Clubs and Community: Capacity crowd for festive concert

Bulldog owners from across Dacorum met for their Christmas walk on the Ashridge estate
Bulldog owners from across Dacorum met for their Christmas walk on the Ashridge estate

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A concert with two choirs and an orchestra filled St. John’s Church in Boxmoor to capacity on Saturday December 6.

Dacorum Community Choir, Melodia Boys and Girls, from Neu Isenburg, Hemel’s twin town in Germany, and performers from the Dacorum Youth Orchestra came together in a performance in aid of DENS, Hemel’s homeless charity.

Rufus Frowde, who opened the event with an organ solo, Toccata on Veni Emmanuel by Andrew Carter, compered the event and conducted the Dacorum choir and the youth orchestra while Melodia Boys and Girls were conducted by Oliver Seiler.

The performance of the German choir was magnificent with an outstanding soloist, Barbara Kornick, leading in John’s Lennon’s, Happy Xmas (war is over).

Councillor Allan Lawson, Dacorum’s mayor, gave a short speech in which he said that the Community Choir had gone from strength to strength since their founding in 2009.

Anthony Culley, the chair of the trustees of DENS, thanked the choir for choosing them as their charity for the concert.

He went on to say that DENS helps and supports homeless single people and others in crisis in Dacorum through the Night Shelter, Day Centre, Foodbank and supported housing.

Mr Culley said: ‘Since January we have provided food parcels to over 3,500 people and supported and helped a further 350 people.

“Sadly the demand is ever increasing.”

Dacorum Borough Council is building a new hostel for homeless single people and DENS hopes to play a part in this when it opens early next year.

£1,000 was raised from the concert in aid of DENS.

Tring based charity promotes community engagement at fair

A Tring-based charity has held a community engagement fair.

Ethical online-giving site Golden Giving and their charity patron, deputy mayor of Welwyn Hatfield councillor Lynne Sparks, teamed up to create the ‘Hatfield Corporate Social Responsibility fair’, aiming to enhance social responsibility and community engagement locally.

Hosted by the deputy mayor in conjuction with Golden Giving, the fair was the first of its kind and it was held at the Hatfield Galleria on Friday December 5, with guest attendance by Grant Shapps MP.

There were 20 exhibiting charities, Christmas carols performed by Hertfordshire Students Union Musical Society and food tastings by event sponsor Frankie & Benny’s.

Local companies such as the Galleria generously provided the venue, while Welwyn Garden City Marks & Spencer provided free lunch to charities.

The event was an opportunity for charities to promote their work and further develop relationships with their local community.

Deputy Mayor Lynne Sparks said: “The idea behind the day was to raise awareness of our fabulous local charities.

“It was a great opportunity for individuals and businesses to find out more about how they can get involved volunteering, fundraising and supporting charities in other ways.

“We had so much positive feedback, especially from the charities themselves who said one of the best bits was meeting other local charities, sharing ideas and looking at ways to work together.”

On Friday evening, with the event barely over, charities were already tweeting their interest to exhibit at the next fair which will be held in spring 2015.

Golden Giving Founder, Nathan Perez, said: “It has been wonderful working in collaboration with Lynne, and we have learned a lot from this event.

“Our goal for the next fair is to involve more charities, businesses and members of the community making the fair thoroughly interactive.

“Engagement and communication are paramount to creating stronger relationships.

“We hope to increase the support that charities, businesses and individuals provide to one another thereby creating positive change on a local level.”

Hospitals back campaign urging people to prepare for winter

Doctors from the accident and emergency departments at hospitals across Hertfordshire including Hemel Hempsteadhave added their weight to a new campaign aimed at helping people prepare for winter.

The ‘Get ready for winter’ initiative, which is run by the Met Office, offers advice on a wide range of winter-related issues, from how to keep warm and keep well, through to how to access the latest severe weather warnings.

There’s also advice on travelling during bad wintry weather and how to protect your home from snow, cold and floods.

A&E consultant Dr Rachel Hoey said: “Winter and cold weather can have a massive impact on people’s everyday lives, including their health, travel arrangements and the safety of their home. 

“We’d encourage people to take some simple steps now to help prepare for what could be a very cold, windy, wet or snowy winter. 

“Knowing how to access the latest severe weather warnings is a good start, as is preparing your home, for instance by replacing missing roof tiles or unblocking garden drains to help avoid floods or ice.

“It’s also important that people look after their health too.

“In fact, for the most vulnerable, keeping yourself and your home warm is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to keep you safe over the winter.”

Dr Hoey added: “It’s important that we support our friends, relatives and neighbours during winter too, especially if they are older or vulnerable.

“Popping in to check they are keeping warm and well is important.

“You could also offer to do shopping if it especially cold, or if there is ice or snow on pavements and roads.”

Christmas meeting of bulldogs

The Christmas meeting of British and French bulldogs from across Dacorum was held was held on Sunday December 14 at Ashridge monument.

The group who meet monthly walk around the Ashridge estate. Around 25 dogs and their owners attended.