Get Involved

Community Engagement

Are you looking for a way to get involved with your local community? You’re in the right place. Our Centre is all about bringing people together and supporting them through inclusive events and activities in our vibrant local hub.

At St Werburghs Community Centre all the projects, events and services that are run by us have a clear aim, to promote:

  • social wellbeing
  • better mental health
  • increased economic and digital inclusion

We also strive to encourage sustainable living and to strengthen community cohesion in Ashley, Easton and Lawrence Hill.

So, if you want to be a part of something, learn new skills, join a class or need some help getting online, take a look around and see what we can offer you.

Services available to all

St Werburghs Community Centre (SWCC) prides itself on being one of the most inclusive organisations in Bristol. We run and support projects within the Centre that enable the most isolated and disadvantaged local people to participate in a group activity, gain new skills, build confidence and cope better in everyday life.

Current services include:

  • Raking & Baking – free cooking & gardening course
  • Easy PC – free one-to-one digital support
  • Accessible public computers and Wi-Fi
  • Tai Chi for over 50s
  • Art Club for over 50s
  • Stay & Play group
  • Food Bank

St Werburghs Community Centre also puts a great range of events throughout the year, bringing the community together and promoting social inclusion. Our timetable of popular annual events includes:

  • Festive Friends – celebration meal events for isolated older people
  • Picnic in the Park – community festival
  • Users’ Forum Open Day
  • Volunteer Gardening Days
  • Christmas Market
  • Annual General Meeting

Raking & Baking

The Raking & Baking project began in 2011 and was designed to engage local people in growing food and cooking healthy meals. It also provides an opportunity for intergenerational and multicultural activities, supporting the centre’s vision to form a strong, cohesive and caring local community.

 

The Raking & Baking free 7-week Cooking and Gardening Courses focus on inspiring and connecting people to nature and each other. We give participants the tools to grow their own fresh food in small spaces & learning to cook fresh, organic, seasonal food from scratch.

 

The course is free, with a small, optional donation towards ingredients. We use our very own perimeter garden and catering kitchen, so everything is done on site.

 

This course is currently funded by the John James Bristol Foundation. For more information or if you would like to enrol email office@stwerburghs.org.uk

This group runs on Thursdays 10 – 3pm.

Our Participants say:

“It has provided a lovely social experience, got me out of the house every week and my fingers in the soil. I have recently been struggling
with anxiety and depression and it has helped me with this.”
“It is a good course; interacting with other people. There needs to be more courses as people on their own get depressed. If there was
enough funding it would be good to have two classes a week!”, “I feel a greater sense of wellbeing”.
“I am feeling more alive and healthy, confident and happy following this sharing experience”
“I feel more in touch with younger generations.”
“I am pleased with my ability to socialise with all kinds of people and talk more to people you wouldn’t normally talk to.”

“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.”

Tai Chi for Older People 

Tai Chi for Older People facilitated by Dennison Joseph takes place on every Friday at 2 to 3 pm. The group has been running for over a decade and the classes provide a valuable way for individuals to stay connected as well as helping to improve mobility and physical health.

Tai Chi benefits for the elderly are well documented; improvements in balance and physical performance
have been recorded. Older People who practice it regularly are able to walk more easily, have more
stamina and generally enjoy their lives more.

The participants also benefit from the social aspects of this friendly and welcoming support group. Many of the participants have been involved in other projects, classes and events run by the Community Centre. They are often also happy to carry out a demonstration of their abilities at our Annual Picnic in the Park wellbeing zone. 

“I moved to Bristol six years ago. Everyone I met since I met at the Community Centre. It made my world”

It is donation only class, with a suggested donation of £3. All welcome, no previous experience or referral required. 

Easy PC

Our Digital Inclusion Project – Easy PC takes place every Monday (10-4.30pm), and has been running since 2013.

This one-to-one computer skills support service helps older people to push past their technology fears and learn all about the internet and computers.  The class also helps unemployed people who are looking for work.

The weekly classes are open to all, regardless of experience and ability. Topics covered include:

  • An introduction to computers
  • Learning to use e-mail
  • Social media
  • How to use Zoom
  • Online shopping
  • Internet security

If you want to improve your IT skills or just go over the basics, then this is the place for you.

Easy PC is currently funded through Bristol City Council’s Bristol Impact Fund.

Easy PC is on Mondays. E-mail office@stwerburghs.org.uk to book your space.

Open Access Computers

Open Access Public Computers

We offer a bank of five free public computers and Wi-Fi as part of our work towards digital inclusion.  We provide free access throughout the day and evening (during our opening hours). The computers are arranged on individual desk stations and separated by clear screens. The service is Covid-19 safe and you don’t need to book in advance.

If you don’t have a fixed address, don’t worry. Up to 15% of our users fall into this category. This facility is used by over hundred local people per annum, many of they look for work or access support, email and social networks.

If you need support accessing the computers, please ask for help at Reception.

Reception Support and Signposting 

Our Team offer informal support with CVs, cover letters, emails, scanning and printing. Also, basic proofreading and signposting to other services, where necessary.

The support is offered ‘there and then’. We are always looking for volunteers who would like to support the Reception. Tasks include data entry, help with printing, scanning and photocopying, assisting members of the public with computers and accessing information online, tidying up leaflets and notice boards. If you can spare a couple of hours regularly and would like to volunteer with us, please contact office@stwerburghs.org.uk or ask at the Reception.

These services are currently funded by The National Lottery Community Fund – Awards for All.

St Werbees Stay & Play

St Werbees Stay & Play is a weekly play session for pre-school children and their grown ups. This volunteer, peer-led local group has been a great support network for those with young children, particularly during the 2020 -2021 pandemic, when other services were closed.

St Werbees reflects our commitment to provide community-led spaces that strengthen community cohesion.

Wednesday 10 – 11.45 am. Suggested donation £1 per child.

Refreshments, books and toys are on hand to entertain both adults and the little ones.

We are currently seeking funds to continue this service. Donate here if you are able to support this cause.

Food Bank

Bristol Family Community Food Share was created as a small scale project in response to the difficulties faced by many in our neighbourhood.

It provides food essentials to local families from donations in the local area. It is about uniting our community and being able to share what’s on our tables. Donations are always welcome and can be left at reception in a clearly labelled box. 

If you would like to sign up for the food bank email foodbank@stwerburghs.org.uk

Currently funded by Brighter Places Housing Association.

Picnic In The Park

Our annual community-led festival brings the whole community to gather in Mina Road Park in late summer.

We have countless stalls, live music, interactive workshops, wellbeing treatments, children’s activities and a whole lot more – sometimes even donkey rides.  People come together to dance, chat and play, or sit quietly with a picnic, and absorb the vibrant atmosphere.

If you would like to get involved in the next Picnic in the Park, we are always looking for volunteers, stewards, workshop leaders and stallholders. Get in contact with events@stwerburghs.org.uk

Volunteer Gardening Days

Volunteer gardening days have helped dramatically transform our underused car park into a beautiful, colourful space that is full of life.   We replaced parking spaces with raised beds, trees, flowers and herbs. Our team of brilliant volunteers (ranged from absolute beginners to gardening obsessives) have created and regularly maintain this space for our community to enjoy.

What’s more, the raised beds are used by our Raking & Baking (cooking and gardening) project for participants to grow food and learn new skills.

You can take a look at videos from these days here.

The next one is planned for Saturday, 5th March 2022, 9.30 am to 3.30 pm. Refreshments, tools and lunch will be provided.

We will be rebuilding play equipment replacing the tunnel with play houses, creating an interactive play space for toddlers.

To register for volunteering please contact office@stwerburghs.org.uk

 

Festive Friends

Festive Friends began in 2017, as our attempt to help connect older, more isolated members of our community together and reduce feelings of loneliness.  The event provides 100 older people with a 3 course, sit-down Christmas dinner, entertainment, gifts and accessible transport to and from their homes.  We are often joined by Avon Fire & Rescue, the Police and the Lord Mayor of Bristol.

When the pandemic hit, we knew that this type of event was never more needed. So Festive Friends evolved and took to the streets of Bristol. With a fantastic team of volunteers and a whole lot of hard work. The team delivered over 100 meals to older individuals in Ashley, Easton and Lawrence Hill to brighten their 2020 Christmas.

The doorstep chats and delicious food were such a hit, Springtime Festive Friends was born. In April 2021 over 100 meals, were delivered with a side of company to many isolated individuals in the local area.

Festive Friends has evolved even further, and we proudly held Summer Festive Friends on 27 August at the Community Centre.

Once again we reunited the most isolated older people in December 2021. They were entertained by Golden Oldies Charity singalong and the Lord Mayor of Bristol.

It was amazing. The food was fine. The hot Christmas drink was wonderful. All your helpers were so good and kind. We were given Christmas cards from children that brought tears to my eyes. I can only tell people what a wonderful organisation St Werburghs CC is. All are welcome. Thank you again. I so enjoyed myself. I hope you all have a wonderful 2022” Mary Wood, Festive Friends Dec 2021 attendee.

Festive Friends was supported by the John James Bristol Foundation, the Anchor Society, Nisa Local and the wonderful Heather Murray and her team at Beesting Digital.

If you know someone who might like to be a guest, or you would like to volunteer, email us on office@stwerburghs.org.uk.

Christmas Market

It only feels like Christmas when our Christmas Market takes place.  We transform the whole of the community centre into our mini winter wonderland.

This popular event is usually bustling with original arts and crafts from the best local artists and makers. It’s packed with stalls filled with personal, handmade and unique gifts for your family and friends.

We have music, performances, workshops, decorations and delicious, festive food and drinks provided by Neck of the Woods. It really is the perfect place to buy local and support your community.

Come along and join together as we step into the Christmas spirit and grab a few bargains while you are at it.

The event is usually held in the first week of December on a Friday evening.

Users' Forum

This is not our Community Centre, it is yours, too.  It’s very important that our local community have an opportunity for a clear say in everything we do.

Our annual Users’ Forum is an excellent opportunity to have your say, and let you know about everything we’ve done in that past year, as well as all of the services, events, classes and support available to you.

Members also get a chance to showcase how they use the space, with demonstrations and taster sessions available on the day. It is a brilliant chance not only to see what happens here but also to give feedback and have a chat with other local groups.

This event is usually held in the Summer.

AGM

Our AGM (Annual General Meeting) St Werburghs Community Centre is hosted annually in December.

 

At this event, our Chair, Ariana Ahmadi, Treasurer Fabia Jeddere-Fisher and Centre Director, Goska Ong present the annual report to Members of St Werburghs Community Association. Members join with Trustees and Staff to hear the latest analysis of the Centre’s services, activities and strategy. There is also an opportunity to ask questions and nominate new Trustees to the Board.

 

The next AGM will cover the year between 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021. It will take place on Thursday 27th January 2022 at 6 to 7 pm.

We plan the event as Face-to-face and Zoom. If you are a Member, or were in the period above, you have been invited via email.

RSVP via the link in the email before registering for the meeting.

The Annual Report will be published here shortly.

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