Sometimes we just like to let our hair down and spend some times with friends outside of our weekly Welcome Centre. This article is a short report of a trip to Severn Beach organised by BHN volunteers in May. Members and volunteers really enjoyed the day, keep reading to find out more about how it went!
Tina Biggs was the driving force behind this trip to the ‘seaside’, partly because of her work with the Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways. This meant she not only knew where to go but also how to get there by train (£2 a head return with GroupSave). She has been involved with BHN since June 2016, whilst Georgina Harford is a new volunteer in 2017. James and Susan Jatta, Thio, Nassir, Kelli, Emmanuel and Aboubakar were joined by Esther Biggs, Tina’s 4-year-old daughter – a total of ten, being seven BHN members and three volunteers.
Susan and Georgina shopped for the picnic the day before, and Georgina gave a lift in her car to the station for the people living in Fishponds House, and a party of 10 people set off from Lawrence Hill Station on the 11.19am train. The day was quite cold and the rain lasted for most of the day, but thanks to booking the Severn Beach Village Hall for lunch we were able to enjoy the day.
On arrival, we walked a little on the seafront, before settling in for picnic lunch, in the Severn Beach Village Hall. This was a civilised affair as we could use the hall’s tables and crockery and kettle, and Kelli put on some music on his smartphone for some dancing. There were some sofas to relax on and everyone helped to wash and clear up afterwards.
Braving the rain, some of us set out for a more extensive walk along the sea front with a lovely view of the Severn Bridge, before joining the rest in the Severn Beach bakery café for refreshments. There was a park where we could have played football and frisbee in better weather.
We were all home by 5.30pm, tired but pleased with our day out.
Everyone said that they had really enjoyed the day – fresh air! – despite the rain, while others mentioned that it was good to have a change of scenery, and also that it was a friendly trip, helping them to make friends. People particularly enjoyed the view over the sea towards Wales and the feeling of openness and the wind blowing the cobwebs away. All the members thought that £3 return was very good value and one said that he would like to come back on his own. Everyone together, smiles all round, especially the next Monday at the Drop-in where we remembered the day out together. Everyone said they’d like to do the trip again when the weather is better, and we hope this will be the start of regular trips, perhaps once a month, starting with Bristol but perhaps extending further afield using low-cost travel.