Weston-super-Mare Town Council has been working closely with North Somerset Council’s Covid-19 community response initiative and various community groups to provide joined up thinking and support at this time.

The Blakehay Theatre

The Blakehay Theatre has been turned into a ‘Virtual Theatre’ bring entertainment and supporting the efforts of local artists in the Weston-super-Mare area and beyond both on their website and through their Facebook page.

Learn about Backstage Theatre (Video Series) – Put together by our Communications and Marketing Officer Becky Walsh, the Blakehay Theatre is proud to give you all a glimpse into the life and proceedings of backstage.  Each video in the series, released weekly on a Saturday, will focus on a different aspect and role found as part of a backstage team. Learn what they do, how they work, what responsibilities they hold and most importantly how that contributes ultimately to what you see on the stage – Every Saturday at 5pm from 4th April – 2nd May 2020

Meet the Team – Ever wondered who works at the theatre and how they got there? Now is your chance to find out!

Each week we will be featuring a blog post from one of our members about how they came to working at the Blakehay Theatre! – Every Wednesday at 2pm from 8th April to 13th May 2020.

Weekly Update Newsletter – Would you like to find out weekly information about the theatre straight to your inbox?

Normally we do a free monthly newsletter with all of the latest news and offers for events at the theatre – whilst we are closed we will be sending you a weekly update every Friday at 2pm.

A week’s bedtime story at home with free downloads – As you’re at home with the kids, we’re giving you the opportunity to fly over for the on-line premier of Seb & Polly Planet on their Ocean Quest as they go on an epic adventure. We bring to life the highly acclaimed book following cheeky Seb and her superhero friend, and this is your chance to be part of it! Daily at 7pm from 6th to 10th April 2020

Visit Weston

Visit Weston-super-Mare have engaged with their local accommodation partners and now have a list of businesses that are able to help with housing key workers displaced from home. The team will soon go live with a website page with this valuable information, found here:  https://www.visit-westonsupermare.com/accommodation/covidaccomm For example, Visit Weston received a phone call appealing for help from a Birmingham-based pharmacist being drafted to Weston to assist with services. They were introduced to an accommodation provider that was able to house them.

Visit Weston have engaged with local residents by assuring them that their safety and wellbeing is a top priority during the lockdown; publically sending out the message to our established visitor market that they are currently not to visit the town. This has been undertaken through a temporary rebranding of the Visit Weston logo and name across social media accounts. New social media content designed to be informative as well as entertaining is being shared on a daily basis, this has taken the form of pictures, photographs, videos and blogs, encouraging followers to take part and share their content too. Examples of these can be found on the Visit Weston Facebook page, here: https://www.facebook.com/visitweston/

The seven-year-old daughter of a Visit Weston team member created a hand drawn ‘Don’t Visit Weston’ poster, which was shared through the social media accounts of both her school and education trust that manages it. This was to encourage other local children to create their own posters promoting the message and help fill their time whilst at home.

Visit Weston members have volunteered more of their time to assist with additional work outside of their usual departmental responsibilities, this is to support the whole Weston-super-Mare Town Council’s participations with the wider North Somerset Council’s Covid-19 community response initiative.

Weston Museum

Weston Museum are now working on curating it’s very own Digital Museum! The new online efforts continue to focus on promoting access to heritage for the community of Weston-super-Mare as well as engaging with the community through education and entertainment.

Know Your Place – An online activity pack has been created in partnership with North Somerset Council.  Aimed at Key Stages 2, 3 and 4, our learning pack is designed to support local history, local heritage and cross-curricular learning in schools, community groups and other educational facilities using Know Your Place digital mapping tool.

Use the pack with Know Your Place to discover your local history, get involved with your local community and start conversations about local heritage. Be inspired to upload your own content onto Know Your Place, and help us grow this rich local heritage community resource for everyone.

Reminiscence Activity Pack – This reminiscence pack has been inspired by our work with active living groups and residential homes.  Our trained team of volunteers would travel to one these groups with a specially picked handling box brimming with nostalgic items.

Now that times have changed, we’re created this resource pack to help inspire living history conversations over the telephone, online or even a letter!

Rusty’s Story time – Join Rusty the Iron Age Dog, on his adventures in these children’s stories written and illustrated by our volunteers. In Rusty’s first outing, he learns how to build an Iron Age Roundhouse! These stories will be available on our YouTube channel and to download as a PDF for free.

Clara’s cooking show – An online cooking show designed to inspire our community to get creative in the kitchen. In the coming weeks, will begin to incorporate historic recipes for people to try at home.

Social Media – We will continue to host regular updates and live streams on our Facebook page @WestonMuseum.

Coming soon – Weston Museum also has some exciting projects in the works which will be announced soon.  These include online museum trails, education and craft sessions and tours of our galleries.

Milton Road Cemetery

Weston Town Council has given consideration as to funeral services at this time of covid 19. Our Grounds Team continue to maintain the Milton Road Cemetery and provide burial services. We are mindful that anybody needing our services during this time will be deeply distressed that family and friends will not be able to celebrate the life of their loved ones.  We are therefore making sure that every family knows when restrictions are lifted we will provide our Chapel in Milton Road Cemetery for a Remembrance Service should they wish to.

The Grounds Team continue with their conservation work and we will be sharing this with you all through social media and our website.

The Mayor

The current Mayor, Councillor Mark Canniford will stay in position as Mayor for the next twelve months. The Mayor will consider attendance at events on a case by case basis. This includes the postponement of the Mayor’s Ball from 28th March to later in the year.

YMCA

The YMCA Weston-super-Mare Youth and Community team have taken to providing their sessions online over the past couple of weeks, and are now using Facebook, Instagram and Zoom to continue supporting young people and families in the area. The team have also been working in collaboration with local organisations to deliver meals to families and are looking at other ways in which they can offer support to the community and those most vulnerable at this time.

To keep in touch with the team, follow them on Instagram: @YMCAWeston-super-Mare and on Facebook: YMCA Weston-super-Mare Youth Clubs.

WSM Youth Council are all keeping in touch with each other and are planning to have a zoom meeting next week to continue working on their projects and talk about how they can support the community. The youth council are on Instagram too: @WestonYouthCouncil.