Our 4th Anniversary where has the time gone?
On our anniversary where do I start to talk about the massive impact that the past 4 years have had on my life?
Maybe by turning the clock back to a year before we moved into the old library.
Prestatyn was about to be changed forever with the opening of a new shopping park. A lot of people believed that its arrival would mark the start of the decline of our traditional high st.
My background as a business development manager made me think otherwise. I think now in 2018 we still have a brilliant town centre in Prestatyn.
With the support of our business forum and town council. A very small group of local artists and craftspeople set about creating Totally Local Prestatyn.
Totally Locally is a free marketing kit that creates strong, vibrant towns and sustainable local economies.
Independent businesses and shops are the bedrock of our communities, and when they thrive they create real jobs, cohesive towns and strong economies. Totally Locally helps people to rediscover and fall in love with their high streets.
As result of this my volunteering within the Prestatyn community was started. Wow I have just realised am in my 6th year of volunteering now!
As part of Totally Locally Prestatyn, we ran Artisan fairs on the high st and town centre car parks. To raise awareness that our wonderful town had much more than just a shopping park.
The Old Library.
I cannot actually remember who came up with the idea but no doubt it was over a coffee during an artisan market somewhere,
Denbighshire County Council were upgrading the Library service in Prestatyn and moving into a new facility. Which meant our town centre would have a derelict building facing a brand new shopping park .
No better place to turn into an outlet for local artisans were our thoughts.
From retail to a creative community hub.
Within a very short space of time of moving in Four years ago we realised that our community wanted more than a retail outlet on the site. Also that we had the space to enable other activities.
In fact before we officially opened to the public alongside the town council we ran our 3rd halloween event from the building. Something we will be doing again this week for the 6th time in 2018.
We had already been working on children’s arts and craft events. So it was a natural progression to offer them to the public each week.
Jayne’s junior artisans was born, soon to be followed by a meeting with the lovely Aimee.
Who asked us if she could use our room at the back to host an adult art group. Instantly we recognised Aimee’s ethos was the same as ours.
We have literally carried out 1000’s of different art and crafts activities with groups over the past 5 years,
Aimee’s Friday art group was formed and continues to go from strength to strength. She has taught me a lot, as the least arty of us all, without me raising a brush, pencil, or pen.
Creativity takes many forms, and we are all creative in different ways. By practicing that creativity it helps our health and wellbeing. Physically and Mentally.Thanks for helping me realise this xx
So now in 2018 here I sit using the hour that the swap back to GMT has given me reflecting on the past Six years.
Gosh – lots has changed, with some of us going our different ways, hopefully to start things that will suit them more. I certainly wish them the best of luck.
You can not take away the fact that the personal creativity and love of our town that pulled us together 6 years ago. Is still a common thread that needs to respected and defended.
So what next?
Personally for me it is a 5 year plan to ensure the longevity and success of a sustainable community hub in the centre of Prestatyn. A succession plan if you like?
Over the past few years I have travelled across the UK promoting the voluntary work that we all do in Prestatyn. Whilst also recognising some of the work of PTC.
On our fourth anniversary in the old library, I would like to think we are getting close to achieving our goals.
As we say in motorsport not until you see the chequered flag waved above you, is the race over.
Over the past few months we have done lots of presentations and media stuff.
With lots of different subjects from social prescribing, creating connected communities, health and wellbeing through creativity.
The list is immense with lots of buzz sayings and other things beginning with the same initials.
For me personally it is all about friends and community.
So a huge thanks to all the friends I have made though all of the activities I get involved with.
Including Prestatyn Mens Shed, Coffee Pod, Aimee’s Art group, Jayne’s Junior artisans, Prestatyn Dementia Community, Prestatyn in Bloom, Grow Wild, Morfa Gateway project and lots more.
Including the lads and lasses I share a pint and a chat with now and then. We will have an Anniversary chat soon 🙂
It is a busy but enjoyable life for a volunteer with over 60 years under their belt
As a volunteer our week usually starts at The North Wales Indoor Bowling Centre with a couple of coffee’s and a chat with staff there and sometimes with friends who are bowling. (The idea is time for us to plan the week ahead)
Usually at Lunchtime we would go our separate ways with Steve usually heading into town and lunch at Kim’s Kitchen and me jumping the bus to Rhyl to meet up with a couple of mates at the Cob and Pen for an hour or so. (This is as part of our volunteering in the community honestly).
Then meeting up with Jayne my wife at about 2-30 pm on her weekly half day off, shopping normally then takes place with a vast choice of shops to go at in Prestatyn.
This week will be different as it is flu jab season, so we will be at The Old Library hosting the sessions from 1.30pm until 4.30pm on behalf on our neighbours Healthy Prestatyn Iach. (Please note I say “hosting” not carrying out! )
Not before another meeting to organise the location for our Big Breakfast to raise awareness and funds for Prostate Cymru. (Guess what in a pub, as it is the only place in town big enough to host the event).
So whether you are a cereal lover or enjoy a full cooked breakfast, the Big Breakfast is a fun, social event that will be held in Prestatyn on November 27th 2018. More Details HERE
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So about a 5pm finish on Monday’s then time to go shopping.
Our usual Prestatyn Mens Shed social meeting will be accompanied by more Flu jab sessions from 9am until 12.30pm. That leaves Steve and myself a couple of hours to catch up with admin and reconfigure the building for Wednesday’s events. (As if we will have lots of visitors to engage with which is a great part of our role).
We facilitate the coffee pod bereavement support group which is hosted by another volunteer Mary. We tend to keep the building quiet during this time. The afternoon is usually spent preparing for tomorrow. (does it ever come?).
Well this week is going to be a bit different, in the morning we are attending and speaking at the North Wales Social Prescribing ‘Communities of Practice’ Gathering by 2025 Movement at The Optic Centre – Wrexham Glywdr University, on St. Asaph Business Park.
In the afternoon we will be returning to Prestatyn to volunteer as we do each week at The Morfa Gateway Project (I must remember a change of attire).
Steve will be looking after Aimee’s art group and the final flu jab sessions from 9am until 12.30pm. With the Prestatyn Dementia Friendly Community Drop in session from 2pm until 4pm.
Meanwhile I will be over at Denbigh Town Hall attending and speaking at a Community Workshop for the Chairs and Clerks of City, Town and Community Council’s exploring DCC’s approach to community planning and supporting community resilience.
The aim of the session will be to introduce the support offered by Denbighshire County Council and partner agencies when community planning in your area (I guess we must be doing something right in Prestatyn).
The session will feature live case studies from communities who are developing their own plans, with tips and ideas about how to make them a success. There will also be time for networking and for asking questions.
As well as officers from Denbighshire County Council they hope to have representatives from Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council, Cadwyn Clwyd, and appropriate grant funders present.
Jayne hosts the junior artisans sessions every week for junior citizens aged 4 to 11, from 10am until midday. This might seem like a simple task but a lot of planning and forethought is put into this each week.
We have been holding the sessions for the best part of Four years and pride ourselves on how many unique things we have done with the group.
Spent trying to recover, but usually catching up with messages and tasks that have built up during the week, we work with so many other people and demands on our time are large.
So Please do not shout at me.
I am a unpaid volunteer !