Goodbyes are hard - but hellos can be difficult too

Sally Farrant Community Builder in Shiphay and The Willows

Sally Farrant Community Builder in Shiphay and The Willows - Credit: Torbay Community Development Trust

I’m taking a friend to a new Bereavement Friendship Group soon. If you’ve lost someone in these last 18 months, it’s been particularly difficult due to Covid restrictions in hospitals and on funerals.  
Someone I know didn’t have the opportunity to visit or say goodbye to his mother, who sadly died this year. Saying goodbye is so important if we are to move on.  
This month I’m retiring and saying goodbye to people and communities I’ve come to love. I’m feeling very mixed about it, but it’s time for me to focus on other priorities.  
It’s also time for me to step aside and let people in the community develop the activities they want to offer, especially as we emerge from these months of restrictions.  
A local nursery has connected to a sheltered housing scheme for older people. People with a passion for Kitson Park in Shiphay are connecting with the fledgling Friends Action Group to get improvements underway.  
And in the Willows, there are stirrings to find a location for a new community centre and improve a local play park and green space. So, I’ll be introducing my successor, who will have something fresh to offer these projects.  
Hellos can be difficult too. The anxiety around easing the Covid guidance makes it difficult for many to say hello, join new activities, and develop new friendships. But I’m excited to hear people plan safe ways to restart coffee mornings, exercise classes, table top sales, and even local drama performances!  
Hellos aren’t just about us, they’re about offering what we have to others and you’ve been missed. Talk to your local Torbay Community Builder about what you would like to see happen in your neighbourhood on 01803 212638. 
The new Bereavement Friendship Group meets on the fourth Thursday of the month at Furrough Cross United Reformed Church, Babbacombe Rd TQ1 3SB. Drop-in anytime between 10.30 am - 12.30pm. Further details from Community Builder Amanda Lynn on 074548 704792.