The beginning of January saw some of the snowiest and iciest condition in Southend for many years. With many paths, walkways, pavements iced up. This meant that for some of the most vulnerable people in Southend, not just the elderly but pregnant women for example, it was a concern to step outside. Some of the paths were so thick with snow and ice that these residents were afraid to go out, meaning shopping wasn’t done and pensions weren’t collected. I was even told of one resident who had not left her flat for over a week due to her fears of slipping over and injuring herself.
Cllr Blaine Robin and I received a number of calls from concerned residents complaining that Estuary Housing Association had done little to help the situation. This was the catalyst that made Blaine and I attempt to bring together some ‘hardy’ volunteers to help clear some of the icy paths and walkways. Luckily we weren’t short of residents moved to do something about the situation.
Despite the cold and, at times, hard work there was a great community spirit and everyone was determined to help their fellow residents. As we were working we managed to recruit further volunteers who loved what we were doing for the residents of the Estate. We even had a group of kids help out, concerned about their own grandmothers walking in the treacherous conditions.
These people that gave up their time to help one another when they could have easily stayed inside looking after ‘number one’. It was great to see such community spirit on the Woodgrange Estate and it turned out to be an enjoyable time.