After moving into South Warwickshire in 2009 Barbara Craig wanted to continue the work she had been doing previously in Suffolk. There she had been involved with Age Concern Suffolk and with dieticians at James Padgett Hospital in Lowestoft.
Since her arrival Barbara has been involved with setting up Nosh & Natter, Trips4U, Mothers & Toddlers group in Meon Vale (with support from the local CofE Benefice and new Rector Revd. Ros Greenhalgh) and the pilot for Surf and Natter.
In recognition of this hard and unselfish work in helping the older people in South Warwickshire/North Gloucestershire she was nominated by Dr Karen Clarke, from Meon Medical Centre (Prime GP) in Quinton for a British Citizens Award.
Nosh and Natter started after Barbara met Jane Spooner at St. Swithin’s church, Quinton with Admington (where she is a churchwarden) and they started discussions which led to it starting in December 2013. This group has been setup as a monthly lunch for older and isolated, and is a huge success and now attracts over 60 people to each lunch.
The group is working closely with Welford on Avon Primary School who host an entertainment event once a term and are the host for the Surf and Natter pilot.
Trips4U followed on the success of Nosh & Natter and was started in 2014 and has organised trips for older and vulnerable to Weston-super-mere, Sidmouth, Gloucester Docks and the National Arboretum in Tamworth.
With large amounts of new housing being built in the South Warwickshire area a new community was formed at Meon Vale, from a site which used to be the base for the Royal Engineers (which closed in 2009). With a large amount of young families arriving Ellie Harper (a church missionary from the local CofE Benefice) started the running of the Mother’s & Toddlers group in Meon Vale village hall with help from Barbara and other local churches in the Benefice, including Carol Watts from St. James the Great church, Long Marston.
Since Ellie has moved on Barbara, with the help from Carol Watts, has continued this very successful mother & toddlers group, and also organises other community events for Meon Valers with the help of others.
With demand for IT and Internet related training, from members of various local groups for older and vulnerable people, Surf and Natter was proposed and has now had a pilot (hosted by Welford on Avon Primary School). This was after the hard work in finding out the needs and technologies of most interest to the elderly by Barbara Craig, Amanda Cogley (Over 75 Co-ordinator at Meon Medical Centre) and other local technically savvy people.
In 2015 Barbara took on a personal project and took part in the Slim Gym challenge to raise money for the local Shakespeare Hospice, raising £700.
Barbara is now also looking forward to working with Meon Medical Centre on a hamper project for vulnerable people, which is looking to start this autumn.
With the work Barbara does as a churchwarden at St. Swithin’s Quinton with Admington, she is hoping to complete the Pastoral Assistant’s course in Gloucester Diocese in September 2016.