Making a noise about those who give back

A group that gets together for three days once a year to take on odd jobs and spruce up its village has won a borough award.

Markyate’s Noise Project has been crowned group winners in the Dacorum Borough Council Community Champion Awards.

Dacorum Borough Council Community Champion Awards at the Marchmont Arms, Hemel Hempstead.'8803=  All the award winners.'8809= Group winners, The Noise Project in Markyate.'8812=   The highly commended Kirsty Robertson of the Swan Project, Barry Watson and Andrew Solley, right, of Hemel Hempstead Conservation Volunteers.'8814=   Individual winner John Priestley

Dacorum Borough Council Community Champion Awards at the Marchmont Arms, Hemel Hempstead.'8803= All the award winners.'8809= Group winners, The Noise Project in Markyate.'8812= The highly commended Kirsty Robertson of the Swan Project, Barry Watson and Andrew Solley, right, of Hemel Hempstead Conservation Volunteers.'8814= Individual winner John Priestley

Youth minister and project organiser Jeremy Bottrill said: “It is an honour. Obviously we didn’t set out to try and win an award but to be recognised like this is a big honour.”

The volunteer scheme, which has been going for 11 years, is run by the village’s three churches.

Around 100 helpers turn out in force each year during August and last month they tackled around 50 projects, from clearing out a garden pond to cleaning a well-used subway.

Jeremy said: “There’s a rapid turn around in quite a short space of time so people feel they are making a difference. We generally help people who would struggle with the work themselves – often elderly people in the community, sometimes single parent families but also if someone has just moved in and their garden is really overgrown we would help.

“We also look for places in the community that need a general touch-up.

“We try not to be too picky – we help with anything that is going to brighten someone’s day.”

Also on the gong list is green fingered John Priestley who not only keeps his own front garden in pristine condition but also tends to neighbouring gardens.

During bad weather kind hearted John also grits pathways and does weekly shopping trips for those living nearby.

Highly commended awards went to Hemel Hempstead Conservation Volunteers and active Berkhamsted Youth Town Council and Swan Youth Centre member Kirsty Robertson.

Find out more about The Noise Project at thenoisemarkyate.wordpress.com