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Andy from Thornbury’s Story - Rooted in Community

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

Andy moved to his Table area around four and half years ago. He had a quite clear ambition for the way he wanted his life to be, and that was in a community. He explained that he wanted to be able to walk down the street, walk into the local pub and to know at least one person. He wanted to have that sense of belonging that comes with friends and familiarity, from having people to talk to and to lend a hand if the occasion requires along with knowing you would do the same for them. As it turned out his Father-in-Law had been Round Table member, but Andy hadn’t known until he made the choice to reach out to a group of Tablers at his local Fireworks Display. “They were doing something good, putting on the display for the whole community, collecting funds to give to other local groups and they just looked like they were having the best time” And that is how Andy was able to achieve his ambition in no time at all.

After making contact Andy went along to meet everyone and was soon a full member and taking a more and more active role.

“We do the big events that I suppose people are aware of, things like Fireworks and Sleigh but we also do lots of smaller things that mean a lot to us as Tablers but maybe people aren’t so familiar with. During lock-down when restrictions had lifted a little, we started meeting up in our local park, meeting at benches two meters apart – a couple of times we had a beer and some cheese. It was about having a break, taking some time and looking out for each other. More recently we’ve been doing some night walks along country lanes, again they are absolutely brilliant. Might be just six or seven of us, not the whole Table, but we see some amazing things and we get time to talk.

I think the fact that we invited a specialist in wellbeing and mental health to talk to our whole group on Zoom during the early days of COVID really helped us all open up and be able to talk about stuff when it matters. We all know about the issues around men’s mental health and I know for a fact the difference it has made for several of our members that there is always someone there if you need them. We do have a laugh, we do go to the pub but it’s about so much more than that.”

Pints Plasters & Poppadoms

Beyond talking about mental health and wellbeing Andy and other Tablers got to thinking about how else they might support the men in their community in other ways and once again in true Table fashion came up with a brilliant mix of fun, camaraderie and practical help in the form of Pints, Plasters and Poppadum’s!

A special evening to learn about first aid for babies and young children with curry and a beer thrown in for good measure – other drinks were available and only after the practical session was complete! The evening was held with the support of the local landlady and funded by the Table who have since gone on to also fundraise for, and place, two additional defibrillators within their local community (at the local pub and local shop). Working to save lives is not necessarily what you think of when someone mentions the Round Table but in this case the work quite literally is.

“Many of us Tablers are young Dads so it was brilliant to be able to learn really valuable lifesaving skills but to be able to share that with other Dads in our community was also great. We learnt and we had such a laugh at the same time. We’ll be doing the same again this year but we’ll need a slightly bigger venue – we didn’t expect so many to get involved. It’s an important lesson, never underestimate men!”

Round Table (RTBI) is a young man / men's club for those aged between 18 and 45. RTBI supports charities, the local community and its individual members through friendship and brotherhood. As part of the Round Table Family, RTBI is an inclusive organisation open to all individuals no matter their age or gender identification. To find out more visit our FAQs page or Contact Us.



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