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Cornard People

Page updated - 01 December 2010


           Tina Whiting     &     Ann Ross


Tina moved here from South London nearly six years ago to be nearer her family. She found it very quiet compared to where she had come from but was glad to get away from the dirt, burnt out cars, crime and drugs that she had left and found Great Cornard a better place to bring up her four children, all boys now aged between 9 and 16.


Ann has two children, a boy and a girl and moved here from Hackney 12 years ago because of her husband’s work and also to give the children more freedom to play out in safety.


Tina and Ann live next door to each other and became friends. They soon realised that there was not much to keep their children occupied in the area and they started playing games with them outside on the Green. Other children seeing this wanted to join in and so both Tina and Ann thought it would be good to start to organise things for them to do. After talking to other parents in Rede Way, Raydon Way, Hartest Way & Minsmere Way; T.A.N.K. was born, taking the initials from Tina, Ann, Nicky and Kim who were all originally in the group. Nicky, although she still helps out, does not play such a big part now and Kim has moved from the area and left the group but Tina and Ann are still as enthusiastic as when they first started in 2006.


They have a meeting at Clover Court Community Centre every Tuesday morning to discuss future events and compile a wish list of things they would like to do and how to achieve this. The aim of the group is to improve life in their community, with particular emphasis on providing more activities for children in the area.


In this it has definitely succeeded and at one of their events at the Clover Court Community Centre it is obvious how all the children love Tina and Ann. They were teaching the children some of the hazards of using the Internet - which they illustrated by letting the children use the computer to ‘chat’ to someone who they did not know then got them to guess how old that person was. One of the adults was on the other end of the line and suggesting that they were younger. It was done with great good humour but it did make the children realise how they could be misled. Cyber bullying was also dealt with and there was also a lady from Babergh Council illustrating the danger of drugs. It was all done is such a casual and sociable way that children and also adults were learning without realising it - which is a good way to take in information.


The first event that TANK organised was an art project that involved the children and adults redesigning an open space area on the estate. The children created images, for the large stone artworks, that are embedded in a series of pathways around the estate. The pathways themselves are named after the fields that used to be there. The success of this project led to many other activities and meant the children got involved in all types of events including photography, bug hunting, wall climbing, litter picking and helping out at Shawlands Wood, putting in plants to attract butterflies and cutting back scrub. Ann filled her own garden with cabbages to attract caterpillars and all the children enjoyed seeing them turn into chrysalises and then into butterflies.


There are always special fun events at key times of the year, such as Easter, Halloween - when all the children dress up - and at Christmas. This year 30 of the younger ones are going to a pantomime at the Quay theatre and the older children went to Thorpe Woodlands for a go at wire walking in the trees. Vandalism has dropped on the estate and no windows have been broken at Clover Court Community Centre as used to happen regularly. The children know it belongs to them and so treat it with respect.


In March 2009 TANK received two awards - the Babergh Community Achievement Award 2009 and the Babergh Special Award 2009.


Tina and Ann are very special people - they give instead of taking and what they give helps our village to become a better place in which to live.



Interview by Joan Herbert (Cornard News) – 12 November 2010