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Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant for West Sussex, Mrs Susan Pyper, was in Billingshurst recently to invest Patrick Perks with the BEM announced in the Queen's Birthday Honours in June.
Mrs Pyper explained that the British Empire Medal had been resurrected as a recognition of 'Services to a Community', therefore it was fitting that such investitures should take place where members of the community could share the ceremony.
Patrick had welcomed the invitation from Peter Woodman, the |Head Teacher of the Weald School, to hold the ceremony within the Community School where, as a Governor for many years, and his wife June had taught for over thirty years, he felt very much at home.
Patrick and June hosted a party in the Library for those who had worked alongside them on various projects, and friends and family. Their daughter Elizabeth, who had attended the Weald School, had come from Austria with her children Maxamillion and Charlotte-Rose to join the celebrations. Two past Head Teachers, Geoffrey Lawes and Peter May, were also there with their wives.
The Deputy-Lieutenant, Mr John Barclay, read the long Citation from the Honours and Appointments Secretariat, to those gathered. It read:-
"He is a tireless voluntary worker on behalf of the community giving his knowledge and expertise generously to enrich the local environment and encourage residents with his enthusiasm to respect, improve and value the area in which they live and is the inspiration behind many projects. Over the years he has been involved in organisations such as the Plaistow & Ifold Scout Group Association and Chairman of the Plaistow Playgroup. From 1999 to 2003 he was a Parish Councillor, then Chairman of Billingshurst Parish Council. In 2002 he helped develop a Community Action Plan; he then went on to form the Billingshurst Community Partnership in 2004 with the remit to implement the plan. He chaired the council's Jubilee Fields Sub-Committee from its inception; he personally secured a great deal of the funding and encouraged much self help and voluntary work. As a result of his leadership and involvement the group have been successful in regenerating an ancient woodland, created a fishing lake, started a lunch club for the elderly, organised youth drop-in and dance nights and co-ordinated Arts Council events for the village. The partnership was awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2011. He has been a school governor of the Weald School since 1999 and Vice Chair of Governors since 2007 and is known for his proactive approach., A member of the local Rotary Club since 1999, he has been President and has assisted with a range of community projects. In 2005 he founded BAIT (Billingshurst Action Initiative Team) which liaises with the police on antisocial behaviour. From 2009 to date he has been a founding member of the organising committee to build a Youth Centre known as the EYE (Education Youth Enterprise) Project. In 2011 he spearheaded negotiations with the local MP regarding parking and clamping in the privately run car park within Billingshurst and was successful in getting clamping removed and obtaining free parking for all during the Christmas Market and Chamber of Commerce sponsored event known as 'Billibiz'. Since 2012, he has been a member of Ascension Trust, a group organising Street Pastors and liaising with police and pastoral volunteers".
Patrick says:- "It was an honour and a privilege to receive the BEM for services to the Community from the Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Pyper, on behalf of Her Majesty. No man is an island and I could not have achieved any of the projects undertaken without the support, encouragement and dedication from all my colleagues and friends gathered together at the investiture evening. My special thanks to Peter Woodman for the use of the Weald Library and the catering staff, and a special thanks to those young people who kept us entertained and well looked after. Finally my wife June for all her dedication and those many hours of free PA over the years. Thank you all".
Billingshurst Creatives is now open, 10am - 4:30pm Tuesday to Saturday at 2 Jengers Mead!
Please note we have half day closing on Wednesdays after 1pm and closed all day Monday.
This fantastic new co-operative shop for local artists and makers still has some spaces available to rent - to find out more and request an application form, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a guide to not only shopping smarter, but making sure you get the most from what you DO buy
A report from West Sussex Environment and Climate Change Board published last year highlighted that food accounts for around a third of the county’s domestic waste1. This is equivalent to around 58Kg of food waste per resident annually. As food accounts for around 20% of our carbon footprint in West Sussex, cutting food wastage can help us to reduce our carbon footprint, as well as allowing households to save money on their weekly food bills. An estimated 60 to 80% of food waste is preventable, so taking smart steps when buying food, storing it and cooking meals can lead to significant savings.
If you are not currently in the habit of planning your meals for the week, this is a good habit to get into2. Once you know the ingredients you need for your planned recipes, it is far easier to make a shopping list that includes just those items you require. This gives you a better idea of the quantities of fresh items you need to buy, so you are less likely to over purchase fruit, vegetables, bread, dairy produce, meat and fish. However, when considering recipes, remember you can use these as just a guide, so you can substitute more unusual ingredients that may sit in your fridge or cupboard unused for those that you will get good use out of3.
When it comes to your food shop you may also want to consider buying more frozen items. This doesn’t mean using convenience foods, which are often less nutritious and an expensive choice, but choosing frozen fruit, vegetables, fish and meat. The vitamin and mineral content is locked in at the time of freezing, so they are often a better choice nutritionally, but in terms of food wastage this is another good bet. Indeed, research shows that using frozen food generates close to half the waste of fresh items, as food in the freezer has a far longer shelf life than chilled produce4.
The fresher produce is, the longer it will keep once you put it in your fridge. You can’t get any fresher than the fruit and vegetables you may grow in your garden or allotment, but if growing your own isn’t an option, you can source your food from local growers and retailers that stock items sourced from the county. If you aren’t familiar with the farm shops and independent retailers available locally, lists of those in West Sussex are available online5, and buying in the area additionally helps to support the local economy.
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While it is obvious that items like fresh meat, fish and dairy produce need to be stored in the fridge, you can often maximise the end date of items in jars and bottles by keeping them refrigerated, as well as chilling most fruit and vegetables too. However, there are exceptions, such as aubergines, potatoes, squashes and tomatoes, which need to be kept somewhere cool and dry like a cupboard. Don’t be tempted to wash fruit and vegetables before storage either, as the water can accelerate spoilage. Besides tricks to extend the lifetime of produce, remember that those items with a “best before date” are usually still edible once that date is reached, they just might not be at their best, so don’t be too hasty to throw out these items; though always adhere to “use by” dates, as after this time they may not be safe to eat.
Following recipes can help you to only cook as much of a particular dish that you need to feed your family. However, cooking double portions can save you time and money, and making bigger batches is useful when you have a lot of extra ingredients to use up. If you find that after a meal you do have extra servings of any element, always consider whether you could cover the items in the fridge to use in another dish or freeze them for another day. Soups and stews are a good way to use up leftover vegetables, starchy foods and meat, though you can be as creative as you want when putting surplus food to good use6. Keeping well stocked up with store cupboard essentials like pasta, rice, canned tomatoes and dried pulses always means that you have enough items to make a meal with any leftovers the next day, though it is always a good idea to weigh out dried foods to avoid cooking excess.
Don’t forget to recycle all you food and drink containers made from glass, metal, cardboard and plastic7. Although food waste isn’t collected as part of doorstep recycling in Billingshurst, you can compost your fruit and vegetable peelings and egg shells at home. If you don’t already have your own composter, West Sussex County Council is working in partnership with Get Composting to offer you cut price compost bins8. If you grow your own produce, you can then use the compost as a natural fertiliser, making it even more economical to grow your own fruit and vegetables.