Update on a very busy month
Had enough of the shops, take five minutes to catch up with a short update, take care, have a great Christmas, look forward to seeing you in the new year.
Christmas Update 2017
Hi there, forgive the interruption, I know you are all busy preparing for Christmas, I just thought you might be interested to catch up on our busy month following the public meeting we held at the end of November.
No sooner had we finished packing up the tables and chairs at the Parish Hall we were in action again supporting the Mistletoe Fayre. As a new community group we were thrilled to be asked to get involved. Of course we did have some inside help from one of Santa's chief Elves who coordinated his visit to greet everyone at the fayre and 160 children at his Grotto for the day at the Library. I hope you will all agree that they were both fantastic. I certainly hope to see them both back again next year. I hope that in the future we can help to make the pier a destination in its own right, somewhere that we can welcome visitors from our community and the wider public.
On December 12th we held our held our final working group meeting of 2017 at the Solent Dolphin room, we decided to make it a less formal affair and enjoyed a very constructive discussion, reflecting on our first year and looking forward to the challenges ahead of us as we move forward.
Early in the New Year we will be holding a meeting for anyone who would like to join us and become a volunteer helping us develop the project. Look out for details on the web site and on social media. We need people with all sorts of skills and talents who would like to get involved in this project. If that is you then please contact us.
We also joined many other organisations entering the annual Christmas tree festival at St Johns Church in Hythe. We are really proud to be part of this community and our entry was highly commended, it certainly looked lovely with original decorations and a theme based around the pier railway, well done to our volunteers who put the festive entry together.
On the 17th December we had some fun in Tesco's at Applemore where we held a collection. We were supported once again by the wonderful Waterside Women's Choir who sang Christmas songs for us. Of course there was also a chance for yours truly to join the snowman in a bit of festive fun, but hey it's all in a good cause and we raised an amazing £748 towards our campaign funds.
Earlier this week we received further recognition for our efforts with a grant of £100 from a TSB sponsored award and we even got some publicity on Magic Radio.
Behind the scenes we have been working hard with the team at Co-operatives UK and our advisor Helen Melia as we complete the application process to register the Community Benefits Society and apply for Charitable Status to the HMRC. This is a big step for us and has involved a considerable amount of work. Fingers crossed this time we will succeed. Establishing our legal status is a big step and will unlock the potential to access grant funding we will need to restore the pier over the next few years.
After Christmas we will also be looking forward to the next year and planning future events to support our campaign. So if you have any ideas or want to help in any way then please let us know.
For now it is time to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us this year. I can say that as a new community group we are all amazed by the response we received the generosity and the goodwill you have shown. This only reinforces our belief in the purpose and the value that you place on our historic pier and its famous railway. It matters to me, it matters to us and I know that it really matters to you.
I will continue to do everything I can to support this community project, to protect and preserve, to restore and develop the pier, the train the buildings and associated structures for the benefit of the community and the wider public.
I wish you all a very peaceful and happy Christmas. Let's make 2018 the year of the pier!
Together we can.
With my best wishes
Hythe Pier Heritage Association