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Transforming communities in Warwick
22/01/19

In the last few years Transforming Communities Together Warwick (TCTW) have established some exciting projects to transform communities in the town. The projects support people of all ages and help with a wide range of concerns such as mental health problems, loneliness and bereavement.

TCTW is part of Together for Change. Together for Change is a charitable joint venture between the Diocese of Coventry and the Church Urban Fund to resource and equip churches to transform their communities and tackle issues of systematic poverty. Stacey Bains is the Transforming Communities Development Officer in Warwick. In this role, Stacey identifies areas where there is a need and she coordinates responses by bringing together resources and organisations to create a project to serve that need.

One area identified as needing support for families was the Woodloes estate. A Messy Church was established that takes place every second Saturday. Over thirty families take part in games, interactive Bible stories, songs and crafts followed by lunch together. Also there was a community celebration day last summer. Over 100 people came to enjoy a pop-up cafe with home-made cakes, craft activities for both adults and children, a bouncy castle, face painting and food. One 99 year old woman came out just for the occasion having not been out of the house for months due to illness.

Last year, Stacey became aware of the overwhelming need for bereavement support in the town through conversations with Warwickshire County Council, Cruse and local chaplains and funeral directors. A bereavement support group was set up and started last September at New Life Church. The group is led by experienced facilitators with refreshments served by volunteer listeners. Participants have said how helpful this group has been with supporting them through the bereavement process.

Two new projects are starting early this year. The first is a Job Club. TCTW is working with Saltisford Church to establish a weekly job club on Friday afternoons starting in February. The aim of the job club is to provide employment support which is currently unavailable in Warwick. Specially trained volunteers will work with people to help build confidence, skills and experience and help search for suitable employment opportunities.

The second new project is mental health mentoring for school children. TCTW is working with the NHS to help provide some relief to the overwhelming pressure on child and adolescent mental health. TCTW are recruiting a team of volunteers to go into schools and deliver social and emotional courses to small groups of students. Courses will cover mental health resilience, anger management, self-esteem and significant loss. The courses will start in the Spring.

Stacey is always on the look-out for volunteers who would like to get involved in any of the projects. If you are interested get in contact with her at stacey.bains@covcofe.org

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