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The fruits of our labours

Posted in NatWest CricketForce 2010

The club has participated in the NatWest CricketForce initiative since inception and has managed to grow its project portfolio each year.

This year is no exception and will represent the culmination and formal opening of about £200,000 of volunteer led investment in community facilities.

Some of the scope of the additions reflect our ongoing Go Green aspirations including upgrading the insulation standards in our pavilion to increase the thickness of loft insulation to 300mm, adding a rainwater harvesting facility with significant support from Marley, a Kent company who support CricketForce, and a community recycling centre.

The last three CricketForce projects have included the planting of about 1,000 tree and hedging plants mostly funded by grants from Kent County Council's free trees scheme and local environmental grant schemes.

Going forward one of the next projects is likely to be accomplishing some hedge laying to emphasise an old country skill and what can be achieved from it.

In a rural location it is interesting what contribution a community cricket club can achieve and what reputation it can establish.

The club now has a place at its Local Authorities Local Strategic Partnership forum particularly to represent the benefits from particiaption in sport, volunteering and the potential for a leadership contribution to the climate change agenda.

The rainwater harvesting project has also opened the door to another volunteer led initiative in sharing best practice within rural communities for the launch of a Climate Change Communities network, where groups can report what has been achieved, how it was made possible and what support is out there to make it happen.

Examples are ground source heat pump projects, novel recycling schemes, creating community focus and working together, funding support,and closer working relationships with environmental groups.

When the village embarked on a project to produce a Parish Plan and Village Design Statement one of the findings from a questionnaire was that there was a perception that the club was a relatively closed organisation and we hadn't put sufficient effort in publicising our open-to-all culture.

CrickeForce is changing that and our community have the potential to become our next generation of volunteers, together with our members and parent base.

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