Message from our CEO, Amy Kinnear

A warm hello from the Greenway Centre.

This year has taught us, more than ever, about the essential role that community organisations play.

Here at Southmead Development Trust we have led a massive effort to keep local people connected to each other and the support they need through this crisis.

With the help of 100 volunteers, over the last 6 months the Trust has…

 

 

We’ve had lovely feedback from our community:

“Gobsmacked someone cared so much for me.”

“I would be totally lost without the support you gave me”

“Omg thanks so much for organising it. I’m going through a really rough time of grief at the moment not in contact with family and what’s coming up emotionally. So this makes a huge difference. Thankyou”

This feedback means a lot to our staff and volunteers!

 

We’re still here for everyone through this second lockdown and beyond. Please call us if you’re having difficulties, or you know someone else who is. Just leave a message on 0117 950 3335 and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible. You can also visit our directory to find other organisations which might be able to help by clicking HERE.

The Greenway Centre is still open for permitted activity, our teams continue to support residents over the phone, and our youth and play teams are running sessions online.

Do keep in touch via our Facebook and Twitter.

 

We’re missing you all and can’t wait to see you back at our centres!

With best wishes, Amy Kinnear, November 2020

 


 

A warm hello at this unusual time.

I started as the Trust’s new CEO last October, and so when this pandemic hit I was just beginning to get to know many of our hundreds of regular weekly visitors to our centres.  I could have never imagined that within a few months I’d only be seeing colleagues over a computer screen and that we would need to change the whole way we run Southmead Development Trust.

It was really emotional to have to close our buildings to the public, along with all the regular events that happen in them – weekly groups at Greenway Centre, our much loved Greenhouse Café, the Greenway Gym, play sessions at The Ranch, and activities at the Youth Centre.  Carefully planned and exciting big events were cancelled with heavy hearts: the Meadows to Meaders performance; the 1970s Southmead party; and the Southmead Festival.

But what we also did, very quickly, was take the firm decision to keep working in any way we still could.  To keep as much open as possible in safe ways and to set up new projects with the community.  It’s a hard time and people are anxious, alone and worried about the future.   What we knew was that it wasn’t a time for the Trust to stop, but a time to step up.

Our teams have been amazing about rising to this challenge, and despite their usual jobs, have done anything and everything that’s needed right now – from running online fitness classes in their own bedrooms, setting up a new food delivery service, to dancing around empty offices making Tiktok videos to entertain residents and raise donations.

We’re so proud to be part of the national and citywide response to the Covid-19 crisis. We can give you support over the phone, match you with a local volunteer, help you join our new online groups, or bring you round a hot meal or activity pack.   Please call us if you’re having difficulties, or you know someone else who is, just leave a message and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible.

Because a Trust like ours works to help to build community strength, I’ve been worried about the impact the lockdown is having on residents – about how the breakdown of social connections and heightened anxiety might affect the amazing confidence here in Southmead.  Yet, of course, friends and neighbours have looked out for each other and many residents have answered our call here at the Trust to become volunteers.

And despite all the change and things put on hold, the community has received great news – the approval for 120 new homes in Southmead to go ahead.  Our post lock-down future now looks brighter with a chance to ease the local block on affordable housing.

One thing we keep saying here at the Trust is: think about what we still can do – what we still have control over, and not what we can’t do.

We’re still here for everyone.  Please get in touch if you want to get involved in your community right now or if you need any support.   We’re missing you all and can’t wait to see you back at our centres!

With best wishes, Amy Kinnear, May 2020