The Wise Men of Torbay – Community Matters

By Leah Whitcher, Community Builder for Torre & Upton

At the start of 2020, a handful of Community Builders travelled to Camden in London to see how they engaged older people with their communities. We took away lots of great ideas and then Covid hit. Well, a couple of weeks ago I attended an online workshop hosted by the same Ageing Better project in Camden. The workshop focused specifically on Camden and Birmingham’s successes in connecting men with activities, groups and each other. One fantastic project was a group of old friends who, after not seeing each other for a long time, met at the funeral of a friend, got chatting and decided to meet up for a kick about with a football in a local park. It became a regular event, turned into a proper local team and, with funding from Ageing Better, they got some team kit and ended up entering the FA People’s Cup and winning! From such tiny acorns do mighty oaks – or football teams – grow.

Well, we know that there are lots of men out there in Torbay with so much to offer; your kindness and your wisdom; your knowledge and your strength. Where are you all hiding? We need you! YOU are very much wanted and needed in your neighbourhoods and we can connect you with pretty much anything you like doing and if we can’t do that we can help you get something off the ground. It doesn’t have to be big – little acorns and all that.

After a very challenging and often lonesome time during the past two years, we are calling on all the amazing men out there in Torbay (yes, that mean you too) to stop hiding their lights under bushels. Contact me (Leah, Community Builder for Torre and Upton) and I can put you in touch with your local Community Builder and between us all, we can weave our own magic across our beautiful bay in 2022. Call me on 07703 715235 or email

Who needs Father Christmas? Unless it’s you, of course.