Springs Up! Townstal community event for all the family

It was unanimous. The people are happy, kind, always open to others, and comforting. That was the verdict of four young people about Townstal as they introduced the feedback at the Springs Up! community event at the town’s Baptist Church.

The young people were sharing their answers to the question: ‘What’s good about living in Townstal?’

And they opened that up to the other people in the room.

Next door, other young people and children were enjoying circus skills and Easter-themed craft work – yes there were bonnets and eggs, along with colouring in, paints and crayons.

The whole crowd had been fed by Naked Burger’s hand-made burgers, and watered with tea, coffee and juice. There was fruit and cakes. Dawn Shepherd of Dartmouth Community Chest ensured everyone was catered and cared for.

On the question of what’s good about living in Townstal, the overall response centred on the strength of the community.

The tables had sheets of info about the cost of living, and the raffle included an energy-saving slow cooker plus drying balls, alongside the Easter goodies. South Hams South Council provided the info and the energy-saving prizes. The South Hams District Council Support Directory has more information about where to find advice.

Springs Up! was to provide feedback from the November event. Clive Bowers, soon not to be of Public Health Devon, explained how the system had failed to provide the community with a dentist, and new solutions would be found.

There has not been a girls’ football team in Dartmouth for 70 years. Mike Jackson of Dart Valley Bushcraft School is taking the new girls’ soccer team, the Swifts. The training takes place on Monday evenings at the leisure centre and will soon move to the Dartmouth United ground for the summer. So far, the club has attracted 25 girls between the ages of 9 and 15. Training shirts are coming for them. They will cost £5 and the funds will go to build up a reserve of shinpads and boots. It is hoped these are the first steps to what could be a youth system of football in the area.

The Play Park at Britannia Avenue is owned by Live West, explained Charlotte Holdsworth, of Live West (with her face painted as a puppy – there was face painting, too!). Following feedback about the play park, Charlotte shared the processes she was going through to raise the funds to improve it, and asked for input about what shape those improvements should take.

One of the mums of the SEN Group, which meets at Community Cafe in Dartmouth on Tuesday evenings between 5.30 and 7.30pm, talked about what the group does to support parents, including chatting and form filling, and allowing the youngsters to have some creative space. It’s not built around disability, she said.

The TQ6 Community Partnership is working together, and the generations that are coming up are having a voice together, said Clive.

As the event drew to a close, another young person was asked their opinion about the day. It hit the nail on the head.

“Exciting and fun,” he said.

Findings from last time

What We Love

The Beauty of the place

Our Townstal Community

What Needs to improve

1. Access to dentist (especially for children)

2. Activities for children and young people

3. Access to affordable childcare

4. Better solutions to local public transport

5. Improving parks and spaces

6. More community events

7. Proper mental health support and functioning GP surgeries

8. Visible policing

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