Fetes, fundraisers and flower shows - it’s these events that bind a community together

  Posted: 11.09.21 at 15:56 by Francesca Evans

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Nub News editor Francesca Evans on getting back to her kind of “normal life” and the importance of community journalism

There can’t be many jobs that have not changed in some way over the past 18 months.

As editor of the Axminster and Seaton Nub News websites, as well as the LymeOnline website and newspaper in Lyme Regis, I have gone from juggling a busy calendar of local events, meeting new people and doing something different every day, to a practically desk-bound job, a diary of virtual Zoom meetings and coronavirus dominating the headlines.

This summer it has been great to get back to some sort of “normal life” and have that feeling of busyness again as I’ve dashed from job to job.

Lyme Regis, in particular, has been packed to the gunnels as the town hosted its programme of popular summer events for the first time in two years, including the successful Lifeboat Week and Regatta & Carnival Week.

Summer may be coming to an end but East Devon has now certainly sprung back to life.

This weekend I have eight events to cover, including the autumn floral celebration at Axminster’s Holy Cross Church, Kilmington Village Show, a parish picnic for Colyton Carnival Week, Dalwood duck race and the medieval scarecrow trail in Colyford.

I suppose some might think my kind of “normal life” to be rather strange – but it’s all in a day’s work for a small town reporter!

Events like these may not make for groundbreaking news, but they are what binds a community together - something I think we have all missed during the pandemic.

That’s why local journalism is so important to me; it may not change the world but I believe it plays an important role in community life.

It promotes social cohesion and local democracy; it shines a light on our thriving towns, full of independent businesses, hardworking volunteers and active clubs and societies.

Not to mention the thousands of pounds the local press must have helped to raise through promotion of so many fundraising and charity events.

I can’t wait to get back out and about this weekend, meeting and chatting to all our readers.

The Axminster and Seaton Nub News websites were launched in May 2020, amid the height of the pandemic, and we’ve been in and out of national lockdowns ever since, so we have not been able to get into the community as much as we would have liked.

I did get the chance to meet some of our readers at Axminster’s Community Waffle House on Thursday when I held my first ‘Meet the Editor’ session.

I’ll be at the Waffle House every other Thursday from 1pm (the next being on September 23rd), when readers can pop in for a chat, tell me about their local news stories, upcoming events, or learn more about Nub News.

Within 40 minutes of my first session I had picked up on four great, local news stories that we’ll be reporting on in the coming weeks (plus I’d gobbled down a delicious waffle, so my waist line may be in for a shock over the coming months!).

We’re now looking for a suitable venue in central Seaton to hold similar, fortnightly sessions where we can meet our readers - so please get in touch if you have any suggestions!

In the meantime, you can always contact me with your news stories and events on 07810 221 420 or email [email protected]

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