SOMEONE once told me, North Yorkshire is a community full of volunteers. Every place has something happening; from weird to wonderful, the fascinating to fantastic and, most importantly, truly unique.

For one village in the Howardian Hills, the creation of a newsletter full of different voices, opinions and events summarises a pocketful of community spirit bursting in the area.

The Stillington News has always been a valuable part of village life, from fundraising for international tragedies to celebrating everything British with the Tour De Yorkshire.

What started as the Stillington Parish Newsletter, soon blossomed into a voice for the village, with Brenda Milburn publishing the first edition in 1995.

“People seemed sceptical at first, asking ‘how could this possibly work?’ and ‘how can we possibly fund something like the Stillington News?’ Where there is a will, there is a way,” said Brenda, who is now the chairman of the Stillington News Committee.

“The only aspect that has changed is the format: the stories are the same, the contributions are the same and the community spirit of Stillington will always be the same.

“Stillington is definitely a village of volunteers: everyone is more than happy to help.”

The Stillington News has a committee of four volunteers: Emma Johnson and Tracy Sinclair are the co-editors, Brenda Milburn is (of course) the committee chairman and Dick Tregea is the treasurer.

Published monthly for Stillington and Marton Cum Moxby, the newsletter shares information concerning all aspects of village life, including Stillington Primary School, sporting groups, community fundraisers, the churches, musical sing-a-longs and many more.

“It is impressive how busy Stillington is,” Tracy added, who works for the Wilberforce Trust, near York.

“Looking through all the older editions, there have been so many different momentous events such as the Queen’s 90th birthday, the awful flooding which affected the village and the Diamond Jubilee.

“For anyone new to the village, the newsletter is a wonderful resource and summarises how inclusive Stillington really is.”

Delivering to every household for free every month, the Stillington News receives about 12 regular sponsors from different village societies, small donations from residents and Stillington businesses.

Alongside the donations, eight volunteers are allocated a postal walk around Stillington at the beginning of every month to post the anticipated newsletters.

Both Tracy and Emma co-edit the Stillington News part-time while having other jobs.

Emma is a self-employed bookkeeper, who started working on the newsletter during her maternity leave two and a half years ago.

“Sometimes it is hard to see the wood from the trees, but we wouldn’t have it any other way,” Emma said.

“We have a collection of regular contributors each month, including the church, the gardening club, the Women’s Institution and so many more.

“The newsletter is a handy way to keep everyone informed concerning new activities – we even included a new yoga class, which has proven to be really popular.”

Dick added: “I wouldn’t say surprised, but we are definitely humbled by the amount of support from residents, companies and businesses in the village who contribute content or sponsor the newsletter each month.

“The Stillington News has evolved according to demand and we hope to keep it running for another 25 years.”