Helen Rowland and Jan Kemsley researched the addresses of all the properties in Fairwarp Ward using Maresfield Parish Council records, the distribution list for The Fairwarp Echo, the local telephone directory and local knowledge. A letter was then sent with sae to everyone in the ward asking if they were interested in the formation of an umbrella organisation to bring together all the various groups and societies in the area. Residents were also asked if they were prepared to join a committee should the society be wanted. This mail out was funded by a grant from Maresfield Parish Council.
The response was excellent with an almost unanimous support of this initiative. Many different types of constitution were researched from varying similar groups. It was decided to keep the remit as unrestricted as possible and not to apply for charitable status – seewww.fairwarp.org.uk for a copy of the FCS constitution. Membership subscriptions were set at £3 per person per annum to make sure that costs were covered without excluding anyone.
An inaugural meeting was held on 28th June 2007 and Fairwarp Community Society was now up and running to represent the whole of Fairwarp Ward, including Fairwarp, Duddleswell, Horney Common etc.
The aims of the Society are:-
(a) to promote the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment in Fairwarp Ward.
(b) to promote high standards of development, planning and architecture.
(c) to promote and develop interest in features of historic or community interest.
(d) to preserve and improve the amenities of the Ward.
(e) to foster and encourage the growth of the community spirit among the residents of the Ward.
(f) to provide a focal point for all organisations, clubs and
societies already operating within Fairwarp Ward and to provide a forum for the residents of the Ward to express their views on topics relevant to the aims of the Society.
The subscription is now £4 pp pa with many concessions from local businesses available to members – see FCS Concessions on the website www.fairwarp.org.uk
FCS organise an annual village diary meeting to co-ordinate events being held by Christ Church, Church Choir, Church Flower Guild, Bellringers, Friends of Christ Church, WI, QEII Field, Fairwarp Football Club, Fairwarp Stoolball Club, Forest Club, Foxes Short Matt Bowls Club, FCS, Mother, Babies & Toddler Group, Fairwarp Fete Committee etc.
FCS annually puts a sparkly Christmas Tree on the village Green, organises a Children’s Christmas Party and New Year Social for everyone. These are funded by one FCS fundraising event a year, usually a Quiz Night at which the raffle proceeds are often donated to charity.
Twice a year a working party is organised to clear up the church yard. The unsightly bonfire/rubbish dump has been removed from Old Forge Lane and cutting of the Back Lane Green agreed with the conservators.
Regular visits to The Nuclear Bunker/Police Headquarters at Kings Standing are organised with donations going to the conservation area there.
FCS created and now maintains a community website www.fairwarp.org.uk which includes a calendar featuring all local events and information on all the local groups.
Any Fairwarp Ward planning applications are sent to members for their information.
FCS Co-ordinates the Good Neighbours Scheme which supports any residents in need of short term help.
FCS produces a regular newsletter which is sent to members, all local groups and organisations, the police, Parish Councillors, District Councillor, County Councillor, MP, The Conservators of Ashdown Forest, Friends of Ashdown Forest, local Forest Ranger, Maresfield Conservation Group, Editor of Maresfield Church, Editor of Fairwarp Echo, AIRS (Action in Rural Sussex) and all the local businesses that offer concessions. Our preferred method of communication is via email but hard copies are sent to those members who do not use the internet.
Information regarding Traffic Restrictions/ Road Closures, “Lost, Found and Wanted” are sent to all residents who provide FCS with an email address along with reminders of up and coming events as well as any urgent messages from the police or government agencies.
As required, meetings have been co-ordinated by FCS to discuss matters affecting Fairwarp Ward – the Maresfield Referendum, a housing development, the new sports pavilion, the recent telecommunications problems etc.
Residents are encouraged to join Speedwatch, the local footpaths conservation group and regular Litterpicks.
FCS continues to strengthen bonds with the surrounding villages, exchanging information etc.
Over the years FCS has funded/donated to:-
An Information Pack delivered to every household and to newcomers when they move into the area.
50% of cost of a new tractor for QEII Field which is also used to maintain the village green.
The cost of Building Regs for new Sports Pavilion.
Extra signage to the QEII Field, Village Hall & Christ Church.
Noticeboards at Duddleswell, Old Forge Lane & QEII Field.
Additional Grit Bins
Start up donation for Friends of Christ Church
Cost of Minibus hire for Forest Club
New Equipment for Mother, Babies & Toddler Group
Donation to Ashdown RDA to buy equipment
Acted as “Banker” & donated to Royal Wedding & Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
Co-ordinated “in memorium” donations to various village groups.
If you would like to join Fairwarp Community Society or for further information or a copy of the initial appeal letter or the FCS constitution please contact Jan Kemsley, Hon Sec, Fairwarp Community Society, c/o Lampool Edge, Lampool Corner, Fairwarp TN22 3DS Tel No: 01825 713477 email: firstname.lastname@example.org