Jackie Diffey

Since moving to the area in 2008 with 3 primary-age children, I have been involved in whatever they were doing – Bude Rugby Club fixtures secretary, school PTA committees, and more recently Bude Surf Life Saving Club as volunteer, member then Treasurer, helping to run the ever-popular Christmas Day Swim. 

In 2018, I was part of a group of women who got together simply because they wanted to have a zero-waste shop in Bude. I attended courses on how to set up and run a social enterprise, believing that any profits should be returned to the community for the benefit of eveyone. We sought opinions, campaigned and fund-raised to set up ReFILL Shop CIC as a community interest company – that’s when I realised the true power of action at a local level. We can make just about anything happen if we put our minds to it. 

I am now treasurer and core member of Transition Bude CIC (another social enterprise) which is running a number of projects in Bude-Stratton aimed at strengthening communities, resilience and self-sufficiency. 2020 certainly showed us the need for these things and also what an amazing community spirit there is here. I am naturally a team-player rather than ‘front of house’ but I strongly believe in the power of collective participation and want to see a town council that actively engages with its citizens throughout it’s term, a council that invites contribution and teamwork from outside its members because we are stronger when we work together. I would like to see regular people’s assemblies that ask: ‘what are your priorities?’, ‘what would you like to change?’ and ‘how would you like us to allocate our budget?’ Bude-Stratton is a wonderful place with many dynamic people and organisations all working to make it even better. A council that brought those elements together would be the icing on the cake.