The Westham Community Group staged its first ever Heart of Westham event on Saturday March 1 at the Community safety Centre in Radipole Lane. Over thirty exhibitors took part showing local residents what was available for them in and around Westham and Lanehouse. The exhibitors and visitors were entertained brilliantly by the Weymouth Ukelele Band who are based at the Sailor’s Rest who performed in the Community cafe. Children were able to enjoy the delights of a free bouncy castle or practice developing skateboarding skills in readiness for future winter Olympics!

The exhibitors were offering residents a chance to participate in events from model boat sailing to luncheon clubs; from activities in many of our local churches, scouts, art groups and fitness groups. Golf, swimming, indoor bowls, basketball, and belly dancing were just some of the sports on offer. Steps Youth club were there to show teenagers what is available for them in Westham, Southill and Chickerell. A lot of people took advantage of the “Sloppy Slippers” campaign encouraging people to wear well fitted slippers to help prevent accidents in their home.

The street pastors were on hand to distribute their lollipops as they do in the early hours of the morning in town each weekend and other groups were providing advice and support for babies and young children.

Exhibitors also found the session to be extremely positive in networking with each other to see how they could provide support for themselves. Many community groups often need additional help when staging one off events and this new network will enable each to call on others when in need. There was an overwhelming demand for this to become at least an annual event so readers who missed it this year should be on the lookout for when it is next staged.

The event was supported by Weymouth and Portland’s “Working with You” project and by Synergy Housing and the Westham Community Group were grateful for their help. The manager of the community Safety Centre, Vikki Thomas, also provided fantastic support in helping set up the rooms and many people were amazed at the facilities in the centre. The public can see these for themselves any weekday by dropping into the cafe for coffee and cake, or very good value lunches.