We are a group of approximately forty like-minded residents who undertake regular projects in the village to enhance the environment and give help where needed. We raise our own funds to pay for all of our projects and activities.
“WHAT DO WE DO & WHAT HAVE WE DONE………………?”
We look after ‘Dovecote’ all year round
We maintain the stream and the banks at the top and bottom of Front Street
We weed, feed, plant and look after the area outside the Dr’s Surgery
We keep the Goose Hill raised pavement clear
We facilitated the Jubilee and Olympic celebrations in 2012
We bought and installed grit bins (and grit) for the village
We funded the commemorative plaque and the bench seat inside the bus shelter
We funded the bus stop bench seats opposite the bus shelter and outside the surgery
We funded, dug, planted and maintain the remembrance bed outside the village hall
We donated £210 to ‘the Friends of St Peter’s’ after our community treasure hunt
We played an active role in the organisation of ‘Chesil Rocks’ for the last 4 years and consequently helped raise over £40000 for Dorset Samaritans
We manned the gates and car parks for ‘Ellafest’ helping raise thousands for the Dorset Air Ambulance
We funded and planted 1000 snowdrop bulbs on the bank by the Kings Arms and 500 wild daffodil bulbs for the stream banks
We took over the monthly maintenance of the Village Hall grounds from October 2016
We re-built the dry stone wall at Goose Hill alongside the ‘old road’
We helped finance an outdoor storage shed for games equipment for Portesham School
We refurbished and painted the village gates at Portesham Hill
We are active and take a pride in our community
This year marks the end of a four year period throughout which we have maintained the ‘Centenary Remembrance Bed’ which we created in 2014 to honour the memory of those from our Parish who gave their lives for our futures. We dug the bed in the shape of a poppy on a prominent bank outside the Village Hall and we have planted it regularly with seasonal red flowering plants to maintain a constant colourful reminder of the sacrifices made by many brave villagers of the past. We have weeded, trimmed and maintained the area on a monthly basis since its creation. The bed is further enhanced by the presence of crosses representing the individuals who lost their lives in WW1.
This November we will reinstate the ground to its original grass bank appearance, but we will maintain the sign above the area whilst scattering wild flower seeds (including poppies) around it. The sign was also made and painted by a local craftsman/artist and paid for by the Volunteers.
In August and September 2017 approximately twenty of our group decided to help rebuild a large section of Dry Stone Wall that had fallen into a sorry state of disrepair during the last thirty years. The wall used to run alongside the original narrow section of the B3157 at ‘Goose Hill’ that was made into a pedestrian pathway when the road was extended, re-routed and improved. The area is now the main walkway to and from the Village Hall and Doctors’ Surgery and is maintained by the Volunteers who have planted trees and wild flowers.
The wall is very much part of the village history and we felt that it was essential to repair it for future generations. We approached Sally Fielding (Secretary of ‘The Dorset Dry Stone Walling Association’) to see if we could provide some labour in exchange for some tuition! She and fellow instructor Pete Snelson provided excellent tuition for our members over a period of 4 days culminating in the very satisfying restoration of an important part of the Parish history. The group was initially quite intimidated by the arrival of 10 tons of walling stone, 1 ton of sharp sand and 7 bags of lime! The materials were provided through the offices of the AONB / South Dorset Ridgeway Landscape Project. We are very proud of the end result that we think is a perfect example of what volunteers can achieve whilst working with local organisations and communities.
These projects are only two examples of many such community-based activities that we undertake after consultation with residents and with our Parish Council. We are proud to make a difference.
THE PORTESHAM VOLUNTEERS CONSTITUTION
1. The name of the group is The Portesham Volunteers hereinafter referred to as ‘the Group’.
2a. Membership of the Group is open to all residents of Portesham who wish to express their pride in the village, its community and its appearance by carrying out maintenance where it may otherwise be neglected, and raising funds for community projects that may otherwise not be funded. Those wishing to become members of the Group would give their names and email addresses to the Group Secretary and would understand that they would be bound by this Constitution which formally sets out the rules, ethos, parameters and aims of the Group. Work proposed by the Group will only be carried out after appropriate consultation with those residents and/or organizations in the vicinity.
2b. The Group’s aim is to enhance the attractiveness of the village by managing invasive weeds such as ivy, brambles and nettles and replanting small areas with a wider variety of wild and native plants, as recommended by the Dorset Wildlife Trust, and then maintaining them.
3. The Group shall be managed by a Committee of up to 9 members consisting of:
Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and 6 additional members, all elected annually at the AGM. The Committee shall have the authority to co-opt new members as vacancies arise.
4. The AGM shall be held annually within 3 months of the end of the financial year which shall be 31stAugust. Not less than 21 days notice shall be given.
5. The Committee shall endeavour to meet at least 4 times a year according to need, with the requirement of a quorum of at least 4 Committee members to be present.
6. A petition of five or more members is necessary to initiate an Extraordinary General Meeting, for which two weeks’ notice must be given to all members.
7. A Bank Account shall be established to hold the funds held by the Group. All payments must be authorized by the Committee. The Chairman and Treasurer shall be the two authorized signatories and the certified accounts shall be presented annually at the AGM by the Treasurer. The Group shall operate in such a way as never to be in deficit.
8. Public Liability Insurance shall be held to cover the activities undertaken by the Group. Activity that is not covered by this insurance shall not be undertaken by the Group.
9. Members are made aware that the Group has no personal accident insurance in place for them.
10. Leaders of work groups shall carry out a prior risk assessment of the tasks to be undertaken and must make all participants aware of the risk mitigation measures required.
11. The Group shall liaise with the Dorset Wildlife Trust for advice on conservation and planting, and with DCC Highways and other owners of land where it endeavours to work.
12. The frequency of working parties is agreed by the Committee.
13. Every reasonable effort will be made to consult with the residents of Portesham and to communicate the Group’s intentions and achievements.
14. All correspondence and official communications are to be addressed directly to the Secretary.
15. If for any reason the Group is dissolved, the balance of any funds held shall be transferred to Portesham Village Hall Fund.