Faith and community leaders attended a meeting at the Council to share ideas for the Borough of Broxbourne’s special Year of Community in 2018.
Reverends from five churches and representatives of cross-denominational organisations, including Broxbourne Foodbank, Young Life and Street Pastors, contributed to the discussion on Thursday 16 November.
The event was hosted by Councillor Paul Seeby, Cabinet Member for Planning and Community Development, and the Council’s Community Development Manager, who began with a presentation about the year ahead.
Councillor Seeby said: “Next year will be a time for people of the many and varied communities in the Borough to come together. It was wonderful to have the engagement and ideas of the church and community leaders who came to the meeting and already do a great deal of good in this Borough.
“As a Council, we want to support, celebrate and co-operate with the good work that these groups are already doing on a range of social issues. We would like to establish this forum as a more regular event from next year.”
Discussion turned to the ways in which the Council could support the organisations. There was positive feedback on the Council’s support for Broxbourne Foodbank, Young Life and the proposal for a winter night shelter and other initiatives to help homeless people in the area.
Ideas for further joint working included the provision of training sessions for first aid, food hygiene, child protection, substance abuse and mental health.
Other issues raised were supporting the churches’ community projects, practical support for putting on events, and aiding struggling members of congregations and those in need to know who to contact for help.
Specific projects mentioned were funding for luncheon clubs to run physical activity sessions for older people, and organising of the Government’s World War One centenary project Ringing Remembers. This will see church bells ring on 11 November 2018 to mark the centenary of Armistice Day.
Invitations were shared with a wider number of faith and community groups.
Those in attendance were Street Pastors Dave Lee, Pat and Carol Kavanagh, Rev Malcolm Finlay (Parish of Broxbourne with Wormley), Rev David Bradburn (Broxbourne United Reformed Church), Rev Ben Quant (Wormley Free Church), Rev Jonathan Evans (St Cuthbert’s Rye Park), Rev John Green (Rosedale Community Church), and Elise Bernius (Young Life Hoddesdon).