Our WATCH Christmas Party Announcement (2017)

I know, I know! It feels a little too early to be talking about Christmas but it’s only 9 Project Thursdays away – and our party is even less: The 7th of December (11am-4pm). So please consider this your official invitation and remember to circle the date in your calendar!

Expect good company, party hats, and questionable singing through the always popular Karaoke! (I’ll confirm more attractions as the date approaches.)

As always, there will be a buffet lunch available on the day at a cost of £5.00 per person, so please could you let us know before the event if you require lunch so we know how many hungry mouths to cater for. (In fact, even if you’re saving your appetite for mince pies baked elsewhere, please RSVP ahead of time if you are planning on stopping by. It will save us from asking you to keep repeating your name for the register over all the noise!)

We look forward to seeing you all soon!

[Ps. Christmas is all about nostalgia, so I thought it was worth mentioning that this festive picture of our mascot Sam was one of the first things I ever made for the WATCH website back in 2013. 🙂 — M@thew]

Joyce Passmore: A Thank You

Friend of the Project, Joyce Passmore (author of ‘The Light In My Mind’) has been very busy on our behalf of late. On Tuesday the 6th June (2017) she talked about her personal experiences in Mental Health with Julie (our Project Manager) to a huge crowd at St. James Church, Taunton, and asked that all donations go towards the WATCH while she was there.

And if that wasn’t enough, she has since gone on to take a recording of that evening and turned it into a CD that you can request a copy of, in return for a small contribution of course.

Instead of doing the usual and sharing my gratitude on behalf of the WATCH Project, I would like to ask you all to join me now in sitting up straight and cheering our appreciation in person. (I’ll give you a moment to warm your vocal chords up, and will ask Joyce if she could please stick her head out of the nearest window and carefully raise a hand to your ear.

So, on my count.

One…
Two…
Three…

“Hip hip, hooray!

Hip hip hooray!

Hip hip hooray!”

Thank you for everything, Joyce. We’re super grateful for all your hard work. 🙂

– M@thew

Our AGM in Pictures (2017)

Chard WATCH CIC had it’s Annual General Meeting last week (10th August 2017) and it was considered a rousing success by all. (And so busy at times, I was stuck at the back and unable to get more creative with the photographs! So apologies for that.)

Once again, friend of the Project (and now Director) Ken Comber chaired the meeting, but was joined this time by Julie Matthews (Project Manager), Richard Miller (Company Secretary), Kevin Townsend (who delivered the Financial Report) and Ruth Crooks — who took the minutes.

All of our members, volunteers, staff and friends of the Project were publicly thanked for their support over the year(s) on the day (whether they were in attendance or not), but special mention was made for Anne Townsend and Sarah for their help on the Art table, Paul and Jo for their time with the woodwork, and Alan, Mike, and Soo for their continued Kitchen efforts. (Along with many others I’ve probably missed!)

Special guest speaker Dr Andrew Tresidder was also in attendance and delivered a much applauded speech about the benefits of personal growth and peer groups like ours. He was later followed by numerous members who shared their thoughts about the positive impact WATCH has had on them too, so naturally their wasn’t a dry eye in the house come the end! (Jayne’s very popular raffle helped dry a few wet cheeks afterwards though.)

I will update this post with a more detailed account of the day once I get a copy of the minutes, but for now, you can read a copy of our full AGM Report here, as well as the Financial Report.

[Please note: If you didn’t give me photo permission on the day, I have disguised your face to prevent any upset.]

– M@thew

Our Latest Mosaic: ‘Care in the Community’

[The inscription below it reads: “CARE IN THE COMMUNITY. This mosaic has been kindly donated by The Watch Project, directed by Richard Langford (Artist). November 2016.”]

The WATCH project has made a number of Mosaics over the years and you can find your eyes drawn to them at places like the Chard Guildhall, Bracken House, and Holly Court in Yeovil. If you’ve been following the website for a while, you may remember we were working on a fourth designed to celebrate ‘Care in the Community,’ with Crewkerne Sculptor, Richard Langford too. (You can find progress posts here and here.)

Well, I’m pleased to report that it is finally pinned to the wall at Chard Hospital!

Hospital administrator, Gillian Wallace, had this to say about it on the Chard and Ilminster website:

“We are pleased to be building strong alliances between the hospital and townsfolk, and would like to take this opportunity to develop these further, by inviting people to join our team as volunteers, LOF committee members or nurses and therapists to apply to join us in a professional capacity, so that together we can continue to deliver the excellent compassionate services into the future.”

You can read more about her thoughts in a press release for the Chard and Ilminster here, but for now, we would like to thank Gillian, Richard Langford, our members, the public, and anyone else involved in the production of this mosaic (from it’s whiteboard conception, to it’s glossy finish).

I know we have a tendency to thank everyone a lot when it comes to your support, but when it comes to our gratitude, there are no diminishing returns. Thank you all so much! It really is appreciated.

I hope you like it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Chard Churches Together: Bible Reading Shed

Chard Churches Together read the whole Bible aloud, non-stop, outside the Chard Guildhall from Thursday to Sunday (1-4 June 2017) last week — and the WATCH Project made the shelter they sat in! (You can find volunteer Jo modelling the shed as it was getting made in the image attached.)

I have yet to walk through the Forefront Community Church reception to ask how it went (and get to our office upstairs) myself, but fingers-crossed the event was a success? It was always busy when I passed them over the weekend anyway!

– M@thew