Rachael Treacher leads our Outreach at Liverpool Cares. Here, she tells us about her work in Kensington Fields Community Centre, the characters she's met along the way, and the funny, uplifting stories she’s constantly uncovering through this ongoing work she's doing in our communities.
One of the many ways that Liverpool Cares connects with our older scouse neighbours is by doing pieces of targeted Outreach in different locations and settings across our amazing city. On average this Outreach happens anywhere from twice a week up to four times a week, in places as varied as GP surgery waiting rooms, supermarkets, sheltered housing units and at community events!
At the top of Empress Road in L7 sits Kensington Fields Community Centre, otherwise known as ‘Kenny Fields’. Kenny Fields is a bustling, vibrant community hub, set in an area of Liverpool which has recently undergone dramatic changes- there’re now a high number of students living in the area, and new housing towers and an expansion of the University of Liverpool campus loom large over the area. And yet it was here in Kenny Fields where I recently met so many new older neighbours, introducing them to Liverpool Cares and our programmes.
One of the older neighbours I met was 74-year-old Anne, who signed up to receive our Social Club listings each month. Anne (who I quickly noticed had a wicked sense of humour) told me that she had worked for over 48 years in the busy betting industry in Liverpool;
“I used to work for Littlewoods Racing at first, you used to ‘send off’ betting slips years ago – there wasn’t such things as gambling shops. Then I worked for betting shops and in all of that time I only got held up once, and I fought them off. They used to call me Little Miss Dynamite in them days….”
Anne is like many of the other members of Kenny Fields, all of whom have so many incredible, personal stories to tell– from growing up on the docks, to being named after the famous American actress ‘Thelma Ritter’.
By doing Outreach, and by meeting wonderful people like Anne, I merely scratch the surface of all of these stories, yet through our Social Clubs and Love Your Neighbour programmes our younger scouse neighbours will be able to hear more about them, and connect at an even deeper level to their older neighbours.
Our Outreach work is so beneficial – by working from the ground up, our honest approach is building a network of both older and younger people from across Liverpool who are now spending time together, sharing stories, having a laugh and ultimately creating friendships across different generations. And it’s brilliant.
Posted by Rachael Treacher on Monday 19th August 2019
Rachael Treacher is the Volunteer and Outreach Officer at Liverpool Cares: she manages our community network of younger and older neighbours.