Houghton and Wyton community groups stepped up in pandemic

Leah Zich, Vickie Graham, Clare Green from 'The Great Get Together' an event held in 2019.

Leah Zich, Vickie Graham, Clare Green from 'The Great Get Together' an event held in 2019 in Houghton. - Credit: Lane Thompson

The villages of Houghton and Wyton sit under one parish council and share lots of community groups and resources.  

Lois Dale, clerk of Houghton and Wyton Parish Council, praised their Houghton and Wyton Timebank, for its support throughout the last year.  

Lois said: “The parish council’s initial response when the pandemic hit was to work with our TimeBank that has plenty of volunteers, and they became the main focus of the parish council’s activity. 

“Lane Thompson, who leads the TimeBank, organised the volunteers, and councillors offered their help. 

“The TimeBank and parish council, also got involved with a charity that was set up to help create food parcels, which was part of' Our Shop, a community shop, located on the green. 

“The parish council gave a large donation of £1,000 for us to provide meals to Houghton Primary School."

Villagers of Houghton and Wyton basking in the sunshine in July 2020 in an outdoor coffee morning.

Pat Makinson, Jean Miller, John Amdor, Sheila Oliver, Martin Oliver, Alan Williams, Karen Pickin, basking in the sunshine in July 2020 in an outdoor coffee morning. - Credit: Lane Thompson

The TimeBank also set up outdoor coffee mornings which happened weekly in Houghton last year, throughout the green spaces, which they say was beneficial for older people in the community. 

Most Read

The TimeBank also collected prescriptions for people who were shielding or needed help with food shopping.   

“They also set up a network of phone calls for people to chat to one another, if they were feeling alone or isolated, some people were really grateful for this as many people developed friendships with one another.

“I am so proud of our TimeBank ever since it was set up, it has been such a success.”

 Two Morrisons colleagues, Melanie Potter, Mary Whitehand, Alison Holmes, Stuart Billingham

Two Morrisons colleagues, Melanie Potter, Mary Whitehand, Alison Holmes, Stuart Billingham - Credit: Lane Thompson

Lane continued: “Whilst the TimeBank did organise a lot of these things, which of course was a good thing, it would never have been successful without the generosity of spirit that exists within the village, so many people stepped up to help.” 

Pete Tonks, an architectural designer from Houghton who owns PJT Custom Build Ltd, has also contributed to events in the village.  

Pete said: “I am on the Christmas lights committee and every year for a week over Christmas, where the green is, the road gets closed off and Father Christmas comes in on his sleigh, we have a traditional merry go round and swing boats.  

“The whole of the village comes along, whilst the lights get switched on, it’s a great event.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter