From kids play sessions to coffee mornings and vegan soup lunches, The TQ9: Together We Care partnership is now co-ordinating and promoting over 10 regular, weekly events in Totnes. Aiming to give practical support to local people who are struggling with the cost of living crisis, the partnership is co-ordinated by Totnes Town Council (TTC). It directs residents to a choice of community events so people can stay warm without turning on heating at home. The partnership is also supporting extra activities at certain times, such as school holidays, to meet local need. Events are either free, subsidised, or pay what you feel and are designed to offer something for everyone.
Cllr Emily Price, Mayor of Totnes, said: “Whilst no one wants to be all doom and gloom, the reality is that it is a tough time for too many people in Totnes. Demand for practical support in the form of food parcels continues to rise, with Food in the Community now helping over 170 local households. We know people are struggling to make ends meet and won’t turn on heating because of the cost, putting their health at risk. So, we’re proud that as a community we’re pulling together to do something to help.
“Building on the success of the town’s community response to the Covid 19 pandemic, councillors and officers are now working closely with local organisations representing a wide range of potentially vulnerable residents of all ages. We currently have a partnership of 27 local organisations that are all actively helping local residents to navigate the cost of living crisis.
“Whilst initial thoughts were to offer a council-managed hall as a warm space for people to use, it quickly became apparent that efforts would be better concentrated on supporting existing activities being delivered to the community. It was agreed that the town council would have a bigger impact by allocating resources to support these to operate and grow rather than trying to move them to a new location or start new events.”
As a partnership, TQ9: Together We Care brings together, in one place, information about the various help that is available and the activities and events that are running that also happen to take place in warm spaces, with a warm welcome. Playing a co-ordinating role for the partnership, TTC manages a regularly updated calendar of events on its website at www.totnestowncouncil.gov.uk/your-community/cost-of-living-partnership/ and actively promotes this throughout the town. A physical newsletter is distributed by partner organisation Caring Town, to ensure everyone has access to this information regardless of connectivity.
Bouncing through Christmas
The TQ9: Together We Care-funded Bouncy Fun sessions held over the Christmas holidays went amazingly well. Over 275 children (plus parents) accessed the sessions at Totnes Pavilions, which offered a warm space and lots of fun activities and refreshments for local families to enjoy. The sessions, which included a bouncy castle, soft play and football to cater for a range of age groups, ran over eight days in the holidays from 11am-3pm and were free to attend.
59 people provided feedback after the sessions, with 100% being positive.
- A sorely needed indoor community space in the depths of winter. Great fun for little ones and a welcome haven for parents to relax in peace and comfort. Well done for putting this together- and thank you.
- What a fantastic idea. So good that there’s more going on in the community again. And to have a free event at Christmas is greatly appreciated
- Guys, this has been amazing. I have three kids, my heating is broken and coming here has been a Godsend. Thank You!
- Thank you so much! This saved our day, especially in this weather.
- Really great for all ages- kids loved it. Really helpful and kind for those who are unable to afford days out. Really helps- thanks.
- With the Cost of living rising and wages still the same we find little/no money left to take our children out for fun. Having somewhere like this is amazing. Big thank You! You’ve made my girls happy today.
- Fantastic idea for the cold winter months. Definitely a winner. Thank you so much.
- Amazing- warm and dry space. Thank You!
- Thank you so much- this was a life-saver over the Xmas holidays!
TQ9: Together We Care Partners
- Caring Town Totnes
- Totnes Caring
- Bob the Bus
- Food in Community
- Totnes Food Bank – Stepping Stones
- St Mary’s Church
- St Johns Church
- Citizens Advice
- Daisy Play Centre
- St Johns School
- Totnes Climate Hub
- Totnes Library
- Resilient Lives/Pizza Pirates
- Jamming Station
- Leatside Surgery
- South Hams District Council
- Totnes Town Council
- Fusion – Totnes Pavilions
- Dartington Primary School
- Transition Town Totnes
- The Grove School
- Totnes Street Pastors
- CAP at Totnes United Free Church
- Dough Bros
Regular TQ9: Together We Care events
A warm welcome and more
Totnes Caring run a Pop-Up Cafe at St. John’s in Bridgetown on the third Friday of each month. The café gives residents the chance to enjoy great coffee and cake and tasty, affordable lunches in a warm space and with company. There’s also live music to enjoy and Citizens Advice South Hams is on hand to offer energy help and more!
Parents and carers with young children get a warm welcome at Totnes Library. Alongside a lively, interactive storytelling session with a simple craft activity, participants can make the most of Warm-up Mondays in the library, with free tea and biscuits available all day!
Eat well and waste less
Food in the Community organises regular hot buffets in the town using surplus produce from local farms. The events are open to all and are ‘pay what you can’ – helping the local community to eat well and waste less. There is also live music, hot drinks, cakes, and fun attracting a diverse clientele of all ages and backgrounds.
For more information, please contact Lucy Ferrier email@example.com or call 01803 862147