Common Purpose Skipton

Event Report 5th February 2020

The event was collaboratively designed by Peter Smith, representing ‘The Church in Skipton’, Theo Sheridan Watts and Mark Waddington from Wellsprings Together and Marion Tweed-Rycroft, Stronger Communities Delivery Manager for Craven (North Yorkshire County Council)

The intention was to:

  • Build relationships in and between sectors. Explore points of similarity and difference, and the myths / barriers to understanding
  • Increase understanding of what faith sector is already doing in communities
  • Celebrate the good work of the faith sector (Skipton Wellbeing Café, Embsay Community Café, Employment Support)
  • Develop shared understanding of the local need
  • Build confidence and signpost to sources of support (Community First Yorkshire, The Church in Skipton, Wellsprings Together and Stronger Communities.
  • Promote E Compass
  • Consider ‘what next’?

There were 47 participants from a range of faith settings including Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, evangelical churches and Skipton Mosque. There were representatives from the voluntary sector, including Exclusively Inclusive and Pioneer Projects and from statutory organisations, for example Bradford District Care Foundation Trust (provides mental health and learning disability services and support) and North Yorkshire County Council Library Service. Craven College was also represented. The Bishop of Ripon was present throughout and gave us some concluding thoughts.

The Programme included an overview of the roles of Wellsprings Together and Stronger Communities and an introduction to the Cinnamon Audit 2015 and Baptist Church Survey undertaken in 2018.

Together we debunked some common myths about faith involvement in community action, and celebrated some inspiring local examples of partnerships between the faith, community and statutory sectors.

A short presentation balanced the many strengths of living in Craven with some health and wellbeing challenges. This was followed by small group discussions on:

  • Shared assets - buildings, skills, knowledge, volunteers etc.
  • Challenges and solutions to local partnerships/new collaborations & projects?

Themes from small group discussions

A) Volunteers

  • Characteristics needed – friendly (2 seconds to make someone feel welcome) / right attitude / willing to learn and have training
  • Individual(s) to kick things off and keep it going (leadership)
  • Be open about motivation if asked
  • Everyone has something to give but need to find the right fit sometimes
  • Skills needed to manage volunteers
  • Cross generational volunteering and safeguarding issues

B) The Value of Collaboration / Connectivity

  • Doing it together – people, people, people
  • Try not to duplicate work
  • Create more opportunities to get together for ‘doers’
  • Share resources & work together
  • Having a single co-ordinator / ‘go to’ person who everyone can communicate with and has knowledge of what is on offer in Skipton / Craven
  • Link up between Wellbeing Café / Pioneer Projects and Bradford District Care Foundation Trust (Mental health provider)
  • Know where / how to signpost people on to other activities / support
  • (Compass E Hub )
  • People liked and were inspired by the Embsay community café model
  • Sharing the load – groups collaborating to get things done
  • Make links and ask for help
  • Statutory sector contact, support and acceptance (both / and)
  • Usually money is not the issue
  • How do we introduce different groups to our activity?
  • Safeguarding in a public place – issue?

C) What can we do?

Ideas included:

  • a ‘pay as you feel’ café using donated food e.g. TLC (toast, love, coffee) in Leeds
  • Skipton Baptist Church youth worker going in to secondary schools (mental health of young people)
  • Once a month shared meal and create more opportunities to get together for ‘doers’
  • Could ‘games & grub’ become a Place of Welcome?
  • Inspired by the number of people coming to the café at St Andrews - do other areas have similar cafes / groups e.g. Grassington / Settle?
  • Once per month youth do litter pick of the area – social responsibility
  • Started football club
  • SELFA – may be volunteering opportunities
  • Bungalow in grounds of South Craven School being developed into Wellbeing space
  • Could libraries become ‘Places of Welcome’?
  • Bradford District Care Foundation Trust wants to rethink how they offer support to carers in Craven – build relationships for joint working e.g. with SELFA (Charity working with families) and with St Andrews Wellbeing Café
  • Age UK North Craven runs transport services – can this be replicated in South Craven?

Event Feedback

We asked participants to write one impression about the event on a post it. This is what they said (I have also included a couple of comments made on email the following day)

  • Regardless of motivation we all have shared priorities
  • Making ‘proper’ links with people I sort of know
  • Encouragement that small things can grow
  • Stories of hope being shared
  • Fab event would love to attend more
  • Inspiring
  • Meeting new people
  • Time to think
  • The large amount of ‘work’ that is done by faith groups – it’s essential
  • Someone from Trinity church opened a conversation around how welcoming the church is to the LGBTQ community
  • A great opportunity to hear about all of the groups committed to helping make their community a better place to live
  • Sharing / networking / cooperation
  • Telling our stories / facing challenges together / engagement / involvement / breaking barriers / doing it together
  • Connections and love of community
  • The importance for isolated people of places to go to
  • Great session brilliant to have so many interested people together
  • Learnt about some amazing projects
  • Seeing what North Yorks / Craven offers that could work in partnership with West Yorks (Keighley / Bradford)
  • Inspiration
  • Inspired by the enthusiasm to work together, and particularly hearing about the wellbeing café
  • The range and great variety of help organisations in Craven
  • Inspiring presentation on wellbeing café
  • People with shared vision for the community
  • Listening to others
  • Discovering what has been hidden, right in front of me. All these resources and energy already in place, now being linked together in a web
  • I thought the Common Purpose day was fantastic! Really enjoyed it.
  • Thanks for all the effort to put yesterday’s meeting together, turned out to be a somewhat inspiring session for everyone and hopefully the start of some great relationships.
  • It was such a fantastic opportunity to hear of positive community work across Craven.

Venue List

(A table had compiled the list below of venues that could be used by voluntary groups)

  • Swadford Centre
  • Baptist Church
  • Scouts hut
  • Fire Station
  • Christchurch
  • Trinity Methodist Church
  • St Andrews Church
  • Broughton Rd Community Centre
  • Three Links
  • Soroptimists Rooms
  • Ings School
  • Greatwood & Horseclose Community Centre
    Common Purpose Skipton2
    Common Purpose Skipton