How we started
Long Live Dunstable started when Mary Portas came to Dunstable with the BBC Money Programme, and said it was “like a cemetery” and walked away because she was unable to help. So then Sharon Warboys, and Sharon Knott, later known as “The Sharons,” decided to take action. DLDD Trust the charity was born from the Facebook community page – Don’t Let Dunstable Die. They started the page in March of 2009, with the intention to give community a voice about their town, and to help with communication between the local counsel and the community.
Sharon Warboys then went to parliament and lobbied Barbara Follett MP and Minister for a review of business rates – which was successful. It has grown ever since.
About “the Sharons”
Mrs. Sharon Knott was born in her parents prefab in Dunstable in the late 50’s and has lived in her home town all her life. Seeing her town change over the years, sometimes not for the better, has often frustrated her. Born from frustration, her and fellow Dunstablian Sharon Warboys together created a community information hub to keep people informed of what is happening in their local area. To date they have over 15500+ page followers.
Through this passion Sharon has often been asked to speak to the media on local radio and has been on BBC Inside Out programme (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUKeF8XFby0) and Look East. She personally attends many business events, speaking about ideas for the people of Dunstable.
Sharon’s day job and personal passion for the last 20+ years is to help the most difficult to reach and long term unemployed, gain training education and sustained employment. From this desire to help others, the DLDD trust charity was formed with that as a focus. With her experience and contacts in this sector she has been able to help many people into work. She says, “you never know what is around the corner and how your life can change in an instant, being able to help and support someone that has fallen on hard times or is struggling to get back on track is humbling, and if I can help that person I will.”
Mrs. Sharon Warboys – was born in Dunstable, as were her parents, who also had great ardour for the town. Sharon likes it known, that she is the younger of the two Sharons (by 4 weeks). She is a great believer in going with her gut feeling.
Sharon is a committed and experienced networker and business developer. She has created ideas, developed, sculptured and delivered significant projects. Sharon has been able to balance the needs of stakeholders to develop the Dunstable retail scene including Members of Parliament for the local area. Sharon is comfortable working on multiple projects and can think both creatively and strategically on delivering the end goal whatever that may be. Building long-term relationships with high net worth people comes naturally to Sharon.
What we do now
Don’t Let Dunstable Die – as DLDD Trust is a registered charity (# 1157804). They believe their mission to be ‘the relief of unemployment for the benefit of the public in such ways as may be thought fit, including assistance to find employment.’ They also focus on work closely with the Bedfordshire police, The Big Issue with Lord John Bird and the Social Echo.
It is their belief that working with local people and businesses we can help to foster a high growth, highly skilled local workforce that will encourage entrepreneurial behaviours and ultimately improve the life and prospects of the people of Dunstable.
It is their missions to work with the people of Dunstable to support them in finding exciting job opportunities through the provision of training, soft skill enhancement, appropriate interview and work clothing in addition to transport assistance advice.
They also sit on a joint management committee for the Dunstable Town Centre, sponsor Three Shields, and also sit on the board for Dunstable in Bloom. They have recently partnered with the Dunstable Priory to help raise funds for church improvement.
Who we work with
DLDD works with Local and central government. They also work with local and national companies such as Amazon, The Big Issue with Lord John Bird, Ashton Square, Bargain Booze, Charmed Events, Go Houghton, Three Counties Media, Deakin-White Estate Agents, Grove Theatre, Carnoisseur, Jaw Construction, MJ Security, Old Palace Lodge, StotenGillam, Shirley Hollis Photography, The Cake House, Woodside Clinic, BBC Three Counties Radio, David Whiteley, Bedfordshire Police.
DLDD were awarded The High Sheriff of Bedfordshire ‘Citizenship Of Bedfordshire Award’ by V. B. Taylor DL on February 21 of 2018.
Founders of DLDD Trust Sharon Knott and Sharon Warboys were awarded the ‘Annual Community Cohesion Thank You Awards 2018,’ award in reconciliation and dedication and commitment to supporting the communities and Bedfordshire Police.
Both Sharon Knott and Sharon Warboys were both awarded the “Award Of Recognition – Highly Commended’ by Kathryn Holloway Bedfordshire Crime Commissioner & the Dunstable Police Hub in September 19th of 2019.