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Ball Hill's Flourishing Community Power

The power comes from within, not from the top down.

By Rachel Cody

“I live in the Ball Hill area and have done for most of my life. It is an area of amazing people – kind, funny, grounded, straight talking, friendly and hard-working. The area has its ups and downs, it always has – but I think the gap between the two has become more evident, post-pandemic. This has inevitably had an effect on the area – the shopping area reflects this, almost like a barometer – the exit of business names like Woolworths and Boots, as well as at least four high street banks has devastated the local area. There’s no doubt Ball Hill needed and still needs some help and TLC.

My first contact with Grapevine's Connecting For Good was late last year when a friend and neighbour introduced me to Sian. We sat in the Two Tone Café, a gem of a place that we have visited many times since. We sat down and discussed the burning issues for us as individuals relating to the area we live in.

It became obvious that the litter and fly-tipping that had escalated in recent times bothered us incredibly, and so the group “Destination Ball Hill” (DBH), as it was named several months later, started to develop. I was in the environmental arm of the new group.

Personal experience from being in the PTA when my children were at Sacred Heart, and since then, a member of the St Brays Residents Association, told me there are many great local talented people in this area, but we all just needed to link up with a common purpose.

Since our first meeting, the DBH group has met many times at the Old Ball, Stoke Library and Stoke St Michael’s Church – all wonderful local places I’d previously taken for granted previously. Amongst other work, these meetings have led to a monthly litter pick on Ball Hill, which also includes a social hour afterward, which quite frankly, has been lovely. New friendships have been born, and as the litter picks have grown, so have these friendships. Word of mouth, social media, emails to each other and Coventry Council (for the equipment and picking up of the litter and support I thank them) each one has helped to develop a link.

I have attended a Community Organiser Session so far, it was inspiring to know that there are lots of others, feeling the same, going there with an open heart and mind, wishing to make a difference in their communities. I, and perhaps others felt quite small, just a small fish in a massive pond, hardly a ripple made when it came to making a change. Connecting For Good has been invaluable in that it made a small idea become a big idea, giving the group the confidence and steer to approach community work from a different point of view i.e. the power comes from within, not from the top down. I think Connecting For Good has awakened something in the area, made us look at Ball Hill with new affection, and also within the community groups that were already in place, helped them to reboot and reset.”

Calls To Action - Please follow our social media pages, or better still pop along to one of the litter picks. It’s a win-win - helping to make Ball Hill a destination again and meeting some brilliant people.

1. To be part of what’s happening on Ball Hill - follow along on socials:

Facebook & Instagram @ballhillcov

2. Help us to grow our litter picker numbers: Our litter picks take place on the first Sunday of each month - we meet at the 2 Tone Cafe for an hour of cleaning up Ball Hill, followed by a cuppa afterwards. Details are on our socials

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