
Cheryl Reynolds and husband Alan tend to the community garden in Langmoor Gardens

A COMMUNITY garden is flourishing thanks to funding from the town council, but also due to the hard work of local volunteers.

The kitchen garden in Langmoor Gardens is alive with colour, produce and wildlife and is there for everyone to cultivate and enjoy.

The garden is being managed by Lyme Regis Community Garden volunteers and the group was awarded a community grant of £150 by the council this year to buy seeds, compost and plants.

The main aim is to produce free fruit, vegetables and herbs for the community, but it also encourages residents to become more socially and physically active, increases biodiversity, educates children on where their food comes from, and reduces food miles.

The council has not only supported the project by providing a grant, but we have also handed over the flower bed in Langmoor Gardens for this purpose.

The garden is now thriving with everything from broad beans, beetroot and shallots, to red onions, cabbage and spinach, fruits including strawberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants, and herbs such as basil, coriander and mint.

The volunteers have planted all the winter seed so the garden will continue to thrive through the colder months, and pumpkins have been planted with plans to run a competition for children at Halloween. There are also hopes of setting up a gardening club for children.

Lead organiser Cheryl Reynolds and husband Alan are among the volunteers and have thanked the council for the grant and its wider support for the project.

Cheryl said: “It has been a real pleasure to work on the community garden and make it a useful and helpful area for the community. “We deliver fresh produce to the food bank on a weekly basis and now we have it established we can do more and more.

“The pleasure of talking to the visitors and the local people who have stopped and been impressed has made such a difference. It was hard work to begin with but seeing it look so good has been reward indeed.

“Alan and I have been helped by several very willing volunteers, some who have done more than their share. To the people that have donated plants especially our new small (soon to be big) bay tree, thank you. We thank you all.

“To Lyme Regis Town Council and the councillors that allowed us to give it a go and who gave us a £150 grant to buy seeds, compost and plants and a brilliant hose pipe and spray, thank you so much.

“Well done Lyme Regis Town Council, this is real community engagement.

“Thanks especially to Pete, Matt and the workmen on the council that have helped us by removing all the bags of weeds and stones we managed to bag up.”

If anyone would like to help out in the community garden, please contact Cheryl Reynolds on 07796 074 849.

Town council sets up emergency fund to support Ukrainian refugees

THE council has set up an emergency fund to support Ukrainian refugees arriving in Lyme Regis.

There are now seven Ukrainian refugees in Lyme Regis and one in Uplyme, with a further five families on their way.

We have already shown our support for the people of Ukraine by donating £2,500 to the British Red Cross, flying the Ukrainian flag from the Guildhall, changing the lights in the seafront gardens to blue and yellow, and signposting information on charities and aid agencies on our website.

But now that the refugees have started to arrive in the town, we wanted to know how we could do more to help.

A Ukrainian Refugee Support Group has been set up and meets every fortnight at the Baptist Church, providing a fantastic network of support, including English lessons and the possibility of a Saturday morning ‘school’ for the children.

But one of the biggest challenges the group faces is meeting the immediate needs of the families when they arrive and before they receive funding or start work.

Immediate access to cash is needed to cover things like school uniform or equipment for school, to cover travel expenses to undertake the required biometric tests, or clothing.

At a meeting this week, the council agreed to allocate £2,000 to meet these needs.

Cllr Philip May is one of the host families in Lyme Regis.

He said: “This is a temporary situation. We fully expect government routes to funding to be available.

“Most Ukrainians arriving here want to work and the only ones who can’t have childcare issues because Lyme Regis doesn’t seem to have vacancies for childcare.

“We are talking about small amounts of money for each family which makes the difference between the children going to school in the same uniform as the other children or not, or for getting the bus to the job centre or the bank.”

Philip May
Cllr Philip May

New faces join council and staff

SEVERAL new faces have joined the council, both in the chamber and in the staff team.

The members are now back up to full strength as we welcomed Philip May as our newest councillor following the by-election last month.

Cllr May is retired, having worked for 10 years with a non-profit, community interest company promoting local food and previously in scientific technology, but he is now keen to make a contribution as a town councillor.

He said: “My goal is to listen to residents who have different views and needs to try to help them with today’s challenges and beyond. I strongly believe councillors must all work together to achieve the things that will benefit all residents and the town.”

Cllr May is a volunteer trustee at the Town Mill, he sings with the Lyme Bay Moonrakers shanty group, and is a volunteer coordinator for the newly formed Lyme Bay area energy champions, helping residents to save energy, keep warm and avoid problems such as damp and condensation.

He added: “I believe a town councillor’s role is one of collaboration, listening to residents and supporting efforts to improve life here for our community.”

In the office team, we have welcomed two new administrative and community engagement assistants.

Cara Austin and Gail Rood have joined the front desk team so will become well known to customers who call or visit the office and they will also be helping the council to better engage with the community.

In the external works’ team, we have been joined by a new maintenance operative. Anthony Grainger helps to maintain and develop the council’s open spaces and properties, including equipment checking and painting and decorating.

New council staff Cara Austin Gail Rood and Anthony Grainger

Mayor looking for new charity

LOCAL groups and organisations are invited to apply to become the mayor’s charity for this year.

Charities and not-for-profit organisations in Lyme Regis have the opportunity to be supported by the mayor, Cllr Michaela Ellis, during the 2022-23 council year.

The mayor chooses a charity to support each year and will fundraise and raise awareness throughout their term of office, but Cllr Ellis would like local organisations to help her choose this year.

The chosen organisation would jointly fundraise with Cllr Ellis and support her in her civic role, such as attending the Remembrance Sunday parade.

The mayor would like to support an organisation that perhaps has a special project planned for this year, or has struggled to fundraise after the pandemic, or is facing a particular challenge.

Interested organisations should apply by email or in writing, including up to 250 words about why they feel they should be the mayor’s charity, and applications must be received by Monday, July 11.

Email or write to Lyme Regis Town Council, Guildhall Cottage, Church Street, Lyme Regis, DT7 3BS.

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