As we started the year, 2021, still in a Lockdown caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic, we planned for what might be later in the year and tried to think of different ways to engage with the Community of Castle Donington.
Meetings were held remotely with councillors and outside bodies, allowing many projects and matters to progress, including the refurbishment of the Village Hall and sports facilities at Moira Dale.
Throughout the year, as formal events couldn't take place, we put on an Easter bunny trail for the younger ones, worked with the Volunteer Centre to provide easter eggs and meals for the young and old alike.
The day to day running, and maintaining of the parish council facilities, land and buildings still took place. Allotment occupancies have increased as these have been a welcome breakdown during the Pandemic Lockdowns as they remained open the whole time. The many play areas and open spaces have been maintained to allow outdoor access for the younger people, and during the summer months, when restrictions had lifted more, character story reading at the Community Hub, along with arts and crafts took place, a sports camp was held at Spital Park, lunch and chatter groups re-opened for the volunteer groups and Stay and Play has grown in strength meeting in the garden during the sunny summer months, and then returning inside the Community Hub.
In October, the annual Wakes Street fair took place, which was attended by larger than normal numbers over the three days – perhaps everyone was just glad to be out after the recent Lockdowns and restrictions!
Planning followed for Remembrance Day parade and the Christmas Cheer and other Christmas activities. We sat with fingers crossed, as plans for the Remembrance parade and services were progressed, and it worked! The Parade and Remembrance services were able to take place and were attended again by larger than usual numbers of parishioners!
Christmas Cheer – Wow what a year! The reindeers didn't disappoint, and the queue to see them and Santa was the longest ever – over an hour – just for an amazing photo experience!
This year saw a first – Christmas Tree Festival took place at the Community Hub, with over 30 trees displayed by local groups and businesses! The Friday Group enjoyed their Christmas Lunch surrounded by the display, and 50 children from Orchard school came to see their tree displayed and enjoyed looking at all the others, and then refreshments of juice and biscuits before walking back for afternoon lessons.
The Winter Wonderland Trail took place again this, thanks go to Kirsty Johnston for organizing this! The elf and reindeer trail also took place, with elves and reindeers hidden around the village, some hiding in quite inconspicuous places!
"Letters to Santa" have been collected at the Community Hub and forwarded on behalf of the children to Santa. A massive thanks goes to Mrs Clause for replying to all of these, bringing a little sparkle to the children's face when they receive them!
Various Christmas competitions have taken place to involve the community from shop window competitions, and the "Twelve days of Christmas" to "Where's Santa". A lot of fun has been had by all participating. A special well done to Johnsons for winning best dressed shop as chosen by the Parish Council and for Gaysey Maisey as chosen by the Community.
November saw the start of a Local Market at the Community Hub, which was also supported by a Wellness event inside. The event was well attended with local businesses able to promote their businesses. Following on from this success, a Christmas market took place, along with a Santa's grotto! During 2022, the aim, Covid restrictions permitting, is to have a regular monthly market at the Community Hub.
During the latter part of the year, council meetings returned to face to face, and traffic calming through the centre of the village (High Street/Bondgate) has been discussed, along with purchase of a parcel of land to secure a green space between Castle Donington and Hemington.
The Volunteer Centre successfully held their Christmas Grow Cook Share lunch at the Community Hub, where 50 plus attendees, enjoyed roast turkey, pigs in blankets with all the trimmings! Gifts were also received from Santa.
Kirkland Close and Spitfire Road estates continue to have annual Christmas lights displays, with Kirkland raising much needed funds for the local Community First Responders. Thank you to all those involved and for their continued support.
And we must forget the Community Christmas Trees and displays on Pinfold Gardens and crocheted Christmas Posts at the Community Hub. Thank you to everyone for their hard work and support in creating a bright and exciting display for all.
The Parish Council continues to plan for the year ahead. These plans include an event to celebrate Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee in June 2022 and takeover of recreation and open space land as part of the on-going developments off Park Lane.
As we come to the end of the year, still with a lot of uncertainty surrounding what restrictions will be put in place because of the new Omicron Covid outbreak, I would like to thank all those involved in making Castle Donington a better community for all those who live and work here.
Merry Christmas and very Best Wishes for a safe New Year
from Fiona Palmer and all the staff and volunteers of the Parish Council and Community Hub.
Posted: Wed, 22 Dec 2021 14:10 by Fiona Palmer