Grantham Journal column: Parade volunteers did us proud this year

Coun Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council.  Photo supplied.
Coun Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council. Photo supplied.
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With the passage of time, the number of Second World War veterans attending the Grantham Remembrance Parade inevitably reduces every year.

Thankfully, as their ranks thin, ordinary members of the public seem as determined as ever to honour our armed forces.

I was particularly heartened this year to see so many young people at the parade, remembering the sacrifice of our servicemen and women in conflicts around the world over the decades.

Next year, of course, will mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, when the guns finally fell silent on Armistice Day after four years of bloodshed.

I’m sure that local people will attend that parade in even larger numbers than this year, with similar commemorations taking place across the whole country.

Here in Grantham, as you probably know, this month’s Remembrance Parade was in some doubt in the weeks leading up to it.

Lincolnshire Police had indicated that they couldn’t spare the officers needed to control the traffic, although they would be there to provide security and engage with the public.

As a result, volunteers had to step in at a late stage to ensure the event could go ahead, while signs were provided by the road contractor KIER.

On behalf of the residents of Grantham, I’d like to thank all the helpers involved on the day – you did us proud.

Staying with volunteering, I’m always astonished by the willingness of so many Lincolnshire people to give up their time for others.

Every day of the year, residents across the county lend a helping hand in all kinds of ways, without asking for any recognition or reward.

In doing so, they support older and vulnerable neighbours to stay independent, and get them to hospital and other medical appointments.

They keep churches and other places of interest looking attractive and open for visitors to enjoy, and make a huge difference at our heritage sites. For young people, they run groups and activities, or support those with learning difficulties and physical disabilities.

Working alongside the council, they run dozens of community hub libraries, where they’ve helped to extend opening hours and the range of services on offer.

In the Lincolnshire countryside, volunteers help to maintain public rights of way by reporting any problems, such as damaged stiles or overgrown vegetation.

In these and countless other ways, volunteers contribute hugely to the quality of life in Lincolnshire, not least by saving this year’s Grantham Remembrance Parade.

For more about volunteering opportunities in Lincolnshire, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk and search for ‘volunteering’.