Community 1 – Vandals 0

Stanford Blooming Marvels were set up a few years with the aim of installing and maintaining planters and flower beds in and near the town centre of Stanford-le-Hope in a bid to brighten the place up and boost community morale. This may seem like a mundane activity to some of our more radical associates but as far as we’re concerned, it’s vital. In these troubled times, seeing well maintained planters and flower beds sends out a clear signal that the majority of residents care about their neighbourhood. Looking after these assets brings people together and helps to build community cohesion.

Most people understand and welcome this. Sadly, there’s a small minority of anti-social scumbags who don’t get it. On the night of Saturday 6th November, some of them overturned one of the planters on London Road near the railway station, damaging the planter and destroying the plants. This is how this shameful incident was covered in the local media: A positive out of a negative as Blooming Marvels respond quickly to vandal attack and residents express appreciation by voting.

The damage was spotted early on Sunday morning and by midday, members of Stanford Blooming Marvels were on site, repairing the planter and replacing the plants. Fortunately, this kind of incident is mercifully rare and hopefully, will never be repeated. A happy spin off from this was publicity for a voting campaign which could win cash for the Marvels in Asda’s community green token scheme. So it looks as though there will be some welcome positives coming out of the aftermath of this incident.

These planters had been recently installed and planted and this was much appreciated by people in the area. So, whoever did this did not just trash a planter – in effect they attacked the community at large. Given the widespread condemnation of what happened, it’s safe to assume that the perpetrators are keeping a very low profile. Hopefully, they’ll see how the community rallied round to repair the damage and support Stanford Blooming Marvels, and they’ll reflect on the damage they’ve done and vow to mend their ways. Because there’s nothing like a bit of community pressure to get people to change their ways. Anyway, it looks like the end result is: Community 1 – Vandals 0.

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