Volunteer army is to be recruited for pioneering project in Midhurst

Volunteers working on the causeway at Midhurst with Darren Rolfe, second right
Volunteers working on the causeway at Midhurst with Darren Rolfe, second right

A new ‘do-it-yourself’ era is dawning in Midhurst with the setting up of a volunteer army to take on community projects in the town and its surrounding parishes.

It has been born out of the increasing pressure from higher authorities on grass roots town and parish councils under the Localism Act, to take responsibility for their own communities.

West Sussex County Council senior community solutions officer Darren Rolfe, who leads volunteer projects across the county, is setting up a tool store in Midhurst which will be based at the town’s fire station for use by volunteers.

He has now asked Midhurst Town Council for help in establishing the tool store and recruiting a ‘corps of volunteers’.

Reporting to fellow town councillors vice chairman Gordon McAra told them: “ This is the first project of its kind in the county, with others to follow, but the Midhurst experience will define the way that this will be implemented.”

He said the intention was to form an army of volunteers who would take on projects in and around Midhurst, similar to the work that was already been done in the town, cutting back undergrowth, clearing brambles, tree work, painting and installing bike racks.

“The work involves a range of tools including power tools if required. The county will provide the tools, training in their use, first aid training and full insurance. It will also pay reasonable expenses for travel and subsistence.”

The main task now is to recruit as many volunteers as possible including someone who is prepared to lead the corps. In the mean time town councillors have agreed to run the Midhurst project volunteers come forward to take it over.

Anyone who is interested in offering their services or would like to help organise it should contact the town council at The Old Library, Knockhundred Row, Midhurst or call 01730 816953.

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