Mornings and evenings are getting lighter and there’s a bit more of a buzz in the air! The little bit of extra light is just what I need to get myself moving. Dark winter days are all about hibernation and all I want to do is watch old films and guzzle cups of tea by a toasty fire. Now I can actually see the packets of unplanted bulbs, I’ve run out of excuses ... got to get outside!!!
I kicked off the visits for February by popping along to the Great Oaks Hospice in Coleford. On the first Wednesday of each month they run a very friendly coffee morning (with very lovely cakes). It’s open to everyone to drop in and have a chat about pretty much anything in a very welcoming place. http://www.great-oaks.org.uk/ for more information about what they do.
Really I’m not just about coffee and cake but…I visited the 16 Community Café on Tuesday. From 3.00 pm until 5.00 pm they are running a Community Get-Together. Everyone is welcome to meet up for a chat and a bit of fun. If you need any more information call Kate on (01594) 822073 or try her on bestbutties@FVAF.org.uk. Followed that by meeting with the Coleford Festival of Words Planning Group who are in deep discussion about events and speakers for this summer’s festival. The date is booked 3rd – 8th July 2017. If you would like to get involved, contact Roger via the website:- www.thecolefordhub.info.
Ruth Ward the Engagement Consultant at Learn Direct was my next port of call. She told me about their free, funded employability courses aimed at helping people get back to work. Lots of help for free and great links to local employers. Ruth.email@example.com.
This has been a busy month so far. Luckily I was able to call in to the Tai Chi class at Hanover Court in Cinderford for a little gentle relaxation. I was there with my colleague Marc to make a short film (which you can catch on YouTube soon). Great fun with a very warm and welcoming group – definitely released my inner Chi (not quite sure what that is but I did feel better afterwards).
Just across the road from there at the Forge Centre we caught up with Jackie Frost of Forest Sensory Services. A great place offering help and support to those with visual and hearing impairment. They have their own small shop, raising funds for the centre and are looking to expand in new and exciting ways. For more information have a look at their website www.forestsensoryservices.org.uk . Jackie introduced us to a rather amazing man called Paul, a previous Barnwood Trust grant recipient, who is part of the England bowling team. Following a brain tumour Paul lost most of his sight and by his own admission had lost his zest for life. However, since he found bowling he has been constantly on the go. He travels all around the UK, competing at major competitions and has represented England in many international fixtures, most recently travelling to Israel – what an inspiration!
If you have any people in your community that you may been inspired by , don’t forget to nominate them for the Pride of the Forest Awards www.fdean.gov.uk and follow the link to the Pride of the Forest Awards. It’s a great way to show your appreciation and to promote what they do in the community.
Topping off my travels for the month I visited the westerly extreme of the Forest region by paying a visit to Sedbury. There’s a fantastic new project there in the offing called Sedbury Space. This is a community led project to develop a welcoming and inclusive space for local people. They are working hard to raise money to make their building fit for their new plans and hope to do a big launch of their fund-raising activities with a dance-off in the street. If you fancy shakin’ your stuff in Sedbury, and want more information about their plans, contact me to get their details.
I really can’t believe that that’s February done already! Things are hotting up in the Forest with a few outdoor events on the horizon. So do look out for our Camper Van and come and have a chat….onwards and upwards!!!
Just a thought…
‘The friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away’' - Barbara Kingsolver