A summary of our Open Meeting on 5th February

Pauline opened our first monthly meeting of the year by thanking everyone for venturing out on a chilly February evening and told us about the successful Tea & Talk afternoon in January. Around 70 people attended including visitors from Gateshead and Fife who were keen to hear about the Fleetwood community and take back ideas for their own groups. The party from Gateshead have written a lively letter of thanks you can read on our website. In the months ahead there will be other similar events and we will be joined by visitors from Manchester, Nottingham and other areas round the Country who have heard about what’s happening in Fleetwood.

Mike is the new area coordinator for the My Place project, a partnership between the NHS and regions Wildlife Trusts. This offers resident over 18 the chance to use the outdoors and nature to improve their health and wellbeing. Already active elsewhere in the County, My Place now has sites in Thornton Cleveleys and Poulton which Fleetwood residents are very welcome to attend. It’s about enjoying activities like woodcrafts, socialising, gaining confidence and hopefully leading to more volunteering opportunities or learning skills to support work prospects. For further information email Mike on mmcdonnell@lancswt.org.uk

Andrew is a member of the Mens Shed and updated us on the group’s new hub, the former Beehive Centre on Manor Road. They are open Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday mornings 10am – 12 noon, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon 1pm – 3pm and now a new Thursday evening session 7pm – 9pm. The group also still meet on Thursday morning 9.30am – 12 noon at the Pavilion in Memorial Park plus Mikes Mike’s at Fleetwood Fire Station 7pm – 9pm is also open to men for a chat and a brew. And if that wasn’t enough there’s the Veterans Breakfast on a Wednesday morning at St Davids Hall. The Mens Shed continue to do amazing work offering somewhere for men to share their thoughts and be supported.

And groups like the WI Rolling Scones are doing the same. Vicky handed out some conversation starters and told us about the “Show The Love” campaign which highlights climate change issues. They well be also distributing hand-made, fabric hearts with positive messages. Debbie added that the Scones are also supporting appeals for young women in Malawi and the Lifeboats by collecting broken umbrellas to be recycled. They meet meet the third Tuesday of each month at The Senior Citizens Hall, Warrenhurst Road, Fleetwood 7.30pm – 9.30pm, all ladies welcome or see their Facebook page.

Shirley invited us to join the Emmanuel at The Mount coffee mornings on a Wednesday from 10.30am – 12.30pm for refreshments, games and quizzes, conversation and reflection. No need to book, just drop in and enjoy.

Brian and his team at the Children & Family Centre, Milton Street are hosting a busy schedule of groups and events, working with partners such as Lancashire Mind. The Together Workshops offer support and advice for parents and guardians of young people with mental health challenges, the next one in Wednesday 12th February. The Community Wellbeing Challenge begins later this month and is about a group of residents working together for 10 weeks on a project that benefits the community. For both these opportunities contact ruthwhitworth@lancashiremind.org.uk.

Free places are also available on 2-day mental health first aid courses which help individuals identify and signpost others in need of support. The next course starts in March, for more information on these courses email brian.wood@lancashire.gov.uk

Brian also mentioned the new knife bins installed by Milton Street and on London Street. These are a safe place to drop off knives and also unwanted, damaged kitchen knives and DIY or garden tools that could be dangerous or to prevent them becoming landfill. You can read more about this on-line from The Gazette.

Fran shared that there’s a new name for the group she helps run, they are now Friendlier Fleetwood. They meet on Monday afternoons for board games at Fleetwood Library, Tuesdays mornings at the Highbury Club and Thursday mornings at the New Venture Club, Warren Street plus have regular meals and trips out. Check out their Facebook page or contact us at Healthier Fleetwood and we’ll put you in touch …

…. the same for anything you’ve read about other groups and events, we’d be happy to connect you. Our email is listening@healthierfleetwood.co.uk or we have an answerphone service on 07399 093835.

Our last speaker was Steve who offers unique ways to support health and wellbeing with ‘walking therapy’ sessions that use the natural surroundings and views to encourage conversation and build resilience. With a background in the NHS mental health sector, Steve is launching this new service and Healthier Fleetwood will be looking at working with him on some taster sessions. Steve also practices the Japanese therapy of Shinrin Yoku … take a minute to Google it … and we might just try that in Fleetwood too!

Not one of our longest meetings but as ever so many positive stories from individuals and groups making a difference in our Community. Pauline thanked everyone again including our hosts at Emmanuel and we broke for another cuppa and conversations.

Our next Open Meeting is Wednesday 4th March, 6.30pm at Emmanuel at the Mount. All welcome and bring a friend!

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