Woollen Hats for our Armed Forces

I was extremely saddened and disappointed to read the article in last week’s Bury Times regarding the extraordinary exchange of words between Ramsbottom’s Labour Councillor – Joanne Columbine – and a band of volunteers who have been knitting thousands of woollen hats for our servicemen in Afghanistan.

If you have not seen it, you can read it here:-


I really cannot understand how an elected representative and a Deputy Cabinet member of Bury Council can actually criticise people who are offering up their spare time to help our armed forces.

We should all welcome volunteering efforts – whatever they may be.  Isn’t this is what our society is all about – encouraging people to take an active role in their own communities?

I think that this is something that everyone intrinsically understands from the point of view of ‘helping your neighbour’.  Whether it is an individual act of kindness to an elderly resident of your street, or people banding together to make positive changes to their local community – we should welcome the great work that volunteers are already doing in communities up and down the country.

Indeed, here in Ramsbottom, I would particularly like to thank members of Ramsbottom Rotary, Peel Lions, our Churches and all the voluntary organisations in our town who turned out over the Christmas period to fund raise and help those in need.  Their work should be an inspiration to us all.

I sincerely hope that Cllr Columbine’s words do not put a dampener on the volunteering spirit in our town.  Knowing the people of Ramsbottom as I do – I am confident that they won’t.