By Leah Whitcher, Community Builder for Torre


“Kindness, kindness and more kindness.” – I start with a quote by E.M Forster as it’s become a bit of a mantra since I read ‘A Passage to India’ in the 1908s. A great example of kindness is Torbay’s ‘Warm Spaces’ project, which is actually a nationwide programme where various businesses and organisations are offering warmth and friendship over the colder months, up to the end of March.

I’ve been going to two Warm Spaces in my patch of Torre and Upton and can guarantee you will receive a warm welcome and some of the best home-made cakes and biscuits at Time Out in the Together Church in Upton (Thursdays 2-4pm), as well as lively chat, hot drinks and support at Upton Vale Baptist church opposite the library in Torquay. And kindness in abundance at both.

And I know I regularly bang on about supporting local, independent businesses but with Christmas arriving at the speed of a train another kindness might be to try and do some of your shopping at the local independent shops, which is even more important this year. Every time you buy local it strengthens your community by keeping every pound you spend circulating around your town rather than disappearing into a big corporation fund where it usually disappears out of the country.

With belts being tightened everywhere the TCDT Timebank’s Big Exchange is in various places in December where you can go to exchange toys and other items. This is a great way of swapping toys so children have something ‘new’ for Christmas. And how does the saying go? “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”

For those of you who like to go to the cinema or theatre but don’t want to go on your own, a new venture is starting in the new year, where you can add your name to our list of people who would also like other people to go with. Contact me – Leah (07703 715235) or Usha (Community Builder for Ellacombe & Plainmoor – 07702 557723) for details.

And after the success of the Torquay Town Centre/Torre & Upton ‘Adventurers Lunch Club’, we are introducing (drum roll please), a monthly ‘Moveable Feast’ on the first Weds every month. It’s the same format—exploring different cafes and restaurants around Torbay (mostly Torquay), where YOU take turns to choose where to go next. The first one will be Wednesday 1st February 2023. We thought we’d give you enough time for your Christmas lunch to go down!

I hope you have the most wonderful Christmas full of kindness, both received and given, despite the current economic climate. More than ever, this season is the time to remember, ‘We have what we need when we share what we have.

For more information do get in touch. Tel: 07703 715235; Email: [email protected]

Hands-holding photo courtesy of