The idea for Cirencester Sofa Month came about in a community meeting over lunch. People there, were given the chance to think creatively about how to build even more welcoming communities. Many noted that Cirencester is already a welcoming place, but many wanted to ensure that that welcome was extended even wider.
On one of the tables a group developed an idea of Cirencester Sofa Month - a way to try and reach out to people in different places around Cirencester by making a space to sit and chat. Within a week from the lunch the sofa was launched into the town. Now an afternoon is being planned on 17th December to bring people that met on the sofa with others to share ideas and plan ways forward.
What did you do on the sofas?!
The volunteer 'Sofa Sitters' asked questions of passers-by like:
You can see blog 'posts' from each week on this website by clicking on the 'Content' button below. Also in the following video made on the first day residents explain the idea behind this initiative where conversation and selfies sit together. This video has also appeared on a local Churches website and was even shown to a congregation. See it at: http://youtu.be/wqPDXgXhWME
And see day two talking to others on the sofa about local projects: http://youtu.be/TjSpvAR4I3E
And more film from the sofa: http://youtu.be/79H311GYEe4
Already close to 200 conversations have been had by the Sofa Sitters and some connections are already being made. Some might lead to exciting projects as people share a huge range of ideas like community cafes, Men's Sheds, a gardening group, an 'Upcycling' group and sports coaching. But it is also the other connections between neighbours that can seem small, but can also be life changing; already an older woman who talked of her loneliness has been connected to a young woman in her neighbourhood. See the blog 'posts' for more stories and we hope to share more soon as they develop.
Residents have also talked on BBC Radio Gloucestershire and Radio Corinium. Here is the link to the BBC Radio Glos interview with Sue Price and Jennine Bailey about the sofa: http://www.yourewelcome.to/explore/story/the-cirencester-sofa/bbc-glos-i...
As noted above the next steps are planning a party on 17th December to bring people together.....join us 2pm to 6pm at the Barn Theatre.