Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Baking Superstars

We have three hub superstars today. Kelly was baking late last night, Tricia was baking at lunchtime today and goodness knows when Verity made her fabulous looking ginger cupcakes. I dropped them all off at St Sidwell's School and my chocolate cake managed to slide off the reception desk when I arrived. Thank goodness for good packing! The PhilBrit community really appreciate your support with their cake sale. Thank you also to Liz who donated an amazing prize to our hub raffle.

Origami Trees, Crochet and Table Plans

Such a great day and no photos!!! New bunting is up. Geoff and I made an origami Christmas tree (thank you Lisa Purchase for the idea) which was so admired with gave it to the admiree (is that a word). We have numbered all the jamjar tombola prizes, we now have a £50 Inspirations voucher to add to our raffle prize list, knitting group was warm and busy thanks to our table top heaters and so good to see Cathy back again for her earl grey with one sugar. Liz was seeing the results of her fabulous teaching with Tami's amazing crochet project (I'm still envious Tami but I'm getting over it), I'm loving the new hub layout for knitting group - thank you Liz and can't wait to try layout #2 next week thanks to C&C's cunning plan. We had amazing baking donations from our hub for the Philippeans fundraising. And there are still two tai chi classes and Sahaja Yoga meditation to go.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Free Self Development Course...

This is an amazing opportunity and I have just had a phone call from Von at CVS about it…this is a series of 7 Friday afternoons between this Friday and January. It is a personal development course, it's FREE and it's open to everyone. You will be in a group of lovely people with fabulous trainers and will make great friends during this journey. I would love to do this. The sad thing is that there are spaces and there shouldn't be because it's such a fabulous opportunity. If anyone is nervous about going, I am very happy to walk up with you for the first session and introduce you to everyone and settle you in. Email me or book with the number on the poster.

Monday, 18 November 2013

It's Paper Chain Time

THIS WEEK AT THE HUB>>> So this week at the hub we got off to a flying start with a busy Babyccino and the coffee timers watched me make miles of paper chains! Only one stapler…schoolgirl error. 
Tomorrow at the hub we have our usual choir, coffee time and crafting and then The Still Rooms Deluxe Product Making Party 
Wednesday we have coffee time and knitting group, cake collection for The Philippeans fundraising, double Tai Chi and Sahaja Yoga Meditation. I am going on three Kissing It Better visits to care home in Sidmouth and Paignton (who put those two on opposite sides of Exeter?)
Thursday we have Pyjama Drama as usual and the start of after school Pyjama Drama Sunbeams session at 4pm. It's our Social Enterprise Meeting to celebrate Social Enterprise Day up at the uni's Innovations Centre. Then it's Mindfulness in the evening. 

Friday is Craft Fair Eve! It's also Monkey Music, Baby Massage, Crafting and Coffee time. Then on Saturday from 10:30-4 it's our fabulous Christmas Craft Fair. More details of everything at or email

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Cake & Craft Fair on Saturday 23rd November

Our fairs are family friendly with our pop-up cafe full of delicious homemade cakes (chocolate brandy cake and the brownies are firm favourites).

We have Sparkly Sonia’s fabulous facepainting, Nina Fenner's handmade books stall and Nina will be running a making table too which is always popular and the return of the Christmas jamjar tombola. We have a variety of wonderful craft stalls, our winter raffle with fabulous prizes and a second raffle for a beautiful doll’s house. Back by popular demand, acupressure treatments from Sarah Hewlett perfect to relax during what can be a stressful time for on £3 as a treat for us.

This time our craft tables are well and truly full and I am so excited that we have Jean Donald with her fabulous knitted jelly babies and other stocking fillers and decorations, Vivienne’s Jewels have jewellery and decorations, Jane Burkenshaw is a fabulous paintings, Sparkly Sonia’s original artwork, broaches and cards, The Origami Florist Kat Thomas, Emma Sadeghi with her doll’s house goodies, With Love Lucy will be there with driftwood frames, beach glass jewellery and lots more, Trisha Keddie’s knitted goodies, Summer Lane Cards & Crafts and our outside bring and buy table which is always loaded with great bargains as our hub people have a clear out and we find all sorts of goodies.

The Cake & Craft Fair is a fun place to browse, catch up with old friends or meet new ones, relax with tea and cake, try something new and find out more about what's happing at our community hub.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Helen Brain's Fabulous Print Your Wrapping...

Helen Brain is a very special lady and she is coming to the hub to run a workshop. We will be printing our own fabric bags, wrapping paper, cards, gift tags…the whole caboodle. These photos say more than I can in words. The class in from 6-8pm on Thursday 28th November. It is £25 and you will take home your printed wrapping paper, cards, gift tags and a canvas bag (supplied by Helen). You are welcome to come along with extra blanks to print on). 

 Email if you would like to book a place

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Carers' Rights Day at the Hub

I love our Carers TLC Group. They are very special people who give selflessly and give me a sense of perspective. But there are many people out their who don't recognise themselves as carers and missing out on valuable support (and our Carers TLC!!!). Can you take a moment to read this from Brana Thorn at Devon Carers 

One in eight adults in the UK is an unpaid carer and will be giving support to a family member, partner or friend who may be ill, have a disability or is frail. People don’t always recognise the fact that they are carers as they say that they are only doing what they need to do as a mother, daughter or as a husband.

Carers can find themselves doing all sorts of extra tasks like offering physical, practical or emotional support, personal care, physical help, sorting out financial matters. Three in five of us will be a carer at some point in our lives.

We know that there are many adults and young people caring for others in Exeter, who may not recognise that they are actually carers and so not accessing the help that is available. We know that carers may have a reduction in their income as they arent able to work as much and may get into debt as a result of caring. Often carers feel stressed and are prone to depression.

There are many voluntary organisations who can offer support to carers and in particular Devon Carers can point you in the right direction for support, information and advice. To find out more call or visit 08456 434 435 or

There will also be an event for carers on Friday 29 November from 1 to 3pm at the Hub on the Green at 8, Cathedral Close, between ASK and Southernhay. Its being held on Carers’ Rights Day as an opportunity for people who are looking after someone to find out what support is available in Exeter, as well as have a light lunch and may be even some pampering.

Everyone is welcome! If you already know about support for carers then please bring someone you may know with you who is caring but may not realise.

Jeanette's plea for help for her family back in the Philippines

I have just met up with Jeanette Goulding who is part of the Filipino community in Exeter. She is quite something and I know her from when she launched the Fil-Brit community at the hub over a year ago, maybe two. She is working full time for Devon County Council and in her spare time running around raising awareness of what is happening to her friends, family and community back home. I said we would help (we being the hub community) and the most likely way is to bake for a sale at Devon County Council to raise money. So if you are happy to bake at shortish notice in the next few weeks (or might be able to) will you private message me or email me at and then I will let you know when the cake sale is. I will collect the cakes at the hub and drop them off. I think I am going to bake something and pop it in the freezer so it is ready when it's needed. Please do bake a cake and let's give Jeanette and co a helping hand. 

Click here for Express & Echo report

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Hub news...

Oh how do we top today's face painting, brownies and pass the parcel? Thank you all for joining in and listening to Devil Women with lots of pauses. Congratulations to Clare…our more reluctant passer who then went on to win! And look at my arm…

I showed it to the roomful of care home managers this afternoon. Sonia manages to raise a smile even when she's not there. That's a gift. 

And thank you to Cathy who baked these fabulous goodies for the community choir. The musical biscuits were very cool!

A massive thank you to Liz Croft who taught us to make crochet baubles in Carers' TLC and who came with special little kits for us all. Thank you to Claire Casely who ran the guided mediation session in the second half…one of the group came out and said, "I'm floating". And thank you to Sally who made the most addictive peanut butter slices. Yum!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Do you (or anyone you know) rent a home in Exeter from a private landlord?

Eve Malster (with Sparkly Sonia's help) has a new project…this is her message. 

I hope this finds you well? I am sending this information to you with my Exeter CVS hat on! The following is my current project and I think it will either be of interest to you personally or because you work with people it may interest.

Exeter CVS are managing a new project called ExeTRA, funded by the E-on Legacy fund. We hope to create a successful private tenants group for Exeter, which will help and advise tenants experiencing difficulty in housing conditions, financial pressures of rent levels and fuel poverty or disputes with landlords.

Do you (or anyone you know) rent a home in Exeter from a private landlord? If you can spare 15 minutes to complete the online private tenant survey you will be helping to paint a clearer picture about renting conditions within the city.

Everyone that completes the survey can be entered into a Christmas prize draw. Prizes include a luxury Hamper, meals from Waterfront Restaurant, theatre tickets and Cocktails from Bike Shed Theatre, and a lovely organic veg box from Shillingford Organics.

Here is the link to the survey:

Project worker Eve Malster and artist Sonia Kemp will be at a pop-up shop for this project on Saturday 9th and Saturday 16th November from 10 – 1 at  82 South Street, Exeter.  We will be there to help people complete the survey and discuss the project in more detail. Sonia will be face painting and there will be creative activities for anyone waiting!

If you are not a private tenant, please could you circulate this to any work and personal contacts that may be interested.

Many Thanks


Friday, 1 November 2013

Exeter Baking Club's Halloween Party

I know some people aren't very fond of halloween. I also know that taken out of context some of the people in these photos look really terrifying. So before you scroll down I am going to tell you that everyone in these photos is really lovely and everyone had a brilliant time. Some people who came to the Halloween Party had been to the hub before, others knew us really well. We had such a giggle, covered the floor in chocolate, covered ourselves too and had a great time. A lesson... zombies are often the nicest people underneath!