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FlourishCafe – Bath Spa University
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FlourishCafé is a new project aimed at bringing communities together.

Friday, 27 January, 2023

A senior lecturer at Bath Spa University is launching a new project to help bring communities together to explore pressing issues and possibilities in creative, innovative, and engaging ways.

FlourishCafé is the brainchild of Dr Eri Mountbatten-O’Malley, a senior lecturer in Education Policy at Bath Spa University, who is passionate about creating opportunities for communities to flourish. He said: “I completed my PhD in Human Flourishing, and it was the insights that I gained from this work that inspired the idea of creating FlourishCafé to provide a space that could provide a catalyst for personal growth, development and positive social change from a grassroots perspective.”.

The initiative is launching with a series of three pilot events - two in Bath, and one in Ormskirk. The first flagship event, “Flourishing People and Places”, will take place in Twerton on Thursday, 9 February, in partnership with Little Lost Robot. Twerton residents are being invited, alongside key decision-makers from the council and elsewhere, to go along and join in activities exploring the relationship between Twerton and the rest of Bath.
“The main aim of the launch event in Twerton is to help create more of a sense of belonging between the community in Twerton and the rest of Bath.” said Dr Mountbatten-O’Malley. 

“All the events will be participatory and creative in nature, using artistic pens, professional paper table cloths, music, coffee, buffet, and a relaxed ambience to create a truly dynamic and democratic environment where we can discuss and explore, through dialogue and artistry, issues that matter to these local communities. If you haven’t experienced an event like this before I’d highly recommend that you get involved, it’s truly enjoyable and potentially transformative.” 

Ruby Sant, from Little Robot and Bath Spa University said: “We are delighted to be working with Dr Mountbatten-O'Malley to explore ways in which we can collectively work together to create a stronger community and explore current local and global issues in a non-hierarchical, pragmatic, grassroots up way."

The second Bath event, “We Are The People in the Forest: imaginative activism for all” will take place on Wednesday 22 March in the city centre, and will focus on creating imaginative solutions to the climate emergency and raising awareness of our deep connection to nature. One of the partners at the event will be fellow Bath Spa academic and co-creator of the award-winning Forest of Imagination, Dr Penny Hay.  

If these three pilot events prove to be a success, it is hoped that the Flourish Cafe concept can eventually be rolled out to a national, and even international audience.

The “Flourishing People and Places” flagship event will take place from 10am to 2pm on Thursday, 9 February at Creative Twerton, 107 High Street, Twerton. Lunch and refreshments will be provided, and participants who are on a low income, are self-employed, claiming benefits, disabled or over-65 will be paid £50 for their time.
To book please contact Ruby Sant on ruby@littlelostrobot.org, or for more information about Flourish Cafe and future events contact Dr Eri Mountbatten-O'Malley through the website.

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