Bilton Lane, Harrogate
Bilton Lane, Harrogate

New Bilton Community Group on Facebook with community and kindness at the core

14 February 2021

Ben Rothery and Tyler Reeton have set up a new Facebook Group for Bilton, and they are inviting people to join.

See the link Bilton Community Group

Ben Rothery is 21-years-old and a childcare deputy manager at a local school.

Ben said:

I’ve been a lifelong Bilton resident, so I’m incredibly passionate about the area in which I’ve always called home.

Tyler Reeton is the co-founder, he’s 19 years old and moved to Bilton to live with his girlfriend a year or so back. Tyler works in a local supermarket and says he’s fallen for Bilton ever since moving here. We both admire the community feel that’s been made more apparent to us as a result of the group we created.

Ben said:

Both the covid crisis and the serious division in society as a whole inspired us to start a group for our borough of Harrogate.

We felt in a time when we were all encouraged to be physically apart, we could do something positive by keeping people together virtually.

We also felt the world had become divided by politics and wider global issues, which had further decreased the sense of community and common ground people felt across the country.

We acknowledge that as two young people we can’t change the world, or even the country; but what we can do is at least try to help people in our local area by doing positive things. Kindness is key seems to be our new saying.


Ben added:

The group is already achieving some of our goals. Friends and neighbours are keeping in contact, some being reunited from years gone by.

As young people it’s amazing to hear old stories, see pictures of Bilton in the past and just see old friends meeting once again. We also are seeing a lot of help being given, whether that’s for vulnerable people during bad weather or covid, or advice that someone may need.

The people of Bilton are always quick to help. The sense of community on the group is simply astounding, people have really come together.

We also see a lot of local businesses advertising on our business spotlight days, which is encouraging people to shop locally in Bilton. For the future, we hope post lockdowns that something physical may come of it.

Maybe something like community building events and such things along those lines, to keep this sense of community alive.

The group rules with kindness being a key.

Ben said:

We encourage people to debate and discuss, but also to do it amicably.

We also don’t tolerate any sort of hate speech or threatening behaviour but that really should be a given for most local groups nowadays.

Not really a rule, but the page can be used on Wednesdays and Fridays for businesses local to Bilton to advertise.

We call these ‘business spotlight’ days and they’re very popular both with business owners and members.

They would love as many Bilton residents to join as possible, and currently have 1700 members which is amazing considering the group was only made in late December 2020.

They are also working on a website, where people can access their monthly newsletter. The newsletter includes questions for local councillors submitted by members of our group.

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