C is for . . .

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The word community can mean a lot of different things to different people. You yourself are probably part of lots of different communities, based on where you live, who you work with, your hobbies, sports, school – the list goes on and on… So today we’re sharing a snapshot of some community-based projects that we think deserve a little shout out. So, let’s get shouting!

How many?!

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The 64 Million Artists project is based on the belief that everyone is creative, and when we use our creativity we can make positive change in our lives and the world around us. They want everyone in the UK (all 64 million of us, in fact) to believe we can be creative.

Every year, they host the January Challenge - 31 days of creative challenges for each day of the month - a chance for anyone to join the 64 Million Artists community.

This year, they’ve enlisted the help of three inspiring creative people to help make The January Challenge bigger and better than ever: Lemn Sissay (BAFTA nominated and award winning writer, international poet, performer playwright, artist and broadcaster), Yomi Adegoke (multi-award winning journalist and co-author of the bestselling book Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible), and Jess Thom (writer, artist and co-founded Touretteshero, a creative response to her experience of living with Tourettes Syndrome).

It’s not too late to sign up! Choose your challenge – Lemn’s, Yomi’s or Jess’s – or choose The Wildcard, which is a mixture of all three adventures…

Sign up now: 64millionartists.com

Let’s get walking - together!

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The South West Coast Path is undeniably beautiful, no matter what time of year you visit. It’s made up of a multitude of walks and routes suitable for everyone from the most experienced hiker or trail runner to family outings or fully accessible jaunts.

If you’re not much of a walker, but you’d like to be, keep an eye on the page and see when they're up and running (walking!) again South West Coast Path - Couch to Coast

Now we know we're in lockdown so the Couch to Coast is not currently happening HOWEVER we still wanted to include it today as walking is so important for our Health & Wellbeing and we can still get out once a day for a walk/exercise under Government guidelines. Please do check the South West Coast Path website for the latest lockdown and covid-19 updates before you head out on your walk.

Couch to Coast is a programme of group walks designed to help you work your way up to walking 5K. They’re accessible to all - you’ll be able to take the walk at a pace you feel comfortable with as there will be staff and volunteers available to help guide you along the route. As the group walks have been temporarily postponed, why not in the meantime, take a look at the South West Coast Path website, where they have lots of ways to help you choose a walk that’s right for you. Perfect for your allotted daily exercise during lockdown -within national guidelines - What are you waiting for? Start exploring!

South West Coast Path - Explore

Wild West Coast St Mich Food Bank

Food banks are where now?

It’s been a difficult year for everyone and, as such, food banks continue to be a vital resource for many families and individuals all across the country.

Keep your eyes open for places to donate food – you may find some in places that you weren’t expecting. For example, did you know that there are food banks in some of our libraries? Yes, you read that right – Braunton, Dawlish, Holsworthy, Teignbridge and Torrington Libraries all contain food banks!

For a more comprehensive list of places you can donate (or seek help if you need it), take a look at Pin Point Devon, which is a great resource for community support across the county.

Pinpoint Community Services - Foodbanks

Got the idea, just need the funding?

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Have you got a brilliant idea for a community initiative, project or activity, but you need a little help getting it off the ground? Well, you’re not alone. But there are plenty of places you can go to help you fundraise your idea, including several supported by local councils.

If your project makes a positive impact in your community, supports wellbeing, works towards a better environment or rewards innovation then Crowdfund Devon want to hear from you. They’ve helped dozens of projects get going through the power of crowdfunding and, what’s more, Crowdfund Devon partners could match-fund your project to help you reach your target. From beach wheelchairs for the disabled in Exmouth to protecting North Devon’s wildlife, FreeMoovement Community Health Programme to upgrading community kitchens.

– CrowdFund Devon support all kinds of projects, so take a look at their website and see if they could help you: Crowd Funder Projects in Devon

Another great resource is Torbay Community Development Trust, which provides support and advice when applying for grants and funding, as well as collating lots of grant and funding opportunities all in one useful directory:

Torbay Community Development Trust

Community Support during lockdown

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We couldn’t let C for Community pass us by without sharing some information about community support during lockdown. Times are tough for everyone but, after the news of our third national lockdown was announced, community support groups across the country immediately kicked into action to help those who are vulnerable, isolated, anxious and in need of help.

If you need support, PinPoint Devon is a great place to start. Here you can find a collated list of community groups across Devon: Visit PinPoint now: Pinpoint Services Devon

Devon Voluntary Action has a great wealth of resources, including a very helpful section around covid-19 guidance, news and funding info to support our local community groups who are responding to this crisis. Take a look at their webpage: Devon Voluntary Action

Community Wellbeing is also a great resource. They can help put you touch with community groups and initiatives, whether you’re in need or in a position to help out. They also have a support hotline, which now has extra capacity added for taking queries at this busier time. Visit Exeter Community Wellbeing: Exeter Community Wellbeing

If you have set up - or are interested in setting up - a new community support group, take a look at this advice from Devon County Council: Setting Up A Community Group They offer guidance on how to set up a group, what to consider, and where to register your group so that other people in your community can find you.