Community Local News

Community spirit shines for the youth

The villagers of Thruxton, Kimpton and Fyfield have once again displayed their unique community spirit and commitment to their younger residents. The villages are fortunate to have a wonderful playing field situated in their centre, which was gifted to them by Henry Pelham and managed by the Three Villages Sports Trust. Following a survey of residents by the Trust it was clear that they felt enhancing the play area would be of most benefit to the villages.

As the field is located next to the Village school it is heavily used by Primary age children and hence it was decided that phase 1 of the works should be to secure the area to ensure the health and safety of the children. Protecting children from roaming dogs who frequently did their business on the equipment was paramount and so having made the decision to build a fence, the Thruxton Village Association took up the challenge to raise the money to fund it.

Following a very successful raffle and then a meat draw, £900 was raised by the Association who then also made a generous donation from previous fund raising events. Of course the installation of a 75 metre fence is not a cheap operation and so they were thrilled when Travis Perkins Andover stepped in and offered them a very substantial community discount. Travis Perkins Branch Manager Jos Bailey said “As a former resident I know how important the field is to the children and villagers and Travis Perkins would be delighted to support this wonderful community initiative”.

Having secured the materials, they then needed some volunteers to install it and so they were delighted and thankful when Kimpton resident Warrant Officer Neil Coleman of the Royal Engineers and his COVID Support Bubble of Karen Todd, Andy Todd and Tina Todd stepped up the plate and offered to carry out the work free of charge. Work started on the 20th and is already near completion. Neil had many offers of help from other villagers but COVID regulations meant that in the main they could not take advantage of their generosity. However they were able to secure the services of Kyle Gibson and Dino Thomas who worked tirelessly over the weekend to assist Neil and team in a COVID secure manner.

Phase 2 is already underway as they look to purchase and install some new equipment for the children to enjoy. They were delighted when their good friends at Londis Weyhill Service Station once again showed their support for the community with an incredibly generous cash donation which will enable them to purchase some wonderful equipment for the children.

Chairman of the Sports Trust and Village Association Richard Smart said “This community never ceases to amaze me and what they have achieved is nothing short of a miracle. The survey was only sent out four weeks ago and now we have a wonderful secure area for the children to play in. I can’t thank Jos at Travis Perkins Andover enough for their support without which we simply would not have been able to start the works so quickly.

Likewise huge thanks to Londis who have supported our community throughout lockdown and whose incredibly generous donation will allow us to install wonderful new equipment for the children to enjoy this spring. And of course to the team that built the fence we owe a huge debt of gratitude. They have worked tirelessly giving up their time to do something special for the community. Tina and Andy are grandparents but you would not have thought so seeing them bowl around lifting wood, painting etc. Karen, Dino and Kyle likewise worked tirelessly giving up their weekend for the benefit of the community.

Of course the biggest thank you goes to Neil whose vision, initiative, enthusiasm and community spirit has been incredible. Neil and his team should be incredibly proud of what they have done for the villages and we are truly thankful to them. And it seems that Neil is not one to rest on his laurels as on the weekend of 19th March he is undertaking a 105 mile run/walk around the three villages to raise money for phase 3 of the works which is to construct a shelter to protect adults and children from the elements – he is a machine – https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/neil-coleman?utm_term=Z59jBwVrb!!

Lastly thanks to all the villagers who regularly dip into their pockets and take part in raffles and other fund raisers which allows us to keep moving forward and creating a brighter future for our community”.

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