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From the blog

Celebrating our local heroes

by PECT

Laura Fanthorpe talks about some of our local landmarks, individuals and groups making a real difference to the lives of people within the city.

PECT’s Communities Team Leader, Karen Lawrence, recently attended the Pride in Peterborough Awards where she was recognised in the Community Spirit category.

Anyone who knows about Karen and her work would fully understand why she was nominated! Over the years Karen has launched numerous community projects, which have revolutionised the city’s social and environmental landscape and helped to link people up so that they aren’t isolated or without support. Not only that, but her enthusiasm is unstoppable!

This got me thinking about the other people and places that make our city and surrounding areas a better place to be. The list ended up being pretty extensive, so I thought I’d pull out just a few!

I recently enjoyed a visit to the city’s community space The Green Backyard, and was incredibly impressed to discover a vibrant, positive place that is making a real difference to the lives of communities in Peterborough.

For everyone who goes to The Green Backyard, it’s not just about gardening, wonderful as it is. It is about forming social connections, learning new skills and increasing in confidence – whatever age you are. If you haven’t taken a trip to the site yet then I urge you to go!

Then there are our local food heroes – those heroes who are championing local, seasonal produce to encourage everyone to eat healthily and understand more about where our food comes from. Just to mention a few: there’s Riverford (the organic veg box scheme at Sacrewell), healthy lunches from Bohos in the Cathedral grounds, and of course we can’t forget our city market.

If you head just outside the city you will find a shop that’s a particular favourite of mine. The Collyweston Community Shop is a fantastic model of a not- for-profit organisation, which reinvests any profits into other community activities. The shop is manned entirely by a team of volunteers, and where possible all food is sourced within a tiny radius to support other local producers.

In addition to this, a group making a big difference to the city is RiverCare. Teams of volunteers have been working together to tidy up stretches of the River Nene, in order to improve the local environment for both city residents and wildlife. It’s wonderful to see people dedicate their free time to making a difference.

It’s been hard to limit this list to just a few, but it would be great to hear your nominations for the people, places and groups you feel are making a real difference to our city and surrounding areas!