Reg Charity No: 301343

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Ideas For The Community Garden Donated by Students of Writtle School of Design







Links to:-

Highwood Parish Council

Highwood Primary School

Writtle School of Design

The Rural Community Council of Essex RCCE

Chelmsford Council for Voluntary Service CVS

Community Support

In May 2004 questionnaires were sent to every household in the parish and the results formed the Highwood Parish Plan.  The biggest and most important issue identified within the Highwood Parish Plan was the lack of “community spirit” and isolation caused by the need for a village hall and facilities.  91% would back the re-building of the village hall”. 

Local residents supported the construction project not only with fundraising and donations, but in 2008 pledged to take ACTION in their own homes to save energy and CO2 to support the Village Hall's environmental ethos.  In November 2009 at a Village Hall musical fundraiser they also started a We Support The Highwood Village Hall petition and obtained over 150 signatures.

Children from Highwood Primary School initially supported the project with drawings depicting what they would like to do in a new village hall and what they liked/disliked about living in Highwood.

Highwood Primary School were the first official visitors to the new Village Hall during its construction process to learn about the Hall's environmental ethos and ideas to protect endangered flora and fauna. In 2011 the school made the wonderful artwork that hangs in the main hall space of the Village Hall.

Representatives from user groups of the original hall supported the project by joining the Village Hall Committee.  Each user group supplied the project with a letter of support.

Highwood Parish Council discuss the Village Hall project and operation at every Parish Council meeting.  They have supported the Village Hall from the outset and in November 2009 helped secure grant funding via a Public Works Loan Bond.

Our local County Cllr. John Aldridge and Borough Cllr. Nicolette Chambers have both supported the project with letters of support and promoted the project. In Feb 2009, thanks to a nomination from Councillor Nicollette Chambers, the Mayor of Chelmsford Borough Council, Councillor Tom Willis gave the project and fundraising work of Petra Pipkin an 'Outstanding Achievement Award' at the Community Awards. Photograph of Cllr Chambers viewing the construction progress with Anthony and Petra Pipkin in October 2010.

In 2011 after the opening of the new Village Hall, the Mayor of Chelmsford Borough Council,  Cllr. Bob Shepherd MBE presented the HIGHWOOD VILLAGE HALL COMMITTEE with a COMMUNITY AWARD "in recognition of its environmentally, friendly and inspirational community facility ".

Students from Writtle School of Design supported the project by spending over six months designing plans for the environmental community garden as part of their course work. At the same time the Village Hall Committee worked with the students to demonstate the various issues involved in a community construction project. The concept of a community orchard was chosen by residents during the community consulation of 2009. The following is the concept board for the orchard together with a drawing of what the fully grown orchard and wildflower meadow could look like. The photograph shows Steve Terry and Tim Waterman with the students from Writtle School of Design together with Petra and Richard from the Village Hall Committee.

Whilst we have not had a venue to hold fundraising events, our local church, St Paul's, has supported the project by very kindly letting us use its facilities to hold fund-raising events and constantly helping us inform the community with Village Hall news and updates within the Highwood Parish Newsletter.

The Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE) and Chelmsford Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) have always supported the project and continually provide expert advice and assistance. Petra, Anthony, Richard and David from the Village Hall Committee have given presentations to members of both these organisations to help share information learnt from the design and constrution process to other community groups.

Photographs of some of the community consulations and displays held during the summer fetes 2008 and 2009 in the grounds of the old Village Hall.

Working together we strengthen the long term success of this project, thank you all.