Handcross news
Handcross news

Help at Hand’s Annual General Meeting: was attended by the usual faces; it was a shame not to see many new faces but it was nice to catch up with everyone. Despite there having been a fall in the number of trips booked last year (241 compared to 273 in 2017) it had been a good year with a small surplus made during the year. This was a result of donations received from users and drivers as well as profits from the Cream Tea last summer – thanks were once again said to Linda Boustead for baking all the scones and to Ian for donating the cream and jam. Ian also thanked Les and Christina from the Hardware Shop for being the first point of contact for anyone who needs to make use of the services of Help at Hand – by calling the Shop, they are able to provide contact details of the daily duty officer who will then be able to find a driver to take you wherever you need to go. He went on to say that as a result of last year’s meeting, three new duty officers were recruited whilst one had informed him of their intention to stand down after some 20 years of service. He confirmed that the number of drivers currently on the books was adequate but it would be helpful if they could recruit a couple more to ensure cover should anyone be unavailable due to holiday or illness. A request was made for a volunteer to join the Committee – not an onerous task as they only hold a couple of meetings a year, usually before the AGM and again ahead of the summer’s Cream Tea, along with helping out on the day of the Cream Tea. The current Committee was re-elected on bloc and a member of the public agreed to join them, which was welcomed. The date of the Cream Tea was announced: Saturday, 13 July between 3pm and 5pm in the Parish Hall as usual. A request was made for donations to the raffle – a sure way to boost profits on the day! If you would like to donate a prize, please get in touch with Ian on 400763. Finally, Ian mentioned that Help at Hand did have some funds available to help any local organisation or club that could benefit from an injection of cash to help them in the short term, for example to replace a piece of equipment or to help fund an outing for members. If you know of any such need, not just in Handcross, they would be happy to help anyone in the Parish, ie Pease Pottage, Slaugham or Warninglid, get in touch with Ian and he will discuss it at the next Committee meeting.

On Tuesday the Parish Council: will be holding their Annual Parish Meeting from 7.30 pm in the Pavilion, with refreshments available from 7 pm. This is the meeting when the Council reports back to the parish on what has happened during the past 12 months, with input from the various sub-committees as to what they have been up to as well, together with details of the annual accounts. There will also be details on what they hope to achieve over the forthcoming 12 months. It is stressed that this is not a Council meeting but an opportunity to for the parish to meet and ask questions of the Council in a more relaxed environment than the regular monthly Council meetings. They also invite a member of a local organisation to give a talk on what they might have to offer the community as a whole and this year they have invited Zara Luxford from Nymans to talk about what the National Trust Gardens have been up to recently and what they have planned over the coming months. On the whole, it is usually an informative and relaxed meeting that is worth going along to, possibly more relevant this year with the local elections coming up next month.

If you can’t make this meeting, the monthly Council meeting will be on Thursday, also from 7.30 pm in the Pavilion. The agenda will be available to download from the Council’s website, www.slaughampc.co.uk and a copy will be up on the village notice board outside the Spar Shop. As always, there will be an opportunity to ask questions or raise any concerns relating to items on the agenda early in the meeting. This will be the last meeting to be held before the local elections on 2 May when members of the Council will be up for re-election.

Next week: is a busy week for meetings because the Parish Hall Management Committee is holding their Annual General Meeting in the Parish Hall on Wednesday, 24 April from 7.45 pm – three meetings in three days! Whilst I think everyone knows we have a new lease for the Hall which ensures we have the use of it for another 5 years, I am sure there will be some other news to be passed on. I am also aware that they are looking for new members to join the Committee. Like Help at Hand, they don’t hold many meetings during the course of the year, two maybe three at the most, as well as putting up and taking down the Christmas decorations which are always appreciated by the various users of the Hall at that time of year. So if you are looking for a way to get involved in village life but don’t want to commit vast amounts of time, why not go along to the Hall, see what goes on and possibly put your hand up when the need for volunteers is raised, it will be much appreciated I can assure you.

I will try and attend all three meetings next week to let you know what was discussed in due course unless you are there as well which I hope you will be! I hope you all have a happy and peaceful Easter.