TQ6 Community Partnership Meeting minutes

The TQ6 Community Partnership Meeting took place at Dartmouth AFC on Tuesday, 27 June at 5.30pm


Gwen; Jayne; Guy; Graham Webb; Roger; Dave; Gary; Kayleigh; Michelle; Elizabeth Coates; Jenna; Carl; Sarah; Dawn Shepherd; Lee Morgan; Susanne Hughes; Graham Campbell; Alisa Kefford; Jackie Wesley (Torbay CVS); Sergeant Neil Powers (D&C Police, Constable Andrew Willetts; Katie Brown (Dartmouth Town Councillor); Ged Yardy (South Hams District Council)

Hosted by Charlotte Holdsworth, Community Connector LiveWest Housing Association Homes

It was a relaxed agenda and process with the focus on residents for them to raise concerns and share excitement and ideas.

The Dartmouth Baptist Church was in Devon Live recently

** Update of TQ6 Community Partnership

TQ6 Community Partnership is part of Lottery Funded Award, which was tangled up with Covid and provided 200 meals a day. Now it is back on the original track, with one year’s funding left. Main reason is listening to the community. One of its aims is youth work.

With the demise of Youth Genesis, youthwork disappeared, and the establishment of girls football became a priority. Having some money, we started the process. Found coach. 25-30 kids regularly. And a new partner has been found in Dartmouth FC.

There are specialist advisors in the Dartmouth Community Cafe that offer legal and bureaucratic help. We also fund Citizens Advice in the town.

Moving beyond that, TQ6 CP aims to support what communities can do for themselves.

** SEN Group

The SEN group is a really good example of self-organising, and that’s the kind of thing that the TQ6 Partnership is looking to support

It’s a wonderful asset to Dartmouth. People don’t realise how much it’s needed and how much support for SEN families is lacking in Dartmouth. It’s a safe space for SEN children, they enjoy going and look forward to it. It’s something to be part of and to be valued.

“We grow as mums and we share our experience and we’re all on that same journey. We often find our experience helps other families because we don’t always know where to turn to and we help each other out of those holes. It’s nice to be part of that journey and be with people who understand and can support us without that judgement and our children can be free and relaxed without having to worry about that judgment, friends with similar needs and it builds their confidence too. It’s great to be part of that team.”

** Playworkers

There is a need for Playworkers to support the community and activities, such as the SEN group. And the community is coming up with its own solutions. One Wednesday very soon Playworker training will be available. It will probably take place in the Dartmouth Baptist Church, and take three hours. Childcare and food will be provided. Open to anybody who wants entry level Pllayworker training, with possibility to advance to Level 2 or 3.

** Partnership

The Lottery Funding has been a great support for the Partnership.

** Police

Andy and Neil of the Neighbourhood Police team attended. They started at the beginning of June with potentially another PC starting in September, with the possibility of a PCSO to come. They recognise there’s been a lack of stable police neighbourhood team. And they want to be part of joined up thinking and problem solving as a community. They have started picking up early issues.

They are really welcome  to the Partnership. And the feedback from the community has been that they are pleased they are here, and they are already forming links.

** Dartmouth Community Cafe

In summer, the cafe is open for support on Tuesday and a Friday. And Monday, Wednesday and Friday in winter.

** Dartmouth Community Chest

Community needs a space of its own and not be moved around. The community cafe has become the space that the community needs. It is run by Dartmouth Community Chest volunteers. And was busy with people seeking advice with evictions, before no-fault evictions become illegal.

During the evening there are groups at the cafe: the SEN group on Tuesday; the men’s group on Wednesday; Ukrainian families for language lessons, etc on Thursday.

It’s a safe space where people can go with problems, or say what they need or what’s missing in the town. And support comes from being around the edges and letting the community do it for themselves.

It’s not a place for services to come in and do to.

Covid has taught us we need to be more resilient, and for the community not to wait for someone to come in. The Playworkers initiative is an example. It’s great the police are back, people want to live in a safe town.

** Summer activities

During the six-week holiday, the TQ6 partnership supports activities. Summer in Townstal and Dartmouth is a time for seasonal work, while also a strain for childcare. The TQ6 supported activities offer a chance for kids to do things and for parents to be able to let them do it. There are free activities in the Swimming pool, and in the woods, with others planned.

** Holiday activities

Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) is something set up by the government to provide activities and food. It was initially run by the community, but is now put out to tender. So TQ6 has established its own version – CHAF (community holiday activities and food).

HAF is aimed at those who have free school meals, but that focus misses the working families. CHAF addresses real need rather than outside-determined need. If families aren’t referred to HAF through having free school meals, they can’t afford to go to them. And they need to take time off work to look after the kids. A community-funded CHAF allows children to take part who might be otherwise excluded. Great have extra options.

CHAF also aims to dissipate the tensions that can be created between those who receive free school meals and those who don’t.

** Menkinde

With a core of 10-12 members, it meets on Wednesday evenings and is ‘basically a youth club for blokes’. It’s informal and relaxed – people play cards, darts, or make food and talk and chat or sit in the corner. There are film nights or football. They have been on bushcraft outings. TQ6 facilitates it by giving people a space and letting them run it. It’s quieter in the summer because people work longer hours, and evenings are nicer.

** LiveWest

As the Community Connector for LiveWest Housing Association Homes Charlotte is based in community cafe 11-2pm on Tuesdays, and is at other events.

Britannia Avenue play park owned by Live West but needs improvements. She is in the process of raising funds and has the backing of community organisations and local schools. Housing officer Melanie Mason, did a listening exercise. Charlotte is still working on S106 and needs to secure match funding. Dartmouth Town Council has widened criteria and renewed bid.

So far TQ6 Partnership has pledged £3,000; there is £4,000 from LiveWest, and there is a possibility to ask Town Councillors and District Councillors for support.

The Britannia Avenue play park is seen by TQ6 as part of its provision for young people and families.

** Bushcraft

Dartmouth Bushcraft runs 4 free-to-the-public events each year, with the idea of getting people away from their screens and into the woods to improve practical skills and lateral thinking, while bringing people closer to the environment.

First Wednesday in August (Wednesday, 2 August – check) there will be a community event, running all day.

Also, hosts Menkinde… and with the prospect of a women’s and girls only camp.

** Girls Football

Started at the leisure centre, the Dartmouth Swifts are now the Dartmouth AFC Swift. On average 30 girls every week to Monday training.

Training shirts sponsored by TQ6. They have two football kits, one donated by Al Fresco, the other was given as a gift. Some 50 local businesses were involved for the showcase day, which raised around £2000 to pay for more equipment. Coaches are now up to Level 1 and have been trained in safeguarding and first aid. With the first competitive match organised in Kingsbridge for Saturday 8 July.

Put in for grants to goals so can host other teams at Dartmouth AFC.

They will be looking to watch the Lionesses play each year.

** Ukrainians

Language lessons take place in the community cafe. A white board is needed – the police responded by offering one of their unused white boards. The group is growing, and books and materials may be needed. TQ6 in principle offered support in providing learning materials.

But the debate raised the issue of applying for funding from the town council, and the limits Dartmouth Community Chest had in being an umbrella organisation. By TQ6 stepping in, it avoided those sorts of issues.

** Social Welfare Law

There is a national project taking place in four communities in the country. Townstal / Dartmouth is one of these communities. The project is focused on Social Welfare Law – which takes in debt advice, employment, housing – looking at the role of communities and how people access support.

** Parking charges

There’s a threat of parking charges at the Park and Ride in winter. The question was ‘who uses park and ride in winter when there’s no ride?’

Responses were:

  • Girls football in the winter
  • using the Leisure centre
  • Walking the dog
  • swim sessions
  • Children’s parties
  • Going to the gym
  • The rugby club
  • Going to the health and well-being centre.

It was said that if the council is serious about health and well-being they needed to stop charging people to access health and well-being. Also, disability access was raised, saying it charges for parking rather than riding.

These points were to be taken back to the council.

But the rationale is, the government doesn’t put enough revenue into the South Hams, so it has to generate money to balance the books. But on this occasion it is doing so without knowledge of the area. And parking charges need to be fair.

** Dartmouth Football Club

Members of the Dartmouth Football Club board appreciated being in the space, able to host and were supportive of the relationship being built through the Swifts.

** Dentists

There was some confusion over the status of dentists in the town. Information was shared and sought, with the idea that if the Portman Group withdraws an alternative can be provided. There was talk about a 2-page proposal to go to SHDC to ensure some sort of service continues.

** AOB

Date of next TQ6 Partnership Meeting?

It was suggested a Tuesday in mid/late September. But a Tuesday would need to be ok from the SEN group, and then for the venue from the football club.

The TQ6 Community Partnership is supported by the National Lottery