The Open Arms Project has expanded into new areas and reached over 1000 people. Through workshops and visits, around 50 community groups are delivering inputs and sharing simple strategies that help them to build connections.
Early findings and feedback show that providing activities in this way helps people gain confidence to take action and reach out to the vulnerable in their communities by giving and sharing which in turn boosts happiness in the community.
In June Open Arms teamed up with a Play park in Wisbech. The idea was to hold a Big Lunch to build relationships with the local community due to some antisocial behaviour around the play park. Despite it being a wet day a small group of local people were welcomed into the play park for a cuppa and bite to eat in a space that normally a hive of activity for children of all ages
An elderly neighbour attended the event and highlighted that they didn’t get out and was feeling lonely a lot of the time. As a result of a conversation it was decided to hold a regular coffee morning at the play park every two weeks. On the first occasion 3 people attended, the group grew to 11 and the next one brought 30 people together from the community! Open Arms got the PTA at the local school involved with the coffee morning providing more links for people in the community.
This week it was noticed that the elderly neighbour was not present. This resulted in a visit to their home, they were found to have become ill so others from the group arranged a doctor’s appointment and transport, got some shopping in and one offered to take food round and keep an eye out for this person.