By Helen Kelly, Community Builder for The Willows


It is heartening to hear how we support each other; something simple, such as sharing Torbay Council’s excellent webpage advice on the cost of living, or the national campaign:

Some residents have dug out unused wool and are now knitting warm woollies for donation. Others are sharing their skills and talents, and encouraging people to join their community groups.

Willows resident Wendy Lockyer-Walters has been a member of Shiphay Amateur Dramatic Society (SADS) for a few years now and recalls her first visit: “I went in and was greeted and made welcome immediately – I joined that night. I now have a group of friends that approach our productions with a spirit of community and fun. I’ve played some great parts but it’s not all about acting. Come along and get involved with costumes, music, props, the set and helping out backstage. We meet Monday and Thursday evenings, 7.00pm at St John’s Church Hall on Cadewell Lane, so it’s a nice informal way of calling in, saying hello and getting a feel for how you may like to join in”.

Speaking to Wendy, there’s no doubt that becoming absorbed in something you personally find enjoyable contributes significantly to happiness, contentment and a sense of purpose – and that can prove a real anchor in challenging times.

SADS stage three plays and a pantomime each year (rehearsals are currently underway for Beauty & the Beast for January 2023), followed in March by a thriller, Prescription for Murder, directed by Wendy. Auditions for this will be held on the 16th and 19th of January 7.00pm – if you are tempted, put these dates in your diary!

Another community group that needs local resident support is the Watcombe, Willows and Higher Barton Community Partnership. Join us for a planning session on Tuesday 22 November 7.00pm in the meeting room at the Prince of Orange Pub. Help plan an exciting public event for early February, which will focus on the cost of living. If you have an interest in food production, cooking, skills and time exchange, food growing, make & mend, warm spaces, good neighbour schemes, volunteering, new action groups…COME AND SHARE YOUR IDEAS TO HELP MAKE THIS AN AMAZING EVENT!

Helen Kelly, Willows Community Builder: [email protected] 07548 704876