2020 was a significantly different and challenging year for many. From the devastating fires of ‘Black Summer’ to the floods which saw our Warragamba Dam almost fill due to one rain event, then the Coronavirus. A year to remember for all the wrong reasons.

Many are still coming to terms and recovering from the devastating fires. Many have struggled mentally and financially through the pandemic and continue to. Many people have lost their jobs, seen a decline in their businesses and loved ones have passed from the virus.

When the virus hit Australia, it became apparent that there were residents in our Glenhaven community doing it tough. Residents were isolating because they had contracted the virus or stayed at home because they were vulnerable. We teamed up with Glenhaven Rotary and formed the ‘Glenhaven Covid-19 Mutual Aid’ program to assist those isolating by carrying out their shopping and running errands. This program proved successful, and as the community began to come out of lockdown and restrictions, the program was phased out. We thank those volunteers who assisted.

We thank Glenhaven Rotary for their support and look forward to working with and building on our relationship over the next year!

Unfortunately along with many events, the Glenhaven Carols by Candlelight was cancelled due to the restrictions applicable at the time. This event is the main event in the Glenhaven calendar. It was a shame that the community could not come together to celebrate Christmas and keep the community spirit alive. Unfortunately, as the event didn’t proceed, we could not provide sponsorship for this event – we look forward to assisting The Carols committee next year!

Despite the cancellation, The Carols Committee, together with The Glenhaven Rural Fire Brigade and Glenhaven Rotary organised a fantastic Santa Run! If the people cannot come to the carols, we thought why not take the carols to them! What a fantastic community we live in! Due to the restrictions, Friends of Glenhaven had unfortunately held only one Community Meeting in 2020. This meeting was held in March and saw an array of guest speakers. Fire and Rescue/RFS spoke about bushfire hazard reductions and Castle Hill Police about crime. We continue to see many residents attend these meetings, and we look forward to continuing them this year. Friends of Glenhaven have successfully started the Glenhaven Neighbourhood Watch program, having registered with Castle Hill Police.

Our Facebook page continues to see great engagement from the community, reporting any incidents that may arise. The new ‘Glenhaven Noticeboard by FOG’ Facebook page is also proving a success allowing residents to post questions to other residents such as suggestions for tradesman, queries over developments and just general community news.

In the Glenhaven community’s minds for nearly four years, a key issue for Friends of Glenhaven committee has been the proposed Place of Public Worship at 1 Larapinta Place, Glenhaven. Whilst we have seen that the site chosen for the proposed facility makes absolutely no sense, the applicant continues to push on with the application, having taken it to the NSW Land and Environment Court, with a hearing set for May 2021. The committee and the community continue the fight.

Closing one year and welcoming 2021, the committee would like to thank The Hills Shire Council for its ongoing support over the last twelve months, particularly our Mayor Dr. Michelle Byrne and the three North Ward Councillors, Robyn Preston MP, Dr. Peter Gangemi and Brooke Collins OAM. Without the support of our local council, we don’t know where we would be. The committee looks forward to working with our Mayor and councillors into the future.

To all residents, remember, we are here for you. We aim to provide you with a ‘platform to be heard’. If there is anything of concern, please feel free to email us at [email protected] gmail.com or send us a message on Facebook.

Remember, Glenhaven we are all in this Covid battle together. Pick up the phone and call a friend or a family member. The feeling of being isolated is difficult. Your call could mean the world to someone who is feeling lonely.

On behalf of the committee, I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Glenhaven community a very safe, healthy and hopefully Covid free New Year!

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