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Joy and sorrow on ‘the long Good Friday’

April 5, 2015
STICK AND STONES: With  volunteer Donald Ash

STICK AND STONES: With volunteer Donald Ash

IT’S a happy Easter Day to everyone and a time for reflection on the past week with particular emphasis on Good Friday  . . . when the focus was firmly on the members of our communities who’ve given their all over the years.

I visited my oldest volunteer on Friday. The inspirational 84-year-old Donald Ash from Bentley.

Donald delivers to the ‘close’ where he lives on his mobility scooter.

Sadly he recently fell on the ill-conceived stones outside his bungalow but it doesn’t appear to have slowed the octogenarian down any.

I’ll be looking to resolve the issues for him first thing on Tuesday morning  when everything opens up again (well starts to, anyway)

Next was Bebe  . . . a respected elder in the local community.



The younger Muslim ladies meet at her house and she advises and supports them.

Respecting our elders is so important. They have a knowledge bank and a vast experience of life.

This lady also fed me after eight hours of campaigning with the most delicious home-made kebab and chicken and Muhammad Waheed Rasab as well.

When it comes to champions, then Martin Bateman is at the head of the checkout queue.

I joined Martin, the Asda St Matthew’s community life champion, who is helping mastermind the improvement of Church Hill, Walsall, with the development of a bees- and butterfly-friendly wild flower meadow.

Once upon a time the area was paved with a picnic bench but this just encouraged anti-social behaviour so the local authority removed the bench.

Asda St Matthew’s along with Walsall Arboretum User Group prepared the area, bought the seeds and spent time sowing and raking them in.

FROM LITTLE ACORNS, GREAT OAK TREES GROW: Community life champion Donald Bateman

FROM LITTLE ACORNS, GREAT OAK TREES GROW: Community life champion Donald Bateman

We look forward to many beautiful wild flowers later this year and hope it will develop further over the coming years. Blooms are set to follow.

And finally. . . an urgent appeal for a pillar of his community with a normally cheery disposition.

Please take a look at this photo of 86-year-old Sidney Edlin who went missing from his home in Bentley, Walsall around 3pm last Thursday.

Sidney’s family and West Midlands police are worried about him. He often catches the bus to Walsall town centre and walks around the canals in Pleck and Rough Wood.

If you see him (he could be wearing a flat brown cap) call West Midlands Police on 101 or the Missing People charity on 116 000.

MISSING: Sidney Eldin

MISSING: Sidney Eldin

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