ALCESTER in Bloom has issued a heartfelt appeal for new volunteers to help with planting, dead heading and weeding around the town.

The voluntary organisation has dropped over the last 20 years, from 20 people to only eight, all of whom are over 50, and committee member Maggie Payne has put out an appeal to try and encourage more people to volunteer a little of their time to help with planting in the town.

She said: "I want to reach out to the people of Alcester who are the age I was when I first joined Alcester in Bloom over 20 years ago to consider helping out with this organisation.

"My children were moving from junior to senior school. I was working part time, but found that giving something back to Alcester was my way of contributing to the community, and that gave a great deal of pleasure.

"Working in a local shop I hear the lovely comments. Not only from the locals but also from visitors who regularly come into the town and always mention the flowers.

"We are blessed with Steve Felix from Blenheim Nurseries who gives 100 per cent in looking after the baskets, but we then have 50 troughs to plant up, plus the entrances to the town and various bedding out areas. All done voluntarily by eight people. It's not many is it? The youngest in her late 50s, the eldest in her 70s."

The organisation is looking for people to help out by spending some time planting, weeding or watering the flowers in hanging baskets and troughs around the town.

Mrs Payne added: "I have seen the time when 80-year-olds were on their hands and knees in the gutters pulling out weeds. Litter picks regularly done, schools and public houses all taking part, flowers dead headed weekly, and all because we were in for winning the national competition, which we won.

"Bringing pleasure to the town is a hobby which becomes an enjoyable job if you are dedicated."

Anyone interested in volunteering an hour or more of their free time to help out with Alcester in Bloom, can contact Mrs Payne on 01789 762577.