Great Winter Get Together 2022

From 17th-30th January, the Jo Cox Foundation wants to spread the word that there is #NoShameInSharing and to get the conversation started around loneliness.

Photo of Jo Cox MP

This campaign is inspired by Jo Cox, who experienced loneliness while she was at university and when she became a mother to her two children. When she became an MP, she was determined that others should not have to go through similar feelings alone, and said:  

“I will not live in a country where thousands of people are living lonely lives, forgotten by the rest of us.” 

The team at the Jo Cox Foundation want to continue the work she started, and hope to make January a time for connection – bringing people together and reducing the stigma around loneliness. 

The Great Get Together

Visit the Great Get Together website today for a toolkit which has a handy scale so you can discover what easy action you can take that suits your current confidence level.

All the Small Things want to share information about projects and activities going on in our area that connect people (face to face or virtual), as part of the Great Winter Get Together campaign.

photo of a man smiling and waving hello

Paul is an active neighbour, a real community connector in Stoke on Trent.

“When I see people as I’m going out and about, I say hello and have a chat.
If people are not having as many social contacts as they would like, I’ve started telling them about a coffee morning at a local community centre I go to. I encourage them to meet new people. It worked for me”.

Paul wants to encourage everyone to say hello, or just smile. It can make a big difference to how lonely other people feel.

yellow poster saying "Reach out"

“Beside you” support cafe.
We want to open a mental health café in Audley parish, this will be for those not only suffering from mental health but those that are supporting and caring for somebody who has mental health issues. Our aim is to have a place where people can meet up and know they have someone to talk to who can relate in some way in regards to mental health. At our cafe we aim to have a therapy room, go on day trips, creative writing, board games area etc We are looking for volunteers for the group or any professionals or ex professionals that wouldn’t mind give up some of their time to help us in this much needed program within our parish. Please contact Jeanette Harris on 07940 127805

CAFAG poster - start your day with coffee and a smile, Coffee cup.

CAFAG and Befriending Service Coffee Morning.
You are invited to the next coffee morning at the Whitfield Valley Centre in Fegg Hayes on Wednesday 2nd February 2022. It starts at 10:30am and is a chance to find out about our Befriending Service and what other activities and services  CAFAG has to offers.

Carelink is part of Saltbox based in Hanley. We strive to improve people’s lives by tackling loneliness and isolation and helping people to live healthier for longer. Our service is open to anyone over the age of 65 who lives in Stoke-on-Trent or North Staffs. We provide a free Telephone befriending service and run social activity groups at Redemption Hub Stoke on Tuesday Mornings 10am – 12pm. Plus Hanley Indoor Market and Swan Bank Cafe on Thursday mornings 10am – 12pm. alongside a weekly exercise group (KOKU) and a monthly Digital Inclusion group (Connect Club). Contact: 01782 810320 or e:

CCMA community centre in Cobridge.
Education, training, exercise group, art group, children’s group, fundraising, domino’s, lunch club, and soup club. Rooms available for meetings, weddings, christenings, funerals, birthday or anniversary parties. 07470 459376

group of older people sitting round tables chatting and smiling

MHA Communities North Staffs has a mission to reduce isolation and loneliness in the over 55’s.
We have a range of groups in the North Staffordshire area, including lunch groups, social groups, exercise, arts and crafts and a History and Reminiscence group. In addition we run a befriending service. We can also organise transport to our groups, at a small cost. We are keen to hear from anybody who would like to join our community as either a member or as a volunteer, in a number of different roles. You are sure of a warm welcome!
Contact Sharon Morley, 07568 612 037,

Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce – Positive Pathways
Supports refugees living in Stoke on Trent or Staffordshire, to develop confidence, skills, job search and help to set up a business with a grant available.
To find out more: phone 01782 202222 email

The Care and Fun Club Blythe Centre offer enhanced library services, groups and activities to keep people connected within their community.

VAST logo white with grey writing

VAST Volunteer Brokerage: Connecting volunteers to opportunities across the city. We work with Community partners to share their opportunities. What makes Vast volunteer brokerage stand out is its unique way of taking time to get to know the volunteers and well as service providers so that we make bespoke matches of volunteers to opportunities. Volunteering is a good way for those who can, to find something meaningful to do and reduce their own loneliness and isolation. Community Health Champions: Working with volunteers in the community to connect better with their local community and share health and well being messages including how to look after one’s mental health in order to maintain or improve quality of life. Again in this project, our Champions use their knowledge of the community to provide bespoke support be it through signposting or referral and sometimes handholding into services that may support to reduce loneliness and isolation as well as other associated health concerns.

Westport Lake Community Group
We have hung words of kindness around the estate at Westport Lake to hopefully some of the winter blues residents might be feeling. Katy x

Take action with the Great Winter Get Together

Please pass on this information to people you know to highlight the Great Winter Get Together campaign and help reduce the stigma of loneliness.

Follow the Great Winter Get Together on social media: facebook 

You are welcome to join the Loneliness Strategic Partnership in North Staffs.
If you are a volunteer or paid worker organising activities that connect people to tackle loneliness, please email allthesmallthings AT or phone Lynne on 0751 881 3131 for more information.

Caring for our community helpers

Are you helping people in your community to cope with Coronavirus?

Have you felt stressed? Anxious? Depressed? Overwhelmed?

Have you been juggling work? volunteering? furlough? homeschooling? supporting and caring for others?

Then you are amazing and need to be recognised and valued for your kindness.

We have now been experiencing the pandemic for 12 months and all that it brings.

Thanks to a grant from the Local Connections Fund we are running two creative wellbeing workshops for community helpers and a celebration event to say a big thank you to people from community groups, charities, individual volunteers and kind neighbours.

The COVID Community Helpers Creative Wellbeing Workshops are on

Tuesday 2nd March 2021 from 10.30am till 12.30pm

Friday 12th March 2021 from 10.30am till 12.30pm

At the workshops will focus on our own self care … a time of reflection, relaxation and restoration for our mental and emotional well being. Each session will include a hands-on creative activity. We will post out the materials to you before the session, once you have booked on.

We also have funding for Celebration event on the 24th March from 1-4pm.

The event will include

  • wellbeing workshops,
  • time to reflect on what we have learned from our experience of community helping in the pandemic
  • a big thank you to community helpers in North Staffordshire

You can sign up for our free sessions here at Eventbrite.

We will email you with information and the link to join the online sessions on Zoom.

All the Small Things CiC is a Social Action Hub. We have signed up to the Community Action Response for COVID-19.

We are working in partnership with the Community Organisers Local Organising Group to facilitate regular peer support sessions. We are working with local partner organisations to make sure people know where to get support and how to make a difference in their communities.

As a Social Action Hub we bring people taking social action together to help us all to share experiences and learn together. One of the ways we do this is with Peer Mentoring. Peer Mentoring Groups last up to two hours when we:

  • have time to meet each other
  • hear what we are all doing in our communities,
  • talk about concerns and questions we would like help with
  • suggest places we can go for guidance, advice and more support

If you have any questions please email Penny or Sarah:

Thank You for all of the hard work you are doing in your workplaces and communities at this time.

Introduction to Community Organising

Do you want to learn how to organise in your community and make a difference to where you live?

Would you like to be part of a local and national network of Community Organisers leading social change?

The Introduction to Community Organising course is a starting point for anybody who is interested in community organising.

The course is in two parts. You need to do both sessions. There are three opportunities to do the course – December 2020, January and March 2021.

image about the training

Monday 14th and Monday 21st December from 9.30am to 1pm.

Tuesday 19th and Tuesday 26th January 2021 from 9.30am to 1pm.

Wednesday 3rd and Wednesday 10th March 2021 from 9.30am to 1pm.

This free training is part of “It’s Not as Simple as Black and White” project to raise awareness of what brings us together rather than what divides us.

In this course we will explore

• the importance of listening to build relationships and uncover issues

• power in communities and why it matters

• how to motivate people to take action

• how to take your next steps in community organising & social action

The course will be on Zoom online. There are 15 places on the training.

All participants receive a Certificate of Participation if you attend both workshops.

Please book so that we can send you the link to the Zoom training sessions.

Click here for the eventbrite booking link for December 2020.

Click here for the eventbrite booking link for January 2021.

Click here for the eventbrite booking link for March 2021.

poster about the training

The course will be run three times between December and March so if you cannot come in December please let us know and we will send you information about the other dates.

Further one-day courses are available focusing on practical aspects of community organising, plus longer courses for those who want to train as fully qualified community organisers.

Peer Support for Community Helpers

Are you helping people in your community?

All the Small Things CiC is a Social Action Hub. It is important that community helpers have support for their own wellbeing. We give people time to stop, think and share tips for looking after ourselves.

We connect people together who are busy supporting people in their communities. We help people share their experiences and ideas, share information and resources. We work with local partner organisations to make sure people know where to get support and how to make a difference in their communities.


As a Social Action Hub we bring people taking social action together to help us all to share experiences and learn together. One of the ways we do this is with Peer Mentoring Groups.

You are invited to join regular peer support sessions online, for community helpers.

community helpers peer support image ATST.jpg

Peer Mentoring Groups last up to two hours. We

  • have time to meet each other
  • hear what we are all doing in our communities,
  • talk about concerns and questions we would like help with
  • suggest places we can go for guidance, advice and more support

If you are a community group, charity or an individual volunteer, please contact us if you are interested.

Please email Penny or Sarah

In all of our projects we try to include enough funding to run a few peer support sessions for community helpers.

We signed up to the Community Action Response for COVID-19. We had funding from the National Emergencies Trust through Staffordshire Community Foundation from June to September to run two sessions a month.

eden project self isolating
The Local Organising Group for North Staffs worked with us to offer monthly sessions.
The Stoke North Big Local volunteering project includes funding to run two peer support sessions.

new Social Action Hub

All the Small Things CiC have successfully been selected as the newest of 22 Social Action Hubs in England, funded by Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport through the Community Organisers Expansion Programme led by Community Organisers Ltd.

CO logo

A Social Action Hub is:

• A single organisation or a cluster of organisations working together
• Dedicated to a local area, community or neighbourhood
• Accountable to local people
• Socially responsible and uses profit only for social good
• Committed to igniting social change through community organising
• Working for a more socially just, caring and cooperative society

What does a Social Action Hub do?

• Promote the principles, methods and values of community organising
• Provide quality assured training and education in community organising
• Use a community organising approach to help people listen, be powerful and take action
• Support networks of people involved in action for change
• Build relationships locally and nationally


We are a member of The National Academy of Community Organising (NACO), the training arm of Community Organisers Ltd.

Our training enables people to understand, and have knowledge and skills of community organising. The training we will offer ranges from one-day introductory courses through to courses which teach the national Qualifications (Award and Certificate) in
Community Organising. Community Organising is the work of bringing people together to take action around their common concerns and overcome social injustice. Community organisers reach out and listen, connect and motivate people to build their collective power.

If you would like to be added to our mailing list to find out about future training, please email