Our Fairfield community has been growing steadily since it was established 20 years ago. To run an active community of this size requires a range of voluntary groups; some have a formal and representative role, others are more related to interest groups or clubs. All of these require volunteers from our community to help manage and/or run the various tasks and responsibilities.

Yet, it is becoming increasingly evident that we appear to have only limited willingness to volunteer some of our time and effort to help run our community. There are many reasons we quote that limit our personal time, such as busy working parents with children at school, and then post-school or weekend educational or physical activities. Others have elderly parents or relatives needing care time. Clearly, those with most time available are the retired folk who have fewer of these constraints. The net result is that we tend to find it’s the ‘same old, same old’ folk who step forward to take on these tasks – yet others still find the time to criticize or judge from the sidelines about things they are not happy about. Facebook tends to be their preferred medium: Xmas lights, state of the grounds and shelter belts, dog bins, playgrounds, street lights, traffic measures, numpty car parking, road gritting et al.

Perhaps the most senior and demanding of these groups now seeking new volunteers for a four-year role from May 2019 is the Fairfield Parish Council, a formally voted-in group of seven community reps, who answer to not only our community but also to Central Bedfordshire Council. Other established groups with a community-management role are FPRA, Middlemarch Residents Association, Fairfield Hall Directors, Fairfield Community Hall Trustees, Fairfield Park Lower School PTA, and Fairfield’s Scout Groups. Even the Fairfield Matters editorial team would welcome your help! Other groups are less demanding year-long, but cannot operate without volunteers, such as the Fairfield Apple Day, Bowls Club and Friends of the Orchards. Humble apologies to those not listed in this article!

All of these volunteering opportunities appear in FM and on Facebook as they arise. So please take note, think about them, and make the time to step forward to help run or improve things. Without your time and contribution, they cannot operate as you would want them to!

To paraphrase: “Don’t think what Fairfield can do for you; rather, think what you can do for Fairfield”. See the Fairfield Matters directory for more information and useful contacts. Become the ‘someone who does something’. 

Gavin Daffarn

summer house
As if to demonstrate the extreme dedication of a few volunteers in our community, a summer house has popped up in the Community Garden – just when you might have expected the team there to be taking a well-earned winter break.