Farewell to awe-inspiring Kings Ash – Community Matters

Cycle Torbay CIC has teamed up with The Crafty Fox Café N Hub in Foxhole, Paignton, to offer more opportunities for the local community and surrounding area.

The Crafty Fox has been open since 2016, providing the local community with activities and important services and the new Fox Partnership, which is supported by Sanctuary Housing, will be working to offer more opportunities and will bring sustainability to local services, especially at a time when finding volunteers and funding continues to become a challenge.
From the outside, the hub will continue to support locals, serve refreshments and provide familiar groups to local residents.

In the future, the Crafty Fox Partnership will give even more support, which includes a Family Community Connector, who will work with families across the Kings Ash area of Paignton to connect them with activities that reduce isolation and build their confidence to manage and improve their health and wellbeing.

Cycle Torbay CIC has been working across Torbay with schools, community groups, churches and Torbay Council to provide free bicycle repairs, bicycle repair and maintenance workshops and social rides to help boost people’s health and overcome loneliness and isolation.

Cycle Torbay will work with the Crafty Fox and Sanctuary Housing to provide opportunities within the Kings Ash area for residents to get involved, bicycle maintenance and activities that improve health.

For more information, please email [email protected]

I will be moving to new areas from November 1 (Preston and Collaton St Mary) having worked in the Kings Ash area for nine years where I have met some amazing local people, groups and organisations.

I have worked closely with the Torbay Community Helpline, matching volunteers to local people needing help
and befriending. I have also worked closely with Old Farm Surgery, churches, community centres and schools.

Back in 2015/16, much work and conversations took place, listening to local people in Foxhole finding out what was missing and what was needed, the replies were very similar, ‘a safe place to meet up, especially after the local pub had closed’. We had meetings with passionate individuals who wanted to make this dream happen, and volunteers spoke to Sanctuary Housing, who gifted their office to the community. Eventually, The Crafty Fox Café N Hub was created!

Sanctuary has been very supportive throughout in many ways including funding activities and supporting the project in general. It has thrived over the years and the volunteers and groups have helped hundreds of local people.

The volunteers at the Crafty Fox have been outstanding and I know it will continue to thrive. It was built up by locals and continues to be community-led. It has evolved over the years, always supporting the community’s needs. In 2020 it became the local food bank and had volunteers collecting shopping, prescriptions and even walking dogs for those unable to go out. They’ve met MPs, councillors, researchers, NHS professionals, social workers, vicars and literally all walks of life.

Nothing has been too much! I have been in awe of the determination and energy.

I will be sad to leave Kings Ash but will devote some of my time for a while longer while the new community builder settles into their new post and becomes familiar with the area and all its wonderful assets.

Nina Cooper can be contacted via email at [email protected] or please call her on 07929 335915