What a month it has been for our Love Wavertree ReLoved Community Hub and Shop! In our first month of trading, we have welcomed just over 600 customers, filled 2 skips, stocked 3 independent artists, made average daily sales of £107 (with individual sales ranging from 20p to £30) and have seen our dedicated squad of 18 volunteers give a whopping 456 hours of their time – and why? All because they – and we – Love Wavertree.
While the skips set us back a massive £600 (essentially taking £1 off every one of our customer sales), the hit has been worth it. The space we have created at ReLoved, which was never ‘just a shop’, but from day 1 became a hub at the beating heart of our community, meant that we could host activities like the first of the ever-sparkling Millie Sparkles‘ sewing and making workshops (and there are more to come) – starting off with ten eight-year old mini-Millies in the making! Gorgeous upcycled furniture and household items from our latest independent to be stocked, Jacqui as ‘Retro Revamp City’ are on sale now at the ReLoved shop.
Our Wavertree in Bloom(ers) group, co-ordinated by local resident Aidan Tippins, had its first meeting and came up with all sorts of fantastically floral ideas! And our weekly ‘Run Wavertree’ running club – who together have ran 52 miles (of smiles!) goes from strength to strength with new members joining every week. Some members walk, some members run and some members run a bit faster – but all enjoy a bit of socially distanced company, fresh air and exercise. Massive high-fives to ‘Action Ian’ who leads the way!
Love Wavertree is committed to keeping the first month’s momentum going and to keep doing our bit for Wavertree, for our High Street and for our community as we work together to emerge as positively as we can from the COVID-19 lockdown. As such, we are super-proud to launch our ‘Love Local, Love Wavertree’ campaign, which will highlight and feature shops and businesses along our High Street and the wider Wavertree area, and which will include a range of outdoor and socially distanced activity over the month of August.
We kicked the campaign off in style last week by taking our ReLoved shop outdoors to the Allerton Road Farmers’ Market, with volunteers Emma, Lis, Shelly, Jacqui, Rebecca and Millie representing Love Wavertree and selling home-baked goods, a selection of ReLoved items and freshly picked bunches of lavender from The Rose Garden. It was great to take the L15 message ‘on the road’ to our L18 neighbours! Thanks in particular to Church Ward’s Cllr Richard Kemp for the invitation to participate – and to our awesome Emma (baker, photographer, singer, teacher, market trader!… the list goes on!…) who led the charge for Team Wavo. We will be back at the next Allerton Farmers’ Market on Saturday 15th August (9am-2pm, on the corner of Allerton Road and Garthdale Road – next to Barclays bank).
Last Sunday 2nd August saw the first of four Litter Picks, organised by our super volunteer Laura, which will take place every Sunday across the month. We had a fantastic turn out and teams out along the High Street, Lawrence Road, Picton Road and the Mystery, returning 22 bags of rubbish (and that’s just the ones we counted). A big shout to Team Tabley for their awesome efforts on Lawrence Road!
Litter picks are funny things because they don’t feel like a chore. Although it doesn’t seem like it would be, picking up banana skins, discarded cigarette ends and pistachio nut shells it is a truly joyful experience, when you know that you are doing it for your community. So, as we begin to assess Love Wavertree’s impact and count the numbers, we reckon that 22 bags of rubbish equals 22 bags of joy!
Don’t believe us? Come along to the next Litter Pick on Sunday 9th August, 10am, meeting at the ReLoved hub!
Speaking of the hub, the first meeting of our Book Club will take place on Thursday 13th August, led by our brilliant ‘Book Nook’ volunteers, Bethan and Shelly. We are delighted too to launch our community ‘Borrow a Book Club‘ scheme as part of the Love Local, Love Wavertree activity. Community members can register at the hub to borrow up to three books from the vast selection in our ‘Book Nook’. We will also be putting packages of books together for those members of our local community who are shielding or who can’t physically get down to the hub.
(Please note that we will be running the scheme in line with current COVID guidelines, which may mean that returned books are subject to a strict period of quarantine before they can be borrowed again).
And finally! We have always known that #WavosGotTalent, but have been blown away by the amount of artistic and creative skill and knowledge and interest that exists in our community. This goes for all ages, as some young local artists proved with the first drawings on our ReLoved community chalkboards, and as has been shown with our ongoing ‘Love Local, Love Wavertree’ children’s art competition. The competition runs until Friday, 14th August-please see details below and drop entries in at the shop.
Meanwhile, artists of a slightly more mature age (but not necessarily attitude!) came together for the inaugural ‘Love Wavertree, Love Art’ Club at the hub, organised by local resident, media artist and film producer Ed Pink. It was great to see such a range of talent and experience in the room, with artists working in visual arts and painting, digital art, film, media art, sound and photography all represented. We are keen to explore storytelling, notions of community, culture and heritage, what ‘Wavertree’ means to people and what ‘art’ means to people, and are hugely excited by the potential both to make art and to host arts events and exhibitions in wonderful Wavertree. Our first Arts Club event will be a (socially distanced) creative walking tour – details tbc – keep your eyes peeled on here, the socials and the chalkboards for all the latest!
We are also brimming with excitement to welcome our Town Hall back, which is due to open this month as a new bar and restaurant venue. It is great to welcome Natalie and the team to Wavertree, and we can’t wait to get in there for a few eats and drinks after what has been a pretty busy month!
We will be adding features about the Town Hall and a host of other High Street businesses to our Virtual High Street page, and chatting with our local shopkeepers about why they Love Local, Love Wavertree. We are keen to do everything we can to support and would encourage everyone to check out the local businesses who are taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out campaign (you can access a Wavertree list and map via the link).
***And a lovewavertree.org exclusive announcement***
Why not show your love for Wavertree and for our High Street by grabbing a Love Local, Love Wavertree mug and/or tote bag? – available now at the ReLoved shop (be quick, these are sure to fly!)