The Town Council works with and actively supports (either financially or sometimes with staff time) many community and voluntary organisations throughout the town.
One of these is ‘Make the Sunshine’ which is a community interest company – a not for profit organisation that focusses on running creative workshops and performances to bring people together, increase self-confidence, build connections, reduce social isolation and create imaginative life-affirming experiences.
They are currently organising ‘374 Ways to Change the World’; working with six schools across Shepton Mallet: Bowlish Infant School, St Paul’s CofE VC Junior School, Shepton Mallet Infant School, St Aldhelm’s VA Church Primary School, Croscombe and Stoke St Michael School Federation. Students are exploring how creativity can be used to create change and make a difference to people’s lives and the world around them. From flash mobs to ‘craftism’, protest poets to theatre productions: 374 Ways explores the power of dance, theatre and art to transform hearts and minds and create social change in both local communities and national level.
At the heart of this project is children using their own creativity. Young people are designing their own ‘social action’ project working alongside a professional artist. It could be cheering up the local doctor’s surgery, or it could be creating a tea party with residents at a local care home; it could be an environmental craft campaign to MPs or staging a flash-mob performance for local key workers. Students are creating a series of bespoke community events, campaigns and performances, as well as staging a production written and inspired by the process. Look out for the action!
Coming up in November (between 25-28th) is Window Wanderland. Anyone can sign up their window to be part of the trail. Pioneered last year, Window Wanderland is a series of workshops to learn how to make window decorations which will then be displayed from homes and shops during the above dates. Back-lit, the displays provide a splash of night time colour across town. The Town Council, Haskins, Tesco, the Library, Art Bank and many others have signed up and it’s open to anyone with a window! The launch will be at Field House Care Home where a magnificent window is being prepared between residents and local schools working with local artist Elly Wdowski. To sign up to take part, go to https://www.windowwanderland.com/event/shepton-mallet-2021/
The final series of workshops Make the Sunshine are organising this year is Creative Communities Sessions for over 55s – celebrating the seasons, each session will include a professional performers and a chance to come together, make new friends and celebrate the seasons. The first session is themed around Diwali with a traditional Bollywood and Bhangra dancer on Thursday 19th November 10:30 Pauls Street Community Rooms. To sign up email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, don’t forget the Pumpkin Carving activities taking place in Collett Park this Saturday, organised by St. Peter and St. Paul Church. Bring your carved pumpkin to the park at 4pm and stroll through the candlelit Pumpkin walk and pick your top 3 designs.
Remember, there will be plenty more events coming up over the winter. Follow Shepton Mallet Town Council across social media or on our website for all the latest information.
Until next time,
Chair, Shepton Mallet Town Council