A cuppa and a chat

A ‘Chatty Café’, educational courses and cookery workshops are just some of the suggestions received from members of the public regarding a new later-living development planned for Bath.

Nearly 700 people gave feedback to Guild Living through an online exercise designed to engage members of the public with the proposals and understand their aspirations for the scheme.

Guild Living is proposing to redevelop the former Homebase site on Pinesway into a mixed-use scheme including 288 residential apartments alongside health, wellbeing and leisure facilities, some of which will be open to the public. 

The main recurring themes highlighted from the research as being important considerations for the development are; health and wellbeing, community and support, and education and workshops.

68% of respondents said that a Chatty Café scheme should be delivered by Guild Living at the development to help combat loneliness.

Eugene Marchese, Co-Founder and Director at Guild Living, said, “There is a ‘togetherness’ trend emerging that concerns support in the local community; despite the ‘new normal’ we currently live in, people must never feel alone and need systems in place to reach out to others who are lonely and in need of a social-distanced chat

“If we get planning permission, we’ll be creating a dedicated space for a Chatty Café with clearly designated tables for customers who feel lonely and want a chat. Crucially, this benefit will work both ways in the community: not only will older Guild Living residents be able to signal to one another and the community that they’d like some company, anyone living in Bath will be invited to seek out the company, friendship, wise counsel or support of our residents.”

62% of respondents voted for cookery classes to be held at Guild Living as a way to bring people together. In response, Guild Living has pledged to host cookery classes for all ages and experience levels, with a focus on delicious but nutritious recipes that positively affect physical and mental health. 

Covid-19 was also a major consideration for respondents who indicated that Guild Living could provide support for those who may lose their jobs due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic. The feedback indicates that members of the public would like to see Guild Living support the community via educational workshops. Career change guidance and language classes are mentioned as examples of how Guild Living may be able to help get people back into employment.

Survey participants were also asked which local cause they would like Guild Living to support as a thank you for providing their feedback. Age UK B&NES and Playlist will both receive a share of the £1,000 pledged.

For more information and to see the full results visit guildliving.co.uk