Our New Public Living Room

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Rebecca is a KeyRing Member in Warrington. She recently organised a Public Living Room in her community.

So let me start from the beginning… I have been supported by Tracey from KeyRing for a bit and I think it is fair to say she knows me well. Tracey told me that she would like to do a Public Living Room and thought I was ready to volunteer. She asked me to have a think about it.

Whilst I was thinking Tracey met up with Pete Connor from Macintyre Great Communities, she meets with him monthly without me knowing!!! and discussed things anyway business stuff I think. So, they met and spoke about it and Pete was up for it as he also wanted to do a Public Living Room.

Tracey and Pete arranged a meeting for us to get together and discuss things like what would be the best day, time, about funding for the room, ideas for the Public Living Room etc. When we had a plan Tracey then arranged a meeting with Yvonne from Camerados over Zoom so she could give us some ideas and send us out a box of goodies.

We had the meeting with Yvonne and I spoke about what things I would like to happen, a safe space where people can come with their friends or make new friends, playing games, read a book, have their nails painted and most importantly just have fun. I want everyone to feel included and don’t want anyone to feel isolated as I have been myself at times in my life. I told Yvonne if I see anyone on their own, I will go over, I won’t say what would you like to do, I will ask them if they want to help me that way they will feel included.

Seeing people happy makes me happy, I am a very caring, helpful person and I love to help people. I can’t believe how much my self-esteem and confidence has grown, and Tracey always tells me she is proud of me even if she does text it me when I am out and makes me cry (happy tears). When I am ready I would like to get a job supporting people this will be my long term goal which I know with the support from KeyRing I will achieve.

I think the first Public Living Room was a success everyone was talking away, I painted some of the ladies' fingernails, we all had fun. We were talking about even having a picnic in the park for one of the Public Living Room meet ups which should be fun although we will all need our sun cream and plenty of water.

Rebecca and two other women sitting on a couch in the public living room, underneath the Camerados banner. Rebecca painting another woman's nails in the public living room A man sitting in an armchair holding a small dog.

I am looking to do some more volunteering with some other groups Pete runs. It was nice to see other Members there today and one of the ladies who I have met before as she has started coming the Breeze In group with Ann from KeyRing. We have swapped phone numbers and instead of Ann bringing her to the groups I am going to arrange to meet her off the bus and we can walk there together, I think this will be good for both me and her and will develop our friendship. I am also looking to start attending the friendship group and another Member I met today will be going to this so that will also be nice.

The one things I need to remember and it is something Tracey always says to me is that I have to remember to put myself first and not take on too much, slow and steady wins the race.

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