By Theo Tanser (Timebanking & Community Builders’ External Relations Coordinator, and Community Builder for Hele, Watcombe & Barton) and Helen Kelly (Community Builder for The Willows)


A vibrant event held in Barton last Saturday afternoon saw 120 people come together with the aim of helping us get through this current cost-of-living crisis.

This included advisers from ECOE, on hand with tips about keeping houses warm, cutting costs, and energy grants. Local growers from Cricketfield Community Garden provided encouragement and inspiration for healthy produce. The community also found out about how to join the local social supermarket and mobile YUM bus, a fantastic resource for people who are finding feeding families a challenge. The EF Language School supplied information on student hosting and how this could be a source of income; the CAB were on hand for plenty of timely advice as were The Torbay Timebank, where you can share your time and in return get some costly jobs done for free.

We enjoyed a wonderful buffet provided by The Crusty Loaf, with kind donations from Eaton Patisserie and Sainsbury’s, and incredible uplifting entertainment from The Out of Tuna’s, a band of local men singing their hearts out with songs from the sea. A fabulous raffle saw generous donations from local businesses including Sutton Seeds, the Co-op, Curry’s, Novo Hair Studios, Crusoe’s Fish Bar and the Willow Tree Pub, as well as amazing gifts given by local residents. A huge thanks to all who took part.

The event was coordinated by the Watcombe, Willows and Higher Barton Community Partnership, which provides a voice for local people, with regular get-togethers and public events which drive positive local action. If you would like to come along, our next gathering is on Thursday 13th April from 1pm-3pm at Barton Baptist Church, all are welcome (including children) to drop in to find out what is happening next.

You can contact Theo by phoning her on 07599 993987 or emailing [email protected]

You can contact Helen by phoning her on 07548 704876 or emailing [email protected]