Tuesday, 14 September 2010


Czech family centre workers from Bridgwaters twin town, Uherske Hradiste, visited Hamp recently to compare facilities in their country to what we have here in Britain.

The 9 women from 3 different centres spent time at the Edinburgh road Drop in Centre where they were given a history of Hamp and local government by Cllr Brian Smedley, took part in a discussion about the possible future role of Community Interest Companies with input from Walter Houghton and Chris Done and were given an overview of the daily work of the centre by Julie Raven.

The Czechs were taken on a walkabout tour of Hamp and shown the Mansfield park, which is being targetted by the Hamp Community Association for an upgrade this year and then to Re-Creation where Les Riddle and his staff gave them a full insight into the valuable work the centre does in the Community..alongside several home made Fairy Cakes.

In the evening the czechs joined a sizeable crowd at Re-Creation to watch the Mikron Theatre company perform their show 'Striking a Balance' which told the story of the struggle for Equal pay .

The Czech visit was organsied by Cllr Brian Smedley and was funded by the European Union 'Leonardo fund' and also included other family centres in Bridgwater along with Home Start in Minehead, the Octopus childrens centre in Burnham and Somerset Skills and learning. Brian Smedley said "The project was a great success and there is funding available for a return visit by somerset people working in the same field. The Czechs were impressed by Bridgwaters Community spirit and hopefully learnt from some of our good practice whilst learning NOT to take on board the bad stuff."

For more information about Bridgwaters Czech links visit www.bridgwaterinternational.blogspot.com