Watch Project AGM 2019

The AGM for Chard Watch Project was really well attended & saw some fantastic speakers as well as member led talks. Chard Watch CIC is a community project in the heart of Chard helping isolated adults come together to form valuable friendships. They have a history of understanding mental health issues and how peer support can reduce the barriers people can feel in their community. Watch also helps our members to engage in many activities that improve their mental health and well-being and build their own personal resilience.

One of the most delightful parts of the Watch Project AGM, is that members contribute to the proceedings, hearing their many journeys is always enlightening. This year, a newly formed singing group from the watch, who have been rehearsing for weeks treated the audience to their version of ‘This is me’ from the Greatest Showman.

The Watch Project links in with many other mental health groups & campaigns such as ‘Time for Change’. Many members have signed up to become time to change champions and talk at events – all of which helps to break down the barriers of mental health.

The guest speaker was Yaz Murfin, from Somerset Fire Service who spoke about the home service visits which the Fire Service offer. Yaz also spoke about the multiple risk factors that increase the likelihood of having a fire, anything that the fire service can do to reduce these risks.

The Watch Project are always on the look out for Volunteers, and Friends. Amanda Broom, Friends of Watch Co-Ordinator, spoke about a fund-raising idea being undertaken in September. Jeff Townsend, his sister Julie Bingham & her dog Maya are walking the Exe Valley walk to raise funds for Watch.

Both Jeff and Julie have a long connection of volunteering, donating and supporting Chard Watch. Jeff says “I have lived in Somerset and Devon for nearly 60 years loving the countryside of both particularly the many varied rivers. The Exe is my favourite, rising in Somerset before flowing over 50 miles to Exmouth. Now at the age of 74 I intend to achieve a long-held ambition to walk its length at the same time raising money for the charity WATCH. Nearly five years ago having just lost my wife I volunteered for WATCH and found the peer support I received gave my life meaning again now I hope to repay that kindness by raising money to help the charity continue it’s inspirational work”.

Julie adds “My brother Jeff mentioned to me that he would like to walk the source of the Exe to raise money for Watch. I asked Jeff if I could join him as I so enjoy walking with my flatcoat retriever Maya and would like to take the opportunity to support Jeff in raising funds for Watch, such a worthwhile cause.”

The walk is being planned to start on Sunday September 29th 2019, and will be done across 5 days. We are hoping that lots of supporters, members of Chard Watch will not only join in, but also help to raise money. Anyone interested should contact AmandaBroom.Watchproject@gmail.com for more details.  If you would like to donate online the fundraising page is: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/chard-watch

Julie Bingham, Amanda Broom, Jeff Townsend & Maya planning the Exe Valley Way walk

The Watch Project meets every Thursday, and is wholly grateful to its supporters and funders who make this possible, in particular National Lottery with reaching Communities funding, Yarlington, Somerset Community Foundation, Somerset County Council & Somerset Skills and Learning.