For almost ten years Wednesday mornings at Horeb have been a hive of activity. This started in June 2007 with the Community Food Coop, was followed soon after by the hosting of the Community Library and then more recently, on a monthly basis, the Community Lunch.
In the time that the Food Coop has been operating there have been a few changes, perhaps most significantly in the support we have received from outside agencies. When we began, the Food Coop programme was part of the Welsh Assembly’s Health Challenge Wales initiative but five years ago this support was withdrawn. Funding for the Rural Regeneration Unit which worked directly with local coops also ended last year, the upshot of all this meaning that each individual Food Coop is no longer accountable to anyone else but itself.
In the past year in Dyserth we have seen a gradual reduction in demand for the fruit and veg we supply. There doesn’t appear to be a single reason for this, and we believe that we still offer good quality produce at competitive prices. It’s just that shopping habits seem to have changed and the way the coop works doesn’t suit everybody.
In spite of this we still think that being open on Wednesday mornings is important, not least because we continue offer a service to the community, having a regular core of people who order fruit and veg, use the library, come in for tea and coffee, attend the lunch and socialise together. We see all this as part of our outreach and Christian witness to the community of Dyserth and wish it to continue.
We have however got some ideas about how we could develop what we do on Wednesday mornings to broaden the appeal and encourage more people to visit and take advantage of what is on offer. For example, as well as retaining the fruit and veg, library and lunch we have thought about offering simple cookery sessions – helping people to use the produce they buy; we wondered about holding a monthly ‘mini market’; having a community information board in conjunction with Talking Points – a scheme which offers a way for people to find out what help might be available in their community to support their health and well-being. There may be others too…? And a name – ‘The High Street Hub’ has been suggested, and we also heard someone say ‘Wellbeing Wednesdays’ too.
This has been discussed at the Elders meeting and we want to further this discussion at the Church meeting that will be held on 19th February. It is important that in whichever way our Wednesday activity is developed it is seen as something that we do as a church and not left to a handful of already overcommitted individuals. So we welcome your thoughts and ideas and look forward to seeing how all this might come together.