Tracy’s story

My name is Tracey, I’m 44 years old. I come regularly to Hay Hall Building in Tyseley to the lunch club group where I meet up with a wide range of people and backgrounds. We all sit around have some food and drink together, a chat, and a walk afterwards along the Tysesley canals and park. I enjoy meeting up with people, having a chat, sometimes the same people each week but sometimes different people come along too, even the staff get involved which is nice to see. 

The food that we have is lovely and varies each week, we also have desert which is nice. There is some free food we can take back home with us which is a bonus too.

Since coming to Hay Hall building it has definitely improved my mental health and I and enjoy the company and connecting with different people. People are welcoming there and non-judgmental and I feel relaxed, and it helps my self-esteem and my confidence too.

In December, I went to a Christmas wreath marking session and Christmas lunch too which was lovely and I’ve learned some skills, learning how to make Christmas wreath but in a more fun and relaxing type of way. 

Through coming to the Community Cafe, I also got involved with a project with the Equality Trust. I did three sessions on community reporting training as well which involved some  training and getting three Stories from within my community which is something I’ve never done before and gained some experience doing it.

I also go to other activities in the week, badminton, bike riding and walking, which are are done in groups so you can connect with different people too. All these are free to attend which is good because it can be hard paying for a gym/swimming membership if you’re unemployed and in this cost of living crisis. 

I first found out about the Active Wellbeing Society by googling about wellbeing.   I was then contacted by a Listen and Connect person on the telephone who listened to my needs and rang me once every week and told me about the different type of support and activities I could get. I feel I have come a long way since this but I am still improving myself.

I wish there were activities to try and do outside in nature especially in Spring and Summer months and opportunities to go to other places other than the canal and park. I would like to see more events held on the weekends and different activities like cooking, crafts, puzzles and games. 

Click here to find out more about the community cafe’s and how you can get involved

Bryony Lawless
Author: Bryony Lawless