Fun for everyone: Growing Communities launch free winter programme

Getting fit, practising mindfulness, delving into local history, or weaving your own Christmas gifts – these are just some of the free activities on offer locally this winter from a group set up to help residents enjoy their green spaces.

Growing Communities, a scheme to help communities in West Sussex improve their health and wellbeing through the use of parks and public open spaces, has launched a busy programme of winter activities.

Starting this weekend, residents in Eastbrook (Adur) and Northbrook (Worthing) will be able to enjoy a range of events and activities in the lead up to Christmas.

At Whitebeam Woods, Durrington this Saturday (17 November) from 11am – 1pm, residents will be able to take part in a mindfulness walk, which aims to help walkers to pay more attention to the present moment and to their surroundings. Another similar walk is scheduled for Saturday 22 December, offering a way to pause and reflect during the festive period.

Walks that bring local history to life are also on offer on Monday 26 November and Friday 14 December. Local expert Jane Dore will lead discovery walks from Pond Lane Recreation Ground, giving a fascinating insight into ‘Edwardian Durrington’ from 11am – 1pm.

A Christmas walk organised in partnership with the local community group, Eastbrook Explorers, will take place along Shoreham Harbour on Saturday 1 December from 1pm – 3pm. Hot food and drinks will be provided, and a prize will even be awarded for the best costume.

The festive fun will continue with Christmas gift making, where expert willow weavers will help residents to create unique gifts and decorations on Saturday 8 December (Pond Lane Recreation Ground, Durrington) and on Saturday 15 December (Fishersgate Recreational Ground), from 10am – 2pm. There will be lots of free activities, including a free glass of mulled wine and mince pies for everyone.

In the New Year, hula hoop fitness classes will cater for all the family, run by an experienced fitness instructor. These will take place every first and third Wednesday starting from 16 January in Fishersgate Recreational Ground at 9.30am and 3.30pm for an hour.

Growing Communities is run by national organisation The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), with a legacy of over 90 years of conservation work celebrated by Vice President Sir David Attenborough. It is primarily funded by the Big Lottery Fund with support from Adur & Worthing Councils, who have donated officer time and given access to land and buildings.

John Haigh, Operations Leader for TCV Adur and Worthing, said:

“We’re really excited about the launch of our winter programme. All of our activities are completely free, and everyone is welcome – just drop in! We encourage residents across Eastbrook and Northbrook to come and join our friendly team, taking a few minutes out of today’s hectic world to connect with others, improve their wellbeing or learn something new.”

Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing at Adur District Council, Councillor David Simmons, said:

“We really hope that residents will get together and take advantage of these valuable opportunities to help improve their wellbeing. The winter programme follows hot on the heels of a fantastic programme of summer activities, and we hope will engage even more people across our communities in Adur.”

Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Digital and Environmental Services, Councillor Edward Crouch, said:

“I’m thrilled to be supporting Growing Communities’ latest programme of activities, bringing people together to enjoy our outdoor spaces. You don’t have to be an expert in anything. Just come along and join in the fun.”

To find out more about Growing Communities go to the new Growing Communities Facebook page, and also view the Growing Communities page on the TCV website.

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