Two new spin-off groups have been formed after the success of Burnham-On-Sea’s Hands of Change organisation.

Hands of Change, which is based in Burnham-On-Sea, launched last year to encourage more local social interaction and to help people in need.

The organisation has been so successful that new groups in Minehead and Cheddar are now being formed.

The Burnham group held its first community drop-in session on 1st March, attended by over a dozen people.

There were several activities on offer including indoor badminton, crafts, basic sign language and play area for the children.

The ‘free-to-you table’ with DVDs, CDs and books was popular, and there were several people interested in the children’s clothes swap.

Helen Brodie MBE, one of the group’s volunteers, said: ‘We had not expected so much interest at our first drop-in session. It was lovely to meet so many new people and I know we made a big difference already to some. There were several attendees that have recently moved to the area – and it was lovely to get some feedback from them.”

The next session is on Wednesday March 15th from 9am-11am at the BAY Centre in Cassis Close, Burnham-On-Sea.

“It had a very positive affect on me. It’s so lovely to have something to look forward to,” said one of those present. “I thoroughly enjoyed myself, it was so lovely meeting everyone, can’t wait for the next one,” said another. “I really enjoyed myself and left feeling so loved. Thank you for such a warm welcome,” added another.

To end the day the group was excited to get an enquiry from a lady in Minehead to ask if it was OK for her to set up a group there.

Hands Of Change founder Kay Barrett added: “I am amazed, I never thought the idea would take off and now we have a fantastic group of volunteers in and around Burnham and also our sister group in Cheddar Valley that are doing so well.”

“With a third group starting in Minehead this is so much more than I could have ever hoped for. People do want to help each other, they just have to have a central place to start.”

Meanwhile, Cheddar Valley Hands of Change are having their first meeting on March 25th fromn 10am – 12 with a ‘meet and greet coffee morning’ at Cheddar Methodist with a children’s toy and clothes table and a display by Cheddar Food Bank.