Time to thank our valuable volunteers for the hard work

With Volunteers Week celebrated in June, we will be enjoying an afternoon tea with our 40 volunteers later this month, saying a big thank you to them all for their dedication and support of Nidderdale Plus and the services we provide – we couldn’t manage without them.

It will also be an opportunity for them to give us feedback and to invite their contributions as we plan future services and projects. A big thank you, too, to Park View Stores bakery at Bridgehousegate for providing some of their delicious cakes.

Did you know that some of our volunteers deliver books locally to residents who find it difficult to travel into our library, perhaps due to illness or infirmity or if they’re a carer?

The home library service offers free access to books, audiobooks, music CDs, DVDs, large print books and children’s books. Volunteers generally deliver the books once a fortnight. Just tell us what you like and don’t like.

Some people use the service on a temporary basis, for example, only in winter, or when recovering from an illness or operation – others receive regular fortnightly deliveries. If you’re interested in this free service – or know someone who might – just ring the office (01423 714953).

A member of staff will visit you at home and discuss authors and genres you like or dislike and whether you prefer ordinary print, large print or audiobooks on tape or CD.

If you’re not already a library member, we will look after that for you, too. The books will be delivered on an agreed day, either morning or afternoon, every two weeks, generally by the same team of volunteers. You can keep the books as long as you need to and there are no fines or overdue charges.

You can also make free requests for specific titles or authors, through your volunteers. Get in touch to join in this great service.

As the bunting comes down after the Tour de Yorkshire, it will be replaced with the flutter of Union flags across the High Street in eager anticipation of a summer of festivals and events in Nidderdale.

Here’s a taster of just three of the activities and events that Nidderdale Plus has been supporting one way or another over recent months – put the dates in your diary and come along.

One of the great heritage sites in the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership project (supported by Heritage Lottery Funding) is at Fishpond Wood in Bewerley, a gem of a wood at the edge of Bewerley village. Work has been underway by the AONB team during 2015/16 to open up the wood, dredge the pond, repair an amazing old ice house and recapture the feel of this 19th century designed landscape.

Pop along on June 11 (anytime between 11am and 2pm) and try your hand at an archaeological excavation, pond-dipping and explore the hidden heritage of the woods. It’s a free event – just turn up.

Fishpond Wood is just one of four heritage sites within the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Project which aims to conserve and enhance Upper Nidderdale’s unique natural and cultural heritage and help people to find out about, enjoy and look after this fantastic landscape.

Nidderdale Plus is delighted to be involved as a member of the Landscape Partnership steering group which oversees a wide variety of projects being funded by Heritage Lottery over this four-year period.

There’s a fantastic film (made by Nidderdale photographer Paul Harris) which shows some of the activities of the past 12 months – you can view this film on the Nidderdale Plus website (www.nidderdaleplus.org).

Anne Challis is one of our volunteer Board members at Nidderdale Plus – in between running her Studfold family business in the upper dale! Check her Studfold website for a host of events and activities throughout the year – but don’t let fathers and grandads miss their FREE admission to the Studfold Adventure Trail on Father’s Day, June 19 – a great way to explore the great outdoors and beauty of Upper Nidderdale.

Nidderdale Plus has also supported the establishment of NiddFest, the new literary festival celebrating nature in writing. There’s a children’s poetry competition, plus a packed programme for the Festival (5-7 August), out now, tickets available – www.niddfest.com. Festival highlights include the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, reading some of her work at St Chad’s church, Middlesmoor; a fun-packed children’s tent by the river with activities from Brambley Hedge and nature-inspired songs; talks and walks with inspiring gardeners Noel Kingsbury and Christine Walkden. Order your tickets soon as we’re expecting some sell-out events.