CULTURE FOCUS (HIDDEN GEMS): Getting together
Some years ago I started thinking about a plan to bring together various groups under one roof, a central place to go to find out what support was out there or what clubs you could join, or where to go to learn something new.
I’ve also written about my love of the Fun Palaces concept where everyone is considered creative and able to learn and share a skill – a place to meet friends and make new friends.
When others started talking about similar ideas they had, it all started to come together – and then COVID hit! However, just before Christmas, I was invited by Ray and Jan Wicks of Etcetera to talk to them about how to develop the shop space as they consider retirement, and it seemed the perfect opportunity to put some of the ideas into practice.
I am really keen on the heritage, tech and creative parts of course, but also I want to connect and promote people and places (hence spending four years voluntarily writing this column!), using a central support venue whether that is online or in a building.
There are so many ideas floating around within the town, it makes sense to ask for your views on what you’d like to see, what you would need or use in terms of a space to hire, or a class to attend, or what you’d like to see being sold in a shop.
Do get in touch if you have any suggestions and/or want to be involved.
One idea, with thanks to TJ Moll and Becky D’Aloia-Titmarsh, is to bring in artists and crafters to give them a place to sell their work.
Another is to grow the Tourist Information Centre into a Heritage Centre, especially considering the Etcetera building (pictured) is the original studio of Lilian Ream. We’re keen to help people learn something new, for fun or to get a job; to come together; buy local; grow the community.
The Post Office and Cafe are staying just as they are, which is perfect for the new Community Hub concept. I am so proud to have been asked... thank you Ray and Jan!
Please email hello@EtceteraCommununityHub.org.uk with ideas and to join a list of people interested in helping or just to learn more.