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StreetACE is back!

Street ACE August 2021 picture 1

Last week, StreetACE made a comeback! For those who don’t know, StreetACE is a tried and tested engagement strategy that ACE staff and volunteers have used over the years to speak to people in the community. We pop up a gazebo, offer a place to sit and relax, facilitate conversation through an activity and share a cup of tea. We partnered with and popped up at Riverside Health Centre/Llandaff Medical Practice/Taff Riverside Practice, Lansdowne Surgery and South Riverside Community Development Centre’s Wyndham Street Centre (https://www.srcdc.org.uk/). 

Amber Williams, ACE’s most recent employee, joined a session and reflected that ‘StreetACE is a great way to get to interact with community members that you might have not had the chance to engage with otherwise. It’s a relaxed atmosphere that allows individuals to feel at ease and welcomed. It’s also a great way to show what ACE can offer to people who didn’t know about us or maybe who were not aware of all the projects.’ 

At the StreetACE sessions, the team chatted to people and asked them to tell us about their gifts, specifically about the gifts of their heart, head and hands. Gifts of the heart would be anything that people do or give from the kindness of their hearts; gift of the head is what they are knowledgeable about and what they could possibly teach others and finally gifts of the hands are anything that people can make/do. Some of the gifts evident in our communities include: 

Gifts of the heart

  • I donate my clothes to charity 
  • I help my neighbours out 
  • I nip to the shops to help people in my street out 
  • I run my own community group 
  • I cooked meals for my neighbour during the pandemic 
  • I volunteer at ACE and am always helping others 
  • I am a reservist for the Welsh Army 
  • I listen to others about their problems & worries 
  • I got a special photo of my friend printed to celebrate his achievements 
  • I helped my neighbour settle into the neighbourhood 
  • Singing to make people smile and lift their spirits
  • Celebrating with my neighbours, like with Eid 
  • I volunteer for the Welsh Ambulance Service as a driver and have done for 14 years

Gifts of the head 

  • I know sign language
  • I used to be a science teacher so I can teach that 
  • I can translate for people. I speak English and Bengali 
  • I have a BSC and MSC in Psychology 
  • I am good with computers and would like to help others look after theirs 
  • I speak Tamil 
  • I speak Welsh and could help with translation 
  • Bush craft and building snares and shelters 

Gifts of the hands 

  • I grow fruit trees and shrubs 
  • I love to write and take photos 
  • I crochet and love gifting to others (The MICE Project) 
  • I cook — I like making meals to bring people together
  • Embroidery — I love to make small gifts for family and friends
  • I can build fences 
  • I pick up rubbish and do gardening 

We then asked people to consider if and how they might like to share these gifts with the community through ACE’s or other community projects. In particular, the Macmillan funded Compassionate Communities project sparked some ways in which people can share their gifts and spread some kindness. Some people have shown interest in getting involved with our Wellbeing Boxes project. This could include creating handmade or crocheted gifts, packing boxes, making friendly follow-up phone calls and delivering them to people’s homes. Others might get involved with the Phone Friend project, offering a listening ear and potentially even a ‘friend’ that speaks Tamil or Bengali. 

Would you like to add to our collection of gifts? Do you have a gift you would like to offer to your community? If so, please get in touch with Kimberley (kimberleyj@aceplace.org). 

Street ACE August 2021 picture 2
Images: Top - Mags, Janine and Becky M running a StreetACE session at Riverside Health Centre / Llandaff Fields Medical Centre / Taff Riverside.
Above - Capturing the gifts of our communities.

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