As we all know, Bramham is a thriving village and extremely vibrant place to live. The reason for this is down to the commitment and hardwork of so many people living in the village who are prepared to give up their precious time, volunteering to make things happen within the village.
The village was therefore delighted when the Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire invited a number of those volunteers to this years annual Queens Garden Party that was held at Buckingham Palace and attended by Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall and Anne, Princess Royal. Invitations to the party, to be held on the 15th of May, were sent to Ian and Christine Dalton, Mick and Christine Wray, Keith and Vicky Innocent. They were able to also invite two guests Jo and Mark Ogden who have also contributed so much to the success of village events. This invitation was a token of appreciation for how much time these volunteers have dedicated to the village and what a difference they have made over many years.
As the volunteers were getting over the excitement of the invitations a second piece of very good news arrived in that four members of the Village Hall Committee (Ian, Christine, Mick and Christine) had also been successful in achieving the Duke of York Community Initiative Award for the work they had done in having the vision to transform our village hall from a dilapidated village asset into a thriving hub of activity. Christine and Mick Wray attended Catterick Garrison in April to receive this award at a ceremony hosted by the Duke of York.
These Bramham volunteers play a role within many aspects of village life including Parish Council positions, Bramham Village Hall Management Committee, Bramham Drama Group, Bramham in Bloom, Bramham Community Action Group to name a few. These groups are made up of many volunteers, who help throughout the year, but these volunteers have been key to success of building the incredible community spirit within Bramham Village. These very generous residents have all been involved with groups for 20 or more years and hours of their precious time is given up every week making Bramham a fabulous place to live.
They have been the driving force behind Bramham Gala, Bramham Pantomime, Christmas Lights, Bramham Wine Club, Christmas Day lunch for people living alone and the Annual Beer Festival to name a few events each year. They also run, maintain and improve Bramham Village Hall as a facility that hosts sport, drama, celebrations, clubs and meetings 365 days a year. All residents of Bramham Cum Oglethorpe parish (1750 residents) plus many family and friends far and wide who attend events and enjoy the facilities and spectacles that this group bring to life.
The group continuously fund raise and engage sponsors to make improvements to village facilities and support those in the village who are less fortunate. Ian Dalton and Mick Wray also initiated the renovation of a cottage (attached to the village hall) completely voluntarily. Many weekends they spent pulling down walls through to laying floors in order to generate an income to the village and ensure longevity of their projects for many years to come. And this now provides an affordable home for a young family.
One of the ways they fundraise to make this all happen is to run a bar at evening events. You regularly see this group behind the bar on a Saturday night and not the ones on the dance floor having fun.
In addition Keith and Vicky played a big part in Bramham in Bloom planting and maintaining the flower beds and started our village Gala and Open Garden events that are now annual events on the village calendar. Bramham regularly receives gold star status in the Bramham in Bloom judging.
The last two years, on top of everything they do, Ian, Mick, the two Christine's, Keith and Vicky hosted a Christmas Day lunch for anyone within the village who would be alone on Christmas Day. It was another huge success. They engaged sponsors for all the food and drink, they provided transport and they were the hosts on the day. A comment from a resident who was a little reluctant to attend was "It was smashing, I'll definitely be there next year". Another remarkable example of unselfish kindness and already a promise to repeat next year.
Despite their busy lives and careers this group dedicate the majority of their spare time to helping the lives of others by enhancing village life. I bet there is not a day goes by when they do not do "something" related to one of their village projects. The topic of conversation around the village, in the pub, in the shop or at an event, always links back to this amazing group of people and all they have done for us. There isn't a single person within Bramham who hasn't benefited from their generosity and kindness. Whether your child has had a birthday party in the hall that they maintain or an elderly resident admiring a newly planted flower bed out of their window. Everyone is touched by what these people put into village life.
Since the invitations were received and the awards were announced, these amazing people have simply been saying “Shall we arrange a party for the village to celebrate with all the people that are involved”. Yet again another selfless act wanting to recognise others and be so inclusive.