Clubs and Community: Janet retires after eight years with Box Moor Trust

The Box Moor Trust's Janet Halse is retiring. PNL-140608-134109001
The Box Moor Trust's Janet Halse is retiring. PNL-140608-134109001

The latest news from clubs and community groups in your area.

Will Janet be able to stay away?

Berkhamsted's Inner Wheel Club made a donation to the SUnnyside Rural Trust. PNL-140608-134139001

Berkhamsted's Inner Wheel Club made a donation to the SUnnyside Rural Trust. PNL-140608-134139001

For over eight years Box Moor Trust staff Janet Halse and Yvonne Masters have been delighting local school children with their forest school sessions in the woodlands at Westbrook Hay.

In the 2009 the pair received the Chilterns Conservation Board’s Enjoyment and Understanding Award.

Many children remember their chance to climb the trees, marvel at the plants, build shelters and safely sit around a log fire in the open air all under the attentive care of the Janet and Yvonne.

Janet is retiring from her role and she met staff, trustees and volunteers to say goodbye last week at the charity’s centre opposite the moors.

Secretly the trust think that she will not be able to stay away, they hope that is the case.

A wheelie good donation

In order to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Inner Wheel in Great Britain and Ireland all clubs throughout the country were asked to donate an item with wheels to a local charity.

After much thought and discussion Daphne Watts the Inner Wheel Club of Berkhamsted’s immediate past president identified the Sunnyside Rural Trust as a very worthwhile charity to support.

The club’s new president Valerie Gunn visited the Sunnyside Rural Trust site in Hemel Hempstead recently to see the many and varied activities undertaken. Apparently some 20 to 25 young people are involved in planting 90,000 plants for the Dacorum Borough Council contract.

When Valerie visited the site she was impressed by the very business like approach to the work and also a feeling that everyone involved in this task was not just intent on doing a good job but also enjoyed their work. There was laughter and music and a happy, relaxed atmosphere.

It was immediately obvious there was a need for trollies to transport the hundreds of bedding plants and as a result the club donated £876 to enable the trust to purchase five Danish trollies and one zipper trolley.

President Valerie Gunn said: “I am so impressed with the valuable work undertaken by the trust and I am delighted that our club has been able to offer such practical assistance.”

On her recent visit to the Hemel site Valerie met Maggie Grand the publicity and training officer who said the trainees feel valued working with Sunnyside and their important work increases their self esteem.

Emma Matthars, the site co-ordinator, said: “I can’t tell you how much we use the trollies and the young people are encouraged by the support.”

> On Monday, July 14, the Inner Wheel Club of Berkhamsted Bulbourne held its annual handover meeting at the cricket club.

It was an evening of thanks for jobs well done and laughter and good wishes for the future.

President Daphne Watts started the business meeting by thanking her committee and the members for their help, support and enthusiasm during her busy year in office. The treasurer, Sue Stevens informed everyone that more than £4,500 had been raised during the year and had been distributed to local and international charities. The Pepper Foundation, Herts Air Ambulance and Sunniside Rural Trust were the main local beneficiaries and Sight Savers, Water Aid and Shelterbox were the main international beneficiaries. Sue was delighted to inform us that the government had recently announced that they would match any money raised during the year for Water Aid which is most encouraging.

Sandra King the new international committee chairman asked if we could donate items to fill haberdashery bags and she included a long list of required items. The completed bags from all around the district will be sent with our courier to Bosnia. The other items of clothes for families, and toys for the children will continue to be collected and transported.

Daphne handed the chain of office to Valerie Gunn and the members joined her in wishing Valerie good luck and a happy and successful year.

New president Valerie announced that she has chosen Water Aid as her main charity for the year. She said: “I wanted a charity that would be of benefit to women in the developing world. The collection of water is almost exclusively the job of women and girls. Young girls will walk miles carrying their own body weight in water on their heads or backs. The funds raised for Water Aid are used to ensure safe water can be made more accessible ruling out the need for long walks carrying heavy buckets”.

The meeting closed with the reminder that the summer walk would be held in mid August and the next club meeting is on September 8.

Praise for speakers interesting talk

At the last meeting of Felden Women’s Institute the speaker was Tony Eaton who gave an intriguing talk on Glen Miller’s Disappearance thought to be one of the best talks we have had for some time.

The competition was a 1940’s item won by Sue Pesch with a fox fur stole.

Six members met in Ashridge and had a lovely walk then tea at the Monument cafe where four more members joined us.

Our next meeting is a garden meeting.

A day of wildlife discovery

A group of rotarians from the Berkhamsted Bulbourne Club treated two dozen of the town’s senior citizens to a visit to the College Lake nature reserve near Tring.

Mainly members of the Happy Wanderers and Candlelight clubs, the guests were able to see the local countryside at its best in glorious summer weather and enjoy a talk about the history of the site given by a member of Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust which manage it.

The visitors were intrigued to learn about the transformation of the former chalk quarry into a haven for numerous species of birds, mammals, insects and wildflowers over just two decades. From one of the hides they were able to see how the site had been fashioned to cater for different types of birds and animals with areas devoted to marshland, scrub, mudflats and sandbanks.

Great interest was shown in the display boards listing everything that had been spotted in recent weeks. The afternoon was rounded off with a tasty tea in the well equipped visitor centre.

Octogenarians Stan and Cathy Samuels, of Northchurch, said: “We’ve lived in the area for very many years and were totally unaware of this beautiful and interesting place. We’re so grateful to the Rotarians for giving up their time and treating us so royally.”