Tom has been leading youth sessions outside with our young people who have been harvesting fruit in the garden, weeding and planting spring bulbs in our planters. They have left hand drawn markers so that we know who had the “green fingers” and what is growing.
We are so glad of our outside spaces at this time that enable people to be together while maintaining social distancing guidance. Being outside in nature really helps with stress and anxiety and we have been blessed with glorious sunshine this autumn.
We are hosting our second luncheon club on Wednesday and are fully booked! It is fish and chips – perfect for a sunny September day. We are looking forward to meeting and greeting our diners and hearing their news.
The sun shone and it was good to be back in the fresh air again with another socially distanced walk on Wednesday 9 September. This one was led by Roger with Penny as back stop and she came back to the office with a big smile and some great photos of the group in action.
Walking for Health is a great way to get some exercise and make new friends in our lovely town. Just turn up at the rear car park of the Civic Centre for 10am on a Wednesday morning. You will be made very welcome.
We were pleased to have Lisa and Toby back in the cafe last week for the first time since lock down. The smells and sounds of food preparation – locally sourced lamb and apples were on the menu- and the appreciative chat from familiar Beechtree faces filled the centre and gave us hope for the future.
However we were all so busy we didn’t get any photos but Debbie had her first flat white coffee and was so delighted with it she took a photo! We are planning another lunch on 23 September and rumour has it there will be fish and chips, so do call us to book. We ask for a £5 deposit per head and numbers are limited due to the social distancing guidelines but we would love to have you here.
Nigel led our first socially distanced walk on Wednesday 19 August with a 3-mile walk out to Belton and back via Alkington Road. There was some rain but there were no dramas and it was all very manageable. Peter was the back marker and everyone was glad to be out in the Shropshire countryside again. We hope that the short walks will be back soon. Please note that the new meeting point is at the back of the Civic Centre in the car park and that the centre toilets are now open.
Tom has been updating Facebook with how this vital service was able to continue during lock down by setting up an online youth club.
“Working from home during lock down brought up a lot of challenges for myself, Jan, Nic and our Young Leader Sophia but we persevered and set up our very own Digital Youth Club using Zoom (which I think everyone is familier with by now!) Youth work is an essential service for many young people and we felt the need to carefully balance the needs of the public health crisis against the need to provide essential support to young people at a time of heightened challenge.
Being back in the Centre has made me reflect on everything the Beechtree Youth Club has achieved in this time. Since the first week of lockdown we have been delivering 4 to 5 Digital Youth Club sessions a week. That’s around 20 sessions a month and to date 107 Youth Club Sessions in total during the pandemic.
The young people have enjoyed Q and A sessions, guided learning sessions with origami, experiments making slime (led by the young people) live tours of where members are, a Netflix Party, contests, quizzes and much much more!”
Tom is planning to start some small group activities soon using our community garden and following social distancing guidelines. There is plenty to be done in the garden and it is a safe place to meet and have fun together.
Chair of the Beechtree Centre trustees and a good friend to us all, we are sad to report the death of Cllr Terry O’Neill on 24 June 2020. He moved to Whitchurch in 2000 and became a town councillor in 2012, heading up the Parks and Public Realm committee where he was responsible for developments in our town parks such as memorial benches and the extension to the children’s play area. He was often seen around town or in his “office” at Trevor Fowles butchers where he went for a cuppa and always at events such as Party in the Park and the Blackberry Fair where he joined in with the fun.
Penny, our Chief Officer, said he was a “calming voice at the end of the phone or a friendly face over a cup of coffee”.
Terry worked tirelessly to raise the profile of the centre and his working relationship with staff and trustees was full of respect, kindness and humour,” said Penny. He always made time for the giving of advice and was counted as a true friend not only by the Beechtree but also to its wider family. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.
We are looking at ways to honour his long involvement with us and and will be in touch later when we have information to share.