In May 2015 in a lovely sunny corner of a pub in Barnes, 3 friends sat down to complain about the lack of stimulation in their lives. It may have started with a specific issue, such as ‘How can I take better photos on my iPhone?’ or a ‘I used to love to draw. How can I get back into that now that the kids are older?’ question, but it ended in an entirely new initiative: Barnes Class.
It occurred to us that we are living in beautiful village that just so happens to be bursting at the seams with creative, artistic, knowledgeable experts who would most likely be happy to share their gifts with others, if only we could provide the right channel. And, as we sat in the lovely sunny pub, we thought of all the beautiful spaces we have to hand here in our village. We thought, why can’t we showcase our local experts and our local spaces to help people learn new skills in a fun and casual environment? And so, Barnes Class was born.
From the beginning, we have been utterly delighted by the tremendous responses we have received to our classes. News of our initiative spread like wildfire amongst the creative community, with many teachers contacting us to ask if they could host a class. Friends pair up to take a course together to make it more fun. Local venues, such as The Bull’s Head and Extreme World Class Kitchens, queue up to host our events, establishing a strong local retail partnership with us. One of our most pleasant surprises has been the interest of the older residents of Barnes, the mature community, who are engaged, excited and enthusiastic about learning new skills. We strive to ensure that our courses will appeal to everyone. Our series of short courses and masterclasses include such diverse topics as cookery, mindfulness, drawing (for both beginners and intermediate), singing and even tarot card reading!
In the past year, we have established a thriving Facebook presence, built and launched a beautiful new website and distributed flyers to residents and businesses alike. Understanding that part of our commitment to our SW13 community involves support, we actively share and promote local Barnes initiatives and activities, such as the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival and the Barnes Town Team. In keeping with this, we are happy to announce that Barnes Class will be a proud sponsor of the Barnes Food Festival 2016!
We continue to plan new and exciting courses for the enjoyment of all the residents of Barnes. If you’d like to know what we have coming up, we invite you to like our Facebook page and join our mailing list. We look forward to welcoming you to a Barnes Class soon!
Christie Fidura, Trudy Forrester and Bex Macfadyen