As the summer draws to an end I have been looking back on how different it was this year. In March as lockdown started my team and I continued to work for our clients, writing bids for numerous funding sources with eye-watering short deadlines. Meanwhile in my hometown Ilminster, I was working with Matt from Spark Somerset, helping to formalise the organic structure which had emerged from the Ilminster Covid 19 Mutual Aid Facebook Group.

My daughter and I enjoyed doing the weekly shopping for three lovely older people each with physical health issues which meant they had to shield for 3 months, alongside many other volunteers supporting their neighbours in a multitude of practical ways.

It was great to experience first-hand the power of community so this month I would like to share some other community activities that you may not have heard about and introduce you to Octobers Spotlight ‘Age UK Plymouth’.

  • Spark Somerset – https://www.corona-helpers.co.uk/ provides support to help informal community groups in Somerset aimed at helping those most at need.
  • Somerset Skills and Learning – https://www.sslcourses.co.uk/ provides funding to help community-based learning develop across the county. I recently sat on the funding panel to help assess funding applications which highlighted the many worthwhile activities being delivered.
  • Age UK – https://www.ageuk.org.uk/ is the national older peoples charity helping support over 130 local Age UK branches

Our Spotlight charity for October will be Age UK Plymouth, you’ll hear lots more about them next month but in the meantime do visit their website: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/plymouth/ One of the new projects they started during Covid 19 was the phone friend service, it enables people who are feeling isolated the opportunity for regular contact and a friendly voice via a dedicated phone line.

If you haven’t already done so, investigate the community initiatives in your area and share them with us, whether you are looking for help yourself or ways to get involved, we would love to hear about your community projects.