Anthony Smart, who has had anxiety and depression throughout his adult life, started sewing five years ago. Five years later, he has now completed 12 colourful wall tapestries and some of them have now gone on display at the One Colchester Hub run by charity Community360 in Culver Street East, Colchester.
Anthony says: “I learnt cross stitch at school and after my dog died some years ago, I really needed something to help my anxiety and sewing the tapestries has really helped. Each of them takes me around 3 or 4 months to complete and I usually do them while I’m watching TV.”
Anthony added: ““I’ve been dropping into Community 360 for a tea and chat twice a week for a few months now, and I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people and taking part in different activities. It’s really helped to build up my confidence and I’m delighted they wanted to display the tapestries. It’s the first time anyone has offered to do this.”
The One Colchester Hub is a community resource centre offering advice and signposting to a range of services supporting health and wellbeing. Staff and volunteers offer a friendly welcome Monday to Friday for anyone who is not sure where to turn to for help with a range of issues.
Amanda Findley, Community Engagement Officer at charity Community360, which runs the One Colchester Hub, says: “If you would like to meet more people, or join one of more than 20 volunteers who help run the hub’s activities, just call in. No matter how much time you have or whatever your circumstances, you can make a difference to your community.”
Community360 linked up with United in Kind this week to help launch a campaign to tackle social isolation and loneliness through spreading kindness this Christmas.
Last year, over half a million elderly people said they expected to feel lonely at Christmas. But in a recent Essex survey 82% of people agreed that communities have a role to play in supporting people in their neighbourhood who are isolated or lonely.
United in Kind’s Colchester Coach, H Goodwin, who helped launch the United in Kind Christmas Campaign, said: “The United in Kind campaign is gaining momentum and new people are coming forward asking to volunteer with helping to connect communities through kindness. I am looking forward to working with them and with Community 360 to help combat social isolation and loneliness in Colchester.”
Lion Walk Shopping Centre generously supports the One Colchester Hub, which can be found at 81 Culver Street East, Colchester CO1 1LF near Primark, opposite St Helena Hospice shop. The Hub is open from 10.00am until 3.00pm Monday to Friday. For enquiries please call 01206 505250 or just call in. See www.community360.org.uk