Guest Blogger – Yasmeen Louis
On April 4th, The Nest Southwest CIC hosted a Community Day to celebrate our successes with tea and cake. Choosing Sylvania Community Hall as our venue, the day allowed members from all three sections of our organisation to come together – Menopause, Menstruation, Pregnancy & Birth. And what a day it was.
Equipped with various selections of drinks and sweet things (including the extremely tasty and aesthetically pleasing Nest logo cup-cakes from Bizzie Baking), the hall was filled with members of our community, with some of the little ones running in and out near the play area, while our newest members were cooed over, much to their bemusement. The floor was covered with brightly coloured mats and a collection of various toys, creating a cheerful and welcoming effect. And it seemed even the weather was on our side, as the sun gave our outdoor photos that bit of extra sparkle.
As a Social Media Intern, I loved it all. As a University of Exeter student, with currently no young children in my immediate family, I realised I do not often get to interact with very small children. Whereas, during our Community Day, I was able to meet so many people , who got to tell me about their little ones, some of which were only weeks old. It was a wonderful experience that I would never have received if it wasn’t for this day. And as a Social Media Intern, it gives me an invaluable opportunity to see exactly what community I am now a part of!
Most of all, I was astounded at how far-reaching The Nest’s support is. In a post-pandemic world, I believe we are all now accustomed to meeting individuals for the first time over Zoom or Teams. So it was refreshing to see so many aspects of the organisation together in one space. For example, for some of the volunteers, this was their first time meeting in person.
Yet that wouldn’t necessarily be apparent if observing the festivities taking place in Sylvania Hall on April 4th. The atmosphere was brilliant, a constant buzz from different members all communicating and interacting with one another created an infectiously jolly mood. It seemed the time whizzed past because far too soon, it was time to go home again – which seemed to prove the old saying; time does fly when you’re having fun.
The list of people we have to thank seems never-ending. Of course, LUSH Exeter, for providing us with their lovely luxury bath products – which, according to some people who DMed the page, proved a hit with both adults and the little ones. And we have all the volunteers to thank. From our helper who worked tirelessly in the kitchen making endless cups of tea, to the people who volunteered to set up and clean up. Again, another thank you goes to all the amazing volunteers and the talented Gwellian Rial of White Linen Photography who documented all of this with her brilliant camera. And a huge thank you goes to our co-founders, Hazel, Jodie and Nancy for masterminding the whole event.
Finally, I would like to say a thank you to all the members of The Nest community and those who made this day possible who couldn’t make it. But after observing the success of this brilliant Community Day, I am confident enough to say; don’t fret, there will be many more opportunities for you to join in the coming years.
The community day was funded by The National Lottery – Awards for All.
Yasmeen Louis – Social Media Coordinator and Analyser, intern from the University of Exeter.
A selection of photos from the day.