The sudden closure of the Children’s Centre left people without a community hub that they had previously relied on. Confusion and disappointment were left behind. The local councillors engaged me in helping groups and individuals to work out what should happen next. This involved finding out who the groups were, what did they want to do, what did they need and also did they still want to meet?
We set up regular drop-in times to be there, giving an opportunity to chat, ask questions, find out things and to grow relationships. Gradually we built a timetable of mostly self-led groups to fill all the library opening hours. For example, the Knit and Natter group started with four members and grew to more than 100 participants over time.
We had a Food for Life Celebration, which was the culmination of three years work. The celebration included food from many cultures including from the local allotment group. We only did a little promotion and had planned for 50 people, but 150 came!
Volunteer recruitment at this event generated many new volunteers and further supported the development of the Dalton Together organisation.
A community recipe book has also been published and the Men’s Matters Group contributed recipes to this.
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Thank you to Louisa for sharing this story after participating in one of our “How can more people come together to make local places better?” online workshops for Kirklees citizens.