Welcome Mornings are keeping the Great Wilbraham local community connected, with a little help from Ridge Clean Energy

Betsy Glasgow-Vasey - Ridge Clean Energy

Home » Welcome Mornings are keeping the Great Wilbraham local community connected, with a little help from Ridge Clean Energy

Published: July 5, 2024

This Article was Written by: Betsy Glasgow-Vasey - Ridge Clean Energy


The village Great Wilbraham, located just 8 miles south of Cambridge, has been celebrating the success of the ‘Welcome Mornings’ project, a community initiative designed to combat social isolation and provide a welcoming environment for residents of all ages. Supported by Ridge Clean Energy, the project has become a cornerstone of community engagement, bringing people together through a variety of free activities and fostering a sense of belonging and support among residents.

A Community United

The Warm Mornings project began in December 2022 to offer warm, inviting spaces for community members during the colder months. Due to its popularity, the project has expanded to a year-round event, now called ‘Welcome Mornings’, offering activities such as talks, walks, picnics, and sports days for children. Ridge Clean Energy played a crucial role in the project’s inception, providing funds for renting the village hall, refreshments, and entertainment.

The project’s inclusive nature has ensured that it caters to a wide age range, from young children accompanied by parents or grandparents to elderly residents. It addresses critical issues such as social isolation and fuel poverty, creating a warm, friendly environment where volunteers serve homemade cakes, coffee, and soup, and participants can engage in a variety of games and activities.

Community Impact

The project has had an important impact on the Great Wilbraham community, particularly in reducing loneliness among elderly residents and providing an opportunity for safe and entertaining social interaction for various age groups. Testimonials from participants highlight the initiative’s success:

Thomas, a regular attendee, shares, “It’s amazing to come and have a chat with people and to bring my son who is 18 months old now, for him to play in a safe space and meet other people is invaluable. It’s especially lovely to have all the generations in the community mingle together, to pick up conversations. It really makes us feel part of the village.”

Peter (in photo), a widower, adds, “I love coming around here because of the people who come and the comradery we feel with each other. It helps everybody to get together and chat, to spend time with each other.”

Future Prospects

Encouraged by the success of WelcomeMornings, The Well-brahams, a group of local villagers dedicated to promoting mental health and wellbeing, are working with the parish councils to explore the possibility of continuing the initiative, potentially as a community café.

The remaining funds from the initial grant have been allocated to a special event for children, addressing the impact of lockdown on their mental health. A performance of “The Velveteen Rabbit” by the Spinning Wheel Theatre was organised, offering many children their first experience of live theatre.

Dr Joy Bray, the project’s co-ordinator and a mental health expert, said: “We first looked at the idea of community social events because we realised how much loneliness was contributing to the mental health of local residents. With Ridge Clean Energy’s support and engagement, we have created a truly special community project that is going from strength to strength and that has also given back to the community by replenishing the local food bank. Now, we are even looking at the possibility of setting up a community café.”


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