Making a Difference Case Study - Alison Fairman
Boston in Bloom and Boston Hanse Group
Why You Got Involved?
I retired from work. As a member of the RHS I was interested in gardening and history and had been a member of St John Ambulance Priory Group raising money for Lincolnshire through the Open Garden scheme. An officer at the Borough introduced me to the Britain in Bloom scheme in which volunteers came together to make their towns and village cleaner and greener. Looking at street clutter, and promoting our town Very quickly a group of like minded residents came together to work on the centre of Boston. The Chair of BID worked with us and on his retirement I took over.
The Hanse Group was started as the medieval history of the town was forgotten but a very important part of British history. I wanted to bring old and new residents together, and take youth ambassadors to Hanseatic towns all over Europe towns to meet other young Europeans. This worked, and we had a very successful 'time team' style dig involving school children and residents alike, bringing us all together.
Both these groups have brought together a friendly and hard working set of people, people who may have had problems. Working with new people, getting out and exercise, meeting passers by who appreciate what they are doing, giving them an interest and purpose. This was very important to us all during covid engendering a feeling of well being.
What Impact/Difference is it Making to the Community?
We have the time that the Borough workers no longer have. We have brought neglected areas and grot spots to life. Working in partnership with the Borough, businesses, the railway, heritage and arts organizations Bloom and its volunteers have brought a national and regional recognition to the town. This has given our volunteers a pride in their town and their group, a feeling of well being, they know the problems and how to tackle some of them. The Hanse Group have taken Boston's history abroad to three cities and enabled 12 young people to learn about other cultures. Our town can see the difference we have made.
How Would You Encourage Other to Get Involved in Their Community?
Get some enthusiasts and like minded people together, start working on the project. Others will soon join. Enthusiasm, a welcome from members and a determination to make a difference makes for success.