8 Aug

Brighstone Church welcomes path improvements


The grounds of St Mary’s Church in Brighstone are now easier to access thanks to a staff volunteering project by Island Roads.

A team of eight employees used their skills to resurface the pathways in the church yard to create smooth, flat surfaces to help those with wheelchairs, mobility scooters and pushchairs. 

The work was carried out at the height of the summer, making for hot work for the team who had to bring all the materials onto site by hand as the church entrances were too narrow for machinery.

The project was undertaken as part of Island Roads’ staff volunteering scheme which encourages employees to take up to two days paid leave each year help with charitable and community projects.

Paul Gibb-Narey, Highways Supervisor at Island Roads, said: “We have undertaken a lot of highways improvement work in the area recently so were delighted to give something back to the community through this project. The people of Brighstone have always been very welcoming so it was a pleasure to help the church to improve their pathways which are well used by locals and visitors to this picturesque village.”

The church secured a grant from Brighstone Parish Council to cover the cost of materials, which were laid free of charge by Island Roads.

Miriam Crewe of the church’s Fabric Committee said: “We are really grateful to Island Roads and Brighstone Parish Council for supporting our project and would like to thank them for all their hard work. As well as being used by parishioners, the paths through the churchyard are an important thoroughfare for villagers accessing the nearby doctor surgery and primary school – as well as those just taking a stroll around the village. The newly resurfaced paths look great and certainly make it easier for those using wheelchairs or mobility aids.”

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Church Warden June Horsfell volunteers to test the new smooth paths in the church's wheelchair