Thriving Ivybridge
January 24, 2022

Photos of Thriving Ivybridge event

What happens when a community comes together? We had a taste of a connected community during ‘Thriving Ivybridge’ at the beginning of April. Over two days charities, groups, venues and businesses got together to showcase what’s on offer in Ivybridge.

In truth it blew me away.

During the two days we laughed, connected and old and young met up to discover some of the gems that exist on our doorstep.

Students having a go at seated dancingAn eager group of Community College Student Ambassadors helped with the toddler group in the library, had a go at seated dancing (courtesy of Home Instead) and came up with ideas for the teenage space in the library.

Charlotte Hanton, Assistant Principal from the Community College summed up the enthusiasm of the students:

“It was a fantastic opportunity for students to interact with members of the community and to show kindness to others. The students developed a new appreciation for the library and the many opportunities it has to offer.”

The library, which is renowned for being welcoming, condensed a weeks-worth of activities into two days. Including sunflower planting with Ivybridge Bloomers.

Flower drawing and pot of compost with sunflower seedIvybridge Brewery put on tours and beer tasting. Ivybridge Brewery provides paid work, training and volunteering opportunities for people with learning disabilities. The team were delighted to show off the beer-making process.

Local businesses created a trail of student artwork across the town.

The Leisure Centre had an open day to showcase all the activities that people can engage with.

The Watermark invited in over 20 community groups and businesses to be part of the Community Convention where residents were able to re-discover what is available in the town.

There were representatives from the Theatre group, Devon Carers, Slimming World, the flower club and many more.

Ivybridge Brewery beer tour
Averil Heaton from the University of The Third Age (U3A) said:

“Well set out, well attended, lively atmosphere, and from our U3A point of view very useful for making new contacts and disseminating information.”

The Salvation Army showed off the Community Cafe on Friday and So Social welcomed people in to the Community Cafe on the Saturday.

Local councillors gathered to answer questions in an ‘Ask the Councillor’ session. Jonathan Parsons the Town Clerk said:
“One of the best events I have seen in the town with a virtually zero budget, and really got people talking and interacting.”

It was lovely also to see the Artisan Market showcased its creative, handmade craft-wares on the Saturday.

Artisan Market sign

Thriving Ivybridge was an initiative that took place without additional funding and it relied on the collaboration of groups, businesses, charities and social enterprises. I am inspired by the incredible community spirit by many people in the town.

We didn’t have a budget, but we did have big-hearted support from volunteers, businesses, groups, the council and venues. Residents were welcomed to the heart of the community and were reminded of why Ivybridge is such a thriving town.

We were road-testing the idea … and our plan is to create something again in the future…. next time we’re hoping to be able to get the word out further afield. If you didn’t hear about it this time – next time you will!

Email me if you’d like to be part of future ‘Thriving Ivybridge’ initiatives info@innercompassguide.com

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About Inner Compass

Liz Scott & Stu Newberry are trainers, coaches and speakers. They work with individuals and groups across the UK. They also help develop coaching cultures (founded on wellbeing) within schools and organisations.

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