Perhaps we underestimated South Derbyshire people, or maybe we hadn’t realised that volunteers are a tenacious breed of people who want to celebrate what they do despite the weather. When we arrived at Eureka Park, there were already about a dozen people assemebled inside the Air Cadets headquarters clutching cups of tea and coffee. Over the next half hour, this number had swelled considerable including a big group of people who had heard the message about Eureka Park, but had not received word that we were meeting at the ATC building and were discovered huddled in the rain under some trees. We owe a great deal of thanks to the Air Cadets and to their Commanding Officer, Alyn Thompson for their enthusiasm and support for the event.
OffWe were particularly pleased that Mark Todd, our local MP and Councillor Gill Farrington, both good friends to CVS and the Volunteer Centre were there. Gill had just been newly elected as a county councillor.
Although there was no let-up in the rain, the immaculately turned out band of the Air Cadets took their place at the head of the parade, followed by representatives from several Brownie packs, members of the Over 50s forum, Special Police Officers, First Aiders from St John Ambulance, volunteers from Homestart and South Derbyshire CVS and very probably from other organisations too. We proudly set off, escorted by a couple of really helpful Police Community Support Officers. We made our way out of John Street onto Midland Road and over the old railway bridge. We certainly attracted some attention, even holding up a a couple of buses for a few minutes.
We had planned to cross Civic Way using the traffic light controlled crossing by the Fire Station, but the Police held up the traffic and the band led us straight across the road to continue up Midland Road to the Delph. We moved fairly quickly into the Town Hall to get out of the rain and to get stuck into the hot drinks cakes and biscuits that the crew had been preparing.
The whole event was run by the staff of South Derbyshire CVS, with the Chris, Richard and Dave from the Volunteer Centre team members joined by:
- Chief Executive – Jo Smith
- Operations Director – Chris Harris
- Community Development Workers – Ellen Lockwood and Eric Clayton
- Mental Health Advocacy Officer – Saira Saddal
- Administration Assistants – Linda Briggs and Jaymie Smith
- Health Trainer Coordinator – Andy Cave
- Safer Homes and Handy Van Administrator – Amanda Elliott
- Handy Van Worker – Colin Summers
We had wanted to have the event run by staff so that our own volunteers could be part of the celebration and the way that the whole CVS team worked together was fantastic.
As well as the tea andcakes, the Town Hall also had a number of stalls from organisations who were able to promote their work and their own volunteer programmes.
There were excellent displays by
- The Volunteer Centre South Derbyshire
- Newhall Community Website
- Arthritis Care
- Help For Heroes
- Derbyshire Links
- Give Youth A Hand
All these groups were kept busy all morning because the Town Hall was packed. Despite the success of the parade, many people came straight to the hall and were made just as welcome.