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Hi everyone. A reminder that Thursday Project is continuing this week.
September 12th 2019 was the date of this year’s Coffee Shop Harvest Celebration and a wonderful occasion it was. Tables set beautifully by Sandie, Janet and the team, welcomed all. The hall was garlanded with greenery, a reminder of the sleeping promise of new growth, as well as of the Harvest season.
Past and present members packed the Hall,sharing a Ploughman’s lunch and buffet together- served by Angela, Liz and the rest of the team; there was plenty for all… and some left over, the theme of the parable given to an assembled crowd two thousand years ago and, in 2019, read to our Octagon community by Steve and Fran.
Music and songs, a video of the world’s beautiful places and people, based on the lyrics of the popular song ‘What a wonderful world’ in which everyone joined, and a moving appeal for support for CAFOD’s work abroad, followed the meal.
Michael, Francesca’s husband left us with a lasting image of the number of people without enough food, this month, in the world: the number, if the hungry all joined hands, would reach 17 times the distance around the Earth at the Equator.
If we all joined hands too, this year, could we help to decrease this number?
Money from the raffle was given for CAFOD’s work abroad and the overflowing boxes of goodies, brought by members to the Harvest at the Octagon, were given to the Malvern Hills Foodbank, Spring Lane, where need is reported as having increased dramatically in the past 12 months.
Although held in an Autumn of difficult times, we left the Octagon with Spring in our hearts and in our steps, too.
The next big community event -the Christmas Cabaret will be held this year on December 19th 2019.
All are welcome as indeed all are, every Thursday morning at the Octagon.
Sadly, due to a lack of volunteers, we're currently only able to open the club twice per month.
These will be; October 11th & 18th, November 22nd & 29th, and December 6th & 13th.
Please see our Youth Club Page for more general details.
Noel J. Nash 1966-2018 "A life to be celebrated "
Noel Nash who features in this photo was a valued member of Coffee shop who raised hundreds of pounds for the Octagon Community, by walking up the Brecon Beacons. In this photo from 2017, he shared with Coffee Shop his vision of his "New Life," in Christ.
Noel sadly passed away before Christmas, 2018, from a complication of his diabetes.
His life story, as a Worcester postman, then as a recovered alcoholic who had a "Road to Damascus" conversion at "The Cross" in Worcester was an inspiration to many. A lifelong diabetic who had overcome diverse mobility- threatening health problems, he gave his heart to his faith, witnessing and reaching out to others, in Worcester and in Malvern.
He loved to walk miles, best alone, in communion with 'Him up there' as he put it. He delivered hundreds of leaflets for the Octagon Community and Worcester charities; lately, he cooked meals and shopped for elderly friends, talked with the homeless on Worcester's streets and was clear in his vision of his life, expressing himself with eloquence and passion.
Noel touched the lives of many through his words of faith (often sent as encouraging text messages) and actions. There were moving tributes from friends whose lives he had touched at his funeral at Malvern Cemetery, in early January. In one of the last texts Noel sent out to friends he wrote, "No matter how far I have strayed, I am always welcomed back and loved by Jesus. I cannot do life unless I seek the creator of all life". Friends,gathered around the graveside, knew that Noel was finally at peace and welcomed into the presence and love of Jesus.
His was a life to be proud of.
Stella Mc Cartney was interviewed for the "I "newspaper in December 2018,,,,,,,,,,
“It’s astonishing how it’s changed in my lifetime. If you look at the past week alone, LA has gone fur-free-the city has just banned its sale, Berkeley has gone vegetarian. London Fashion Week was fur-free this week....."
Ellen Mac Arthur , yachtswoman , wants to protect the oceans she loves, from micro plastics........."Every year ... (the world) produces 53 million tonnes of fibres to make clothes and textiles and every year we landfill or burn 73 per cent of those fibres,” Ellen MacArthur, the celebrated yachtswoman,says. “It’s a staggering figure that shows our fashion system is broken, and cannot ultimately continue to operate the same way.” That waste is being exacerbated by the rise of “fast fashion”. Since 2000 the amount of clothing produced worldwide has doubled, but the number of times an item is worn has fallen by almost half. “Right now we design, make and use clothes in an almost completely linear way,” MacArthur says. “We take a material, we make something out of it, and then, in the majority of cases, it gets thrown away.”
Another way to do it (be sustainable) is to source lovely clothes and re-use them.That's what we do here at the Octagon's kids Clothing Exchange. New cheap clothes don't last five minutes, but good brands do- and kids hardly wear them before they grow. Come to us and see our lovely clothes or have a look at the Sunshine Centre which we also supply.
Visitors to the Octagon's Seaside "Staycation" Event, with co-ordinator Geraldine Foster.
"Coffee Shop" celebrated the start of the wonderful 2018 summer, by staging a trip back in time. Ice cream, sand, sandwiches and holiday fun brought magic reminders of family holidays by the sea at Weston -Super-Mare, on the South Coast and at Blackpool.
Below, Val and Bob re-create a saucy seaside postcard!
Coffee shop members celebrated Easter with a very special performance this year, to mark the importance of the festival Many of the Octagon community were involved, a tribute to the development of a strong,committed core group, who throughout the winter, attended both Thursday morning Coffee Shop and also the Community Group on Tuesday evenings.
Rehearsals, casting,management of the hall, costume and set design, acting and writing the script, were the work of volunteers, many of whom had never previously been involved in putting on a play.
The result was a truly moving spectacle, presented to the whole Coffee Shop after an Easter meal to which many also contributed. Vi’s simnel cake was a joy to behold and Sandie and Angela served a great buffet.
The musical accompaniment, by a member of the Hills Singers,was a pure pleasure. Jane sang a Jewish lament, a cappella,in faultless style. The group joined in singing Easter hymns after the stages of the journey of Christ to the Cross and the Resurrection were enacted.
The power of the performance could be judged by the complete silence of the audience who witnessed the play.
This was truly a community experience which will be remembered by many for a long time.
We had a great day on the 27th May, when the Octagon hosted a Community Fun and Consultation event. The bouncy castle and Jungle animals were very popular as were the frankfurters and drinks supplied by Sandie and the Octagon Coffee Shop team. Sarah thanks everyone who offered their creative opinions about the Octagon's future. Some great ideas out there ! They are all currently being collated for a report and development plan, for this autumn. On the day the mini boxing activity proved very popular with all visitors. Dads and Mums, as well as kids had the chance to try their nerve, handling giant centipedes and tarantulas, too!
Malvern Clothing Exchange was open for business and lots of lovely clothes found their way to a new home.
Jacqueline and Anne showed people up to the "Aladdin's cave" and selected the right sizes for the family members of the people who came. Many thanks to Jacqueline & all the generous folk who donated such lovely clothes beforehand and on the day.
Why not look at our weekly activities, drop- in lunches and community activities? Watch this space- for more this autumn.
Bonnets, chicks and chocolate eggs were aplenty for the Easter Celebration at Coffee Shop which had the theme ‘New Life and Fresh Hope’. We were amazed at people's ingenuity in creating hats fit for Ladies Day at the races. Noel shared his moving story of new life and fresh hope from his experience of addiction and journey to faith in Jesus Christ.
In line with the theme of the celebration, guests were generous in raising funds through the raffle to bring new life and fresh hope to communities affected by floods and subsequent landslides in Peru. Over £60 was raised for the Worcester Diocese Appeal for flood relief work in Peru.
Coffee Shop hosted the carol service and thanks to the community for joining in with readings and singing carols. Thanks also to those who decorated the centre, set tables and prepared lunch for this occasion. From the proceeds of the raffle we were able to send a donation of £60 to 'Crisis at Christmas' a national charity which works with the homeless.
In this year’s Malvern Hills District Council Community Awards, the Octagon's personnel and activities received no less than two awards!
The first award went to Mrs Susan Petty who was the Judges' Choice and Winner of the "Action in the Community" category, receiving a certificate and photo in recognition of her long and generous service for over 21 years, to the communities of Poolbrook and Malvern, first at the Poolbrook Community Flat and then at the Octagon Centre. We have long been aware of Sue's quiet and unstinting gifts of her time and commitment to the people of Malvern. Wonderful that they have now been publicly recognised with this Award!
The second, in the "Improving lives" Category, went to Martin Lawrence's "Zest For Life" social club which received a HIGHLY COMMENDED Award and Certificate. This well- deserved recognition of voluntary effort and team work reflects the popularity of the Wednesday lunches and activities, available weekly, excepting only Christmas Day itself, if it falls upon a Wednesday! This award demonstrates the difference that this initiative has made in improving the lives of local people who are a part of "Zest for Life's" loyal community.
Many congratulations from the Octagon Committee and all the Octagon’s many regular visitors and hirers. If you haven't joined us yet, come along to see what it's all about. All of Malvern’s residents are welcome!
We congratulate Noel Nash, a member of the Octagon Coffee Shop Cafe, who has struggled with diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and depression, for his Brecon Beacons Bash to raise funds for the Coffee Shop. This feat is all the more notable since Noel has had a heart attack and two small strokes and was a smoker for 32 years. He describes it as a "victory over depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity". Noel also says, ""It was my faith that supported me. I have gone from death's door to being thoroughly restored".
We are very grateful to Noel for undertaking this expedition and raising over £450 for Coffee Shop funds.
Ploughman's lunch and apple cake were served as part of our Coffee Shop Harvest celebration. Annie had decorated the Octagon with harvest colours and our celebration included an interview with Helen Simpson who comes from a local farming family. She shared her experiences of farming throughout the year on a mixed farm with arable and sheep and the challenges it can sometimes present notably the problem of slugs and the diligence needed to prevent them destroying the crops.
Guests participated in the celebration with readings, harvest hymns, prayers and a collection of food for the Malvern Food Bank. A donation of £41.20 was made for Maggs Day Centre in Worcester from the proceeds of the raffle.
Coffee Shop will be celebrating Harvest Festival on Thursday 29th September at the Octagon.
Look at our " What's on" menu at the top of the page to see 6 Town Credit Union's two videos. showing an alternative to the high street bank for your savings, one which may send you in a different direction.