Developing Programme

Over the years Square Corner has been a great resource for the Church and the wider community. However, as we have started to develop a wider range of activities the limitations of the building have become more apparent. The redevelopment will make it possible to support more activities, for more people, more of the time. Here are some of the ways it is being used now, and some ideas of what we could develop in the future.

Coffee Mornings
There are three open coffee mornings a week offering tea, a chance to chat and Fairtrade items for sale. Community organisations book it on Saturday mornings, often raising £300 for their local group or charity. We reckon it’s helped raise over £700,000 over its 40 year life! As more volunteers step forward the café space could be opened up for more sessions and appeal to a wider group of people.

Advice and information sessions
Square Corner has been used for information sessions by organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Alzheimer’s Society, the local Police and Mid-Devon District Council. It is also a hub for posters and community information, and is used for the distribution of St Mary’s free Parish Magazine ‘Spotlight’ to 1,700 households.

Youth Café
There is an open Youth café after school on Monday, which is also a time for Mums and Dads to pop in for a chat. Young people help run the tuck shop and set up computer games and table football - some have helped as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Community Service. It is hosted by our lovely Youth Worker and other volunteers.

Work Experience Placements
Over the summer Square Corner offered work experience placements for eight young people from Year 10 at Uffculme School. We teamed up with Kingwood Childcare to run a ‘graduation ceremony’ for a lively group of 4 years olds!

Community consultation 
Square Corner has been used for listening to your views on local issues like plans for the Village Square, local mineral extraction, wind turbines and planning the BMX track.

A space for local groups to meet
Square Corner is used on a regular and one-off basis by groups such as The Parish Council, a local craft group, a number of mid-week church study groups and a Churches Together prayer breakfast. We have hosted two book launches attended by 30 primary school children, craft activities for young and old to enjoy together … and of course the brilliant annual Christmas Lights event.

CREATE Youth and Children’s Ministry 
CREATE is run by St Mary’s and provides training and development opportunities for Christian Youth and Children’s Workers. The trainees use Square Corner as an office base and help run activities at Square Corner and at local schools. We also run the Squarefish Youth Group on Sundays, host a Youth Workers Network Meeting for the local area, and run film nights for young people.

As well as all this good stuff, we can see the potential for more!

With a brighter and more welcoming building, more space and better facilities, we could work with a range of community partners and volunteers to develop new activities such as the following:

One-to-one support 
Square Corner can offer a more intimate space for counselling, helping people to complete benefits or job application forms, or for meetings with local agencies and charities to sort out specific issues. Due to poor mobile phone coverage free Wi-Fi and a phone is available on request. We are keen to encourage more volunteers to help develop this aspect of our work.

Young Mums Café 
An opportunity to support young Mums (and Dads) amidst the busyness of parenting - a space to talk to others and an opportunity to get guidance and support on a range of parenting issues. Would you like to set this up?

IT Talk 
A space to get down-to-earth advice and support on those tricky IT issues you might have with your PC, tablet, phone or camera. An informal group with bite-sized training sessions to help you improve your IT confidence at home or to prepare you for work, as well as drop-in sessions to increase access to PCs and the internet.

And even more ...

  • Freecycle We want notice boards and activities in Square Corner to support more recycling, upcycling, Fairtrade and giving away!
  • Foodbank We could do more with the foodbank at St Mary’s - give practical help to others - or get a little help if money is tight.
  • Celebrate local artistic talent We could help organise a display of paintings, writing, craft or music event in Square Corner.
  • Marriage Courses - Marriage can be both rewarding and challenging! Square Corner could offer a marriage ‘MOT’ as part of a short course.
  • Food for thought In addition to the Community Lunches supported by St Mary’s at the Village Hall, volunteers already offer ‘simple soup lunches’ and cream tea afternoons at Square Corner. What could you organise?
  • Puppet Workshop We’re planning some after-school Puppet Workshops at Square Corner. Do you have another secret skill you can share?