September flew by didn’t it?
Midway through the month we got the keys to 361 Aigburth Road and started the ball rolling with our new venture. I mentioned it on Twitter and for the first time in my Twitter history, lots of people noticed and I was inundated with offers of support.

So we now have lots of members all ready and waiting for the food club to open and a group of volunteers that have been in each week, painting the walls, assembling the shelving and helping get everything ready for launching.
It’s been a wonderful experience. So much enthusiasm from local residents for what we’re doing, along with support from other food clubs, with donations from Walton Vale Community Shop, L30 Community Centre and Sefton Community Pantry.

Check out the website here for more info about Everyone’s Aigburth
Unfortunately, due to the second wave and our Tier 3 lockdown, we’ve had to pause our launch plans as our suppliers are overwhelmed and unable to take on new customers. We hope to be up and running as soon as possible.

I was also invited to become a trustee of the River Oaks Charity. This charity is close to my heart, because it embodies my belief that, if neighbours work together in a small area they can make big changes – which is really where the idea for Everyone’s Aigburth came from. Imagine if every small area did the same, then the whole city would thrive. River Oaks is a perfect example of a small group of residents coming together and making the changes they wanted to see in their community, working together to restore the pond at the heart of their estate, and battling to take control of the meadow and woodland to keep it clean and safe for everyone to use.

I feel honoured, as a non-resident and – let’s be honest – complete outsider, to be welcomed in by the charity and offered a role on the board.

I was also excited to have a couple of pieces of writing published in Writing for the Soul vol.2.  This collection of musings from our collective lockdown, was put together by Creative Spaces Co, a Social Enterprise that brings art and culture activities to community spaces. During lockdown, Rachael, the Managing Director has been tireless in developing virtual opportunities to keep everyone occupied and engaged with reading and writing sessions, running virtual book clubs, writing competitions for kids – as well being involved with the Walton Vale Community Shop. It’s been great working alongside Rachael at the shop and learning more about her community business. Needless to say, anything related to reading and writing is going to find a place in my heart, especially as lockdown had such an impact on my own writing path.

Sadly, I’ve not progressed much further with my own writing. I’ve reached 41,418 words of my work in progress, which is roughly half way there, and I suspect, lockdown #2 will give me an opportunity to write some more.

I’ve received three rejections from agents for my New York holiday romance, but I’ll keep on sending out in the hope that somebody, somewhere will like my story. I think my years of receiving grant rejections has given me a thick skin, because rather than being devastated by each rejection, I smile and think: that’s one rejection closer to acceptance. I was given a great bit of advice by Caroline Smailes that making it as an author is all about perseverance and luck, because rejection is inevitable. The key is to learn from the rejection and keep going. So keep your fingers crossed for me, and I’ll keep on persevering. 🙂