A Thank You to Sit & Stew!
For over 4 years, a project called “Sit & Stew” ran in Colwyn Bay and Pensarn, where volunteers would prepare a meal for the community, and offer a friendly face and a listening ear. The project, which was commissioned by CCBC, was coordinated by Sian Jenkinson from 4:28Training.
Sian says “I know that the project isn’t running anymore, but I wanted to acknowledge the hard work of the amazing people who volunteered. The success of Sit & Stew was down to the commitment of a small band of faithful volunteers who turned up week in, week out, to serve the community.”
There was no real agenda to Sit & Stew, other than providing a space for people to “just be”! One of the biggest threats to our society (ironically written in lockdown!) is isolation, so Sit & Stew welcomed anyone to come and share in a meal, do some craft, or join a friendly game of Bingo!
A very popular addition called “what’s on the menu” saw foot care clinic and a visiting hairdresser as being really popular ways of offering a service to people who may be challenged with finance. Another really important value was nudging everyone in the direction of positive self-care, no matter what their circumstances.
The transformation in people who have attended, in terms of reducing social anxiety and social isolation, and seeing an improvement in people’s mental health and self-confidence is immeasurable. Some of the comments from our regulars are testimony to our volunteers:
“Everyone is great, they really want to help you move on – I love doing the craft it takes my mind of where I am living”
“talking to the lady really helps when you are having a bad time – I feel safe here”
“It’s like a little family, they (other volunteers) really look out for me and want me to be the best I can
Unfortunately, the legacy funding with CCBC stopped at the end of the financial year (March 2020), and the landscape has changed rapidly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so the future is uncertain.
Says Sian “We are thankful to CCBC for the funding to commission this project for the last 5 years, and to all who have contributed. But the biggest thanks goes to the volunteers - without their faithful support, the way we have gelled and journeyed together over time, and served in so many ways each week, the project would not be anywhere near the success it has been - thank you one and all.