By David Gledhill, Marketing & Communications Lead


Thank goodness for Summer and sunshine bringing a little respite into people’s lives and putting smiles on the faces of adults and children alike.

For a few blissful days, things do not seem as bad as they were and there is the opportunity to step back from the interminable stresses of soaring costs and declining standards of living.

Calls to the Torbay Community Helpline have been falling, meaning less pressure on the organisations that deal with the referrals made from it – food banks, agencies dealing with mental health and financial advice services.

There has been a brief respite and at the risk of using cliches, the calm before the storm that we know awaits us as schools return and we all return indoors as Autumn comes rolling in.

We know it is coming, but despite everything, there is only so much we can do to prepare. The so-called cost of living crisis is going to be bad. Very bad. And we are dreading it.

However, the groups, organisations and services that work under the Torbay Community Development Trust are all doing all that they can in readiness in addition to their regular work in our communities.

Last week I introduced some of them – the Special Educational Needs Information, Advice and Support Service, and our community financial support and advisory support service. We also outlined, in brief, the work of OurBus, a community-led bus service and Positive People and Steps Forward, who work with those that are furthest from employment.

And of course, we also looked at the fabulous work of the Community Builders, the team that holds it all together and ensures that our communities are as strong and as resilient as they can be.

This week we look at Imagine This.. a partnership of more than 50 organisations looking at improving the health and wellbeing of children young people and their families and making Torbay a great place to live and grow up in.

TCDT also runs Torbay Together, a focal point for community activities in the Bay and a platform where you can find and offer volunteering opportunities in a whole range of areas. It is also home to the Torbay Timebank where work can be exchanged for time credits which can be traded in at any time.

We also provide a home for the Torbay Assembly which is working hard to implement Age-friendly status for the Bay as well as working to influence decision makers for the good of all. In particular, they concentrate on key areas such as employment, transport, health and wellbeing, inclusivity, and communication.

Live Longer Better is one of our newer projects which aims to provide learning opportunities for people who are living longer, those who provide support, as professionals, as volunteers or as family members, and those who have to lead the revolution from where we are now.

In a nutshell, Live Longer Better believes that whilst ageing is immutable, people can improve their health and wellbeing regardless of it.

The Torbay Advice and Mediation Service provide support for parents and carers, senior school staff and governors in working together to reduce the number of children missing education in Torbay. It facilitates constructive communication between schools and parents by allowing each to feel that they are being heard and that issues are being addressed.

Local Motion is another relatively new project that is looking at systemic, positive change in six locations around the country, including Torbay, that are facing economic, environmental or social challenges.

The goal of Local Motion is to use collective experience and resources to support people to address social, environmental and economic priorities selected and driven by local people. These are early days and there is a great deal of work to be done. Watch this space.

And finally, sat alongside the Torbay Community Helpline is the Community Café, a partnership project with Ellacombe Community Café, which has become the hub around which many of these services now revolve in Temperance Street in Torbay.

Between us all, we can help find solutions to many problems and provide advice on an ever broader range of issues. If you need help or would like to offer help, please ring the helpline on 01803 446022 or pop into the Community Café where there is always a friendly welcome.