Community Report

Small Steps to 2024

It’s the last day of the year, a time of reflection. Thinking about endings and new starts or maybe carrying on just as we are, putting one foot in front of the other.

This morning I’m thinking mainly about tea trolleys and wanting one for the small public living room space in the CommUnity Corner. On Tuesday coming we’ve an Open House day at the CommUnity Corner for anyone who wants to lend a hand painting walls, cleaning carpets and windows. We’re getting ready for some welcome sessions on the 12th, 13th and 15th January. We sent out an invite this week and once again my heart melted at the offers. Someone sent me a message saying they couldn’t be there as they are away at the minute but she’d like to offer something when she got back, maybe some baking. 

And that got me thinking too of when I first met her. She was one of the people who came forward during lockdown to help with the pantry. She has a passion for reducing food waste and alleviating poverty and is a talented cook. I remembered standing with her in the pantry and us both chatting about, ‘it’s a shop we need’, somewhere where people can buy odds and sods but more importantly have human connection with each other. And, three years later, almost to the day we’re about to make it happen. That really is dream coming true stuff, along with a lot of hard, steady, paced and deep work. 

One of the things we are going to be doing this coming year is aligning ourselves more to the Seasons and deepening our practice. Working with Paul Connery we’re inviting local people and collaborators into a twelve month programme. We’ll start in February with Imbolc.

I get a sense that we’ve probably naturally fallen into a bit of this pattern. I spent the last day or so pulling together the data from the community survey, ready for an organising circle get together mid January and some collective reflection and planning. 

The survey, which is becoming an annual thing helps us to bring more voices of the community into the gathering and ensure we hold space for those we’ve yet to hear.  As well as celebration, there’s been some real good challenges this year which feels really healthy.

“What have been the highlights of the year?” was one the questions we asked this year. 

Being together seems to be a strong answer. Joyfully being together. In the parks with each other playfully, in the creative spaces making, celebrating each others work and contributions to community life, sharing stories and creating places where we laugh and cry and create together.

I suppose there’s no better way to sign off 2023 than with the words of local people. Of course, there’s always work to be done, but stopping to celebrate and let what’s grown before our very eyes sink into the community psyche opens the heart and strengthens the collective spine for what’s coming next.

Love and Power. 2024 Ey Up we are ready.

I certainly wouldn’t have met lots of people across the community without the connections found via Facebook or EyUp magazine. It’s enabled me to benefit from resources for my Brownies and Guides units, community cash, and I’ve been able to support other groups in return. I’ve been able to benefit from free items as a single parent and been able to give preloved items to others in need, also reusing items. I’ve attended afternoon teas with elderly relatives which has been invaluable for socialising and at low costs.

People genuinely want to come together and make the community a better place.”

Lots of different generations coming together. Neighbours getting involved. Recognising and chatting to familiar faces whilst out shopping or walking. It is feeling more like a community living in the area, people wanting better for the community we live in.”


Community Builder