By David Gledhill, Marketing & Communications Lead


WHAT a weekend that was, Platinum Jubilee celebrations for the Queen and hundreds of examples of what Torbay residents do best – community.

Parties and events went ahead in streets and gardens across the Bay, regardless of the weather, with friends and neighbours coming together for the celebration of a lifetime.

Community Builders from the Torbay Community Development Trust have been out in force over the last few months helping communities plan for the big day before helping make sure those plans came to fruition.

They were out and about doing what they do best, taking the nub of an idea and developing it, putting the right people in touch with each other, building on all the strengths that a community has to offer.

The results were to be seen all across the Bay at the weekend in a tumultuous display of red, white and blue, signalling people of all ages and abilities uniting to party, not just for the Queen but to finally celebrate coming out of the long shadow of COVID.

For the past two years our Community Builders remained on the front line of the fight against COVID, helping organise the response, recruiting volunteers across a huge spectrum to meet the needs of people across the Bay.

Under their watch, no-one went hungry and no-one was left lonely, as they worked to deliver essential services such as shopping, prescription collection and telephone befriending using an army of volunteers from the heart of their communities.

Community Builders will continue their work bringing communities together, and now that the Ageing Well project has come to an end, they are committed to working alongside people of all ages and if you want to know who your CB is got to our website: www.torbaycommunities.com

One of our newer community builders is Helen Kelly who works in The Willows an area where she says the community spirit is strong and growing.

She lives locally with her partner and loves all that Torbay has to offer. Her background is in advice and guidance, personal development and business development, employed and self-employed and most recently worked in the field of mental health; something that she cares deeply about.

Helen says: “I believe that community plays an enormous part in maintaining a sense of well-being and our experience of quality of life. Connecting with others to find shared interests, values and beliefs helps us to live our lives with a feeling of meaning and purpose.”

“This in turn, promotes feelings of esteem, confidence and a realisation of our own potential. The saying is that ‘we have what we need when we share what we have’. So do one thing: set this positive cycle in motion and start by reaching out.”

Helen works part-time, usually Tuesday – Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm. Contact: [email protected] Mob 07548 704876.

Another one of our newer community builders is Joey Damiral whose patch is Cockington, Churston and Livermead. He is a sports science and business management graduate with a strong passion for developing communities.

Joey is not short of interests of his own, enjoying exercise, art, history, science fiction and cooking. He is also a qualified personal trainer and has played football at a semi-professional level in different parts of the world. He also has a background in teaching in primary, secondary and specialist schools.

In his own words: “I like bringing people together so that they can collaborate on ideas, build relationships and have a nice time. I support local people with a variety of needs, by finding them a suitable match. I work alongside local businesses, agencies, the council and volunteers”.

“I am always keen to meet more people who are interested in volunteering opportunities. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. I like making people smile and helping people, help themselves. I am very enthusiastic, up for a challenge and I find great joy in doing kind gestures for others. My focus is to help bring about more opportunities for the people of Torbay. “

Joey can be contacted via email [email protected] or via 07754 609494.

Finally, the Community Builder for Brixham is Victoria Campbell, who can be contacted via [email protected] or via phone on 07832 78103.