Rolling Up Our Sleeves Was So Rewarding!

Open+Direct st1410690aff have been ‘getting their hands dirty’ as part of their sponsorship of the Best Kept Awards which started earlier this year!

As part of their involvement, staff volunteers will be blogging about their experiences of helping local improvement committees and resident groups who are gearing up for the judging of the various ‘Best Kept’ categories.

In the first post, Claire Dixon from Open+Direct Coleraine tells us about her experience with the Broughshane Improvement Committee.

If you have been involved with your local community in advance of the final for the ‘Open+Direct Best Kept Awards’ let us know on Facebook  or Twitter – we’d love to hear from you! Or if you want to volunteer, drop us a note to find your nearest group needing help –!

Claire Dixon

Coleraine Branch

Helping make Broughshane Beautiful….

 1410702I’m a relatively novice gardener – our garden at home is quite small and I must admit my husband does the majority of the work!  However, I jumped at the chance to get involved with the Open+Direct sponsorship of the Best Kept Awards – who doesn’t want to make the community look brighter and better?

Myself and two of my colleagues Elaine Morrison and Claire Quigley arrived in Broughshane bright and early to meet with the Broughshane Improvement Committee to see how we could help.

We were warmly greeted by Wallace Penny (Chairman of Broughshane Improvement Committee) and six other local people who are all involved with the upkeep and improvement of Broughshane.1410712

Our day began with a tour of the ‘Wildfowl’ area in the village which is home to a host of birds including swans, ducks and other wild fowl.  This area is maintained solely by volunteers from the village – this was a real highlight of the day!

We were then led to our task for the day – painting the new pergola which had recently been erected by the committee.  With paint brush in hand, myself and my colleagues set about getting it looking its best.  Once completed, I had a real sense of satisfaction seeing our work!  We also got involved with some weeding and raking – definitely a big change from my normal work!

1410729I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and was amazed by the work that the volunteers undertake to ensure their village is looking beautiful. I found the activity extremely worthwhile and am really glad I took part, it really made me think about how much work goes on in our local communities to make our surroundings look their best and much of it by volunteers like Broughshane Improvement Committee!

Photo Caption: L-R it is Elaine Morrison (Coleraine), Claire Quigley (Magherafelt) & Claire Dixon from Open+Direct (Coleraine)