The Ramsey Initiative has been working for the people of Ramsey for twelve years. Its aims are to encourage investment, enterprise and civic pride in the town and surrounding villages.

It does not receive any public funds. All its projects are either self-funding or paid for by money it has raised through bids to various organisations.

The Initiative circulates regular bulletins and supplies information that helps to support the business community. It provides ‘Job Search’, an award winning service that joins local job seekers with training and job opportunities. For example, in October a long-term unemployed Ramsey resident, was the first person to be awarded £500 to start a business of his own. This money was obtained through the help of ‘Job Search’ and Unltd, an organisation that supports local entrepreneurs. To obtain an award there are three requirements. The business or person operating the business must be based in Ramsey Parish. The business must be a new one and not one already running. It must be a social enterprise. The Initiative would like to encourage anyone who has a bright idea and wants to begin a business in Ramsey to get in touch.

The Initiative encourages people to apply for a Loyalty Card. This entitles you to various privileges and discounts on purchases provided by selected retailers in the town. Details are available from the office at 21 Great Whyte, Ramsey.

In April the Initiative sponsored a Cabaret Supper. In June the Ramsey Beacon was lit to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. During the summer it initiated a market on Tuesday mornings in addition to the regular Saturday Market. This will return in the spring and the Initiative hopes to see shoppers and stall holders ready to give Ramsey’s economy a boost. In October we had a traditional continental market that was highly successful with stalls from France, Belgium, Italy, Holland and Poland. During November and at the beginning of December Father Christmas waited in his Grotto on the Great Whyte to raise funds for the Initiative and to hand out presents and Christmas wishes to local children. Throughout the rest of December there will be a raffle to raise funds. The prizes include a grocery hamper, toiletries and a compendium of games, generously donated by The Anglia Regional Co-op and Tesco.

Plans for 2013 include another cabaret and more continental markets. The Initiative hopes that all its events will be well supported by local residents as the money raised goes back into the community. Above all, the Initiative will be working constantly for the benefit of Ramsey and the villages.

The Chairman, Committee, Members and Supporters would like to wish your readers a very Happy and Prosperous New Year