Connecting Ripon with Karen Weaver

Connecting Ripon members meeting to share news of events and opportunities to work together
Connecting Ripon members meeting to share news of events and opportunities to work together

This week we’re enjoying special celebrations and the spotlight is on our city as Ripon hosts Yorkshire Day, as well as the traditional St Wilfrid’s Procession taking place on Saturday, in honour of patron saint, St Wilfrid, founder of Ripon Cathedral.

These events bring people from all sectors together, volunteering time to promote Ripon and strengthen community connections. Our local charity HARCVS works to connect and support communities, charities and volunteers and one of the ways we do this is through our networks. As a network member told us: ‘Connecting Ripon plays a vital role for us in the sharing of knowledge, ideas and support. Working together is something all organisations can benefit from.’

Age UK Wellbeing Index found that factors which improved wellbeing included trying out new things, being physically active and having a good social network. This of course applies to all ages and a good example of working together is the Summer Youth Club for 15 – 18 year olds at Ripon YMCA. This project, funded through the Ripon City Council Small Grants scheme, sees Ripon YMCA, the Art Lab and North Yorkshire Youth working in partnership to consult with young people about youth work in the city, whilst getting messy with art and enjoying pizza!

Ripon Museum Trust is another local charity always working with others in the community to bring people of all ages together, learn and have fun. Their summer holiday season is full of activities and games, with a historic twist of course! This week’s activities include baking Wilfra Cakes, and before it’s time to go back to school, children will have enjoyed pick-pocketing and gruel in Oliver Twist Week and Workhouse chores!

The Workhouse Museum is also hosting a new exhibition Ripon Re-Viewed, showcasing a collection of photographic images that capture the changing face of the city over the past century. The exhibition has been created as part of the wider Ripon Civic Society ‘Ripon Re-Viewed’ project which also includes a City trail and a new website. To complement the images, a film of Ripon during World War I will be shown, courtesy of the Yorkshire Film Archive. The exhibition is open until 2 September and admission for Ripon residents will be free on 1-2 September.

This summer there’s a new and fun way to support the vital work of local charities as tickets for THE LOCAL LOTTO for the Harrogate District are now on sale. The first prize draw takes place on September 8 and 30 good causes have already signed up. If your favourite Ripon good cause hasn’t signed up yet, why not suggest they get involved? Visit www.thelocallotto.co.uk to buy tickets or to sign up as a good cause.

If you’re involved with a charity or community group working in Ripon or the surrounding area and would like to connect with others to achieve more, we would love to see you at Connecting Ripon (but please book a place via www.harcvs.org.uk/ConnectingRipon to make sure we have enough chairs and biscuits!)

In July we enjoyed our first Network meeting in Masham, kindly hosted by the Town Hall and in October we are meeting in a new venue, the Art Lab at the Workhouse Museum. This community arts studio offers workshops from tasters to artist run courses, exhibitions, creative parties, artist studio space and events, so hopefully we will be inspired with creative ideas to work together and improve our communities!