By Gill Knight, Community Builder for Paignton South – Goodrington, Roselands, White Rock, Hookhills, Broadsands, Galmpton and Churston
While I am sat here watching the TV, and seeking inspiration, worrying about fuel shortages, and will I have enough diesel to see my 92-year-old dad who lives 75 miles away, I realise that every one of us is worrying about something.
The current situation shows how the withdrawal of an everyday item can impact us all.
How many of you have family or neighbours who are reliant on daily carers?
Will those carers have enough fuel to do their jobs?
I met a lady at the petrol station who drives a school minibus but couldn’t get fuel.
I am questioning our common sense, as the need to look out for each other often gets lost when media hype takes over and everyone just looks out for themselves.
In our role as community builders, we are encouraged to focus on what is positive in a community and build on it to find ways to bring the community together.
I have found the Nextdoor web page a great way of keeping a thermometer on what is happening in the community.
As more people join, awareness of what is happening locally increases.
It is a bit like Facebook for your neighbourhood and offers an opportunity to share information, requests and resources.
In Hookhills, a lovely couple decided to dig a pollinator patch and plant wildflower seeds.
This had a lovely impact on their community; photos were shared, an application for a bench has been made, spring bulbs have been offered – in fact, the good things have snowballed.
Locally, Hookhills Community Centre is now open, groups and classes are happening – there is still space to learn to play bridge – and Goodrington St George’s groups are coming together for friendship, exercise and crafts.
Time Out café is providing Silver Surfers computer help on a Friday and a monthly genealogy club.
Galmpton Institute has pilates, snooker, and I heard some strumming of ukuleles when passing the Barn Chapel.
Each of these groups gives us the feeling of belonging and every interaction the opportunity to understand and think of others a little more.
If you are wondering what you could do locally to get that warm buzz of belonging, please give your local community builder a ring on 07884 887 063 and we will be happy to chat about what is going on in your area or help you get something started.
Don’t delay – do it today! Or call Torbay Community Helpline on 01803 446022.