Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


Wellspring currently serves its local community in a number of ways but our work is hampered by our Victorian Chapel. We plan to build a new Annex comprising 3 meeting rooms, a commercial kitchen and a welcoming glazed entrance. The new facilities will particularly benefit two of our major initiatives:

MEMORY CAFE, founded in August 2015 as a joint project between the Rotary Club of Wirksworth and Wellspring Church, is run entirely by volunteers. Wellspring provides the use of the kitchen, and volunteers who prepare the afternoon tea supplied to guests.

Average attendance is 36, 10 to 15 are people living with dementia, some have carers with them, the remainder are volunteers. Activities include table and floor games, papercraft, planting bulbs, creating a 3 D garden. Last January we had a tribute to Elvis Presley, around Shrove Tuesday we always serve pancakes, this year we made Mardi Gras masks too. Each November we have a Remembrance theme and in December a Christmas Party. Word puzzles and colouring books are available for those who don’t want to join in with the activity.

Every session ends with a sing along. Music is very therapeutic to people living with dementia, many who find communication difficult find that they can recall the words and sing along with the old songs.

The benefits to our guests are numerous. For the people living with dementia, they can engage in stimulating activities in a safe environment and can enjoy the social aspect and a change of scenery. It also has multiple benefits for the carers – they gain ideas for stimulating their loved ones at home, and some use the occasion to have some “me time”. The social aspect is also very important to the carers.
For the future, a room with larger floor space would be useful. Sometimes a guest may feel overwhelmed in the session, especially if noise levels get a bit high. Currently they can find a quiet space in the Chapel upstairs but if more rooms of different size were available, one of those may be used. We have a lot of equipment - a small area for storage would be useful. Memory Café is also represented on a steering group to make Wirksworth a dementia friendly town. Inspired by the Wirksworth initiative, Memory Café has now opened in Belper.

Wellspring began serving EASYMEALS in June 2016 as a result of our awareness of food poverty in the local community, together with food waste from our bigger supermarkets. We offer Easymeals on a monthly basis providing a healthy 3-course hot meal cooked on the premises to anyone, with no limitations at all beyond the seating capacity of our present hall ( 40 max.). The meals are provided at no charge, but some people kindly leave donations which help to offset the cost of food which we obtain from local shops.

We reach families who have no time to cook properly, older people who had lost the desire to cook and those whose financial circumstances means they cannot afford good wholesome home cooking. Current attendance is about 40 and we believe that the provision of a new kitchen and Cafe-style area in our proposed annexe would enable us to attract more of those in need.

We have also investigated an initiative called ‘Fareshare’, a nationwide scheme where supermarkets provide participants (eg a church) with the food that is still healthy to eat but would otherwise be binned. We would like to join that scheme once we have our new kitchen - this will allow us to offer a wider range of meals more regularly and deliver 'healthy eating' courses.

Both these projects demonstrate how we reach out to people in need, providing a welcoming venue for those who may be lonely or have few opportunities for social interaction and providing opportunities for volunteering and helping people learn new skills.

We seek a grant of £10,000 towards Annex build costs of £500,000. We will raise £50,000 ourselves (£30,000 so far) and have grant commitments of £60,000 with the balance from other grants.

Wellspring Church

Moment of Pride

That Wellspring is prepared to take risks in realising its vision of being a welcoming community, offering unlimited hospitality and acceptance, seeing its buildings as an asset to the town and using these and other resources to serve those in need and the wider community.

Location: Wirksworth