More Than Just a Place to Meet

May 21, 2017
by Caroline Woollard

May 2017

I hope you all enjoyed the May sunshine (and showers)! We are now heading into June and summer is fast approaching.

We’re excited to be starting to organise this year’s IYE Festival, building on last year’s success. We would like to say a big thank you again to everyone for their contributions and support.

This year, we are thrilled to have an ice cream van coming to the Festival – a very refreshing addition! Thanks to C.J. Copner.  Activities arranged so far include two graffiti projects and three young performers. More activity details will follow in the next newsletter – watch this space. The Festival will be taking place on Saturday, 8th July 2017, in Bailey Park.

This month we’ve received £135.36 from EasyFundraising (easyfundraising.org.uk) – don’t forget that if you are buying anything online you can help 7Corners raise funds this way. For more info, click here.

The Council of Churches kindly donated a generous sum towards the administrative costs of running the IYE Festival.

The Hotspot caravan continues to be out and about, reaching out into the community. We visit the Castle and Bailey Park, as well as the ‘skate park’ at the Youth and Community Education Centre on Old Hereford Road. Volunteers for Hotspot are always a great help, so if anyone is interested in joining us on the project please get in touch with Ange.

Our next Sunday Diners group will take place on 11th June.

Our counselling rooms continue to be very busy, helping outside agencies support their clients.

Leigh Amor has joined the team as Administrator, replacing Carol White who found a job that better suited her available hours. We are grateful that Carol and Judith have both called by to help Leigh settle in.

Encouragingly, we have received some new volunteer applications, but in the meantime we would still really appreciate any offers of help. If you feel you can help out in any way, pop in and see Ange in the office or telephone 01873 855414.

April 21, 2017
by Caroline Woollard

April 2017

I hope you all enjoyed the Easter celebrations. We are now heading into May and the bluebells are appearing. Summer cannot be too far away.

We will again start with some more good news: the Co-op Local Community Fund has now come to an end and I am pleased to announce that the final amount raised is £2,350.13. We would like to say a big thank you to everyone for their contributions; it really is a significant amount. The funds will be used towards setting up the IYE Festival which is now booked for Saturday 8th July 2017 in Bailey Park.

We also received an amount of £41.70 from the Easyfundraising donations. If you are not aware of Easyfundraising, it is an organisation that raises donations for free when you shop online. There are currently over 3000 shops and sites signed up so next time you shop on line, whether it be for clothing, holidays, groceries or even insurance, support us by visiting the Easyfundraising site first at www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/bridgetocross.

Holy Week was super busy, with the usual church stuff and lots of young people visiting the Centre. We created an Easter banner and organised an ‘Eggergavenny’ Hunt for two teams to reach the same goals but with different clues.

An update on our services: Hotspot continues to visit the ‘skate park’ at the Youth and Community Education Centre on Old Hereford Road and have also started visiting the Castle and Bailey Park.  The use of our counselling rooms is increasing and currently very busy. The next Sunday Diners group will fall on 9th May.

We must once again stress that we are very short staffed and would be very appreciative of any volunteers to help out. Please, if you feel that you can help in any way, come along and see Ange in the office or telephone 01873 855414.

April 8, 2017
by Caroline Woollard

March 2017

Hello and welcome to the March Newsletter. Firstly I would like to introduce myself. I am Carol White and have recently taken over from Judith. I will try and continue with the standard set.

Well we can start with some good news. On Saturday 18th March, Ange and trustee Mary Kennedy attended the Gwent High Sheriffs Community Fund event where 7Corners had been shortlisted to bid for some funding towards the IYE Festival which will take place this July. Each organisation had two minutes to pitch their bid. Ange managed to complete on the bell and we are pleased to tell you all that our bid was successful and we have been rewarded with the amount of £2,500.

Unfortunately our student has had to defer her degree until next year but we hope to work with her again in the future. The NEETs students are continuing to visit us weekly to complete their six- month Sgiliau programme.

Hotspot is continuing to visit the Skate Park at the Youth and Community Education Centre on Old Hereford Road, alternating with visits to Llanfoist.

Other regular services such as our Counselling rooms and the Sunday Diners group continue to thrive. The next Sunday Diner group will fall on 9th April, Palm Sunday, which will lead us towards the Easter festival.

We will be open over the Easter period apart from a few hours on Good Friday. We are currently thinking of activities to take place during this time which I’m sure will include Fairtrade chocolate! The barbecue during half term was a success so food is always a good place to start.

We would be very appreciative of any volunteers to help out, not just during the holidays but in general too and we must stress that we are very short staffed. Please, if you feel that you can help in any way, come along and see Ange in the office or telephone 01873 855414.

Finally a reminder. We had been selected to receive funding from the Co-op Local Community Fund. It means that we will get a contribution towards the running of 7Corners. So far we have raised £690.44 and we would like to thank all of you who have contributed towards this amount. There is a limited time on this and we still have a little over two weeks left so we are asking for your help. The more support we get, the more funding we receive, so if you’re a Co-op member and have not already done so, log into your Co-op membership account and choose us. If you are not a member, please join and support us. Thank you.

Have an enjoyable Easter.

February 24, 2017
by Caroline Woollard

February 2017

So spring is sprung – hoorah!

Our college student has started with us.  She will be working in conjunction with Ange and two NEETs students to organise and run this year’s IYE Festival in July.  The NEETs students are with a programme called Sgiliau, translates as Skills, and they will be with us once a week for 6 months.

As mentioned last month Hotspot is going out to the Youth and Community Education Centre on Old Hereford Road on a regular basis with a view to coming alongside young people that frequent the area. Regular visits to Llanfoist are also continuing.

Well it is half-term this week and, as usual, we will be having an end of half-term barbecue and activities day on Saturday. Our two Holywell students and our college students will be responsible for one activity each and so it should be a very enjoyable day finished off with burgers etc. We now have over 50 young people accessing 7Corners so it is expected that the barbecue will draw a good number as it usually does when food is involved!

Our counselling rooms continue to be well used and we have had the Youth Offenders Team using the chill room for a restorative justice session which we feel is an excellent link to have made.  We have also linked up with Woodstock House to encourage their young people to come along to Sunday Diners.

Next week, of course is Shrove Tuesday which also falls within Fairtrade fortnight so there will be Fairtrade pancakes all round and the relevance of Fairtrade will be incorporated into the enjoyment of the day.

On a final note, this will be my last Newsletter as I am retiring at the end of February to be a full time gardener!!  So may I wish you all and my successor all the very best.  I have enjoyed my time with 7Corners very much and, no doubt, will keep in touch.

Bye for now.


February 3, 2017
by Caroline Woollard

January 2017

Well, Christmas came and went and now seems a very long time ago! Now we have snowdrops flowering and even the first daffodils.  Spring can’t be far behind! 

The Christmas party did indeed last for two days and it is unbelievable the amount of food that was consumed.  Food contributions were very gratefully received and ravenously consumed.  Thanks again to all those who helped.  

I hope some of you will have heard Ange on Neville Hall Sound talking about 7Corners and the challenges of her past and how this has given her an understanding of the issues faced in her current work here at 7Corners.

We will have a new college student starting on a university placement with us in February. She is studying for her Level 4 Youth and Community Work degree and Ange will be her supervisor for her time with us.

 The news on Hotspot is that we will be extending the areas visited to include the Youth and Community Education Centre on Old Hereford Road, where the skate park is located.  We feel there will be young people there who will benefit from this contact.  Volunteers for Hotspot are always needed and, in particular, now that the outreach is being extended, so if anyone is interested in joining us on the project please get in touch with Ange.

Finally, Sunday Diners, which took a break in January, will be back in February and we have had two young men, currently at Woodstock, who have expressed an interest in coming to share the meal, one of which is Syrian so chicken, humus, tabouleh and salt lemons will be on the menu!

January 7, 2017
by Caroline Woollard

December 2016

So the e-on light bulbs are installed and the photos taken so please watch out for the press release in the local papers, probably the Chronicle and South Wales Argus.

Our Coleg Gwent students have started there placements with us.  They are studying catering so will be very helpful in preparing food for the Christmas party which will be held on 17th December from 2.00pm as advised last month. As usual we are very grateful for the contributions given for the party including the generous supply of sausage rolls and mince pies! It is expected that the jollifications will go on into Saturday evening and possibly resume on Sunday!

On a Christmas shopping note, I should have said this last month, please remember ‘Easyfundraising’ for any internet shopping.  We are also being supported by the Co-op Community Fund so if you are a Co-op member, or use the Co-op and wish to become a member (for £1), and choose us as your cause we will receive 1% of any purchases made. The money we receive from this will go towards putting on the IYE Festival next year.

As mentioned last month the last outing for ‘HotSpot’  to Llanfoist this year will be on Christmas Eve when there will be carol singing, mince pies, hot chocolate and gift bags.  Spreading Christmas cheer

So another year nearly gone and we are looking forward to whatever next year may bring.

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas from all here at 7Corners and all the very best for 2017.

November 22, 2016
by Seven_Corners_AGV

November 2016

The 24/7 Prayer Week came and went very quickly. Ange transformed the Chill Room into a sea of calm with the theme Salt and Light – Bringing the GOD flavours and colours to the world. The week was very well supported with most slots being filled. Those who took advantage of the quiet time there found it a calming yet uplifting experience. We have now, reluctantly, dismantled the room and you have never seen so many safety pins holding it all toget

We have now received the light bulbs from e-on and they are awaiting installation and a photograph for the press release!

The HotSpot Living in The Light Party took place on the 29th October and was well attended by Crew and young people. Many doughnuts on strings and hot sausage sandwiches were eaten and general fooling about was done. We intend to go out on Christmas Eve, have extra lighting in the HotSpot gazebo, play some carols and offer hot mince pies and small gift bags with the usual hot chocolate.

The FareShare food is still being very well received and we have been successful in obtaining a grant to buy a freezer in which to store any food which cannot be immediately distributed. On December 11th Sunday Diners will be very lucky in having a Christmas lunch prepared for them – turkey with all the trimmings – which will make use of some of the FareShare vegetables.

On 23rd November Ange will be meeting with representatives from Coleg Gwent re Student volunteer placements for the Welsh Baccalaureate, which we hope will benefit both parties.

The next Worship@7 will be held on Friday 25th November at 7pm in the Upper Room at 7Corners. There will be no meeting in December.

And finally the Christmas party will be held on Saturday 17th December and, no doubt, tables will be groaning with food. Anyone that wants to pop in and say hello will be very welcome.

That’s all for now.  Hopefully there will be another News before Christmas

November 15, 2016
by Caroline Woollard

October 2016

So our work experience young man has completed his eight weeks work experience with, us which he chose to extend from two weeks, and we are very pleased that he has now chosen to continue coming in twice a week as a volunteer to help out generally within 7Corners. This will be a great boost to Ange as it will lighten the load of the cleaning and mean there is an extra person on hand to man the office when needed.

As mentioned last month ‘24/7 Prayer Week’ is nearly upon us again. Ange will be busy this week turning the chill room into an oasis of calm and tranquillity where people can spend an hour or two away from the rush and bustle of everyday life in prayer, meditation or simply peace and quiet!  As ever there is a theme to the week but to find out what it is you will need to book a slot! Please pop in or give us a ring on 01873 855414.

In an effort to save money on our lighting we have applied for and been successful in being awarded a grant from e-on to replace all our light bulbs with energy saving LED bulbs.  This has proved timely as many of our existing light bulbs have reached the end of their natural life and need replacing.  We are awaiting delivery of the new light bulbs imminently.

Finally ‘Hotspot’ volunteers are continuing to go out every Saturday and we have had some very positive feedback from local residents and the local Police Community Support Officer who reports a decrease in anti- social behaviour incidents in the Llanfoist area.  We are, not claiming responsibility for this but maybe we have helped!  On Saturday 29th October there will be a ‘Hotspot’ party at Llanfoist with the title ‘Living in the Light’ at which there will be hotdogs, donuts on strings and general fun.  This will be the weekend immediately prior to Halloween and it is hoped it will draw youngsters from more harmful activities and influences.

That’s all for now until next month

November 15, 2016
by Caroline Woollard

September 2016

So middle of September already and that autumn feel is in the air.

Well the week of blacksmithing went very well.  We had lots of young people having a go making pendants and pokers and we will shortly be arranging a trip out to find out a bit more about the craft of the blacksmith.  Of course the end of summer barbecue was also a huge success – burgers enjoyed by all.

Sticking with the food theme we are now linked up with the charity Fare Share which is a registered charity which saves good food destined for waste and sends it to charities and community groups who transform it into nutritious meals for vulnerable people. The food they redistribute is fresh, quality and in date, surplus from the food industry, and they work with charities across the UK.  We are using the food to produce meals for disadvantaged young people who are living alone, or estranged from their parents, through our Sunday diners programme and we are also redistributing food in the form of food parcels to these groups and others who we know are in need.  We are currently trying to secure funding to buy an upright freezer in which to store food which can be frozen for later use and distribution.

We now again have a young person on work experience from the Jobcentre who is proving a big help, especially with the cleaning, which saves Ange a bit of work and means the place is kept clean and tidy. He has also spent some time learning about the ins and outs of the financial side of running 7Corners and the administrative necessities should as child protection policies, insurance and music and film licences.

And finally it’s that time of year again for “24/7 Prayer”.  Thus year it will start at 7Corners on Wednesday 26th October and end on Wednesday 2nd November.  Please contact us nearer the time to book your slot.

November 15, 2016
by Caroline Woollard

August 2016

Although the IYE festival is over the essence of it has been captured in a professional mini documentary which has certainly done the day justice, and the excitement of the festival is now being followed by other events.

A Fellowship Meal was held on 19th August for all those involved in the Hotspot outreach project. The idea behind the meal was to thank all those involved and to give them an opportunity to get together to celebrate the work being done and to share experiences and thoughts on the project.  The meal was well attended and thoroughly enjoyed by the participants, and front-line workers gave positive reports of the changes they have seen.  We are still welcoming (and needing) new volunteers who want to get involved with the ‘Hotspot’ project, so if anyone is interested please get in touch.

We also had another ‘Sunday Diners’ which was attended by a young man who is currently spending a lot of time with us here at 7Corners and is benefitting from the fellowship he finds here.

The next forthcoming event is a week of blacksmithing workshops run by our friendly mobile blacksmith Gavin. This will be running in the last week of the summer holidays from 30th August until 3rd September and, of course, will end with a barbecue on the Saturday to mark the end of the school holidays.  If anyone knows any young people who might be interested in being a ‘smith’ for a day, please give us a call or pop in. If you want to see what is possible, there is a table in the café that was made in a previous session.

That’s all for this month. We’ll let you know how the ‘smithing’ goes next time.

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