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Could you be the eyes and ears for Haverhill?

Sarah Howard, Chairman of ONE Haverhill Board and Elaine Hewes, Volunteering Field Officer for Community Action Suffolk launch the new volunteers scheme.

Recruitment for a new scheme to improve Haverhill’s streets was launched on 13th February 2014 as part of ONE Haverhill‘s Community Budget.

The Community Ambassadors scheme aims to recruit up to 100 volunteers to be the ‘eyes and ears’ for the town, identifying and reporting problems such as potholes, faulty street lights, abandoned vehicles, graffiti and fly-tipping. Volunteers will also be able to carry out minor remedial work, including litter picking and cutting back overgrowth on the highway. The scheme was developed by local organisations working with residents and will supplement the efforts of service providers.

Community Action Suffolk and Haverhill Town Council are leading the introduction of the scheme, which aims to be up and running by March 2014. Set-up and running costs are to be met from existing funds of Haverhill Town and Suffolk County Council.

Sarah Howard, Chairman of ONE Haverhill Board, welcomed the initiative. She said: “This is a fantastic example of how the Community Budget brings together local organisations and local people for the good of Haverhill. During our consultation work for Haverhill Community Budget residents suggested a scheme such as this to allow them to contribute to the community in which they live. In fact almost half of those surveyed said they would volunteer for activities if they knew it would make a positive difference for Haverhill, and the Community Ambassadors scheme will do just that.” Each Ambassador will be provided with full training and equipment.

Town Clerk, Will Austin, said “Residents have quite rightly highlighted the need for cleaner streets and quicker attention to problems, and the Community Ambassadors scheme will help local people to make sure we get these improvements. We know that services paid for through Council Tax are being heavily squeezed by budget constraints which can be frustrating, and this scheme means we can do more for ourselves.”

Elaine Hewes, Volunteering Field Officer for Community Action Suffolk, said it was ‘an exciting project’, bringing together Haverhill’s strong support for volunteering with activities that will benefit the entire town. She said: “If we can recruit 100 volunteers to take responsibility for just a few streets each, everyone in Haverhill will have their own Community Ambassador to be a champion for their patch.”

For more information about becoming a Community Ambassador, contact [email protected]