Festival beats the drum for community support projects

Boscombe Chine Gardens was abuzz with music and good vibes for the seventh annual Festival of Wellbeing.

The popular festival, held this year on July 26, is organised by Bournemouth Churches Housing Association (BCHA) and raises awareness of organisations offering all manner of support across the conurbation.

BCHA has spent over 50 years helping thousands of people to find homes and its wellbeing and skills-based training programmes Ignite and New Directions were on hand to give advice.

BCHA Tenancy Sustainability officer Will Thacker, said: “It’s a great event for people to find out more about the wealth of help available to them - and also to have some fun.

“As well as being able to talk to BCHA about housing and our varied employability services, we have organisations here who can support people with financial advice, drug and alcohol support, their mental wellbeing and even healthy eating and fitness.”

Maggie Roj was attending the Festival on behalf of Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

She said: “We have been telling visitors about the huge variety of information we can offer, from general advice on things like benefits, to our specific campaigns such as how to reduce your energy and water costs, advice on pensions and the implications of Brexit.

“It’s also been a really good opportunity to meet BCHA’s other partner organisations working to help and support the community.”

BCP Councillor for Boscombe East and Pokesdown George Farquar attended the festival with his greyhound Milo and tried his hand at drumming with BCHA board member Mike Wood.

Live music was provided at the festival by the Hightown Crows.

Cllr Farquar said: “I’m extremely impressed by The Festival of Wellbeing. It’s relaxed, fun, informative and the perfect, inclusive environment in which people can come together, engage, share information and find the help they might need.” 

Mike Wood agreed: “The Festival of Wellbeing has become a highlight of BCHA’s calendar, highlighting the many fantastic organisations offering their support to people, often when they need it most.”

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