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Encouraging compassion on the journey to climate change in Stratford

A Cabinet of Compassion is at the ‘heart’ of a community project around action on climate change in Stratford-upon-Avon this weekend.

On Saturday (October 1st) visitors to Bell Court will be encouraged to sit and reflect and take part in mini activities inside the large wooden framed structure, all designed to help explore the themes of kindness and compassion.

It is part of The Great Big Green Week’s Family Trail of free activities being offered throughout the town, in partnership with The Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Stratford Town Trust.

The family-friendly activities representing the five ways of wellbeing include learning something new together, getting active, taking time to notice the environment and thinking about how to give back to the world as a community.

Big Green Family Trail, Cabinet of Compassion, Bell Court, Stratford

(October 1st)

GIVE: Foundation House, Masons Road

A chance to meet the Repair Café volunteers who use their skills to repair household items, extending the item’s life, saving the planet and saving money.

There is also chance to find out more about the groups based at Foundation House and take part in activities including woodturning demonstrations, games, crafts, planting, and more.

CONNECT: Cabinet of Compassion
10am – 4.30pm

Exploring the themes of kindness and compassion by taking notice and connecting, including how we can take action together and motivate each other to be kinder to our world.

TAKE NOTICE: Dell Forest Garden, Southern Lane
10am – 4.30pm

Take notice and be inspired by creativity and the landscape, being kind to ourselves to be kind to our environment. Join in for some bulb planting and create eco-friendly badges to remind us that kindness is a superpower.

Big Green Family Trail, Cabinet of Compassion, Bell Court, Stratford

Big Green Family Trail, Cabinet of Compassion, Bell Court, Stratford

KEEP LEARNING: Stratford Library, Henley Street

The Forest of Arden
10am – 4.30pm
Come and help create the Forest of Arden inside the library using a range of creative skills.

Miniature Fairy Gardens
10am – 4.30pm

Inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, create your own miniature fairy garden to take home. Design a fairy door and craft a magical setting using a range of natural materials.

Shakespeare for All
10.15am – 2pm
Join in for a reading of Antony and Cleopatra. No experience is necessary, just a willingness to take part. Some copies of the Complete Works are available to use, or feel free to bring your own.

Environmental Shakespeare
3 – 4pm
Come and explore how Shakespeare and his contemporaries understood nature. In this practical workshop there will be colouring, quizzes and a chance to get to know your pottage from your porridge.

GET ACTIVE: Outside Stratford Library, Henley Street
10am – 4.30pm

Put your best foot forward for some Tudor music and dance sessions on Henley Street. Discover musical instruments from the time and learn to jig Tudor-style!

A spokesperson for the Royal Shakespeare Company said: “By working with Foundation House, Warwickshire Libraries and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust alongside many other organisations in the town, we hope to show the many ways we can all make small changes that can make a big difference to our environment.

“Through our activity at Bell Court and in the Dell Forest Garden we hope everyone taking part will also take a moment to consider how to look after their own well-being as well as taking care of the environment.”

Rich Jones, Centre Manager of Bell Court, said: “The Great Big Green Week is an important occasion, and we are proud to play a part. We look forward to welcoming the Royal Shakespeare Company’s ‘Cabinet of Compassion’ to Bell Court on Saturday and hope that it starts a conversation around how we can come together as a community to take action on climate change.

“Coupled with the Stratford Food Festival and live music we are hosting down at Bell Court over the three days, we know that it will be an enjoyable weekend for all.”

This weekend Bell Court also plays host to a feast of local musicians ready to entertain shoppers at the rescheduled Stratford Food Festival between September 30th and October 2nd.

James Chatfield

Bass Chatfield (Friday 11.45am-12.30pm and 1pm-1.45pm)

Using a bass guitar, acoustic guitar, beatboxing and looping, James Chatfield, from Worcester, is a new take on the one-man band, with occasional expansions to drum kits and glockenspiels and vocals.

Bell Court, Stratford Food Festival
Louise James

Louise James (Performing Friday 2.15pm-3pm)

Louise James is a professional singer and vocal coach from Stratford with years of experience singing soul classics through to chart music and is regularly booked for her Adele Tribute.

Stratford Vocal students (Performing Friday 3.15pm-4pm)

Stratford Vocals is made up of local women from all age groups who love to harmonise classic upbeat songs from all eras. A mixture of altos and sopranos, they have been together just over six months.

Bell Court, Stratford Festival Food F
Wes Finch

Wes Finch (Performing Sunday 1.45pm- 2.30pm and 3pm-3.45pm)

A Coventry artist who writes and records original material under the names Wes Finch, The Silver Wye and with the poetry inspired, string-led group The Mechanicals Band. Expect to hear a selection of pop, rock, folk and country covers from the likes of Paul Simon, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and Van Morrison.

Foregate Brothers, Stratford Food Festival
The Foregate Brothers Andy Dent and David Bristow

Foregate Brothers (Performing Sunday 12.15pm-1pm and 1.10pm-1.45pm)

The band, made up of Stratford’s David Bristow and Andy Dent from Worcester, has enjoyed regular appearances at blues and jazz clubs and festivals across the Midlands. With a unique mellow jazz and blues style, the Foregate Brothers will be playing songs from the 30’s and 40’s as well as originals with a vintage pre-war era style.

The free-to-attend Stratford Food Festival is open 10am-8pm Friday and Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday. Further information is available here

For further information on the Family Trail visit here

The Great Big Green Week runs between September 24th and October 2nd and is the UK’s biggest ever celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature.

For further information about how to organise or attend an event visit here