By Paul Trainer, Information Officer for Torbay Together
In Director Michael Winner’s 1964 film, The System, filmed almost entirely on location in Torbay, he depicts an English seaside town called Roxham that thrives during the summer months but effectively dies outside of the tourist season; beyond the holiday period, there is little to do in Roxham. Winner perhaps renamed his resort location for fear of offending Torbay’s residents (particularly with the film’s emphasis on the sexually predatory habits of the local lads). But even if there really was nothing to do in Torbay during the winter in 1964 (contradictions on a postcard, please), you only need look at the wealth of activities on Torbay Together (https://torbaytogether.org.uk) to see that it is certainly not the case now.
Torbay’s go-to community platform, managed by Torbay Community Development Trust, centres around a user-led database of activities, groups, events and volunteering opportunities. These activities are searchable by neighbourhood, interests and health conditions. By creating a free profile on the site you can set your own search parameters so that you always find something that is the best match for you. You can search for and connect with other members who share your interests, create chatrooms and collaborate in project teams.
If you are fortunate enough for time to be no object, you could quite easily arrange a whole week of activities to sample: your itinerary could take in the Fun Club and lunch at The Ship Inn on a Monday, Music at Torquay Museum on a Tuesday, Dungeons and Dragons at Idle Games club on Wednesday, Table Tennis at the Acorn Centre on Thursday and a spot of Yoga at The Edge on Friday. If you’ve still got time on your hands for the weekend, you could put some hours in with one of the many volunteer opportunities listed – from charity retail work to youth support, literacy help and Trustee vacancies.
If you haven’t yet taken the time to get acquainted with Torbay Together, then now is a good time to join, because we’re about to become part of something bigger. From February 28th, we are joining forces with partners from Devon Voluntary Action (DeVa) to support a new community platform called Devon Connect.
Devon Connect will combine Torbay Together with Teignbridge, Torridge, South Hams, West, Mid and North Devon to create a one-stop-shop for information and support across the county. The platform’s mission –like that of Torbay Together – is to help communities flourish by connecting members to local activities and promoting social action.
The Devon wide platform is created by Made Open, the same team responsible for Torbay Together, whose mission is to help communities around the world become more sustainable and improve outcomes for people.
As a Torbay Together member, you will become part of the wider Devon Connect, giving you access to information about events and activities county-wide and enabling you to connect with even more members across Devon.
Importantly, if you run a community group or club you will have a much wider audience to promote your work and your activities – and shout out to the rest of Devon about the brilliant things that are taking place in Torbay.
But what about Timebanking? We have a number of active Timebankers on Torbay Together and the good news is that this will still continue when we are part of Torbay Together. Timebank is a skills exchange scheme that encourages mutual acts of kindness. Offers of free help currently listed on the site range from teaching basic sewing skills to a singing performance, whilst other members have made requests for assistance at the Torbay Community Café and someone proficient in British Sign Language to help hearing-impaired members of Timebank.
From February 28th you will still be able to access Torbay Together via our address at https://torbaytogether.org.uk, but you will see that it is part of the larger platform at https://devonconnect.org. Take a look now and see what’s happening across Devon.
If you have any questions or want to find out more about this exciting new development, just contact Paul Trainer, Information Officer for Torbay Together. He is particularly keen to hear from community groups currently not represented on the platform so he can help them get started promoting their activities and opportunities.
You can email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org