Bagels and baby clothes

Beacon Life 2  - a snapshot of life in Beacon Heath's community centre

Boxes of baby clothes are piled high on the right hand side of my desk at The Beacon Community Centre and on my left there are two boxes of bread.

My desk, with its squeaky chair, sits in the middle of this chaos and I love it; this is a community centre in action!

Richard, our centre manager, apologised for the cramped working space but I told him that these boxes are the reason I’m here – to give a helping hand to local people. Who needs trendy, clutter free offices with sterile designer chairs and desks – this place is real.

Delicious smells ooze from the kitchen next to our offices where my good friend Heather, who ran the celebrated Georgian tearooms in Topsham, is working with her team, making lunch for the amazing Meet and Remember Club. We’re really pleased that three new people have joined us today for food and friendship provided by the club.

This afternoon young people arriving at the youth club will be tucking into ciabatta bread and bagels, thanks to FareShare and Tesco’s new Community Food Connection scheme, which gives leftover food to local organisations.

This is our first week trying out the scheme. We’ll also give bread to families coming along to tomorrow's Tadpoles Toddler Group and the youth club and if there’s any left to people attending our morning drop-in.

Thanks Tesco.

Twenty four large boxes of baby clothes arrived dramatically last week- we were expecting four boxes! So it was all hands on deck to bring them in - each box has stickers on them saying: To an Exeter mum, with love, Exeter mums x.

That’s it in a nutshell local mums giving their pre-loved baby clothes to help new mums.

The clothes and a few toys are all lovingly and neatly folded to fit the most possible into each box. We’re really looking forward to giving these boxes to local mums and hope they brighten their day as it did ours to see baby clothes some covered in dragons, dinosaurs, rosebuds and butterflies.

That’s just a small snapshot of life here at The Beacon Community Centre, a new centre which is increasingly finding itself at the heart of the community.