Monday, 18 June 2018

Bloom volunteers needed for title bid

RESIDENTS and businesses in Henley are being urged to support the town’s bid to win the Entente Florale Europe competition.

RESIDENTS and businesses in Henley are being urged to support the town’s bid to win the Entente Florale Europe competition.

As the Henley Standard reported last week, the town has been chosen to represent the UK in the environmental contest, which seeks to improve the quality of life of communities.

Henley in Bloom needs more volunteers to help the town’s Gardening Buddies group as well as with a variety of other projects, from photography to developing a website.

Town councillor Kellie Hinton, who chairs the committee, said: “Henley in Bloom is going to be bigger and better than ever before but we can only do that with help.

“We want people to be involved in as many ways as possible to raise funds and awareness in all aspects of the campaign. It could be a one-off thing but if we could also get people to help regularly that would be even better.



“We are particularly interested in having people who have a knowledge of environmental issues and local trees.”

She said annual events, such as Hit Litter and the plant swap, were well attended but needed more residents to organise and run them.

Henley in Bloom would also like to see more areas in the town follow in the footsteps of the Gainsborough estate by taking part in the It’s Your Neighbourhood competition. The estate entered the contest, run by the Royal Horticultural Society, for the first time last year and was recognised as “thriving”, the second highest level of achievement.

Cllr Hinton said: “Everyone has seen what a transformation the Gainsborough estate has gone through.

“We would like to see more residents’ associations forming and need champions for each area to get the ball rolling. We will help wherever we can.”

Entente Florale Europe was founded in 1975 and is now open to 12 nations including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Slovenia.

Entrants from the UK are only allowed to take part once every five years and must have been a finalist in the national Britain in Bloom competition, as Henley has been for the past two years.

The town was put forward for the competition by Roger Burnett, chairman of the judging panel for the Royal Horticultural Society, which organises Britain in Bloom. Cllr Hinton said she had received lots of positive feedback about taking part in the competition.

She said: “A few people have approached me personally, some of whom I have never met, and have been really supportive.”

The full list of help needed is as follows:

• Organising — Run events, including Hit Litter and the plant swap, man a stall, help with setting up, donate plants or join the litter pick.

• Gardening — Join the Gardening Buddies, plant specific areas alone or in pairs, or tidy your own street.

• Sponsors — Businesses or individuals can sponsor planters, flowers or events.

• Photographers — People are needed to record Henley in Bloom projects to promote its portfolio of work.

• Marketing — Help with social media and a new website.

To volunteer, email bloom@henley towncouncil.co.uk

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