Burnham Health Promotion Trust have been delighted to support The Meeting Place over the last few years. We have watched it grow not only in terms of the numbers of people attending and the variety of activities on offer, but also with regard to its positive impact within the local community. The Meeting Place is very unusual in that it has succeeded in attracting people of all ages and backgrounds. The Meeting Place is always open to new ideas and has forged strong links with a wide range of community organisations and has worked very hard to nurture and develop all these contacts.
During the last year the Trust has been pleased to work with the Meeting Place to develop a monthly short walk as part of the county wide Simply Walk scheme and we look forward to continuing to work together in the coming year on this and other projects. Shirley Shaw, BHPT Manager
In my capacity as both a Parish Councillor and in the last two years as a District Councillor for the Lent Rise Ward and also in the past as Chairman of Burnham Parish Council I have visited the Wednesday Morning Sessions of the Well at the Lent Rise Methodist Hall. At these sessions people can drop in for a chat with a cup of coffee and sample the home made cakes that are provided by the volunteers. In addition they can join a patchwork class, and/or receive advice from the police and other bodies concerning personal problems.
The parish has become twinned with St Denis de L’Hotel Which is a village in France a few miles upriver from Orleans on the Loire who have a patchwork group. The class at the Well made a patchwork quilt which was exhibited at St Denis. The President of the St Denis Twinning association visited the Well in March and was impressed with what they were doing.
On Wednesday Mornings a number of the members hand out bacon rolls to Secondary school aged children who are waiting for their School Bus.
Whilst Burnham may on the surface to be an affluent area there are parts of the village which are deprived and the Well does fill in a gap in the lives of people from these areas.
It also provides an opportunity for older people to get out of their homes and meet others and there is clearly a need for the Well in the Lent Rise Area. David Pepler
As a new housing officer for the Burnham Community I was looking for somewhere that my customers could get guaranteed support and a place where we could meet regularly. The meeting place has provided me with just that!
From the moment I walked in, I was welcomed by all organisers and customers alike. As the months have rolled on, I find myself looking forward to coming to the Meeting Place for my monthly visits. The support it gives to Burnham community cannot be under-valued. There is no other place that a PCSO and Police Officer can walk in to and be greeted as an old friend and equal, alongside Penny from the CAB and other social housing customers.
There should be more organisations like this across the country! Becca Robinson, Customer Services Partner, Home Group
I was drawn to The Well in the first place because, as an evangelical Christian since my early teens, I could see the possibilities of showing the love of Christ to the local community in a very practical way.
The Lent Rise area of Burnham, it seems to me, has always lacked the cohesiveness which is more apparent in the Church and Beeches part of the parish. A strong reason for this is the shortage of well-appointed, easily-accessible meeting places. The Methodist Church (I declare an interest as a Steward of the Church) is the only one which fits the criteria. Situated at a busy crossroads, on a bus route and close to housing estates which have seen some challenging situations over the years, it is well-known as ‘The Church at the Crossroads.’
The Well provides opportunities for local councillors (of which I am one) to meet informally with residents and discuss issues of local concern in a pleasant, friendly atmosphere.
For many years the Church was regarded as a place for older members of the community with nothing to offer to younger people. The work undertaken by the ‘Wake-Up Wednesday’ team in offering food, drink, and a friendly ear (if required) to the students waiting for the school buses, and the presence of parents and young children at ‘The Meeting Place’ shows that The Well@Lent Rise provides a welcome for all.
From a personal point of view, I have found that the work done by The Well has been the most exciting and worthwhile that I have ever been a part of since I came to live in Burnham many years ago – and I speak as a Parish Councillor for over 30 years, a retired local schoolteacher and one who has taken part very closely in all aspects of community life. I have seen how the work of the Well has brought friendships and new interests to people, and, I would go so far as to say, has enhanced many lives.
Practically, socially and emotionally, The Well’s influence on the well-being of the local community can not be over-estimated. Hilary Evans
I am a member of The Lions Club of Burnham (Bucks) and have recently become Treasurer and a Trustee of The Well@Lent Rise because I firmly believe that the work they do in the Local Community is essential for the well being of the Residents. The Lent Rise area is one of the areas within our, perceived to be, Affluent Village, which contains a high proportion of people who require some assistance and support, and the success of the Meeting Place and Wake Up Wednesdays in bringing the Community together, and giving Residents the opportunity to talk to others who are feeling equally isolated, has manifested itself in a reduction in anti-social behaviour and a general feeling that maybe this is someone out there who does care about them and wishes to make their life better. Iain Pudney
We started the Patchwork group a few years ago and we currently have a group of around 8 who come from as far afield as Langley and Marlow. We are all learning together and were delighted to make double size patchwork quilts both in 2012 and 2013 that we auctioned, raising £600 for The Well@LentRise. Spurred on by that success we have taken stalls at various village events selling hand made crafts. All the group participate and support these efforts. I’ve watched the group learn new skills and gain in confidence, many reaching the point of being able to teach new members what they have learned. The group have come together from all walks of life and have made new friends in each other.
I am very proud to be a part of The Well@ Lent Rise, it is one of the friendliest places in Burnham and offers a welcome to everyone. Pat Naylor
I think Wake up to Wednesday’s is AMAZING!!!! I was really impressed when I first visited it on a really cold Feb morning. I was just so impressed with this ministry of ‘love in action’ What struck me was the simplicity of it all. I’ve plugged it on many occasions since ‘Croissants, Bacon Butties & Hot Chocolate’ as I called it. So much so a youth worker from St James’ Church (Gerrards Cross) came to see for herself a month later. The young people from the 5 schools (Burnham Grammar, Burnham Park Academy, Cox Green, Altwood & Beaconsfield High) appreciate it and because this has developed with trust the young people feel able to share with the volunteers who serve and this has led to prayers. I’m impressed and want to see this vital Christian ministry and witness continue. Well done. Wayne Dixon, Christian Connections in Schools Slough, Windsor & Maidenhead
Coming to The Meeting Place gives me the opportunity to meet local residents that would not ordinarily have the time to see the Police. We have gained trust within the community and receive intelligence that we would possibly not (otherwise) get. PCSO Caroline Sampson
The “ Well ”has been running in the local community of Burnham and surrounding areas for some years. Funded in positive attitude, moral values and community spirit serving the entire community, from children to more senior residents, in their needs: from children playground, youngsters development, young parents, elder residents. All of them are able to socialise, conduct some activities: painting, sewing, quilting,.. than otherwise would not be able to enjoy at their solitude, learn and develop new skills: first aid course achieved recently, the opportunity to get to places: visiting the Poppy factory, or as in my case, to get to know adorable and warm-welcoming people wishing to accept, support and provide this piece of humanity that we all miss these days.
Having been unemployed for a few months, my life had been scrambling for weeks and weeks. Thanks to the support to the volunteers: with special acknowledge to the powerful engine of the Well, Pauline Poole, and their team of regular people and members of the Well who, week after week, are committed to meet at the Methodist Church (too long list to mention all them); ALL of them have lifted my life and have prevented from getting lost in my world of worries and uncertainty, with ideas, lifting me and reducing my anxiety, with their patience, interest and comprehension shown to me. I was told that everybody is able to give something to someone else; indeed, we all have the power to help and to be helpful to others with a compassionate approach and, what they do at their best at the Well, with a smile, listening to you and to give you wise advices and encouragement. It is really certain that I have been able not only to receive their support but to put in practice my support, friendliness and support to other members increasing my sense of worth and self-esteem.
I wish in other villages, suburbs, small towns they had similar meeting places where everybody can approach it in a regular basis and with same ethos as at the Well, providing help and re-sourcing communities. Thanks to their work, I have developed a new view of the community where I live, I have made a great bunch of new friends and with some more time and dedication, I could have even learnt new sewing and artistic skills.
I have now been offered a new job and this means that I would be very much missing the Wednesdays without being with all of them, but they would be in my heart as I am sure I would be in yours. This is the real value of the WELL, developing connections and making even better the community where we live, an example for others to follow. Jose Gascon – local resident (and Spanish!)
|This is a quote from Burnham Advertiser from Bill, one of the movers behind ‘Something Wonderful is Happening’:
Bill Brown, from Cippenham, began attending the art sessions two years ago and said it had helped him rediscover a love for a former hobby.
“Thanks to The Well my art is revived,” said Bill. “I have found something.
“I know every morning when I wake up I have something to do.
“The Well has been vital in me rediscovering my art.
“Everybody is so supportive. This particular group of people have become very important to me.”