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Volunteering for Marple

Marple needs your support to inspire local projects and events!

Over many years, Marple has been the home of a community that has generated a timeline of successful local events. The Carnival, which started in 1962, has over 55 years of memories in its foundations. Since 2006, the Marple Food and Drink Festival has drawn crowds of families and people from all areas to these unique experiences. Brand new events, such as “Make it Marple” have also been successfully introduced into the community calendar for Marple recently.

A busy Marple CarnivalA crowded float at a busy Marple Carnival

These events are valuable to local independent businesses and the community at large because they have so much to offer; many years running these successful events have demonstrated the impeccable sense of community that Marple possesses, and is able to share with all.

Allotment grown fruit and veg at Marple Food and Drink FestivalAllotment grown fruit and veg at Marple Food and Drink Festival

Sadly however, Marple has also seen popular events like the Marple Christmas Cracker and the Marple Locks Festival both end in recent years, since key volunteers have retired and could not be replaced. The growing concern is that with a decline in key organisers and volunteers, more of these events will no longer be able to continue. Some business owners, event holders and individuals are passionate about seeing their community events thrive and thus decided to take action for the community.

A meeting of community volunteers

Recently a meeting was organised at the Railway Pub by local ladies Vicky Reedy, one of the founder members of the "Marple Community Hub" Facebook Group, and Gilly Webb, who is keen to find new ways to attract, enthuse and coordinate local volunteers.

Attendees included the Friends of Rose Hill Station, members of the Forces and Social Club, New Horizons, the Carnival Committee and local councillors. The focus of the meeting was for groups to discuss their problems and concerns and, with improved cooperation and connectivity, how to provide local events of the future with a more promising outcome. Business owners also joined the meeting to share and review their thoughts amongst the group.

The meeting considered the following ideas:

  • Central funding
  • Storage of goods, health and safety regulations, administration
  • Sharing resources through improved contact
  • Central group of volunteers
  • Promotion via the Marple Website and the Community Hub Facebook Group

Discussions highlighted that time commitments could be an issue for volunteering, plus the problems of operating with a small base of existing volunteers. Another suggestion was that intergenerational connectivity is low and therefore limits the number of volunteers.

The Bubble Man at Hawk Green Maypole FestivalThe Bubble Man at Hawk Green Maypole Festival

One key suggestion for the coming New Year was the proposal to create an on-line register for volunteers that would allow event organisers to highlight their needs for specific support and for volunteers to sign-up. The group felt that some form of register could break through many of the current obstacles around organising volunteers for events and will aim to achieve an accessible platform for everyone. Formulated to connect volunteers with event holders and vice versa, event organisers would be able to allocate small time frames where they require volunteers.

There should be more news about these matters early in 2019.

The Marple Website and Marple Community Hub working together

With over 1.3M visitors, the Marple Website has been supporting community events like the Carnival, the Food and Drink Festival and the Christmas Cracker for over 20 years, including the provision of a free web site for Marple Carnival and sponsorship of the Cracker in 2012.

The Marple Community Hub Facebook Group has gained over 3,000 members since it was created in January 2018. As the Hub continues to grow, its Admins hope to connect more people from different generations and interests and encourage them to take meaningful strides towards the success of existing and new events in Marple. Working together with these same aims, the Marple Website and the Marple Community Hub can surely help to make a bigger difference!

Marple Christmas eventsSanta comes to Marple on New Horizons

As can be seen in the Marple Website's Community Calendar, upcoming events such as the Small Business Pop-up Market and the Marple Bridge Winter Wonderland on Saturday 1st December, the Santa Dash taking place Sunday 2nd December and Santa's visit on New Horizons on Friday 7th December, we are reminded that all is not lost and the people who make these events happen are determined to stay connected to their community. We hope they can count on your support!

This article is written by guest writer Ella Vanstone
Images by Arthur Procter, Jake Taylor and Mark Whittaker
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