Meeting the people of Shiphay – Community Matters

By Marina Zapata, Community Builder for Shiphay

Hello, my name is Marina, and I was very fortunate to have been appointed the new Community Builder for Shiphay; you may have seen me out and about in Shiphay, updating the Community Boards; we have 3 in Shiphay, by Kitson Park, outside the Spar, and Shiphay Park, which is also known as Darts Park.

What is a Community Builder, you may ask yourselves? We encourage people of all ages to get involved in the neighbourhood, we connect people with other like-minded people, groups, and organisations in your communities, and we can facilitate new groups, like coffee mornings, social groups, and outings, connect you to people that can make events happen.

We also visit people in their homes who have difficulty getting out and feel lonely and isolated. Some of you will remember Nicola and Sally, previous Community Builders for Shiphay, Sally was very helpful and introduced me to people and groups that are very active in Shiphay.

Whilst out and about, people had informed me that they missed the coffee mornings at the Devon Dumpling.  I approached Debbie, the DD manager, and without hesitation, she said yes, also opening one hour early to accommodate us. We had the first meet-up in April; we have lively banter and put the world to rights. We meet every Tuesday 11am – 12:30pm, everyone is welcome.

So far, I have supported two events, the first one in March, at Kitson Park which was the Big Clean Up, organised by Swisco and the Shiphay and Higher Chelston Community Partnership. What a huge difference a couple of hours make. Shiphay Scouts, local residents, and volunteers all got stuck in, and the refreshments were donated by the Shiphay Co-op.

More recently we had another community event, a Coronation cream tea at Shiphay Park, also known as Darts Park. Sharon Fisher from the Acorn Centre baked two hundred delicious, freshly baked scones and three Victoria sponges. A very big thank you goes to the Shiphay Scouts for providing the gazebo and helpers to hand out the cream teas.

I was lucky enough to meet local residents who expressed their thanks for the day and how they could get involved with any future events. The weather held out all day, and the sunshine made an appearance on a couple of occasions.

Finally, I have two notices for your diaries, we are having the Annual General Meeting for the Shiphay and Higher Chelston Community Partnership on 6th June 6:30pm – 8:30pm at the Shiphay Academy, Exe Hill, TQ2 7NF, come along and have your say, refreshments will be provided. We are also planning a family fun day picnic at Kitson park on 8th July 12-3pm, please get in touch if you would like to get involved with this community event.

Marina can be contacted via email [email protected] or by phone 07548 704878