The latest news from clubs and community groups in the Dacorum area.
National award for Dacorum charity worker
A Dacorum woman has been voted runner up in a prestigious national award for her pioneering work combatting drunken behaviour on Britain’s streets.
Sue Green, who works for Druglink, the drugs and alcohol misuse charity that has been working in Dacorum since 1986, received her award from Iain Duncan Smith MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, at an awards ceremony in London.
The Social Justic awards are designed to recognise and celebrate the work of people and organisations that make real improvements to local communities and change people’s lives. Ms Green was one of the finalists for the Social Justice Champion award for her work addressing drunken behaviour.
She was determined to tackle the binge drinking culture she saw on the streets and worked with Dacorum council and Herts police to set up the alcohol diversion scheme which was the first of its kind in the country.
The course allows first time offenders to reduce their fine by undertaking a short course which addresses their behaviour and the health effects of binge drinking.
Ms Green said: “I just wanted to do something that made a difference to people in Hemel Hempstead and got them thinking about what they were doing to themselves, their families and their community.”
She used her work at Druglink to help the charity develop the scheme and pilot it across Hertfordshire before taking it nationaiwde, developing schemes as far and wide as Wales, Cornwall, Cumbria, Durham and Manchester. It now operates in partnership with 19 police services across the country because it has been recognised as a positive step to fight drunk and disorderly behaviour.
Ms Green even mananged to steer the programme through government, changing the law in the process and gaining support from the Home Office and Minsitry of Justice. “That was a proud moment, “ she said, “and getting this award is another.”
Community Repair Day to promote ‘repairing rather than replacing’ broken items
The Repair Shed – a new project from Community Action Dacorum - kick-started its waste prevention programme for 2015 with a free Community Repair Day yesterday. Volunteer repairers assessed and, where possible fixed, broken items at the Hemel Food Garden in central Hemel Hempstead.
Anyone with something that needs mending – bikes, toys, clothes, tools, small items of furniture, electrical equipment – can bring them along. If a major repair is needed, organisers will refer people to local professionals. The repair service is free but advance booking is required so the repairers know what items will be arriving.
Chris Lee, Repair Shed manager and co-organiser of the Community Repair Day, said: “With money short and landfill sites overflowing, the importance of changing attitudes to consumption and waste - and repairing rather than replacing - has never been greater. It’s also about sharing skills – we want people to go away knowing more about repairing items than when they arrived.”
For local updates and other information about repair and re-use go to www.facebook.com/TheRepairShed or call Chris Lee on 07962 157589.
Felden WI news for February
A group from Felden WI was treated to an educational tour of St Albans Abbey by one of the abbey guides. Although members knew loosely of the abbey’s history, to be informed of all of the detailed stages in its history was truly awe inspiring and well worth a visit.
Romans, Saxons, Normans, Gothic, Tudors and Victorians are just some of the periods of history that can be seen in the construction, restoration and preservation of the cathedral.
The ladies of Felden WI celebrated a double anniversary at their last meeting. 2015 is the centenary of the WI and it also marks 150 years of the Salvation Army.
Marking this double celebration, Brenda Southorn was invited to talk on the Salvation Army. She spoke mostly about the Booth Family that started the charity during the Victorian era. It was an enlightening presentation and members appreciated that the charity today is still truly devoted to the cause The competition was an instrument won by Eve Davis with a photo of her son and his Bb Bass which was bigger than him outside the Royal Albert Hall.
The next meeting is on March 13 at the Blind Centre, Alston Road at 2.15pm when Sarah Harrison will speak on “You couldn’t make it up” Visitors welcome.
Hemel Hemsptead Movie Makers
Andrew Pennycook started the last meeting of Hemel Hempstead Movie Makers by introducing special guest Hilary Hardy who conveyed background information and details about a prospective DVD project,regarding motor cycling racing. There followed a question and answer time concerning the production.
This was followed by close scrutiny of some productions as possible entries for the IAC’s knockout film competition.
It was generally accepted that the recently completed comedy club production FRUIT CAKE would be accepted as a guaranteed candidate for entry.
Therefore, in the interests of saving time, those in attendance, viewed some other productions that could possibly be entered.
Toward the end of the evening, the viewing task done, there was the job of discussing among the members, which movies, all on DVD format, would also qualify.
The date of the competition’s first round, has now been put back to March 22. It will be hosted by Walthamsow. It is understood that, like last year, competition could be tough.
Win or lose, Hemel Hempstead Movie Makers will be hosting the last round during May, when the four finalists battle for the honour of being winner at Leverstock Green during May.
In the meantime, Hemel Hempstead Movie Makers next standard regular club meeting, will be on March 16 at the Buglass Room in Leverstock Green Hall. Doors open 7:30pm for 8pm start.
In the meantime anyone can view the website www.hemelmoviemakers.org.uk for more information.