Bank Holiday Monday 1st May
Ok, so this was a holiday Monday, but as the list of tasks in front of me had not reduced sufficiently for a complete rest, the day was filled with the production of minutes for the Artisan Quarter (and agenda for next week), the same for both the Leisure/Learning Quarter and the Town Team.
As the day went on a phone call reminded me just how lonely weekends, and especially long weekends, are for a good many people who do not have the blessing of family and partners - and of course even those who are lucky enough to have 'friends' and 'work colleagues' can be especially isolated on such days as this.
Reflecting on the call just reinforced in my mind the task that lies ahead as the Community Hub grows which is something that only time will resolve.
And of course, this can not be achieved without the support of so many people - both individuals and those who work in statutory organisations that hold the purse strings. I know that recognition of a problem is only a part of the whole, and well aware that it is the implementation of solutions regardless of self that is the key which will eventually lead to progress.
Maybe these profound thoughts are because I have had too much time to reflect over the holi days and I will get a different perspective when the Hub reopens in the morning!
Tuesday 2nd May
You would think that the purchasing a new computer for our reception at the Hub (because of the needed to capture the statistics for grants) would be a pleasurable and easy task wouldn't you? Well, that was my assumption too until I went into PC World Chippenham assuming that I would leave carrying the machine of my choice - but it was not that easy! It was not long before I learned that the system is far more longwinded than in days gone by, and I was sent home to order and pay for the said machine on the internet and would then return a couple of days later to pick it up! According to the lad I spoke to, in these enlightened days 2023, the big companies like Lenovo rent a space at the store to display said computers with very few in stock available to be purchased there and then - progress eh!
Whenever possible at the Hub we try to turn a negative into a positive (something I learned from mentor Ray ) but in this case I was initially finding this difficult to do. Later I did work on doing this!
The week is one that once again highlights our need to get funding in to facilitate the demands of our community outside of the hours that we have budgeted for at present.
This does cause a problem at times and Donna was back to work in the evening to facilitate a new group that we are helping establish, 'Not on Your Own' , which is proving to be a good new innovation aimed at the 17-36 age-group - a cohort that often falls through the caring network.
This is one of those weeks where the demand for post 3pm Hub help is also required on Wednesday and Thursday - something that will be achieved thanks to the flexibility of Hub trustee Ian H, and active volunteer Ian S.
So, somehow we manage to fill the demands that came our way this week, but it it obvious that this is not sustainable in the long term, and with CBLC no longer contributing toward our managers wages, combined with a clear need for a part-time assistant, change is certainly in the air.
Wednesday 3rd May
Donna was at the dentists this morning so I was in early just in time to catch-up with our new neighbour who has opened the Wine Monkey two doors down. We really are beginning to see Borough Parade start to open-up and show its potential as a great asset for the regeneration of our town centre.
What is even more amazing is the way that so many of the traders in the town have community at heart and give us their support unreservedly. This was something clearly demonstrated when, on the way back from her dentist appointment, Donna called into Paprika and got chatting about the 'Coronation Volunteers Reward Bags' that the Hub are giving out to those nominated by local organisations together with our own crew. Hearing about and unprompted, the lovely lady made contribution to the 'Coronation Bags' - and it did not stop there, later in the morning both Tesco's and Waitrose sent along donations.
Now that is what I call community!
Without a doubt, Wednesday was a very busy day, with a Wiltshire Council Weight Management course followed by a late afternoon session of the Family Support team. Alongside that the Chief Exec of Inspire popped in for a very informative meeting and was immediately followed by Derek from the Lions Club who came in for a chat and to introduce and extremely interesting lady...the details of which I will (hopefully) be writing about later next week!
Thursday 4th May
Today was a day of working from home to deal with some very, very, tedious administration while the Hub was buzzing and in full flow getting ready for the Kings Coronation Volunteers Day tomorrow - all of which was followed by the talented Lace Makers in the afternoon and the evening meeting overseen by our Trustee, Ian H.
The saga of the computer did actually turn-out well in the end and it proved to be a cracking piece of a equipment, which meant that setting it up with a dedicated volunteers email address and the programmes needed to fulfil the stat-catching brief was surprisingly easy.
(There you are...as Ray would have attested, you can certainly always turn a negative into a positive)!
Friday 5th May
With yet another long weekend in sight it was an amazingly cathartic day at the Hub with the first of the volunteers in before 9am for her well deserved award for the work she does for 'Fighting Hunger with Food Waste'.
And that was how the day progressed - the Knattie Knitters, the North Wiltshire Friendship Group, Volunteers Friday.....What more could you wish for as a backdrop to a weekend ahead celebrating the coronation of our King and all that is good with our lovely country.
We are coming up toward the end of our second year as a Community Hub, and while there have been some really difficult and sad times, the overriding experience has been inspirational.
In reality the epitome of this was acted out at number 23 Borough Parade in bucket loads today, cloaked in a community veil of mutual respect, support, and love.
Its rare that I am lost for words, but all I can do is give thanks for the wonderful Chippenham Community we have....
Happy days xx