Adam Simmonds Police and Crime Commissioner – Head of Northamptonshire Police has been all over Northamptonshire visiting villages and other places.
I followed his tweets as he went here and there, reading all the nice comments about this place and that and I thought ‘Hey we deserve a visit too after all look at what we have achieved in our community’
With this in mind and everyone who knows me, knows I always say ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ I tweeted Adam and a date was set.
On Thursday November 12th 2015 I met Adam along with PCSO Paul Harris and PC Michelle Townsend our SCT.
Grabbing my litter pick stick and litter sac we head off litter picking as we walked and talked about all sorts of issues.
I then introduced him to Bev Martin our wonderful Landlady of the Pike and Eel who as many of you know has supported our many clean-up events and is a vital link in our community.
The Grange teaching school is called ‘Inspire’ and is one of only 60 schools in England to be granted teaching school status.
Introduced in 2011, Teaching Schools are all rated as “outstanding”.
The Grange School fully supports me and our community in our campaign to ‘Clean-up’ and improve our estate.
We walked a good deal of the estate with Adam, Paul and Michelle all stooping down picking up any litter they happen to see along the way.
To be honest there was hardly any litter but they felt compelled to pick it up rather than just walk by, which is exactly the attitude I have tried to inspire when residents see me litter picking, the message has certainly got across.
Dip who owns the The Grange Premier Convenience Store has not overlooked my dedication and is grateful for everything I have done in my own time to make the community a better place for everyone, fully supporting what I and other residents do and encouraging shoppers to dispose of their litter properly. You can find this well stocked Premier Store here.
Adams visit extended to 3 hours, we had so much to discuss the time flew by.
He wanted to know how it all started, which was me just simply litter picking from my home and onto a path near by, mission accomplished I widened my litter picking area.
I began to notice other things besides litter that needed addressing so contacted our Ward Councillor Wendy Randall, we make a formidable team.
We tackled all sorts from getting the grass cut regularly and to an acceptable height, tree maintenance, litter bin emptying, pot holes … you name it we addressed it one way or another even, if it meant doing it ourselves.
Over time more residents joined in happy to accept a litter pick stick to keep their own streets clean or join in on our many clean-up events. We have 35+ resident litter pickers on our estate. Thank you each and everyone of you.
I even have children run up to me asking to use my pick up stick then happily run off retrieving the litter, they are very proud of where they live and hate if their parks get messy.
Some children will knock on my door asking for the use of my several litter pick sticks bags and a hoop and will happily spend up to an hour or so picking litter.
We have organised many clean-up events with up to 40 residents young and older turning up to help, the children love it and can’t wait for the next one.
Today our efforts to improve our estate are a team effort with residents and organisations on board.
Adam said he was amazed at our estate, how clean it is, how wonderful and friendly our residents are, I didn’t realise how much until I saw this… Adam Simmonds Interview
Where when asked Q: What has been the highlight of the past three years?
AS: “That’s a tough question! I think it’s been the people I’ve met while doing the job – I’ve heard some amazing stories of people overcoming serious troubles in their lives, from violent partners to addictions to children managing to save their families from breakdown.
“But I think the highlight has come very recently in the form of Jacquie Ward. She lives in Daventry on the Grange Estate, and she has through her own force of personality and commitment to her community changed people and the place. Beginning with simply deciding to pick up litter in her nearby streets she has, over two years, created a community that picks up litter and puts litter in the bin. She has rejuvenated the community centre, pub, held community events, cleaned graffiti off walls and much more.
“When I walked with her around her community, watching her saying hello to her neighbours, picking up litter with her ‘picker’ and bin bag, walking at quite a pace she suddenly gets out a can of orange spray paint and sprays dog poo bright orange. At that point if it wasn’t clear to me already, I knew this determined, passionate woman was someone special and I wished I could bottle her spirit and replicate what she has right across our county. She’s become my highlight.”
Thank you Adam for taking the trouble to come and visit our Grange Estate and for listening to all we had to say.
I love our estate and the wonderful residents who have put up with me.
They never bat an eyelash when I’m stenciling dog fouling signs on the pavement, or when they casually say hello as I emerge from a bush after retrieving that hard to reach bit of litter.
The children are amazing they knock at my door asking if I will ‘come out to play’.
Thank you for putting up with my many rants when I feel annoyed about people dropping litter or letting their dogs foul then failing to pick up.