Pauline Penney has been voted by Eynsford parish councillors to receive the Kent Association for Local Councils Community Award for 2017. Councillors asked local residents to nominate individuals or groups that had made an important contribution to Eynsford’s community, and Pauline was chosen by the council from these to receive the award.
Pauline will receive the certificate on 26th May 2017 at Eynsford’s Annual Parish Meeting in Eynsford Village Hall. We are delighted that the High Sheriff of Kent George Jessel will present the award.
Mrs Penney is receiving the award in recognition of the work that she does with Eynsford in Bloom. Pauline got involved in Eynsford in Bloom (previously the Best Kept Village Group) on 1st March 2005. The group was lacking numbers and Pauline offered to help to get more volunteers and soon found herself co-ordinating the group. She received a lot of help and support from John Bulford throughout with his extensive horticultural knowledge, but he now takes a less active role.
Pauline helps to organise the weekly work parties for the Eynsford in Bloom group (more frequent during the summer months) as well as being one of the hands-on workers, weeding, planting and watering in all weathers throughout the year. Pauline helps to grow and look after seedlings and bulbs at home and can often be seen working in the village in her own time. However, much of the work is carried out away from the public eye including planning work parties, choosing planting schemes and putting together the portfolio for competition entry. Pauline also co-ordinates an annual awards ceremony where certificates are awarded to residents and businesses in the village who have contributed to the attractiveness of the village through their gardens or displays.
Pauline makes links with children’s and other community groups and involves them in activities connected to Eynsford in Bloom. For instance, she has worked with Rainbows on nature walks, gardening activities, with Brownies and Guides on bird feeders, work in the village and other nature activities. Pauline has also helped out the school gardening club and has worked in the woodland garden at the school. Pauline encourages residents to enter local gardening competitions and the Kent Wildlife Trust Gardening for Wildlife awards. Pauline also supports the tree wardens in their work.
Pauline has co-ordinated entries in South and South East in Bloom since 2005 when the village won Silver Gilt. Eynsford has won Silver Gilt every year since 2005 and once got through to the national final representing the South & South East region. Eynsford won best large village in the Kent Village of the Year competition in 2006. In 2015 Eynsford won GOLD for the first time, repeating this in 2016, and aims to maintain this standard. Both villagers and visitors regularly comment on the beautiful and colourful appearance of our lovely rural village.
Eynsford in Bloom has developed tremendously during the last 12 years, taking on different areas in the village, developing wildlife habitats, working more with the community and encouraging local business to get involved. Encouraging the use of grey water and com
posting and the reuse of plants and bulbs has also been important. And, of course, none of this would be possible without the work and dedication of the Eynsford in Bloom volunteers!