Story by Deborah Blencowe | Photo by Philip Blencowe
I’ve lived in Burngreave for over 25 years and my three children attended Firs Hill and Pye Bank Primary Schools and Fir Vale Secondary School. They are all now grown up and I was made redundant about three years ago. Since then I’ve been doing voluntary work for the Wildlife Trust.
I help clear and maintain Crabtree Ponds nature reserve on the first Monday of every month and find it very rewarding (new volunteers are welcome – 10am start). In December 2016 I wrote a letter to The Messenger about fly tipping at the Ponds, which was published and led to the litter bin being emptied regularly.
I joined the Messenger as a volunteer in March. Since then I’ve been helping with admin, telephone monitoring to ensure the Messenger reaches local residents, and doing paid work distributing the paper. I’ve been contributing to the issues with several bits of my own artwork, which I have really enjoyed.
When the Office Assistant position was advertised I took the opportunity to apply, and got the job! The staff have been so supportive and have made me very welcome, I thoroughly adore it and am not too bothered about putting in extra time when necessary. It’s general administration, meeting local people, working with volunteers and cleaning the kitchen (I am obsessed with cleaning and litter).
The project is lottery funded until the end of 2018. My mission over the next months is to promote the Messenger and help secure future funding. The Messenger has been running since 1999 and it would heartbreaking to see it coming to an end. We receive so much positive feedback from Burngreave people and I want to be a part of its future.