Thrive at Connect launch album

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<strong>Thrive</strong> is a new community space in Dewsbury,<br />

ready to be brought to life by local people,<br />

groups and organis<strong>at</strong>ions. Th<strong>at</strong>’s exactly wh<strong>at</strong><br />

everyone did on Tuesday 20 September 2016<br />

when we opened the doors…

We were delighted to welcome<br />

people to the <strong>Thrive</strong> <strong>launch</strong> – including<br />

local people, partner organis<strong>at</strong>ions, tenants,<br />

service users, shareholders, Board members,<br />

staff, a local Councillor, Paula Sheriff MP,<br />

the Commoners Choir and the Huddersfield<br />

Crusaders Majorette Troupe.

Our cre<strong>at</strong>ive space was the setting for<br />

speakers to share their stories. A huge thank<br />

you to Simon Burton from the Recovery<br />

College Kirklees who spoke about working<br />

together for health and wellbeing and<br />

Chris Chinnock from Kirklees Council who<br />

talked about community engagement.

Thank you to the Commoners Choir for singing<br />

about the world around us and its inequalities.<br />

We asked them to write a song for us about<br />

social housing and the result was Shelter<br />

- a fabulous folksy protest song about the<br />

importance of having a roof over your head.<br />

W<strong>at</strong>ch the song here:<br />


The Commoners Choir includes a local artist<br />

called Una, who produced a beautiful limited<br />

edition illustr<strong>at</strong>ed lyric card, based on the story<br />

of the three little pigs. Guests <strong>at</strong> the event were<br />

invited to make a don<strong>at</strong>ion in return for one of<br />

these cards, and by the end of the afternoon<br />

£200 had been raised for homelessness<br />

charity Shelter.

We celebr<strong>at</strong>ed <strong>Connect</strong> Housing’s 10 year<br />

anniversary and our Chief Executive, Helen<br />

Lennon, talked about being true to our vision<br />

and values.

The wonderful Huddersfield Crusaders<br />

Majorette troupe gave a fantastic performance.<br />

It was a perfect taste of wh<strong>at</strong> the space can be<br />

used for in the future.

In our meeting space, we held arts and crafts<br />

activities for people to try. The Gr<strong>at</strong>itude Jars<br />

were a big hit – the idea was to decor<strong>at</strong>e a<br />

jar, take it home and write down things you are<br />

gr<strong>at</strong>eful for and store them in the jar. If you ever<br />

need a little lift, open the jar and read all the<br />

gr<strong>at</strong>itude moments you have collected.

Another craft activity on offer was challenging<br />

<strong>at</strong>tendees to design wh<strong>at</strong> they would like to<br />

see happen in our outdoor space. We hope<br />

to build these ideas into our plans.

We have the kit and caboodle when it<br />

comes to arts and crafts. We have sewing<br />

machines, knitting needles and wool. All<br />

you need to add is your imagin<strong>at</strong>ion, which<br />

is wh<strong>at</strong> happened in the Knit and N<strong>at</strong>ter area<br />

of the event.

It was fantastic to see our cafe space buzzing<br />

with activity for the first time. Gre<strong>at</strong> food, drink<br />

and convers<strong>at</strong>ions were flowing.

The event was c<strong>at</strong>ered by the Real Junk Food<br />

Project Dewsbury. They have a simple but<br />

powerful mission – to feed bellies not bins.<br />

They do this by intercepting food from going<br />

to landfill and then distributing it to the local<br />

community. We have been working in<br />

partnership with them and so far this year,<br />

7,000 meals have been delivered to our<br />

Huddersfield-based accommod<strong>at</strong>ion for young<br />

homeless people and to our North Kirklees<br />

Women’s Refuge.

We think th<strong>at</strong> health and wellbeing is incredibly<br />

important, so the event fe<strong>at</strong>ured taster sessions<br />

of the kind of wellbeing activities th<strong>at</strong> we will<br />

be running <strong>at</strong> <strong>Thrive</strong> in future. People enjoyed<br />

gentle hand massages from Wendy and<br />

relaxing medit<strong>at</strong>ion and bre<strong>at</strong>hing techniques<br />

by Maria.

<strong>Connect</strong> Housing’s Money M<strong>at</strong>ters Team<br />

were on hand to show the gre<strong>at</strong> work they<br />

do in helping people with their finances. They<br />

also ran the interactive Downshift Challenge –<br />

which was about saving money and shopping<br />

differently. People tasted different products and<br />

had to guess which was the more expensive<br />

branded product.

The Richmond Fellowship came to <strong>Thrive</strong> to<br />

educ<strong>at</strong>e people about the good work they do<br />

in making recovery a reality. Their mission is to<br />

help thousands of people with mental health<br />

problems recover and get into employment.

<strong>Thrive</strong> has plenty of walls for exhibiting local<br />

artists. The event showcased paintings by Steve<br />

Short and a photography project ‘Roots and<br />

Routes’ by young single homeless people th<strong>at</strong><br />

<strong>Connect</strong> houses and supports.

Thank you to everyone who<br />

came along and were part<br />

of <strong>Thrive</strong>’s <strong>launch</strong>.<br />

If you’re interested in working with us or<br />

want to use the space, please get in touch.<br />

www.thrive<strong>at</strong>connect.org<br />

hello@thrive<strong>at</strong>connect.org<br />

/thrive<strong>at</strong>connect<br />


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