This week, we’d like to celebrate the work of a Parish Council in the small village of Sibbertoft, which sits on the Northamptonshire and Leicestershire borders, to the north east of Daventry.
Despite its size, just 150 houses, it has a reputation as a progressive Parish Council and a real, friendly community. In recent months thanks to the generosity of Parishioners a defibrillator has been installed, the Village Pound is being reinstated, new visitor signs are planned and the Parish Council and Sibbertoft Open Gardens Committee are helping to fund the upgrading of the Recreation Ground.
As part of the upgrading of the Recreation Ground a ‘Pirate Play Ship’ has been designed by local artist and commercial product graphic designer, Mark Bickerstaff. Mark runs his own design studio and workshop in Sibbertoft and is a resident of the village and lectures at QE College in Leicester. He has led the project since its inception in 2012, and has worked on its construction, organised materials, supervised volunteers and ensured the whole project is a success benefiting the children of the area.
Earlier this year the ‘Pirate Ship’ was nominated for two awards as part of the Daventry District Housing Star Awards, the Environmental Project of the Year and Mark Bickerstaff as the Volunteer of the Year. The National Association of Local Councils would also like to recognise the hard work that went into this project and congratulate the council, Mark and all those involved – following the Awards in December at the Daventry Court Hotel where the ‘Pirate Ship’ was awarded second place in its category.
The award was given in the presence of over 100 guests including Chris Heaton-Harris M.P. and we're delighted to learn that that Mark Bickerstaff was also awarded Volunteer of the Year, thoroughly well-deserved for the effort and time he freely committed to the project.
The Parishioners of Sibbertoft and Sibbertoft Parish Council are so grateful to all those who volunteered and helped with this major project that will have a profound impact on the village.
It is steps like this and the perseverance and dedication of local people that can make a real difference to village communities and we hope that other parishes will be inspired to take what may seem like ambitious projects, from the drawing board and make them a reality.