Tavistock Community Wellbeing Fair, 10am – 2pm, Friday 12 November 2021 in Butchers Hall, Tavistock

West Devon CVS, in partnership with Tavistock Rotary and sponsored by Devon County Council, held an exciting free Fair to showcase local community groups and statutory services in the popular venue of Butchers Hall by Tavistock’s Pannier Market. A wide range of information and support was offered, as well as some fun mini activities and refreshments.

Here’s our REPORT of this event:

A RED HOT CLICKER (!) at Tavistock Community Wellbeing Fair in Butchers Hall, Friday 12 November 2021

The overall aim of this event organised by West Devon CVS and originally arising out of their very active Tavistock Health & Wellbeing Alliance, was to provide readily available sources of information and support to the local community, all gathered together in an easily accessible venue in the format of a friendly fair. Representatives of local organisations and agencies quickly stepped up to the mark setting up their attractive and colourful displays and warmly welcomed everyone.

What an amazing success – our simple clicking device was red hot with the numbers of people coming in, showing 467 at the main entrance, not counting those coming in via the back entrance!

Why this massive footfall? Maybe because:

The pre-event promotion was good, with a whole page spread in the Tavistock Times as well as lots of posters and flyers in every conceivable place around the town together with several mentions on social media.

People were keen to get out and about after a long period of frustrating restrictions. Our Covid compliant measures made them feel confident that they would be safe.

They were interested in finding out where they could get local help and support of many different kinds to improve and enhance their health and wellbeing.

Fridays are always busy in Tavistock and it’s a good day to hold such events.

Butchers Hall is a great venue, light and airy with room for everyone to move around easily, including those in wheelchairs, prams, buggies and even 4 legged visitors on leads.

28 stallholders attended. They included:

Brentor & Moor Compassionate Neighbours, Citizens Advice, Debt Advice Tavistock Area, Devon & Cornwall Police, Devon Carers, Devon Partnership NHS Trust, Learn Devon, Mary Budding Trust, Men in Sheds, New Tavistock Youth Café,  One Small Step Healthy Lifestyle Service, Plymouth & West Devon Talking Newspaper, Shared Lives South West, Tamar Energy Community, Tamar Valley AONB, TASS, Tavistock Country Bus, Tavistock Heritage Trust,Tavistock Library, Tavistock Memory Café, Tavistock Rotary Club, Tavistock Street Pastors,The Printworks, Transition Tavistock, Unique by Nature, West Devon Art Workshops, West Devon Borough Council, West Devon Children’s Centre and West Devon CVS.

The stallholders gave us great comments afterwards, for example:

Thanks for a great day! There was a great diversity of groups, so good to see! We connected with another group who is willing to help our members. It was well organized. The day of the week and timing was just right to attract maximum footfall. Thanks for a good supply of refreshments! (The event) was excellent all round … when’s the next one?

Thank you for a really enjoyable day. It was good to make links, and see what was on offer in the community. What worked well? Venue, location, organisations, friendliness.

Good to meet people in person after so much on line over the last year or so.

It was so good to have the voluntary organisations all in one place.

It was all good and thanks to all who organised it – it was a lovely touch to have refreshments for stall holders, too!

We have established/re-established links with organisations, some of which dropped off our radar during the last 20 months.

The event worked very well from the point of view of networking with other organisations. Face to face meetings have been rare events over the last 20 months and have been very much missed. We have lost a lot of our connectivity with other organisations – it feels as though we hibernated!

Good refreshments too! Plenty of tea/coffee and small snacks – perfect!

The public gave us good comments as well, for example:

Congratulations to West Devon CVS for building this community camaraderie. What a variety of groups!

I’m leaving the event with a fantastic haul of information.

I’m almost overwhelmed with the number of groups.

It’s all really interesting.

I’ve seen a friend I haven’t seen for such a long time.

I might start going again to the Library.

What a lively, well-presented event with lots of helpful friendly people.

Special thanks go to the Town Council staff, the Town Crier, to Cllr Debo Sellis and Deputy Tavistock Mayor Cllr Ursula Mann who together opened the event, to Cllr Debo Sellis and Cllr Philip Sanders for their generous sponsorship and support, and to Tavistock Rotary Club for their own generous sponsorship and support. Without all this, none of it could have happened.

For more information, please contact Billie Burnett of West Devon CVS at volunteering@westdevoncvs.org.uk or telephone 07704 155984.