Building a new heart for Blakeney - leisure and recreation space for everyone
Page update: 31 December 2015
Blakeney Community Green, Forest of Dean, The Manse, Bridge Street, Blakeney, Glos GL14 4DJ
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Congratulations Rose, Blakeney, Gloucestershire New Year 2016
Every one in the Soudley Valley and the Forest of Dean was pleased to see the New Year honours list this year when it included our very own Rose Peaty who received the award of the British Empire Medal.
Rose Peaty is a true Forester born and bred in the tough times of WW2. She has always loved the Forest of Dean and especially her home patch around Blakeney, an ancient village on the A48 between Gloucester and Chepstow. After education until 15 at Blakeney School and volunteering at the local Lydney Hospital she went to the Gloucester Technical College (Brunswick Road) continuing to work part-time at Lydney as a nursing aide. In her twenties, after she qualified as a nurse, she moved to The Poole General Hospital in Dorset, staying with the nursing team for 27 years, before returning to Blakeney in 1985.
Already a committed Baptist from her teenage years Rose's first community project was to support refurbishment of the local Baptist Chapel and develop the Chapel as a base to support youth work and develop a 'Drop-in' work skills programme, helping many local youngsters, have a go at real music! AND improve their qualifications and find employment …. As a result of her community work to help local children, successive generations of children & adults in Blakeney now know her as 'Aunty Rose'.
In 2009 she founded the Blakeney Community Green project with Ewart Woolley to develop a community all-weather path round the village green, create additional play areas for local children, establish a community café, build a nature trail and provide access to 'conservation woodland'. Less than four years later all this work was completed, in the process winning more than £100,000 funding from major donors including Village SOS, part of the Big Lottery fund, and Gloucestershire Environmental Trust, and enlisting the services of Gloucester Wildlife Trust. Rose also supported another successful parallel project to create the Soudley-Blakeney Gateway, a series of linked footpaths which re-establish an ancient three-mile route up the Soudley Valley.
All along Rose aimed to build support from the whole community including the local schools, local business and other smaller donors such as Mid Counties Cooperative and, in the very beginning, The Southwest Foundation. Rose worked tirelessly in support of practical fundraising for many other local community projects and somehow also found time to reinvigorate the weekly luncheon club for the elderly, run summer games days for local children and support the annual Blakeney duck race! The Blakeney Baptist Luncheon Club now has a membership around 60 with weekly lunches. Rose also raised funds for the Blakeney defibrillator project and more new play equipment, not to mention running the new community café for the best part of a year before handing it over recently to Gillian Higgins.
Rose said "Of course I am really pleased to be recognised... but the really important thing is that we…the whole community worked together to achieve these good outcomes for Blakeney and the Forest of Dean... We couldn't have got this far without our volunteers and fundraisers. My thanks go to our star fundraisers, especially Linda White, who ran the Cardiff Half marathon with Ewart Woolley, not forgetting Sue Adams and our other volunteers, friends, supporters and suppliers; Awre Parish Council, Blakeney Hill Growers, Blakeney Primary School, Dean Mowers,David Kear Opticians, Garfield Weston, The Gloucestershire Wild Life Trust and Rosie Kelsall, Kettle Civil Engineering, Knockley Pet Foods, Viv Hargreaves & The Forester, DJB Cleaning Supplies, Quattro Design Architects, and especially Jean Birkett, Jane Cordier & Two Rivers Housing, The Blakeney Surgery, Dr Martin Gibbs, Kate Emsley and the surgery team, Bob Watters and many others in Blakeney, Awre and the local area with help from Lyn Lyons, Dan Watkins and Sue Ayres, the Blakeney Village Hall Committee and the Forest of Dean Rotary Club.
This is a real community award for Blakeney and its people; Thankyou everyone for your support, it's a great honour and a wonderful local community! "
On top of the world
Rose welcomes the Community Cafe
Rose and the nativity players