Grantham Journal column: District’s volunteers work tirelessly for those less fortunate
The Christmas and new year break is nothing more than a memory now, but it did give me time to reflect on all the good things about Grantham and South Kesteven.
For once, the hurly burly of the council slipped into the background and I found myself reflecting on so many of the things that we take for granted.
Things like our low crime rate, which means that the vast majority of us feel very safe here; our great schools that mean we can give young people the very best start in life and our relatively inexpensive house prices that mean many people can enjoy nice places to live.
We’ve also got a low unemployment rate which means local attractions like the National Trust property Belton House, with its beautiful Italian and Dutch gardens, are within the price range of almost all of us.
Visiting Grantham’s award-winning Wyndham Park is, of course, free, and this year great projects in this green town-centre oasis will start to take place thanks to our successful £818,000 Heritage Lottery bid.
There’s also no cost involved in taking a stroll around the town centre and making a close inspection of our beautiful St Wulfram’s Church, which provided a fantastic venue for our Gravity Fields Festival and for December’s beer festival – an unlikely but wonderful venue for a great event.
I also had time to think about all the volunteers who work tirelessly for those less fortunate than themselves.
There were hundreds of lunches provided for the elderly and lonely on Christmas Day throughout the district.
People were brought together in one place to enjoy the friendship of sharing Christmas Day with others.
Many of these may not have seen anyone had it not been for the dedicated volunteers giving up their time to them.
I would like to pay particular tribute to all those young people who act as carers for their mothers, fathers and siblings year after year.
Not only do they do the washing, cooking, cleaning and shopping, they still have to attend school and achieve academic success to enable them to follow a career. There are some 60,000 of these youngsters in Lincolnshire alone.
The last year was a busy one for the council and its members. We have seen the relief road taking real shape and financial certainty given for the building of the bridge.
We have also seen the emergence of a literary festival in the Deepings and we are on course to start building a multiplex cinema in Grantham.
While 2016 was a very busy year, 2017 looks like being an even busier and exciting year ahead.