Community Coffee Morning Blyton Ice Cream Parlour
Whilst we are a larger organisation, we work very locally in our communities and are passionate about developing community cohesion, tackling rural isolation and improving mental health. We are committed to employing local people who have knowledge of their communities and supporting people to become volunteers. We understand how helping others can improve individuals wellbeing and feeling of self worth.
The project was delivered weekly for 25 weeks in the rural village of Blyton where we offered opportunity for families of young children and the elderly to come together to share life stories and toys over a cup of tea. We also provided a craft activity at each session as well as a ‘Toy Library service’ where families could loan toys for a small fee if they wanted to.
We also offered enhanced experiences for the children and the community after receiving very positive feedback during the school holidays. We celebrated events such as Halloween, Christmas and Valentines day. These activities were very popular and attendance increased in the school holidays.
Opportunities were provided with the Toy Library resources as well as additional activities that babies and young children may not ordinarily experience such as Messy and Sensory Play. This also encourages independence and social development, preparing young children to go on to access pre-school.
We gave people a chance to socialise in an informal environment in order to create lasting social networks. Evidence shows that this improves mental health and well being. By engaging in this community activity, we supported people to feel less isolated.
Community cohesion was supported by engaging people from a variety of ages to support cross generation integration.
Our target was to engage approximately 30 people and we are pleased to report we engaged 57 people.
With special thanks to Lincolnshire Community Foundation and the Thonock Trust and Blyton Ice Cream Parlour.