From Needy to Needed

From Needy to Needed

As we begin to see how we grow our own version of the People Focus Group warden scheme in the community, thanks to some financial support from Wigan Council, (we think we’ll call ours community connectors), there are at least two things on our mind
How do we keep the relationships between connector and connectee mutual
How do we ensure that people feel needed rather than needy

And as usual as we are thinking, we notice it happening.

Frank, who taught us how to make tea loaf yesterday tells the tale like this.

‘Well I just got off the bus, was looking at the window and seeing what was going on. They dragged me in and they’ve got me cooking for them.’ He has a smile on his face as he tells the tale.

We would say, on Monday we invited Frank in for a brew when we noticed him looking curiously at the signs on the window. He wasn’t sure at first, but our generous nature and offer of a biscuit swung it. There were a few people in and we chatted about who we knew in common and the different places we’d lived in. We enjoyed a bit of banter and a laugh. As he was about to leave, we learned that Frank had been a cook in the RAF and had a real passion for cake making. He didn’t bother much these days. It’s not much fun baking for one. ‘Fancy teaching us we ask?’ His face perked up. ‘I’ll bring a recipe in.” Off he popped with his light up stick keeping him steady and an hour later he was back with a recipe. We know it’s important to strike while the iron is hot, and we’re lucky and also intentional about being able to do that. So come Thursday, Frank was back and in the kitchen baking.

I think we’ll see him again. In fact, I felt a sense that he feels a connection to the place and the people after spending a good part of the day there yesterday feeding us all. He wants to learn to crochet too, and thinks he might join the sewing group and get his wife’s old machine working again.

He stayed until we closed and started to ‘drag’ people in off the street himself. A woman he used to dance with, passed and he ‘dragged’ her in for a drink, telling her ‘they do loads here.’ Perhaps we’ve found one of our connectors 😉

He didn’t need a signpost, or a label of frailty to find his way through the door. Just an open space that supports associational life with a warm welcome.

From Needy to Needed

Community Builder