Report on Holsworthy Community Wellbeing event

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Report on Holsworthy Community Forum’s Community Wellbeing Coffee Morning
Memorial Hall 9am to 12pm 18/07/2018

Introduction
The key aims of the event were to help and encourage local people of all ages to:
 find out about their local community groups and services
 gather useful information and know where to go for advice
 provide inspiration to take up new activities and make new friends
 offer an opportunity to have their voice heard.

We also hoped by bringing community groups and services together under one roof
we might:
 strengthen local connections
 encourage networking and the sharing of resources and in some cases
 springboard new community ventures

The event was organised by Sandra Willetts and other members from the Holsworthy
Community Forum with support from Billie Burnett from West Devon CVS and Rose
Hunter from Wiser£money as part of the Transitions project.

The Holsworthy Community Forum was set up about 10 years ago to give people the
opportunity of networking and signposting to encourage community inclusivity. We hope
that by working together we are able to give Holsworthy a stronger Community voice.

Transitions is a partnership between Wiser£money and West Devon CVS and is funded by the
Big Lottery for 3 years to provide free and confidential money and debt advice across the
rural settlements of West Devon and Torridge for those unable to access mainstream advice
and to work with community partners to improve rural communities financial wellbeing and
reduce social isolation.

  • 1. Summary outcomes and findings from the event
     Over 150 members of the public attended
     13 voluntary and statutory groups had stands covering physical and mental
    health, benefit and debt advice, family services, volunteering and community
    safety
     The event was advertised in the Bude & Stratton Post, and flyers were
    distributed across Holsworthy to partner organisations and in shops and public
    buildings.
     Over £250 was made to contribute to the work of the Holsworthy Community
    Forum

From surveying stallholders
 100% of stall holders had increased their knowledge of other services (yes lots 86%, a little 14%).
 100% of stall holders had been encouraged to engage with other services (yes lots 86%, a little 14%).
 100% of stall holders had used the opportunity to consult with the public about their service (29% yes lots, 71% a little).

What stall holders thought worked well? The event was well organised, friendly and informal. There were lots of people to talk with; both members of the public and other organisations. It offered networking and an opportunity to communicate and advertise ourselves in an isolated community. A good mixture of services attended. It was a relaxed event. People were happy to exchange information.

What could be improved? Maybe more time to engage with people.

Community Wellbeing consultation with members of the public

To capture feedback from members of the public we created a wellbeing tree.

The Community Wellbeing tree is a three dimensional tree. We talked with members of the public and asked three questions.
What makes Holsworthy a great place to live? (Answers were written on the green leaves.)
What has been lost from Holsworthy? (Orange leaves around the base of the tree.)
What could make Holsworthy even better?
(Red apples).

If services or community attributes were given that had already been written on the leaves and apples we added a tick next to it, the more ticks, the more people agreed with it.

The most important services and community attributes spoken about (in order of how many times they were mentioned):
Community spirit – St Peter’s Fair, lovely town full of friendly people, coffee mornings, hospital and clinics, community nurses, big park (from a 6 year old child), walking group, lots of clubs, buses are good.

The services or attributes that had fallen away: banks have closed, ladies fashion shops have gone, village buses and shuttle bus to market and hospital and doctors
.

The most important services and community attributes spoken about (in order of how many times they were mentioned):
Community spirit – St Peter’s Fair, lovely town full of friendly people, coffee mornings, hospital and clinics, community nurses, big park (from a 6 year old child), walking group, lots of clubs, buses are good.
The services or attributes that had fallen away: banks have closed, ladies fashion shops have gone, village buses and shuttle bus to market and hospital and doctors have been lost, farmer’s market – now wives/partners shop at Waitrose and not in town.

The things that would make Holsworthy even better:
 Provide free parking – losing shopping trade – people are going to Waitrose and not the town centre.
 Bring back the shuttle bus to the hospital and medical centre costs up to £7 for a single taxi ride.
 Bus to Plymouth and Tavistock have to travel to Okehampton to pick up Exeter bus.
 Increase direct bus service to Launceston (only one on Saturday morning with the return in late afternoon)
 Ring and Ride won’t help people who own a car (I do but I am 80 and don’t want to drive too far)
 Flowers – more planting to make Holsworthy look pretty and inviting.
 More interesting shops
 More investment in shops – cut business rates.
 Coffee shops
 Activities cost too much money in Holsworthy. More free things going on in my small village.
 Market needs improving; closing the banks has not helped.
 Traffic – very busy through centre of town.

2. Feedback from the organisers
Forum members were really pleased with the number of members of the public that attended and the feedback they received from individuals many who said thank you before leaving. They noted that some members of the public were not aware that the Holsworthy Hospital offered so many clinics and services (40 clinics) with one person saying they thought the hospital had closed.

The Wednesday morning coffee mornings and raffles are a regular activity that members of the public (predominately older and retired) really value and enjoy as a social activity and opportunity to meet up with friends and family. Many did not attend to find out about local services and did not circulate around the stalls. Instead the stall holders ended up moving around the tables chatting to people and handing out leaflets. Which actually worked well but it took the stallholders a bit to time to realise this was what was needed and for the public to become interested in the services attending.

There was lots excellent networking between services and sharing of contact details and once everyone had mingled there was a real buzz of interest and excitement from the public.

The consultation offered an insight into local people’s views, what is valued, what has been lost and what would improve Holsworthy. Like other rurally isolated market towns the loss of bus services and closure of banks and local shops is impacting on the town’s sustainability and the public’s access to local services.

Local people’s concerns’ for the viability of the town centre were well thought through and the organisers will share the findings with Holsworthy Town Council and the local Mayor and discuss them at their Forum meetings. It was noted that Holsworthy does not have its own Neighbourhood Plan which would be the ideal vehicle to ensure these views, ideas and priorities are discussed, developed and actions taken as part of a strategic plan for Holsworthy.

It was also recognised by the organisers that a local directory detailing services available to people living in and around Holsworthy would be useful and could add value to the excellent work of the Holsworthy Information Centre and their online contact list. This will be discussed further with community partners.

A big thank you to everyone who took part, donated raffle prizes, ran stalls and volunteered their time. The event was very well organised and the volunteers from the Holsworthy Community Forum were friendly, welcoming and very well organised and worked extremely hard, without them this event would not have been such a success.

 

This report was compiled by Rose Hunter, Financial Inclusion Officer, with Transitions.
For further information about the Community Wellbeing coffee morning event please
contact Sandra Willetts from the Holsworthy Community Forum Tel: 01409 255668