A great way to gather your community together around Christmas time is to offer your community a free mince pie and a warm drink. This is exactly what one community in Stroud did. Summer Street (In Stroud) had also used this as a perfect time to talk to their friends and neighbours about what they considered to be issues in their local area. (At the time of the mince pie mega deal; gritting of the local roads was of strong concern.)
I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Sue, one of the organisers of this event who had heard of the ‘Small Sparks’ grant from Fair Shares and had, with a few other members of her community decided to apply for the full amount of £250 so they could comfortably buy the refreshments and the group needed help in support towards advertising of this event.
To do the advertising the group was able to post information through neighbours’ doors and this was also done with an incentive of ‘bring this and receive your free mince pie and refreshment’ voucher which I was reliably informed worked very successfully.
The idea of the gathering was to discuss what the community feels like it wants and more importantly, what the community needs and this was done through easy discussions and a fill in sheet.
The event was held at three different times and locations to maximise the amount of people that they could talk to which again I think was a very good idea by the group.
Now they will be very busy in collecting all of this data and then creating a fresh action plan to help all residents in their community. I have to say this group has a very strong passion to help their community and I strongly feel that this group will be very successful in completing any task and overcoming any obstacle that’s in their way.
I wish them every success and if you live in Stroud and know of Summer Street then please if you can support the group in any way that would be fantastic. The legacy of this ‘Small Spark’ will go on for a very long time in the future.
I came away from the group feeling very inspired.