After bumping into Mark Philips in the late summer of 2019 whilst he was operating a pop-up shop in the Poole’s Dolphin Shopping Centre, I volunteered to drop into Parkstone United Reformed Church to explore ways in which I could lend support towards helping those members of our community who were finding life a struggle.
Some weeks later I called at the church. Mark, who is always the embodiment of a warm welcome, put the kettle on and over a coffee we chatted over the work of the charity and the ways in which I may help. We decided on trying to sort out the polytunnels at the rear of the church. Over time I focused on trying to grow food for the table – salad crops in trays, potatoes in tubs and such as well as flowers for the church: inside and out.
Sadly, the Virus put an end to this as the Lockdown left the project untended. As Restrictions permitted, I’ve returned to help with general DIY and admin tasks. I agreed to develop the plans to refurbish the kitchen and bring it up to modern commercial standards. This proved challenging, both due to the impact of the Restrictions on the merchants supplying the new fixtures and fittings and the very tight access – narrow doors and hallways…
As the kitchen is nearing completion, I have been working more on what I hope to be, the building of a new craft workshop. Our aim is to provide the means of developing creative and practical skills: a place where folk can safely work in a friendly supportive place.