Paul Keller, Community Development Manager at Keyham Green Places (KGP)
What is Keyham Green Places?
We are a community centre-based facility which is also a charity and we have been in the heart of Keyham for nearly 20 years. We provide a lot of services for the local community. For example we run a food bank which is pretty much available throughout the week and we have started handing out free soup and crusty bread on Monday lunchtimes. We also run a lot of activities from Mondays to Fridays for all the community ranging from a youth group to singing groups for older people.
How can you help the community in the wake of the Keyham tragedy?
In the aftermath of what happened we provided a trained counsellor for people to talk to and we now host the Community Hub which has workers who can provide lots of helpful advice for people and can signpost to different support agencies. They also host a variety of community events which we are glad to support. At Keyham Green Places we also have gardens that include a play area for young children, allotments and even a hidden forest walk! In the gardens we have provided a place where people can sit and just contemplate and if anyone wants to just talk we are happy to sit with them and chat about things. I think it’s important for people to know that they can just pop in and see us at any time in the week.
Can you tell us more about some of the activities at KGP?
Well, on Mondays we have Zumba lessons and Bingo in the evening while in the afternoon there is a group called Eldertree which gives older people the chance to sit together and have a sing-along. On Tuesdays there is a craft group and from 4.30pm Wellbeing Warriors. This is a youth group aimed at seven to 13-year-olds. It’s slowly rebuilding following the closure from Covid and it’s partly here to encourage youngsters to enjoy the gardens and run around in a safe space and get off their gadgets! On Wednesdays there’s Pilates and on Thursdays, adult yoga and martial arts. From 10am on Fridays there’s the Computing and Gadget Club which I run. This is for anybody who has a problem with their laptop, tablet, phone or whatever and I can try and help them fix it. We also look at how to send emails, use a spreadsheet or create webpages and this is for all ages.
I think it’s great to have events and activities such as these to get people out of the house and talking again. Some of the activities we charge for, some we don’t, but it’s never that much because we wish for as many people as possible to benefit from them. We are very grateful to the many volunteers that help us, without which it would be very hard to function. We’re open to the public from Mondays to Fridays and on Saturdays we sometimes host private functions.