It’s like my working life has gone full circle.
20 years ago, I was taking my first tentative steps in the world of local journalism at this very newspaper.
From its base in Queen’s Square, I was given a valuable insight into all aspects of Haverhill life – from the dedication of those living in it to covering Haverhill Rovers at its old home at Hamlet Croft.
They were great times and gave me a fondness for Haverhill that has never left me.
Now, as the communications consultant for ONE Haverhill Partnership, I feel fortunate to have an even closer insight into what truly makes this town tick.
The priorities of the organisation – including education, health, crime and improving the town centre – affect us all.
There are obstacles to overcome but some real achievements that have been made.
But none of this would have been possible without people.
The board members who give so much of their time, voluntarily, to work together for the good of the town under the ONE Haverhill Partnership umbrella.
They come from different sectors and different backgrounds, but they all share that same common goal – to do all they can to improve the life of people who live, work and visit Haverhill.
They come from different political backgrounds but one of the great things about ONE Haverhill Partnership is that politics is left at the door.
I have been proud to be a part of the organisation for more than three years and I can safely say that politics has never been brought into any of the board discussions. That is quite something considering the current political uncertainties.
In addition to the public achievements – from hosting a volunteer garden party to getting Haverhill LifeLink up and running – I also know how much hard work goes on behind the scenes, without ever hitting the spotlight.
The three tiers of local government support our aims in every way possible and there are some really exciting plans that could make a fantastic difference for everyone who wants Haverhill to do well.
There will always be improvements to drive towards. But with everyone pulling in the same direction, these improvements will be made and felt across our town.
How has Haverhill changed in the last 20 years? There has been huge investment in the town and a real commitment shown by many – something that must be applauded and thanked in equal measure.
There are still some issues that remain from almost my very first day at the Haverhill Echo – the A1307 is an example of that, even though some welcome safety measures have been installed.
The one big consistent goes back to people. Not just those involved with ONE Haverhill Partnership but everyone who gives their time, often for no money and no public praise, just to make their town better.
I salute you all.
<By Dave Gooderham, Communications Consultant, ONE Haverhill Partnership>