Southmead Winter Celebration Week 2021

December 19, 2021

Our Southmead Summer Celebration Week was a great success last August.  Many residents said how much they enjoyed coming together to take part in activities or just pop in for a cuppa and listen to music.  So we decided to offer space again at the Greenway Centre for a winter version – another week of skill sharing in good company.

It was a truly fantastic week and what I would call a proper community development week: it mostly consisted of Southmead residents collaborating, supporting each other and sharing their hobbies as passions.  As a community development worker this is what I’m all about.

The week opened with a festive flower arranging workshop with Shirley and the Travelling Teapot group, and a card making session with our wonderful volunteer Linda, also a Winter Walk with the Greenway Walkers.  Huge thanks to Shirley, Linda and the Walkers for opening the week with such lovely activities.

On Tuesday Angela from our Thursday coffee group taught us how to make macramé jewellery.  Angela has never taught a group before and although she accused me of ‘working her hard’ I think she enjoyed it and she’s a great teacher!  She was back again on Wednesday to support us to make felt Christmas decorations, along with Ramsalla who is a new addition to the coffee morning crew and is keen to start a sewing group.

Angela and Ramsalla couldn’t believe it when a couple of people who had never made anything before came along.  It was touching to see how much it meant to them to be able to teach such a useful skill to others.  Shirley and team were back in during the afternoon for a great round of BS10 Bingo – always a favourite!

We invited some of the groups already running at Greenway to put themselves in the week’s programme of events and to offer a taster session.  The Southmead Creative Writers were happy to welcome a couple of new attendees, one of them a published author!  The board games afternoon and Southmead Knit and Natter session were both great fun and well attended too – there were lots of Christmas treats so thank you to everyone who brought them.

On Tuesday we listened to a superb violin concert with talented local resident Nikki Baker, and on Wednesday lovely lunchtime music with Louis and Abi. Our very own walking group volunteer Sarah gave us a keyboard carol concert on the Thursday.  On Friday Scarlett, the Bristol Harpist, returned for another beautiful session; unfortunately though our café was closed due to illness and so not everyone who wanted to come was able to (because they were hungry!).  But some of the Knit and Natterers stayed to listen, and others came in to eat their sandwiches and takeaways with some seasonal tunes (and the rumble of tummies of those who hadn’t brought their lunch with them!).

On Friday the coffee morning crew collaborated on an origami session to make really beautiful stars, baubles, trees and Santas.  For the Curry and Quiz Night there was no curry but Greenway’s very own Stephen Haddow saved the day with a buffet.  Southmead’s ace Quiz Master, Mike Murch, put our trivia recall through its paces and there was a very jubilant winning table!  Colin Perry, resident and regular Greenway volunteer, won the best Christmas outfit prize outshining any competition with his fine elf outfit.

The week’s finale was the amazing community panto, Snow White.  Around 600 residents saw the show in two performances and it was a wonderful atmosphere.  Southmead’s Mother Christmas and her elves were able to give presents to hundreds of  local children thanks to Avon Fire and Rescue – what community spirit!

The summer celebration week saw us all coming back together after a long time of being apart, yet there was a sense during the winter week that it could be the last time we would all be together in this way for a while.  But we weren’t sad, we really made the most of it.

It was lovely to see everyone supporting each other, from the coffee morning crew all working together to offer wonderful craft activities, to the Thursday walkers who planned their walk from Horfield to end at Sarah’s carol concert, and raised their voices with her.

I feel very lucky to be a part of this community and want to say a great big thank you to everyone involved from start to finish, from Summer to Winter.

If you have an idea for a community group or want help to get one back together, or would like to chat about arranging community events, please contact me.  I’d love to meet you over a cuppa in our Community Corner in the café at the Greenway Centre.

Email: lucillesmith@southmead.org

Tel: 0117 950 3335