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Community Bytes

A newsletter from your local charity focusing on community spaces across Merton, and how we use these to connect people, places and passions.
A Note From The Wimbledon Community Association (WCA)

Welcome to Community Bytes, our quarterly e-newsletter that brings you Merton related community news, alongside a range of other topics and events happening across our borough. In this End of Year edition, we reflect on the many ways that Wimblecomm has connected people, places and passions throughout a very unpredictable 2020, and we share our new, official Wimblecomm video.

We feature Wimblecomm Spotlights with Zak Dada, the A-Level student who launched Merton Mutual Aid. We learn about Merton Music Foundation's journey and how they have continued to enrich the lives of children and adults in Merton through music and creativity. We share the story of Mitcham's newest community venue, Sherwood Park Hall, and we celebrate local events that went virtual for the first time this year.

In the absence of the annual Christmas Tree Festival at Trinity United Reformed Church/Mansel Road Centre this December, we continued the festive cheer by speaking to them in our most recent Wimblecomm Spotlight, and we let the bells ring out with Merton Music Foundation's musical advent calendar.

We hope this end of year edition of Community Bytes inspires you to reflect on how 2020 has been for you, as we look forward to brighter times ahead. Remember to connect with us on social media to stay updated on all Wimblecomm matters, and be the first to see our new releases and updates. If you would like to receive future editions of this newsletter straight to your inbox, make sure you visit us at Wimblecomm and subscribe.

The Team at WCA & Wimblecomm

Reflecting on 2020
With Our Chair, David Hall

Over the last few years, lots of clever marketing guys came up with the eventually overused slogan about developing a ‘2020 Vision’ for your organisation. I used it myself about a decade ago, but I suspect not even the wisest prophets would have foreseen quite the impact that Covid has had across the world this year.

I’ve commented before at various times about how we’ve adapted at Wimblecomm, and to be frank we’ve been very lucky compared with many people and most organisations. To some extent, it has given us more of an opportunity to connect virtually, as that’s what we were already doing, albeit everyone now seems to be using Zoom or something similar in their work and social lives to connect ‘in person!’

However, it has also given some of us a time to reflect, and personally speaking, a chance to reorganise and refocus. As you may have picked up, our charity is celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2021. It will also be the 5th year of Wimblecomm and 9 years since Jackie Chapman and I first launched ourselves into supporting the WCA. Click here to continue reading as David talks on legacy and the past, present, and future of Wimblecomm/Wimbledon Community Association (WCA.)

The Wimblecomm Story & Our Achievements in 2020

Click here to be one of the first to see our new, official Wimblecomm video!
The Wimblecomm Story - Broadening Horizons with Wimbledon Community Association

Community Matters in 2020 & Beyond

Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much - Helen Keller.
On our blog, Susanne reflects on community - specifically how communities have come together during the pandemic, and how our charity, Wimbledon Community Association (WCA), works towards supporting, connecting and strengthening community venues and local communities across Merton. 

Merton, like other London Boroughs, faces continuing challenges in the fight against Covid-19 and we are pleased to offer support to our community at this difficult time. Click here to read more about how we've all come together in 2020, and our charity's plans to keep connecting people, places, and passions across Merton in 2021 and beyond.

Zak Dada Talks Merton Mutual Aid & Power of Community

After the first lockdown, Genevieve caught up with Zak Dada, the straight A* student who started Merton Mutual Aid. They discussed how he went from being an A Level student, to running such a large and important group that helped people across Merton at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Running Merton Mutual Aid was Zak’s first experience of volunteering, and helped him to discover a new love for our Merton community. Click here to read more from Zak, and get ready to be inspired by his story.

Keeping the Arts Alive With Merton Music Foundation

Just in time for International Music Day 2020, we caught up with local charity, Merton Music Foundation, to find out how they use music and creativity to enrich the lives of children and adults across Merton, ensuring that they have a well-rounded education and life experience that is inclusive of the arts.
Within 2 weeks of lockdown, they had moved all of their activities online to enable the majority of their students to continue learning despite the many challenges. Click here to learn more about how they bring music to Merton's schools and communities, and how you can get involved.

A Bright Future for Mitcham's New Community Venue - Sherwood Park Hall

We're always excited to welcome new community venues to Merton, and Sherwood Park Hall CIC in Mitcham has been no exception.

Having opened in October this year, they have adapted to lockdown restrictions by launching an online platform of their services and introducing Entertainment Thursdays where they keep the community engaged and interacting online with quizzes, bingo, and karaoke. Join them tonight for their Bye Bye 2020 Pub Quiz, and click here to read about their future plans which include Mini-Golf, a new app, and more. Exciting times ahead for this venue!

Community Spirit & Continued Collaboration at the Mansel Road Centre

For the past 5 years, the Trinity United Reformed Church in Wimbledon has hosted its annual Christmas Tree Festival which has become a part of the town's festive traditions.

Unfortunately, the event couldn't go ahead this year due to Covid, so Genevieve decided to catch-up with Elizabeth to see what this venue has been getting up to throughout 2020.
During the peak of Summer, this sign (pictured left) at the venue entrance summed up the welcoming and inclusive nature of this venue - one that tries to help anyone coming through its doors.

In our Wimblecomm Spotlight, they shared numerous ways that they have collaborated with local businesses and supermarkets to get donations for cleaning products; and even shared their plans to reduce hire rates to help local businesses to operate with lower numbers. To pick up a few tips and learn more about this wonderful venue at the heart of Wimbledon, click here to continue reading.
Local Events That Went Virtual in 2020
Wimbledon Guild's Waggy Walk is one of their biggest fundraisers of the year, with all money raised helping to fund the charity's ongoing works to support people across Merton. This year, they took the event virtual and still managed to get a good turnout, raise funds, and attract new people. Click here to read all about it.
Very few things stayed the same this year, so the return of Wimbledon BookFest on the Common was a welcomed exception. As with most events, many adjustments had to be made to enable the festival to go on, but the determination of the team and volunteers made it a success. Taking things a step further, Wimbledon BookFest Digital was then born to allow the broader community to get involved, and ensure that people who missed out on tickets could still get the Wimbledon BookFest 2020 experience. Click here to read more.
Upcoming Online Events in Merton

Introducing Merton Libraries Online Children's Book Club! Launching in 2021, this book club will cater to children aged 7-11 with monthly meetings to discuss their chosen books.

We will be updating events as often as we can, so keep visiting our Wimblecomm What's On page for more online events to keep you and your loved ones entertained. Additionally, if there are any community events that you would like to submit or think we have missed, get in touch.

Following on from the success of Film Merton, the New Horizon Film Club is launching to provide a free ‘Cinema for All’ for the Merton community. Become a member for FREE to watch the selection of movies available, interact with people across Merton, and enjoy. Click here for more information.
Would you like to feature on Wimblecomm?
On our blog, we often feature articles such as event reviews or ideas of things that you can do in your local community. As we look forward to connecting with more people in 2021, we'd like to feature more content from you. So, if you have any ideas. positive stories, creative projects, or events to share with the people of Merton, get in touch.

You can also join us in using the #ConnectingPeoplePlacesPassions and #ConnectingMerton hashtags on social media to share the great works that happen in Merton throughout the year.
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Copyright © 2018 Wimbledon Community Association, All rights reserved.
We are creating this local newsletter as a part of our community service to keep members of the local community up-to-date with all things happening in Merton. Alongside our website 'Wimblecomm'; we actively support not-for-profit venues in the local area who hire out space and help to connect people with places, and their passions.

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Our mailing address is:
Wimbledon Community Association Limited
c/o 66 Kings Road
London SW19 8QW


Registered Charity No 1097305
Company Number 03825493

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Wimbledon Community Association · 66 Kings Road · Wimbledon, London SW19 8QW · United Kingdom

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