By Matt Saunders, Marketing & Communications Assistant


Well, it’s 2023 now. The big question, as per usual at New Year’s is what on earth will this new year bring with it? 2022 was certainly an eventful year (both historically and personally) and 2023 could very well carry on that trend. But let’s hope we all have better luck this year regardless of our experiences from 2022, as there’s always room for improvement.

With that in mind, I thought it was worth offering a summary of a lot of our work here at Torbay Community Development Trust (or TCDT for short, as I appreciate our name is a mouthful) as a refresher for any who are aware of our organisation, or an introduction for any who happen to be reading about us for the first time. However, as we cover so much, this will in fact be part one of covering what we do, so watch this space!

Launched in 2014, TCDT aims to bring the community closer together through a variety of projects and programmes, empowering the people, improving communication connections with the people and local service providers, and building upon existing assets around the Bay through Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), encouraging further involvement in decision making, as well as striving to further bolster volunteering opportunities and community-based groups in our Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector.

One of our previous programmes was the Ageing Well Torbay programme, which ran from 2015 until March 2022, with the purpose of assisting Torbay residents over the age of fifty who were struggling with loneliness and social isolation. The impact of the programme has left a huge legacy in the form of the work it supported and established, such as our Community Builder team, who now work in neighbourhood patches with residents of all ages to connect/reconnect them with their community – such as anyone feeling lonely and/or in need of socialising more with others (the Community Builders’ contact details can be found on our website, on the “About Us” page at www.torbaycommunities.com)

Probably one of our biggest developments since 2020 was the creation of the Torbay Community Helpline, as a central means of linking people up with the support they need for just about anything. Initially established a week before we first went into lockdown way back in March 2020, the helpline has grown in leaps and bounds to support everything from mental health and financial advice, to food bank referrals and befriending over the phone. The helpline can be called on 01803 446022 (open 10am-1pm & 3-6pm weekdays, 11:30am-12:30pm Saturdays) or there’s an online form at bit.ly/torbayhelpline

I previously mentioned our now-defunct programme Ageing Well Torbay predominately working to support those over the age of fifty, and a similar programme still exists with TCDT at the helm, albeit this time aimed at children, teens, young people and families, known as the Imagine This partnership. Imagine This is a vast partnership of groups, charities and services dedicated to making Torbay a place many more would love to grow up in, by giving young Torbay residents more of a say in what happens locally, from events and group activities to speaking with local service providers and other big wigs. If you’re a young’un/have a young’un looking to get more involved, or who might be feeling a bit lonely, get in touch – contact Imagine This’ coordinator James by emailing [email protected] or phone/text him on 07460 898189.

There’s a lot more to cover on our work, but alas, there is a word limit that I’m quickly eating up by just summarising a few of the many hats TCDT wears. Do keep an eye out for our next column (we write them weekly, be it a colleague or myself typing away) or get in touch by giving us a ring on 01803 212638, emailing us at [email protected], visit our website at www.torbaycommunities.com, or follow us on the likes of Facebook and Twitter – @TorbayCDT.