Community Matters: Looking out for each other in our own local neighbourhood

Jennie Langridge and Amanda Lynn, community builders for St Marychurch, Babbacombe and Maidencombe

Jennie Langridge and Amanda Lynn, community builders for St Marychurch, Babbacombe and Maidencombe - Credit: Archant

Community Matters with Amanda Lynn and Jennie Langridge community builders for St Marychurch, Babbacombe and Maidencombe

Times have been difficult for all of us over the last eight months and we have been working very differently and trying to think of ways to connect to the community.

We are part of the team who set up Torbay Community Helpline and, to date, we are part of the matching team helping people in need to find volunteers, which has been rewarding for us.

When we started to come out of lockdown we wanted to connect again in a safe way.

We started with the council initiative of helping to oversee the shielding parks in our areas.

We also got some lovely volunteers to help us to keep people safe and to be aware of people that have just come out of shielding and may be nervous to go back into the community.

With this in mind and us already in the parks, we went for funding with Active Devon to hold exercise classes in the parks for free which was very well attended.

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As the winter months draw in, we needed to try something indoors to connect with our most-isolated people in a Covid-secure way.

We then started looking for places that were large enough to accommodate the current guidance for our support groups.

We went to local community halls and we decided on St Anne’s Hall and Furrough Cross Church which ticked all the boxes for us, giving us the space and the security we needed.

This was set up purely as a referral process for the people in the community that really needed it, and we are hoping to return to these now that lockdown two has finished.

We are also extremely excited about our Good Neighbours network across Torbay that we have launched recently.

This is for neighbours to look out for each other on your own street or your local neighbourhood.

We welcome anyone in our area to contact us. if you would like to find out more information.

If you want to get in touch, email communitybuilders@torbaycdt.org.uk or call 01803 212638