A view of the Coventry Skyline from Friars House

What can you do if you think someone is a Rough Sleeper in Coventry?

Have you wondered what’s being done across the city to help Rough Sleepers? Questioned how you could do more but you’ve not been sure what to do, or where to start?

Artwork by Michael Snodgrass @snodink on display at Steps for Change, 8 City Arcade

Here’s a list of things you could do to help Rough Sleepers in Coventry

  • Say hello.
  • Advise them to go to Steps for Change, 8 City Arcade (Monday – Friday 9am-3pm). This is a free drop-in service for anyone facing homelessness in Coventry. They can also get a hot drink a bite to eat. They can have a shower and wash clothes there free of charge.
    For more details visit The ARC
  • Advise them to go to Broadgate House (Monday – Friday 9am-5pm) and present as homeless on the night. They will be assessed to see if they are owed a homeless duty. This is based on the Government’s homelessness legislation.
  • Advise them to go to the Harnall Lifehouse (5pm-6am) where they can use one of the 20 rough sleeper beds available each night.
  • Check to see if the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) is activated. If so, they can use the Harnall Lifehouse 24 hours a day to escape the weather.
  • Until the end of February, Rough Sleepers can use the Coventry Emergency Shelter at Langar House, 6 Doe Bank Lane. This is run by Langar Aid. There they can use one of 20+ rough sleeper beds, get a hot meal and a drink. They can also get a shower. More details can be found here – Coventry Emergency Shelter – CES
  • Until the end of March they can use the Coventry Night Shelter ran by Hope Coventry To access this they will need to see Bernardo at Steps for Change
  • Advise them they can get two hot meals a day, seven days a week in and around Coventry City centre, for free, regardless of their status. Details of where these meals are served from can be found on Feeding Coventry or by visiting Steps for Change.
  • You can make a referral to Street Link. Someone from the Rough Sleeper Outreach Team will visit the person in question and provide you with an update once they have been.
  • You can donate to Rough Sleepers in Coventry by visiting Change into Action. You can donate any amount through this website, and be sure that every penny goes to a rough sleeper and the money is being spent safely and on it’s intended purpose.
  • Call the Rough Sleeper Outreach Team directly on 07590443815. If they are free they will come to you there and then, if not they will visit at the earliest opportunity.
  • If you think someone is under 18 and Rough Sleeping, please call the Police on 101.
  • If a Rough Sleeper agrees for you to contact any agency on their behalf so you can try to help them, they must sign a letter of consent.
  • Advise them to register with a GP.
    The Anchor Centre is most likely to be their best option.
  • If they look unwell ask them if they need an ambulance.
  • If they need food and drink direct them to Steps for Change, or one of the venues listed on the Feeding Coventry page.
A view of the Coventry Skyline from Friars House
Coventry Skyline from Friars House – Image Credit: Regan Thacker @duskyblueskies

How many beds are available for Rough Sleepers in Coventry?

There are currently over 60 rough sleeper beds in Coventry. Nobody needs to be sleeping rough at the minute. And there is NO charge for ANY Rough Sleeper beds.

More information about Rough Sleeping can be found on the Coventry City Council Website – www.coventry.gov.uk/roughsleeping

Would you like to Volunteer to help Rough Sleepers in Coventry?

Many of the services that support Rough Sleepers depend on volunteers. If you want to help and make a real difference, please check out the links below.

Artwork by Michael Snodgrass @snodink on display at Steps for Change, 8 City Arcade

Please share this information

Please share this blog post to inform and advise other local people how they can help.

All of the information above is publicly available. It’s just been collated to provide this helpful an informative blog post.

If you know of any other services or support that’s available for Rough Sleepers in Coventry, please comment below.

Pottery painting session

How cool was our pottery painting party?

Cov Bloggers pottery painting party

In October, members from Coventry Bloggers were invited to attend a discounted pottery painting party with The Cool Pots Co at Esquires in Coventry.

Our pottery painting session at Esquires – Image from @thecoolpotsco

The Cool Pots Co

The Cool Posts Co is a newly established mobile Pottery painting company managed by April. She provides pottery painting sessions for:

  • Children’s parties
  • Baby prints
  • Hen parties
  • Corporate events
  • School bookings
  • Commissions
  • Team building

April only created The Cool Pots Co Facebook Page on 23 April 2019. And it’s already proved tremendously popular, she has attracted 984 followers in about 6 months! That’s amazing, why don’t you give her a follow to help get her past the 1000 mark?

Our Pottery Painting Party

During our pottery painting party, we had a relaxing two hours to design and paint a mug and/or a coaster.

Colour Wheel Chart
Colour Wheel Chart

Before I started, two hours seemed like plenty of time. Afraid, I am a bit artistically challenged when it comes to painting. So, I spent two hours quietly concentrating on trying to perfect the paws on my mug. As a result, I sadly ran out of time to paint my coaster.

Paw prints on pottery mug
Paw Prints on my Mug

This masterpiece took me two hours! I’m a photographer, which means that I like to try and make things look their best. Can you tell?

I would suggest that you think about what design you plan to paint on your pottery before your painting session with Cool Pots Co. You can draw your design in advance and copy it onto your mug, plate or coaster.

If you are a bit artistically challenged like me, the good news is that April will draw a design in pencil for you. So, you would only need to paint!

April talking about drawing designs for Customers

Bespoke designs & Commissions

The Cool Pots Co has a vast range of figurines, plates, mugs, plaques, clocks, posts and more.

Prices start from £8 up to £35, which includes glazing and kiln firing.

April studied Illustration, so her drawings and designs are fabulous! I probably should have told her what I wanted and asked her to draw my design because I am a little bit better at the calming art of colouring in.

Design By April
Design created by April

Despite my low-level painting skills, I had a great time during our pottery painting session and I think my paws mug looks pretty cool.

Art activities are relaxing, and a popular mindfulness tool. Whilst I was focusing deeply on the task of painting, other thoughts and anxieties drifted away. One of the reasons I love photography is because it often helps me de-stress and focus my mind on the beauty before me.

Group bookings for painting parties

Fancy a few hours focusing your energy on feeling calm and creative?

All of the Coventry Bloggers who attended our pottery painting party with The Cool Pots Co had an enjoyable, arty, and relaxing evening.

Pottery painting session
Group pottery painting sessions

In addition to being an incredible painter and illustrator, April is super organised, extremely friendly, and great with families and children.

Why don’t you organise a pottery painting party with The Cool Pots Co? Or commission a special Christmas Gift for a loved one?

Regan Thacker, Dusky blue skies

Autumn leaf at lake in Coombe Country Park

Awesome things to do in Coventry and Warwickshire this Autumn!

Everyone loves taking a wander through their local woods or around Coombe Country park to catch sight of the glorious Autumn colours.

Woodlands at Coombe Country Park in Coventry
Autumn walk through Coombe Country Park, taken by Regan Thacker @duskyblueskies

But, what are the other awesome things to do in Coventry & Warwickshire this Autumn?

Do you know what’s happening in Coventry & Warwickshire?

There are plenty of different things you could do every weekend in Coventry and Warwickshire this Autumn, not convinced yet?
Take a look at this list below.

Here’s a list of awesome things you could do:

22 October: Family fun day at the Belgrade Theatre

The Belgrade Theatre are hosting another Family Fun Day from 10.30am – 4pm. There will be arts and crafts tables, games, storytelling and a dressing-up station with real stage costumes.

Entry is free – just turn up on the day.

Image courtesy of Emily, who is one of our Amazing Authors and blogger at Coventry Life.

25 October: Deer at Dusk

Catch a glimpse of the fallow deer or the bucks bellowing or sparring as part of a guided tour with the Park & Gardens team at Charlecote park. Tickets are £20 each

Charlecote Park in Warwickshire
Stag at Charlecote park captured by Trevor Price

26 October: Coventry Continental Food Market

Join Igers Coventry & Warwickshire for a foodie themed instameet at the Coventry Continental Food Market as part of the Festival Before the Lights.

Coventry BID team are veery kindly providing 30 instagrammers with a complimentary food voucher! Never been to an instameet before? Well now’s your chance. Make sure you book your free ticket via this link to secure your food voucher!

27 October: Pumpkins R Us

Dawn, Life of a Midlander at Pumpkins R Us

If you haven’t picked your Halloween pumpkin by now, you best hurry!
Dawn, who is another one of our Amazing Authors, recommends picking a pumpkin from your local pumpkin farm rather than the supermarket. You will find a much bigger choice of colours and sizes!

31 October: Dead of the Dead Festival and Bonfire party

Umberslade Farm Park are having a Day of the Dead Bonfire Party.
Gates open 4.30pm, Bonfire lit at 6.30pm, Fireworks at 7.30pm

If you go in Fang-tastic Fancy dress you will have the chance to win a Family Farm Pass!

Day of the Dead Bonfire Party

The Day of the Dead Bonfire Party will be a frightful delight for all of the family. There will be Dia de los Muertos Skeletons, fire dancers, their Dead Famous Family Silent Disco and a Live Mariachi band.

Be quick to buy your tickets from the Umberslade Farm Park website
An Advance Family Ticket is £20 + £0.50 booking fee.

2 November: Kenilworth Castle Bonfire Gala

The Fireworks & Bonfire at Kenilworth Castle is organised by the Kenilworth Round Table.

It is one of the largest bonfire & firework displays in the Midlands. This means that there are a lot of people there and it can feel quite crowded. There are a number of food stalls in the grounds, but these can also tend to have long queues.

Check out parking/transport options and make sure you purchase your ticket in advance.

There are also a few vantage points from outside the castle grounds, but these are usually commandeered by photographers with tripods trying to get that perfect shot.

Despite the crowds and issues around limited parking, it is worth noting that in 2018 Visit England listed it as one of their Top 5 firework displays.

If you have never been, it is definitely worth going to see it at least once.

Fireworks at Kenilworth Castle, taken by Regan Thacker in 2017

3 November: Carnival of Lights

The Carnival of Lights is a new event for the calendar this year!

It is a Lantern Procession which starts at Foleshill Community Centre at 5.15pm. The Lantern Procession will head into the City Centre and finish in Broadgate. There will be floats, live performances, and Bollywood dancers with LED umbrellas. It sounds rather fabulous!

This is a free event, and you can watch the procession from various points along the route.

16 November: Fargo Winter Chocolate Festival

The Winter Chocolate Festival at Fargo Village will have plenty of fudge, cake, cookies, and brownies for you to indulge your sweet-tooth and/or start getting ready for Christmas.

Chock Shop captured by Regan Thacker

17 November: Leamington Christmas Light Switch On

The Leamington Christmas lights switch on event takes place along the Leamington Parade on Sunday 17th November 2019 .

There will be a Yuletide market, fun fair rides, a traditional carol service at the Town Hall, and Touch FM stage.

The brand new lights will be switched on at 5.30pm.

Leamington Light Switch On captured by Richard Cunningham

28 November: Warwick Victorian Evening

The Warwick Victorian Evening & light switch on event takes place in Warwick Market Place on Thursday 28th November.

Carousel ride captured by Regan Thacker

There will be Victorian themed market stalls, crafts and Victorian fun fair rides. And, the lights will be switched on at 7pm.

30 November: Wreath Making Workshop

Wreath Making captured by Regan Thacker

The Herbert Art Gallery are hosting a wreath making workshop, you need to book tickets for this event. Tickets cost £26 but the Herbert Art Gallery are providing materials, and you will be able to develop your wreath making skills for every Christmas after.

7 December: The Snowman with Live Orchestra at Coventry Cathedral

The Snowman at Coventry Cathedral captured by Momma Mack in 2017

Who doesn’t love the animated film ‘The Snowman’?

This wonderful family event brings the snowman to life with a live orchestra at Coventry Cathedral.

6, 7 & 8 December: Stratford-Upon-Avon Christmas Market

There’s another festive Victorian Christmas market with a Dickensian theme in Stratford Upon Avon. It will have traditional gifts, street food stalls, vintage fun fair rides, and a variety of entertainment.

Stratford Upon Avon taken by Regan Thacker

14 December: The Snow Queen at the Albany Theatre

The Snow Queen is an epic adventure with spell-binding magic, action-packed excitement and heart-warming friendship.

In the story, Gerda must race through the four seasons to rescue her brother and prevent the Snow Queen’s terrifying plan to plunge the world into eternal winter.

Full Price Tickets: £12.00 – £16.00 and Child tickets: £9.00 – £11.00
Prices vary dependent on date.

Are there any other awesome autumn events or activities happening in Coventry & Warwickshire?

Be sure to share them with us in the comments, we’d love to hear about them!

Written by Regan Thacker
Dusky blue skies

GODIVA FESTIVAL: Do we really need it? This will help you decide!

Godiva festival started in 1998, and for the last two decades it has been famous for being the Midlands biggest three-day free festival.

In 2018, Coventry City Council spent three times more than the original allocated budget! So, this year they introduced ticket charges for the first time. These additional funds are supposed to help manage some of the rising festival costs.

Now that Godiva is no longer the Midlands biggest three-day free festival, do we still need it? Is it still a good event for the City of Coventry?

5 Reasons why Godiva Festival is still great for Coventry!

1. Family-friendly fun

This year’s Godiva Festival provided plenty of entertainment and activities for families:

  • Fairground rides for all ages.
  • A mini-petting farm with rabbits, goats, etc.
  • A Community Circus where attendees could learn to could stilt-walk and hula-hoop, etc
  • An Experi-Tent which had a marble run, a VR experience, and lots of other digital technology.   
  • A wide variety of live musical Entertainment.

I think Godiva is good because it’s great to see so many families enjoying the festival, it appeals to such a broad age range. The size of the park means you don’t feel overwhelmed by huge crowds either. I must say my favourite part of the festival is the silent disco …. it’s just so much fun, if you haven’t experienced it before then definitely pen it in for next year!

Sam @Missb68

2. Amazing Artists

Over the last two decades there have been some amazing artists at Godiva, and this year did not disappoint with the likes of Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, Dodgy, Reef, The Levellers, Busted, and Feeder.

It’s a low cost festival that offers music, fun and activities for all ages! There is something for everyone, whatever your taste.

It brings people to Coventry and promotes our ‘City of Culture’

It’s a great opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family in a relaxed environment.

Jane @joldbury

3. Godiva Supports Emerging local Artists

Every year Godiva runs a competition called ‘Godiva Calling’. This gives local bands and artists the chance to be selected to play at the festival.

It’s a showcase platform for emerging local musical artists

Wes @wesfinchuk

4. Cultural experience

People came together at Godiva Festival to listen to a variety of great music, laugh at comedy, get active with GoCV sports, chill out in the well being zone, learn new circus skills, dress up in silly outfits and have a generally wonderful time.

It’s a good opportunity for the people of Coventry to come together, regardless of social status. Godiva allows people on low incomes to have a cultural experience. It also promotes diversity, with acts from different groups

Rob @mrrjhopkns

This year, Coventry2021 brought the best Desi Music from across the Country to Godiva Festival.

What is Desi Music?

It’s a celebration of the music created, inspired or influenced by British Asian communities. Imagine artists performing a mixture of Bollywood, Bhangra, Qawwali, Reggae, Grime, Hip Hop and Folk-Electronica.

The UK Desi scene has created a unique fusion culture of art, fashion, food and above all music, which we celebrate in all its glorious diversity in the Rhythm Tent line up on Sunday.

Coventry 2021

5. Location

Godiva takes place in Coventry’s War Memorial Park, which is a great location!

If you have ever had to traipse across numerous farm fields or catch a shuttle bus just to get to a festival site due to limited onsite parking, then you will appreciate how easily accessible Godiva is.

A good location encourages more people from inside and outside of the city to attend.

Travel by Train: The Memorial park is only a 15-20 min walk from Coventry railway station, which is on the Main West Coast line.

Travel by Road: The Memorial park just off the A45, which also makes it pretty easy to access by road.

Godiva Festival is great for Coventry, it puts the city in the spotlight. I had friends travel from Birmingham, Stratford-Upon-Avon, and Guilford for the festival and they really enjoyed the weekend.

JAMIE @JAMIE_PANOT

Godiva Festival Images Taken by Regan Thacker @duskyblueskies

If you would like to see more images from the 2019 Music Festival, check out my Photography pass for Godiva blog post.

“Something missing”, a solo exhibition by Sherrie Edgar

On 27 April 2019, I was invited to attend a private viewing for Sherrie Edgar’s first solo exhibition “Something Missing”.

This was an ambitious first solo exhibition that showcased some of her contemporary artworks, which explore the social politics and emotions of loneliness and solitude.

It was open to the public at the Artspace Arcadia Gallery from the 27th – 30th April 2019.

Who is Sherrie Edgar?

Sherrie is a Visual Artist, who specialises in Film & Photography. She’s from Coventry, and she is currently studying her MA in Contemporary Arts Practice at Coventry University. She is the first student on this course to host a solo exhibition before completing her Masters Degree. An impressive achievement, and why local art and culture critics are touting her as one to watch…

During the private viewing, Sherrie read a speech to discuss her work and thank us all for coming. She talked about the purpose and the critical thinking behind her artwork, and the struggle in accessing arts funding for her first solo exhibition. She told us about the time and effort involved in planning and organising each display at the Artspace Arcadia Gallery and how this was quite an isolating process. From her speech, it was very apparent how passionate and determined she is about sharing her contemporary visual artwork.

Sherrie is an extremely personable, bubbly, and likeable character. If you see another exhibition by her, I definitely recommend going along to chat to her if you have the opportunity.

You can follow her involvement with other projects or review some of her previous work here:
Twitter @TweetSherrie
Instagram @sherriegram
Vimeo vimeo.com/sherrieo

Some of my favourite pieces from “Something Missing”

How do you capture the sense of something missing? This is an interesting concept which has flitted in and out of my thoughts since viewing Sherrie’s exhibition.

Shrike 360

The Shrike Hotel room art exhibition is a collection of images from an immersive hotel room experience that encouraged participants to discover a sense of who the person was who occupied this room.

This immersive experience took place at the Coventry Britannia Hotel on 28 February 2019. The art installation included a representative sample of personal belongings, a film shown on the TV, and a personal cassette player.

Participants were given 35mm disposable cameras to take photographs or selfies to capture traces of the unknown person’s identity or a sense of their feelings.

I thought this was great because it really played on our sense of intrigue in discovering things about others. Some of the interesting images produced by the participants who engaged with this immersive experience are included on the slideshow below.

Digital Age

This was a 6 min film which explored the sense of loneliness and isolation in the digital age.

How can that be? How can people still experience a sense of isolation or exclusion when we are connected through digital devices or sharing so much of our lives on social media platforms? What’s missing? Is something missing in the digital age?

During this short film, Sherrie was lost in the code whilst she dictated a soliloquy of synonyms to express the sense of loneliness and isolation. I felt the sense of anguish in this film, it was a really strong visual and emotive representation of the loss of identity, and lack of physical interaction with others that sometimes comes with the digital age.

Support local art projects

Wouldn’t there be something missing in a world without Art & Creativity?

This month, some of Sherrie’s artwork will be shown at The Arches Project in Birmingham and at Project Coventry on 20 June.

Will you be going along to support our local artists and projects?

All content and images by Regan Thacker @duskyblueskies

Igers Coventry and Warwickshire Group photo

Why I love Igers Coventry & Warwickshire, and you should too!

What does Igers mean?

Igers Coventry & Warwickshire logo
Instagramers Community logo

Igers is short for Instagramers. According to the Urban Dictionary, an Instagramer is someone who spends extremely long amounts of time on Instagram. Now, I can’t speak for my fellow admin or our Igers followers, but this could be a fairly accurate description of me. One thing that has always puzzled me though, should it be Instagramers or Instagrammers?

Grammatically and pronunciation-wise, I feel like it should be a double consonant to create a short ‘a’ vowel sound. Most websites and blogs tend to use the word Instagrammers with the double consonant. However, you will notice that all of the Instagram communities are called Instagramers of London or Instagramers of Madrid. I think this lack of a double consonant could be due to the fact that Igers Communities were established in Spain in 2011, where their first language is Spanish. Continue reading