New community facility opens in Oakengates

A new community facility has opened at The Wakes, Theatre Square in Oakengates this month.

FORGE Urban Revival has launched the facility in partnership with Oakengates Town Council which offers the local community a wide range of events, workshops, venue hire and social activities as well as an industrial styled licensed café and restaurant that showcases local food produce.

FORGE Urban Revival is a Wave-length social enterprise project that aims to engage the community to help people develop new skills and interests and reduce isolation

This latest venture in Oakengates has been made possible thanks to joint working with Oakengates Town Council and Telford & Wrekin Council’s Pride in Your High Street funding.

Ann Johnson, Director of Wavelength Social Enterprise Company, said: “This truly is a big tick for partnership working and it would not have been possible without the support and assistance of Oakengates Town Council and Telford & Wrekin Council.

“So many people have worked long hours to make this happen and I must say the facility looks amazing. Over the coming months we will be developing the range of classes and events on offer. We look forward to working with the community to make this the success it deserves to be.”

Forge at Oakengates is open Thursday to Saturday 9am to 3pm, and also open for private hire functions and events daytime or evening any day of the week.

For more information and private hire enquiries telephone 07715 667975.

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Great work by Good2Great!

Good2Great has been running a variety of courses to help town centre businesses across the borough flourish, made possible thanks to Telford & Wrekin Council’s Pride in Your High Street grant funding initiative.

Feeback from businesses that have attended Good2Great courses has been fantastic. Below are a selection of the testimonials we have been sent.

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Chris and Eira Moore, Tax Assist Accountants, Madeley

Attended ‘Locally Social’ Workshops in Madeley.

“Learning about how social media can help grow our business has been rewarding and exciting.”

 

 

 

 

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Pradip Patel, The Flooring Outlet, Donnington


Pradip attended ‘Locally Social’ ; ‘Retail Sustainability’ and ‘High Street Excellence’ in Donnington, also booked onto ‘Window Dressing’.

“The course (High Street Excellence) has been tough but I now understand DISC – it’s really a very good course.

“So impressed by Good2Great’s very in depth knowledge.”

 

 

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Mark and Gail Fisk, The Forge, Ironbridge

Attended ‘High Street Excellence’ and ‘Locally Social’ in Ironbridge. Also booked onto ‘Window Dressing’.

“Excellent discussions and topics, very relevant. The course provided some useful recommendations and tools to assist small business planning and control of finances. It has really helped increase our confidence level to support our current plans.  Thank you.”

 

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Sue and Hannah Tranter, The Cookshop, Newport

Attended ‘High Street Excellence’ and booked on ‘Window Dressing’ and ‘Locally Social’.

“Lots of food for thought. After just one session we started moving the shop around and started seeing things through customers’ eyes. Such excellent sessions – lots to think about and implement – so much to do, but now we have the skills to take it forward”

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Tina Pound, Telford Florist, Wellington

Attended ‘High Street Excellence’ and ‘Locally Social’ and is booked on ‘Successful Selling’ and ‘Window Dressing’.

“I have followed up more on the activities and homework on this workshop than I ever have with previous training I have done.

“It is simple to follow and more relevant to my business.”

 

 

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Charmaine Briscoe of Bellmans Yard Garage (pictured right), Newport

Attended ‘High Street Excellence’ and ‘Successful Selling’ and booked on ‘Window Dressing’ and ‘Locally Social’.

“I’ve now done 2 courses with Good2Great. Each session has been relevant, interesting, bang up to date and full of useful information and ideas to take away to use in our own business. I thoroughly recommend Good2Great training for every business… Don’t miss out!”

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Sally Finnegan of Aunt Sal’s Café, Newport

Attended ‘High Street Excellence’ and ‘Successful Selling’ and booked on ‘Window Dressing’ and ‘Locally Social’.

“I have just finished High Street Excellence Course with Good2Great.  I really enjoyed it… It gave me inspiration, and made me look at my business from lots of different angles! … never think that you know it all… , and that you carn’t ever learn something new.”

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John Ellis, The Crown, Oakengates

Attended ‘High Street Excellence’ and ‘Locally Social’ in Oakengates.

“A great session – which has proved to be an excellent refresher. WOW! So many ideas – my head wants to burst!

I do urge other retailers to take every advantage of the free training provided by Good2Great. The only investment is your time. It’s well worth it.”

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Helen Briscoe, Country Chic Interiors, Oakengates

Attended ‘High Street Excellence’ and ‘Locally Social’ in Oakengates.

“I always say – you don’t know what you don’t know. And these workshops have been a revelation.

“I know I need to get my shop out to a wider audience and now I have the tools to do it. Thankyou.”

 

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Chris Boyles, The Grey Door Café, Wellington

Attended ‘Locally Social’ ; staff have attended ‘High Street Excellence’ and is booked for ‘Window Dressing’.

“I know I will benefit greatly from the advice offered. It was so informative – I didn’t realise social media could be such a powerful tool.”

 

 

Touring Pop-up Shop offers local people employment opportunities

This article has been submitted by FORGE Urban Revival

Forge Urban Revival is a unique pop-up shop concept touring Telford that will be offering the opportunity to experience some of Shropshire’s best artisanal products on offer.

Specialising in fresh locally produced food, hand crafted gifts and an industrial themed coffee shop, FORGE will tour four locations opening on Saturday 16 April in Wellington and then visiting Oakengates, Madeley & Ironbridge.

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Jewellery from crafter Hazel

Each location will showcase both produce and crafts from each area and provide local entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain exposure for their products in this unique shopping environment. The initiative is happening thanks to Telford & Wrekin Council’s High Street Fund and will enable the money spent to be reinvested into the local community and create a positive high street life-cycle in all areas covered.

Striving wherever possible to source our food locally within the Shropshire area, we will offer great produce with less ‘food miles’ ensuring a more organic, seasonal end-product. Included in the menu will be gluten free products as well as a selection of items catering for various dietary requirements.

As Shropshire has such a wonderful array of talented artists and crafters, we are looking to unite them together in a modern industrial setting providing a platform to buy a ‘Made in Shropshire’ product at source from local artists – adding extra provenance to exciting products. Crafters will also offer various Masterclasses throughout the year sharing traditional skills back into the community.

Why FORGE?

FORGE Urban Revival – is a Wave-length Social Marketing CIC Telford based Social Enterprise project. The concept behind FORGE is to offer individuals the opportunity to develop a variety of skills, from product development and management right through to operational skills; or just providing practical opportunities to develop self-confidence within their community.

Ann Johnson, Director of Wavelength Social Enterprise Company, said “Having worked with so many talented people through our Junction Box programme it’s great to see their variety of skills supported by Telford &Wrekin council.

“The FORGE initiative will offer a platform to showcase their products to their local communities and inject life back into the market towns”

Having social value at its heart whether promoting local products, developing individuals or workshop participation, FORGE will offer something for the whole community.

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For more information on FORGE Urban Revival visit us at: http://www.forgeurbanrevival.co.uk

Wombridge Primary School grow their own fruit and veg

Awarded £60,000 to build a botanical greenhouse

About the school

The school in Oakengates, Telford provides primary school education for children aged 4 to 11 years. It prides itself on providing its children with the best resources and opportunities as possible to develop well rounded, responsible citizens. After achieving nationally recognised success through gaining Apple Regional Training Centre status and a Farming and Countrywide Award, the school wanted to further develop learning opportunities for children outside the classroom. They began to develop areas around the school where the children could grow their own fruit and vegetables, which was a great success. The next step was to find a way of growing more fruit and vegetables that could be used in cookery sessions and for school meals.

What was needed

A botanical greenhouse situated in the grounds of the school would mean that more fruit and vegetables could be grown throughout the year. Together with the creation of extra outdoor growing spaces, there would be plenty of opportunity for the children to develop their understanding of the world around them, where food comes from and also encourage healthy eating. Every pupil gets to visit the school’s local farm where they experience the day to day workings of a farm and see how the local area changes through the seasons – a botanical greenhouse and additional fruit and veg plots would complement this learning experience.

What the Pride funding has meant to them

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The school now has a botanical greenhouse which has meant the children have been able to increase the amount of fruit and veg they grow all year round. The freshly picked produce is used in cookery sessions and school meals. The hope is that children will gain a national qualification in horticulture which could lead to employment opportunities in the future. In addition the school plans to increase the work it does in the wider community. It already works closely with Age Concern and Stallard Court, a home for the elderly, on a range of inter-generational projects, but it plans to cook and serve meals to the residents of Stallard Court using food they have grown.

Head Teacher Neil Satoor said: “The importance of eating healthily and having a balanced diet is an embedded part of our school ethos. It is vital that children are taught about looking after their health and bodies from an early age. With improved access and understanding of where our food comes from, how we produce food and grow plants, we are improving the longer term health and wellbeing of our children, their families and the wider community.”