Following the closure of Hillside Residents’ Association (HRA), Chairman David Smith spoke of his disappointment and frustration.
He said: “I am quite annoyed… to close down in the way we have is upsetting. The way the community has acted, at times, is almost lethargic and apathetic. No one seems to have wanted to make the effort and help us keep going.”
Although critical of the community, David acknowledged that HRA may simply be outdated in a time of online communication.
The chairman said: “We are living in a time where most communication takes place online and people rarely meet face-to-face or have that real connection. We needed that one-on-one communication to make a difference, but the problem is that vulnerable people don’t really have the confidence to do that.”
Beyond alienation from the community, David said the cost of helping people was at times too great to maintain. “It almost felt like we were taking resources that could have been used elsewhere. We would be helping one person and spending around £800.”
Despite his disappointment at Hillside Residents’ Association’s closing, the chairman feels positive about some of its defining moments.
“There are points that stand out. Helping raise money for the defibrillators fund was a big one.”
HRA held a quiz night event in 2015 to raise funds for defibrillators in Abbots Langley. As well as donating all profits from the night to the cause, the HRA committee also decided to donate £400 itself.
Defibrillators in the parish was a significant focal point for HRA’s efforts. They also held a Fun Day in order to raise money to have more of the devices in the area.
In spite of HRA’s closing, David is not done helping his community. He and his wife visit the Victoria House in Watford to help elderly people with dementia.