Remembering Roy Hackett

Roy Hackett was born on 18th September 1928 in Jamaica -This date in 2023 would have been his 95th birthday. Everyone at the Centre will forever be grateful to Roy for his work in the community and some of us here were fortunate enough to be able to call him a friend. His family are in our thoughts today.
Though renowned for his civil rights activism and his role in the Bristol bus boycott in 1963, Roy was also one of the founding members of St Werburghs Community Association which he helped to establish in 1971. Roy was an inspirational leader and was a member of our committee until his death last year at the age of 93. St Werburghs Community Centre may not exist without Roy – in 1997 when faced with the prospect of closing the Centre or pushing ahead through numerous challenges he responded by asking ‘what do we need to do’.
“We are deeply proud of everything that we are and that we represent and of the history of resilience. That moment when Roy said ‘what do we need to do’ changed everything. I think if he’d said ‘we should give up’ we would have done, but he didn’t. He didn’t. He said ‘what do we need to do’ and we got on with it.” (Graham Bottrill – Vice Chair of Trustees)
Thank you Roy for your commitment, wisdom, leadership, friendship, and for showing us the power of resilience.

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    Picnic in the Park 2023: a heartfelt thank you!

    We are overwhelmed with gratitude as we reflect on the tremendous success of Picnic In the Park, which took place in Mina Road Park on Sunday 3rd of September 2023.

    The afternoon was filled with joy, laughter and a strong sense of community, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of so many incredible individuals. We were thrilled to see so many people engage with the activities and entertainment. Thank you to all who attended, volunteered, performed, ran workshops and generously donated to make this such a vibrant and memorable mini festival!

    Our event would not have been possible without our volunteers who went above and beyond to ensure the attendees felt safe and welcome. Your hard work and commitment made all the difference and we are truly grateful for your time and effort.

    A huge thank you to our sponsors MD group, Places for People, Let’s Rent and Amicus, whose generosity helped us fund and run our much-loved community event. Your contributions enable us to run this event year after year and continue making a positive impact in our community. We are grateful to have your support.

    We would also like to thank the local businesses that contributed prizes to our raffle, including Bird & Blend Tea Co, Fierce & Noble, Bloc Climbing, Better Food, Bristol Beer Factory, Team Love, Watershed and Napolita. We also raised over £350 in raffle ticket sales which also helps us fund this event!

    Picnic in the Park 2023 was a true testament to the power of community, collaboration and compassion. We are extremely grateful to everyone who played a part in its success. Thank you again.

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      Climate conversations at our July Green Feast

      Thank you to our supporters Quartet Community Foundation and Bristol City Council.

      Bristol City Council logo

      Last month we held or second Green Feast and Positive Climate Action event here at the Centre. Dozens of members of the local community braved the stormy weather to join us for chat about actions we can take in our neighbourhood and in our own homes to reduce the impact on the environment.

      We also welcomed We the Curious and Centre for Sustainable Energy who shared resources, games and materials to engage adults and kids in climate action in a fun, approachable way. Adults enjoyed a delicious vegan feast provided by Neck of the Woods Cafe.

      Through discussion guests came up with a range of ideas and suggestions about potential actions they can take themselves or would like to see happening within the St Werburghs community. These included:

      Food, diet & natural environment
      Organic growing and shopping
      Buy local and seasonal
      Nurture beautiful green spaces and encourage wildlife
      Free cookery lessons or groups e.g teenage cookery and growing groups
      Promote healthy living in pre-school and school to facilitate learning about food and planting

      Buy less stuff, use hand-me-downs, buy second-hand items, buy things made to last
      Organise or advertise Jumble sales so things can get a new lease of life
      Raise awareness of recycling centres and take soft plastics to the supermarket
      Repair things when they are broken – raise awareness or set up a repair café
      Use shared community resources e.g Library of things and Share Bristol

      Cycle more often
      Travel by bus
      Solutions for improving bus services: write to the council, go to the council meeting, write to our MP
      The Community Centre could inform members about changes across the city (regular email)

      Thank you to everyone who came along and contributed their ideas, passion and enthusiasm! We will be updating our main Green Feast page with more details about the suggested actions soon – watch this space.

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        Thanks for joining us at our Open Day!

        We were thrilled to welcome so many members of the community to our recent Open Day in collaboration with Bristol Refugee Festival and Bristol4Tibet.

        Our annual Open Day is an opportunity to highlight some of the activities that take place at the Centre. Members offered some wonderful sessions and demos including pilates, yoga, music and storytelling. Yoga teacher and Duty Manager Bella, one of organisers of the event, was delighted to have been able to bring the community together:

        “Our Open Day as part of Bristol refugee Festival was a beautiful day! It was really special to have the different communities who use the Centre come together to celebrate sanctuary. I thank all in attendance and I feel very happy that we were able to create a welcoming and nurturing space for the refugee and asylum seeker families who joined us for the day of fun. Lots of dancing, storytelling, delicious cake, little ones doing yoga, Tibetan Momos and a beautiful end to the day with Capoeira in the garden.  A big thank you to Bristol Refugee Festival for bringing us all together!”

        The User Forum offered you – our members and community – a chance for you share your views with us and we’re grateful for the feedback. Many people said they come to the Centre to connect, have fun, meet new people or attend a support group. Here are some of the things you told us you love about the Centre:

        ‘Being here. Being part of the community. Nice space’.

        ‘Lovely cafe. Great open day’

        ‘Cafe and facilities for meetings are brilliant’.

        ‘Welcoming, inclusive’.

        ‘Helpful staff. Good space (covered area outside)…attractive place for people to visit’.

        ‘I love that so many things are available for free’.

        ‘So much focus on children. That is perfect. Also lots of other organisations are here and it’s nice to get to know them’.

        If you’d like to join us for out next community event then come along to Picnic in the Park on Sunday 3rd September in Mina Road Park. You can find out more about how you can get involved here:

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          Neck of the Woods Cafe on a Summer break!

          *Public service announcement* the wonderful team at Neck of the Woods Cafe are taking a break for the Summer.
          The cafe will be closed from: Saturday 15th July – Tuesday 15th August.
          Join them for a Reopening Garden Party on Saturday 19th August.
          St Werburghs Community Centre will remain open as normal during this time.

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            Gardening with GoodGym

            This World Environment Day we want to give a big shout out to the good people at GoodGym Bristol who recently ran over to St Werburghs to tidy our garden ahead of the cooking and gardening group we’re launching for preschoolers.

            Looking after our local environment is vital for our community especially when many of the people who use our garden don’t have outdoor space of their own to enjoy. Some people love to pop by just to water our plants or sit peacefully in the sunshine. Our garden is also a valuable resource for people to come and learn about plants and to feel more connected to their community. Our growing space may be urban but we’re really proud of it!

            Thousands of people benefit from our garden each year, including growing groups, families and visitors to Neck of the Woods cafe. Staff, tenants and workshop / conference attendees will find any excuse to hold break-out groups or meetings on our picnic benches.

            We’re incredibly grateful to GoodGym for treating our garden with such care as their team swept, watered and weeded with gusto. We’re thrilled they enjoyed their time in our garden.

            Here’s the blog they kindly wrote a blog about their visit: GoodGym Bristol – Double Becker.

            Photos: GoodGym

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              Thanks for Festive Friends!

              We started our Spring/Summer/Coronation/Bank Holiday celebrations early at the Centre with our Festive Friends Afternoon Tea last month. Around 70 guests – including older people from our community – were welcomed by our team and volunteers, and it was an enormous success. Thank you to everyone who helped us to make it such a fantastic day.

              Our MP Thangam Debbonaire and the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Paula O’Rourke, joined in a sing-a-long led by the Golden Oldies. We were also joined by the Police and Fire Service, and children from St Werburghs Primary School sent handmade cards to our guests.

              The event would not have been possible without the kind and generous support of our funders St Monica Trust, John James Bristol Foundation and Beesting Digital. Thank you!

              Find out more on the Festive Friends page on our website.

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                We are Crowdfunding!

                We’ve launched our Crowdfund and we need your help!

                With rising costs and a greater demand for our services we have launched a fundraising campaign today to raise £20,000 to help keep our doors open.

                We’re proud to be one of the most inclusive organisations in the City and we support our community through numerous projects including our Foodshare (providing weekly food and household products for local families), Raking & Baking (free cooking and gardening course), Easy PC Digital Inclusion, Festive Friends (events for isolated older people) and Over 50s Art Club.

                You can help us to keep running these much-needed services, projects and our historic building by sharing and supporting the crowdfund:

                • Share our campaign – we have a social media toolkit here on our website with sample posts and images to make it super easy for you to shout about our campaign.
                • Please pledge for one of our amazing rewards or donate if you can. Anything you can offer would be very gratefully received and because we are being match-funded, every £1 you contribute could be worth £2 to us!


                You can read more about our valuable work here.

                Thank you so much for your support!

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                  Funding news for Easy PC

                  Grant from St Monica Trust to expand our Digital Inclusion services.

                  We launched our Easy PC Digital Inclusion service 10 years ago this year, so we are thrilled to announce that we’ve been awarded funding from St Monica Trust to expand the service.

                  Our free 1-2-1 and group digital skills service helps older people learn all about the internet and computers, and supports unemployed people who are looking for work. Topics covered include an introduction to computers, e-mail, social media, video calls, online news, shopping and internet security.

                  Following requests for a women-only provision, Helen Davison has joined the team as a new IT tutor. Our twice-weekly classes are open to all, regardless of experience and ability. We now offer one-to-one sessions on Mondays with Steve and Fridays with Helen.

                  In addition to improving their digital skills, Easy PC participants benefit from the social interaction at the Centre. Their newfound digital confidence also enables them to feel more connected as the learn to communicate with friends and family online.

                  “It is the highlight of my week. I feel so privileged to be a part of this group. I feel happier, healthier, more confident, more hopeful and more connected to my community.”

                  The St Monica Trust Digital Inclusion Fund also supports our Open Access Public Computers with free Wi-Fi and Employability Services which support to people who are looking for work.

                  You can find out more by visiting our Digital Inclusion page. If you are interested in booking an Easy PC session email  or call 0117 955 1351.


                  St Monica Trust logo


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                    Our latest AGM

                    Our 2021-2022 Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday 24th January 2023.

                    Last night we held our 2021-2022 Annual General Meeting where we hosted Trustees, Centre members, staff and funders to present our report.

                    We were delighted to welcome our new Trustee Marie-Rose Clarke, a counsellor and psychotherapist who joined the Centre as a tenant last year. We were also thrilled to vote in our new Chair Jack Thompson, a business development consultant who has lived locally for 11 years and brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to the role. Jack explained that ‘he’s really proud to be involved…the history of the Centre speaks for itself – it’s an amazing part of the community and I’m hugely excited to be a part of that driving forward over the next few years’.

                    We are looking forward to working with Marie-Rose and Jack over the coming months and are very grateful to them for joining our board. Thank you to all of our Trustees, Members and Funders for their ongoing support.

                    Our 2021-2022 AGM Report can be viewed on our Policies and Documents page.

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