Connecting through cake and a cuppa

Connecting through cake and a cuppa
10th September 2018 Amanda Bhavnani
Residents at Tea on the Green

Val Thompstone, our Digital Inclusion Co-ordinator (A.K.A Digi-Val), got the doilies out on 24 August for her ‘Tea on the Green’ event on Courtauld Road in Halstead; bringing lots of people from the local community together. Here, she tells us what inspired her to make it happen:

“On a breezy day at the end of August, I, along with other Greenfields staff members, set up a gazebo on the green in front of the properties on Courtauld Road in Halstead, where local residents had been invited to come and have some ‘Tea on the Green. The tables were set with real china cups and saucers, and cakes from Humes Bakery were laid out on pretty plates.

The idea was borne out of a project called ‘Halstead Connected’ which I had been involved with alongside Braintree District Council and the Young Foundation. The project’s aim was to find out how people in Halstead connected with their local communities, and whether isolation or loneliness are issues for them.

Having interviewed many Halstead residents, both formally and informally, it was suggested that one way to help people get to know their neighbours would be to hold a low-key social event. Tea on the Green was born!

We’re delighted that so many residents turned out to enjoy an afternoon with their neighbours, as well as Greenfields residents from a nearby social club. The club meet weekly to discuss how to get the most out of their computers and other devices, and to enjoy homemade cakes.

People of all ages enjoyed a lovely, relaxed afternoon of tea, cakes and chat. One resident, Brenda, said “I am so pleased I came to your Tea on the Green afternoon. It was a lovely idea. Loved the dainty cups and saucers – not a mug in sight! Everyone really enjoyed it.”

Another guest wrote to say: “I wanted to say a big thank you for letting me join in the first Tea on the Green. It was great! And I’m not just talking about the cakes. Clearly those who joined in enjoyed themselves and it was so nice to see people just chatting and enjoying each other’s company.””

If you would be interested in holding a similar event in your local area, please contact your Neighbourhood Co-ordinator, by clicking on this link: Your Neighbourhood Co-ordinator

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