This April, Pride in Brixham are celebrating 10 years as a voluntary group, who you may have seen working hard, in and around Brixham, as they simply enjoy creating pleasant surroundings for everyone else to enjoy!
Over the years the group has gone from strength to strength, transforming areas of the town and harbour. This includes creating gardens along the harbour walkway, Bay View Garden, Grenville Garden and Mayflower Garden, all of which helped to win for Brixham ‘BAY BLOOMS’ and RHS. South West Awards. The themed, quirky, gardens attract lots of interest and feature in the holiday photographs of many visitors.
Throughout the years with help from the Brixham Harbour Authorities together with Brixham Town Council, Brixham Chamber of Commerce and Torbay Council the group has not only bought changes to the environment, but has worked hard to add sparkle to the town through events such as the Brixham Winter Parade. This had hundreds of local people participating, with a full Nativity scene complete with donkeys at the outset and a large sleigh with Father Christmas completing the procession! Having also supported the Cow Town Carnival in the past, today the group continues to provide help and marshals for the Torbay Carnival and Torbay Steam Rally.
At present the group includes 20 regular members and another 10 very supportive members to call on for help with special projects or events. Members of the group have regularly been spotted painting railings and benches around the harbour and last year the town square next to the bus stops was refurbished by the team. In their tenth year Pride in Brixham have returned to their very first project which was the public toilet block on the quayside, that is now due for another upgrade.
Often having several projects on the go at any time, this year the group are also involved in the process of painting a fiberglass rhino, which is a part of Paignton Zoo’s Great Big Rhino Project, raising awareness for rhino conservation. As a part of the schools and community programme Pride in Brixham applied for one of the 60 smaller indoor rhinos to be created by groups and amateur artists. When finished the Pride in Brixham rhino will go with the other smaller rhinos into shops, libraries, post offices and public indoor places before it is returned to Brixham, to be set in one of the Pride in Brixham Gardens. Artist Lynne Peets is now working on images with the team, which are being carefully painted onto the rhino.
With April 14th being the official date of the 10th Anniversary, one planned celebration will be a lunch gathering for all members, at the Guardhouse Café at Berry Head. Pride in Brixham have a social calendar as busy as the work they do, as they are not only work colleagues but good friends and there are always more wanting to join the group!
Mary says that ‘when l first had the ‘crazy’ idea of a volunteer group, there was never a long term plan, in fact in the beginning the presence of a volunteer group, made mostly of women working around the Quay, wasn’t really accepted by some of the fishermen. In the beginning a low profile was kept, but now it is quite normal to see the Group working around the Quay, accepted now as part of the Harbour Master’s Staff.’
Finally after 10 years of Pride in Brixham Mary wanted to express her gratitude to the community, “The support, donations, acknowledgement of our work is quite unbelievable and so we would like to say a HUGE thank you to each and everyone who continues to support us. Many Thanks from Mary Thompson PRIDE IN BRIXHAM volunteers.”Follow