Community Living Rooms – What’s happened so far?
Earlier on in the year, we told you about a new project we were starting up, called Community Living Rooms – which was all about creating a series of pop-up events throughout the Wingrove area, which would offer a friendly social space for people living in the ward to come along and enjoy getting to know more about Greening Wingrove and meeting new people. What we also wanted to do was offer lots of informal learning opportunities, covering a vast array of topics, including making easy food as well as seeing new groups develop.
The events have taken place at local community venues, including the Stanton Street Lounge in Arthur’s Hill on the first Tuesday of the month (11am-1pm), the Spitler (formerly the Spital Tongues Community Centre) in Spital Tongues on the second Saturday of the month (12-3pm) and the Robert Stewart Memorial Hall on Wingrove Road on the last Tuesday of the month (5-7pm). PLEASE NOTE the timing of the events have been subject to change
So, how have we got on? The months since March, have been very interesting as an opportunity to meet lots of the community, opening up to lots of new learning and opportunities and really importantly offering a friendly open space that all have been welcome to come along to.
What has also been invaluable for the project team is learning what works and what doesn’t. It has been wonderful to see members of the community come forward to host sessions, including Brian Hannah, a local businessman, who sells jams and preserves as The Jam Man. Brian’s sessions have been fun, informative and really given those who’ve come along the confidence and realisation that you can make easy food, that’s cheap and delicious, using what you can easily access, using what you may have grown yourself or bought the fresh fruit and veg at Hutchinson’s grocery or the many other local shops. Clearly this has been the appeal and the fact that people certainly share the common love of food.
Things that haven’t worked so well have maybe related to particular venues and unfamiliarity with particular themes. Nonetheless, this has all been part and parcel of figuring out how to make Community Living Rooms work and to honestly see whether there would be an appetite for such a thing.
Our biggest aim with the Community Living Rooms project has been to connect to the community in Wingrove and in turn to help it’s members connect to one another. The last few months have shown that there is a will for this and we have certainly seen the connections being made.
With less than a year remaining of the Greening Wingrove Project, the team is very keen to explore ways to engage the community on the prospect of keeping these engaging and meaningful spaces alive, with organisation shifting from the project team. Lots of thought is being given as to how this can be made a reality.
Would you like to share any ideas you have with us? Would you like to find out more about the Community Living Room events? We would love to hear from you.
Until then, we’d love to see you along at our sessions coming up.