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Racism and its Impact on Mental Health – Weston Town Council Talks

At the end of November 2020, Weston Town Council passed an anti-racism motion that will help to ensure Weston-super-Mare is actively inclusive and anti-racist. As part of this resolution the council has been holding meetings with many of the towns representative and community groups -such as the local Polish Association, the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) network, the Bangladeshi community, Black Lives Matters (BLM) and the Multicultural Friendship Association (MFA) to name a few. We now would like to encourage wider engagement and participation by opening these meetings to impactful organisations via Zoom and will broadcast the meetings live to the larger community in Weston via the Town Council Facebook page. Our intention is to hold some meetings as themed, to include a speaker on our chosen topics. The first of these will be on July 27th at 6.00pm. About Dawn Jarvis Registered Nurse Dawn Jarvis is the founder of Dawn Jarvis Ltd who utilises 35 years’ senior leadership experience in the NHS as a speaker, inclusive leadership coach, diversity and allyship strategist and consultant, to inspire individual’s, business owners, organisations and communities to speak and be heard. Building the confidence to have the courageous conversations that create compassionate and equitable communities that enable optimum health and wellbeing for all. Event registration If you are from an organisation and would like to attend this event, please email becky.walsh@wsm-tc.gov.uk. Everyone is welcome to join the live streaming of this event - https://www.facebook.com/WsMTC - and in doing so will be able to submit and have their questions answered in the live comments box.

Posted on 19th July 2021

by Alison Bancroft

New Community Hub Network Takes a Step Forward

An application for funding for a number of pilot community hubs across North Somerset has just made it through the first stage! The application includes funding for premises to support the work of the many voluntary sector, community action and mutual aid groups in the area and a programme of digital inclusion and creative activities. The independent survey on this site has been launched by Voluntary Action North Somerset (VANS) to help identify what people want and need, including the kind of initiatives that local communities feel will best help to support recovery. Everyone is invited to participate, and your feedback is now more important than ever. Have your Say! The data gathered will be published and openly shared to help all organisations and community groups plan for the future. It will also be used to support further funding applications. VANS have been coordinating action at a strategic level with the support of North Somerset Council, and North Somerset BME Network is just one of the groups that have been collaborating on the funding application. The Hubs will also help to build connections between communities and provide a base for community action on a diverse range of issues from climate change to economic recovery. The survey will be live until mid-July. The survey and the Community Hub project are being supported by Weston Town Council , Redport and the Creating Communities Together Team (a group of built environment professionals who work with Councils and other organisations to help deliver viable solutions for local communities). The Government’s decision on the funding application is expected at the end of July.

Posted on 22nd June 2021

by Alison Bancroft

VANS CEO talks to Bev G Star as part of Humans of Weston-super-Mare series of interviews

Paul, VANS CEO, talking to Bev G Star about Voluntary Action North Somerset and what VANS has been doing recently and what they are looking to do in the future, follow this link to see the whole interview. https://fb.me/e/22YoaHa9e A few projects that VANS are involved in and partners we are working with were highlighted by Paul - here are the details Commonplace : an interactive community engagement platform where you can get involved and let us know your COVID-19 experiences - from your answers we can formulate plans for the future to make sure North Somerset emerges from the pandemic as a stronger, happier, healthier and more inclusive community. Reclaim : if you live in North Somerset and have experienced domestic abuse in the past and are struggling to come to terms with the experience then Reclaim may be able to help you. If you're no longer with the abuser or perpetrator, then Reclaim offer free counselling - call 07919 440233 to arrange to speak to one of our counsellors. North Somerset Together (facilitated by North Somerset Council) brings together all the COVID community response mutual aid and community groups, parish and town councils, housing associations and VCFSE with over 75 individuals, groups and organisations currently involved in the network. https://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/.../covid-19-north-somerset... If you're looking for a volunteer role, then go to our Online Volunteer Centre: https://vans.vcbroker.org.uk/opportunities

Posted on 9th March 2021

by Sue Stone

New vision proposed for Weston’s Sovereign Centre

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all areas of our lives and North Somerset have just released their plans for the Sovereign Centre as part of wider planning for community led growth (see below). Working together we can all help to ensure that Weston and North Somerset can emerge from the pandemic as a stronger, happier, healthier and more inclusive community. Click here to share your thoughts about community recovery . New vision proposed for Weston’s Sovereign Centre The Sovereign Shopping Centre in Weston-super-Mare is to get a new lease of life with plans to re-purpose the building. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, changing lifestyles and the increase of online shopping has had an irreversible effect on town centres and how they're used, the council is leading the way and responding to those changes to cement the future of the Sovereign Centre by creating a new plan for the building. The new vision and business plan have been created to deliver the ambitions of the newly adopted Weston Placemaking Strategy and to promote community-led growth. The business plan will include: • Meeting the increased demand for workspace for creative, maker, engineering and desk-based uses • Utilising outdoors space for young people, families and children by using outdoor and underutilised spaces including the building’s roof • Change the name of the store, working with the local community to create a name that speaks to residents, visitors and businesses • Repurpose unused spaces to support a thriving and growing independent retail offer which is unique to Weston Should the proposal be approved, a Commissioning Plan for the appointment of consultants and contractors to undertake the works will be put out to tender shortly. The first phase of the vision will be funded by the £1.7m Getting Building Fund awarded to the council in 2020 from WECA. Any subsequent phases will be funded by a £65k grant from the Department of Transport Access Grant.

Posted on 10th February 2021

by Sue Stone

Be part of the conversation

Press release: Voluntary Action North Somerset (VANS) creates an interactive knowledge platform to engage with the community on local COVID response efforts. 'Commonplace' is a unique platform capturing community feedback interactively with, information, news and ideas posted anonymously or publicly. It can be shared amongst friends and neighbours across North Somerset through social media channels. It is also a hub for local COVID information which will be updated by a number of community resilience partners. It is envisaged that by learning from the local community of North Somerset we can make a real positive change in how the community is served moving forward. There’s no denying the pandemic has changed our lives. There have been positives as well as negatives, with communities coming together to help one another and a renewed sense of helping those less able. Many organisations and areas across the Country are focussing on ways to keep the positives, whilst still balancing the needs of communities. However, the pace of change is making it increasingly difficult to identify the best ways to deal with the challenges ahead, as the pandemic progresses. Information has an increasingly essential role to play, and that’s why we’re asking for your thoughts. We want to ensure that Weston and North Somerset can emerge from the pandemic as a stronger, happier, healthier and more inclusive community. We want to know what worked well, what didn’t go so well, what were the benefits and how lives changed? From the stories of volunteers, those who were helped and the organisations and community help delivered we can learn so much. The Commonplace interactive platform that enables conversations and feedback, is for people living in North Somerset and we are very grateful to everyone who takes the time to respond. Please share the link across your networks to help us reach as many people as possible. Your views on what has happened, and what you think is needed, will help VANS, and our partners, to plan the best way forward. Commonplace will be live until the end of June 2021 and responses will be analysed on receipt and used to inform ongoing work with a number of COVID response organisations.

Posted on 27th January 2021

by Sue Stone