Need for a party is perhaps bigger than ever

Torbay Weekly

Gill Knight, community builder for Paignton south - Goodrington, Roselands, White Rock, Hookhills, Broadsands, Galmpton and Churston:

I always find that January hits me with a blast of the blues, and the need to prepare for and look forward to gets many of us through these cold winter months.

It is not always easy to find that something, but maybe we can all get out thinking hats on and find ways to celebrate the forthcoming Queen's Platinum Jubilee within our communities this year.

Funds are available - my community builder colleagues and I are there to help you apply - and the need for a party is perhaps bigger than ever.

2012 saw a rush of red, white and blue bunting fluttering in many streets across the Bay both to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, and that good old British pride made my heart swell at how everyone had got on board in their own ways to celebrate.

There may still be the need to be a little more careful than previously, but street parties and garden parties will help keep activities outside.

The opportunities are endless.

Games, challenges and races will satisfy those of us who are competitive, families can create celebration scarecrows for a trail in your street, friends can knit bunting and letterbox toppers,  fancy dress and crowns can be worn, and posters and fairy lights put up.

We have plenty of time if we start the ideas and planning now, and while I am not blessed with a creative imagination, there are many of you who are, so please do get your thinking hats on, and pass the baton on to those who like organising to make it happen in your area - and make 2022 a year of positive memories for your community.

While on the subject of positive communities, March 20 is International Happiness Day - which sounds like a great day to make a difference.

Focus on happy news, do something to make others and yourself happy, and generally try to spend the day with a smile on your face - smiles are contagious you know.

Until then, however, let's keep practising our smiles and make our communities happier.

Please feel free to rush your ideas and suggestions for the Jubilee celebration to your local community builder.

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