2020 Our Year in Review

2020 was such a strange year, bringing all the challenges and sadnesses of COVID-19 pandemic and the necessary lockdowns. Our community rallied together and we managed to find a lot of LOVE in our little corner of the world. We are proud to be Team Wavertree and proud to be Team L15! Here is the story of our year in 15 numbers…

We were delighted to engage L15’s own Ali Harwood as Love Wavertree’s inaugural ‘Artist in Residence’. Ali’s ‘Dream Tree’ design includes characters & elements sent in by Wavertree folks aged 4 to ’70+’. Ali was out in all weathers painting (ably assisted on scaffolding and logistics by Ed and Ian T) and it was a real labour of love to get the mural finished. We are so pleased to be part of this cultural investment in Wavertree and to see the mural bringing joy, hope & colour to L15!

Our ‘Save the Abbey’ campaign went global! The campaign was covered nationally in ‘The Observer’ and thanks to The Abbey’s links with The Beatles (it has a documented history with John and George’s early years), the story was picked up by the international music press, including ‘Rolling Stone’ in Germany and the NME in Japan! As of January 2021, a listing application is with the Secretary of State for consideration. With our grateful thanks to the Wavertree Society, Save Britain’s Heritage and Share the City’s Jonathan Brown for all of their hard work in support of the campaign. You can add your signature to the ‘Save the Abbey’ petition here.

Our ‘Wavertree in Bloom’ group dug for victory! Awesome efforts from a number of local residents including Laura, Aidan, Lynsey, David and family, Ian and Jean F and Ian T have meant that some 700 bulbs have been planted at key locations around The Mystery and High Street. We can’t wait to see them bloom in Spring 2021!

We were delighted to visit Lawrence Road Primary School on 9th October this year, marking John Lennon’s 80th birthday. We were invited to speak with Year 5 Children about the campaign as part of their work on the ‘I Will’ programme for young people’s social action, delivered in partnership with the LFC Foundation. We were so touched when the children decided to donate sponsorship money from the campaign to Love Wavertree. It is so good to see such civic pride in young people and we are looking forward to getting out for a litter pick with our Lawrence Road friends in 2021!

Massive thanks to our friends at ‘Placed’ who worked with us this year to keep our community engaged as best as we could by creating an interactive digital mapping platform and ideas wall to gather people’s ideas, hopes and dreams for Wavertree. We are working with Placed to collate findings into a report and plan to hold a community event (probably online!) early in 2021 to discuss key findings.

We were so pleased to welcome Scouse Flowerhouse to Wavertree in September in celebration of ‘The Mystery’s 125th birthday. Polly and Richard led us around The Mystery on a litter pick and wildflower walk, and we gathered together (at social distance!) to enjoy a ‘flash mob’ choir performance from The Wavertree Gospel Choir – including, of course, a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’. It was a lovely day and we were pleased to distribute 125 packets of wildflower seeds to our community to mark the occasion. Scouse Flowerhouse has since worked with LCC and Mersey Forest to plant a wildflower meadow on the Mystery! We can’t wait to see it bloom.

In May 2020, we were over the moon to open our community shop and hub ‘ReLoved’ at 203 Picton Road. The shop sells second-hand goods and a range of products from L15 artists, creatives and makers. The first local maker we stocked at the shop was Millie Sparkles who ensured our first month was full of sparkle and glitter and glamour! Back in May, Millie led a brilliant crafting workshop for some very excited 10-year old ‘mini Millies’. The children absolutely loved it and Millie plans to do more workshops (for adults too!) when C-19 guidance allows.

It was so lovely to welcome local families and children to ReLoved on Saturdays throughout December for our free, COVID-safe and socially distanced Santa’s grotto! Massive thanks to the big man & his helper elves!

(Rumours that our PCSOs asked for toy police bikes are as yet unconfirmed!)

Our Santa was at it again! when he went out on the road to visit Heygreen Primary. The Love Wavertree community donated 55 new toys for our Christmas Toy Drive, which we were proud to distribute to local children and families via Heygreen.

We were made up to welcome ‘Great British Bake Off’ star & Wavertree resident Mark Lutton to the ReLoved shop and hub as guest judge for our ‘Great Wavertree Bake Off’ competition in early December. In a superb field, our lovely neighbour Lis’s rich fruit cake came out on top.

(The cake contained 900g of fruit, but we’re not saying how much brandy!)

We were so pleased to welcome Phil Watson on a visit to the hub in summer. Phil works for Liverpool Fostering Services and does a superb job in recruiting new foster parents. We are very proud to offer foster parents and families a 50% discount at the ReLoved shop.

Digital communications have become so important over this past year and we are pleased to have had over 11,000 views of this website since it’s launch in May 2020. We also have an active social media presence, with well-subscribed Love Wavertree accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and we have a lively community WhatsApp group. Please have a look for us on socials, get in touch if you’d like more details and/or if you’d like to contribute to the site. We are always looking for content and stories!

Of course, the real stars of the operation are our volunteer team, who keep the ReLoved shop going! We have a great squad of volunteers across a wide range of ages, professions and backgrounds. Everyone involved in Love Wavertree including all of our volunteers, artists, makers and CIC Directors are local to L15. We are so lucky to have ‘inherited’ the senior members of our volunteer team from the charity VMM, who owned the shop before it became ReLoved. Together, our five longest serving volunteers have clocked up 42 years!

Speaking of senior volunteers, ‘Super Dave’ is one of our longest serving volunteers and is basically the engine of the shop, keeping the goods flowing from donations to basement to stock room to shop floor. Earlier this year, we discovered that Dave also has a creative side! We have since been delighted to work with him in gorgeous ‘Agridmia Designs’ to life. Dave’s range of ‘Agridmia’ products are now very proudly on sale at the ReLoved shop.

It’s hard to believe that we only opened the ReLoved hub in July 2020. It has very quickly become a centre-point and beating heart of our community. Community members have taken the lead in establishing a series of clubs and groups, including the ‘Wavertree in Bloom’ group, book club and running club. Our ‘Run Wavertree’ crew goes from strength to strength, clocking up over 2,500 kms between them! If running is on your 2021 resolutions list, our merry group of runners (and walkers and strollers), led by Ian T, meets every Wednesday at 6.30pm at ReLoved. All levels and abilities are welcome.

AND FINALLY….

We are very proud of what the Love Wavertree community has achieved in what has been an extraordinarily tough year all round. It is the strength of our community spirit and our shared belief in each other and love for Wavertree that has kept us going.

We believe that everyone can make a difference! We are always looking for contributors and helpers. If you’d like to help out in 2021, please get in touch on lovewavertree@gmail.com or pop into ReLoved! There is always a smile and a cuppa waiting …

With thanks and love to everyone who has helped and supported Love Wavertree and ReLoved in 2020, and here’s to a bright and happy 2021!

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