TOPCAT purrs on with village community action

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A voluntary village group that organises community activities in Osgodby has pledged to continue after reporting a successful five years.

The Osgodby Parish Community Action Team (TOPCAT) began in 2010 to carry out the ‘action plan’ of the Osgodby Parish Plan.

It was created separately from the parish council, with its own officers and constitution, aiming to run for five years.

“We have done everything we could do,” said TOPCAT chairman Mike Ormian.

Community events included hosting a ‘Shadows’ tribute band, staging film shows, litter picking, looking after flower plantations and helping at the village show.

“Whatever we can do to help the community,” Mike continued.

As TOPCAT ended its first five years, feeling it had achieved its aims, a meeting was held recently where members decided to carry on.

Planned events now include a Spring Litter Pick on April 18, plus weekend film matinees and the Vintage Tearooms, which operates as a pop-up tearoom provisionally booked to come to the village during the weekend of September 12-13.

But despite earning much support from the village, Mike found limits to volunteering.

TOPCAT had considered taking over the Crown Inn as a community activity, inspired by the experience of the successful community-run Heneage Arms in Hainton. It registered the pub as a ‘community asset’ giving it first chance to buy should its owner sell. But, “There was a feeling it was too big a step to take,” Mike added.