Friends of Flitch Way one of three nominiated charities for the year

Three boys on bikes under a brick arch bridge

Cycling on the Flitch Way. Picture: Braintree District Council - Credit: Braintree District Council

The Friends of Flitch Way is among three charities chosen to receive a chairman's support for the year.

Councillor Sue Wilson is chairman for Braintree District Council until April 2021.

Chairman of Braintree District Council, Councillor Sue Wilson

Chairman of Braintree District Council, Councillor Sue Wilson - Credit: Braintree District Council

Cllr Wilson said: “The past year has been tough one for many charities so I hope I can go some way to highlight the great work carried out by Colne Valley Railway Preservation, The Friends of the Flitch Way and Home-Start Essex and help support their fundraising efforts.”

Stan Davies, chairman of The Friends of the Flitch Way said: “We are delighted that Cllr Wilson has chosen us.

"We work hard to maintain and improve the Flitch Way, Blackwater Rail Trail and Essex countryside areas for the benefit of the community.

"We set out to bring together local like-minded people keen to keep active and with an interest in the outdoors and conservation who want to maintain and improve the environment for the benefit of the community.”

The Friends of the Flitch Way work under the guidance of Essex County Council's park rangers at Great Notley.

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Their footpath group recently cut back an overgrown bridleway in Great Bardfield.

In May five volunteers installed two new picnic benches and a park bench at High Cross Lane East. Little Canfield Parish Council purchased the benches through an Essex County Council's councillor grant.

They are currently trying to fund a major project to replace and extend the Dunmow boardwalk on the Flitch Way near Oak Spring at Great Dunmow. 

The two other supported charities also said they were grateful for the support.

Bryan Burrough from Home-Start Essex said they work to build the confidence and skills of vulnerable parents to help pre-school children.

"We use trained volunteers to visit parents every week. We are often the only contact the parents receive each week.

"By giving support to the parents we can help early year’s development for their children. We also run family groups which help tackle isolation.”

Paul Lemon from Colne Valley Railway Preservation said that any money raised will help to maintain educational activities and the community history museum which includes the demonstration railway.