By Usha Garrattley, Community Builder for Ellacombe & Plainmoor
One warm, sunny afternoon, I walked to Brewery Park with Doreen.
Sitting in the sun and having a chat with a few people made a big difference to Doreen who, apart from shopping, hadn’t done anything like this for over a year!
Like many others, she has lost confidence. It’s going to take small steps and time to begin reconnecting to each other in the community.
Before lockdown, I spent my days out and about in an amazing community in Ellacombe and Plainmoor, listening to people and finding out what matters to them.
Last year, we had to adapt our community building but were able to do this via the Torbay Community Helpline, matching fabulous volunteers in the community with people needing help with shopping and telephone befriending, among other things.
Again, friendships were formed and people connected with each other, building community.
When I bumped into Beryl last autumn, she wistfully mentioned how she loved the community trips we used to do.
So just before the November lockdown, I supported two trips in one of our Ourbus minibuses to Endsleigh Gardens and Trago Mills.
I’ve already been approached by people wanting community trips, which we hope to resume in May!
Where would you like to go in a group of eight? Let’s arrange it.
What else would you like to see happening in our community?
We need to be realistic. People are still feeling vulnerable.
We have an immediate need for walking buddies to go out with people who have been shielding and who remain nervous about venturing outdoors or would simply like someone to walk with.
Is this something you could help with?
We are taking small steps to reconnect with each other and to rediscover the gifts and abilities within our community.
A recent joy was to put Penny in touch with Frankie who repaired her Ted, a lifelong friend who had lost his nose! What hidden talents there are among us in Torbay!
Remember, community is something we do together.
Give me a ring and share your ideas; I would love to hear from you – call me on 07702 557 723.