At the beginning of the pandemic, after being furloughed from his job, Ben one of our customers in Barry started a community newsletter to bring the residents of his street together. The ‘Gateholm Gazette’ began as a weekly newsletter put together and produced by Ben with help from his neighbours.
The Gazette featured news and updates about socially distanced street events, the promotion of local businesses and special mentions for residents’ birthdays. One resident had a home cake making business which she was able to promote through the Gazette and Ben was even able to secure a 10% off voucher for the whole street at a local chip shop.
Ben hand delivered the Gazette with help from a local young person. The project gave Ben satisfaction and had a positive impact on his mental health whilst being furloughed from his job, and also gave the young local person the opportunity to learn new skills. Residents of the street said the Gazette connected everyone and it felt like the ‘good old days’ when a community would come together.
Originally Ben only planned to cover the initial lockdown period as he was relying on neighbours to print the Gazettes. However, after his Neighbourhood Coach Tomas donated a printer and enough ink and stationary for a year using his allocated coach budget, Ben decided to make it a monthly Gazette and continued after the lockdown.
Ben is still running the monthly Gazette and is looking forward to Easter when he hopes to be able to hold an event for the street if restrictions allow. He’s recently started a new job, but continues to work with other residents to safely encourage the growth of their community spirit despite the challenges of the pandemic.