By Usha Garrattley, Community Builder for Ellacombe and Plainmoor


Winter is on the way, and so are Warm Spaces across Torbay with organisations throwing open their doors to provide places across the community which are warm, welcoming, and safe with food, activities, company and signposting to other support if needed.

I recently visited the wonderful, warm and welcoming space of Upton Vale Church which is open every Friday from 11am to 4pm.

I enjoyed lively conversations with the folk there over a lovely cup of tea and slice of cake, and on that particular day, Christmas card-making was also on offer.

My colleagues and I will be at the Upton Vale Warm Space most Fridays to chat about all things community, so do feel free to drop in and see us.

It’s a chance to say hello over a cuppa and find out what is happening in your neighbourhood as well as getting support for your ideas for new projects. It would be great to meet you.To find out more about other Warm Spaces across Torbay, go to the Torbay Community Development Trust website or contact your community builder. A full list of contacts is also available at

Sadly, there are those I’ve met in the community who cannot get out of the house at all, let alone to the Warm Spaces.

Many would love someone to pop in and see them for a chat to brighten their day and help make a difference to their week.

A small commitment of time in reaching out to people can make a difference to their lives, which is immeasurable. If you would like to find out more about making that neighbourly gesture, please call me today.

As one of our telephone befrienders, David says: “It’s made a huge difference to some people’s lives, including mine, as these talks always boost my mood. As many volunteers say, it’s really two-way traffic with everyone benefitting.

“My life is infinitely richer as a result of volunteering. If you’ve thought of volunteering, you’ve nothing to lose. There’s a huge variety of opportunities, so why not make that call today?”

The next issue of the Ellacombe and Plainmoor community magazine is at the printers and will be available in various outlets across the area imminently. We also want to get as many copies as possible delivered door to door. If you want to join our happy band who distribute copies in their streets, do get in touch.

For more information about any of the above, please get in touch with me – call 07702 557 723 or email [email protected]

Cup of coffee with cake photo courtesy of