Over the past couple of months, volunteers from some of Frome’s community groups and charities have been creating, stitching, affixing and bedazzling a series of flags inspired by the work they do.
These colourful creations are now hung in the centre of town for all to admire.
The Community Flag Project which was run by local artists Mel and Aliss (of Light the Night fame), was created as part of the Coronation celebrations. Mel said: “The King is hosting The Big Help Out on Monday 8th May and is encouraging people to try volunteering for themselves. As Frome has a whole host of charities and volunteer groups, we wanted to showcase the great work that they do and hopefully inspire other residents to get involved.”
Aliss added: “We’ve had a wonderful time with all the groups, helping them to create something that truly reflects the important work that they do in our community. From starting their designs at the workshops to seeing their final creations, we’ve loved seeing all the flags develop.”
Mayor of Frome, Sara Butler continues: “Wow. Just wow. I am totally blown away by the creativity and the detailing on all of these beautiful flags representing some of Frome’s community groups and charities. It’s a wonderful addition to our town centre and makes a fabulous, Frome specific alternative to bunting for the Coronation. A big well done to all of those involved. We can see that Frome has many volunteers, and lending a hand or sparing an hour each week can really make a change – if we all do a bit, it can really help a lot. ”
Mel added: “A big thanks also go to the Frome Festival for lending the project their flag poles, the Town Rangers for getting the flags up, those who donated materials and a bunch of crafty volunteers who helped finish some of the flags off.”
You can read the inspiration behind the designs and about the groups too below, and maybe reach out to them if you think you can lend them a hand.
Also, if you’re looking for further volunteer opportunities, head over to the Big Help Out website or SPARK Somerset to see how you can help locally.
Find out more about the charities and community groups behind the flags
Frome LGBTQ+ Social Group
Frome’s LGBTQ+ Social Group are a diverse community of ages, personalities, gender identities and sexualities that meet monthly to socialise, support and celebrate together. Currently, between 30-40 people meet on the fourth Friday of the month on the first floor of Flow Bar (on the bridge). They also have a monthly social walk that ends with tea and cake, and all humans and dogs are welcome. Since the pandemic, they have seen many isolated people from across the town come together as our community has grown. They are a friendly and welcoming group and support new members to join.
The flag they have made is inspired by the World Pride Flag design that represents the whole LGBTQ+ community. This flag was handmade by our community members and is a historical piece, as it is the very first Frome LGBTQ+ Community Flag that has ever been flown publicly in Frome. This flag not only marks the beginning of a whole new era of community and support, but also launches our countdown to the very first Frome Pride Season this year in June!
You can follow the details of all the events in their Facebook page and Instagram, and also on their website.
Frome is the temporary residence of many Ukrainian refugees, but their hearts and thoughts go out to their homeland Ukraine, the country with amazing cultural heritage and great people and this is reflected in their flag.
Frome Town Council hosts the Refugee Support Hub, held at the Town Hall every Tuesday from 10am – 3pm: Frome Refugee Support Hub – Frome Town Council
Frome Heritage Museum
Frome Heritage Museum houses a collection of local history and has a particularly important collection of artefacts from the bronze foundry of J.W.Singer. Their flag is inspired by their iconic building in the heart of Frome. Run by volunteers, the museum is open Tuesdays to Saturdays 10am to 2pm and also the Frome Independent Market Sundays. More information can be found on the Frome Heritage Museum website.
OpenStoryTellers supports people with learning disabilities to find their voice and use it – stories are what make us human and help us to make sense of the world and make friends. On their flag, each member took a shield and made their own design and were very keen to make them tactile so accessible to anyone with limited vision – although they’d have to be tall to touch it once it is up!
Some members said: “Our flag tells a story, and the story is us and will make you want to come and join us. The design is based on our logo where every shield represents a knight, and every knight is one of us storytellers. There is a space at the table for anyone new and everyone is friendly and welcoming. One of the designs is of hands, and they are showing the sign language for sharing and that hands are important because they help people communicate. We all enjoyed making it and are really excited about coming to find it in Frome!”
The Good Heart
In Palmer Street you will find the Good Heart Café; it’s a not-for-profit, pay-it-forward café.
Anyone is welcome to the warm and cosy space with free hot drinks plus affordable food created by Tibetan Memories.
The Café is run by a group of local people who want to explore and encourage kindness if Frome, the space acts as a community centre hosting group meetings and various events with an accent on kindness to all.
Their flag was inspired by the granddaughter of a member, who created the radiant heart.
Wessex Counselling & Psychotherapy
A Frome based charity offering professional, accredited, affordable, counselling and psychotherapy and training courses.
This year they celebrate their 40th anniversary, hence the ‘ruby red’ numbers. They offer a safe space to talk and process thoughts, looking into the unconscious and subconscious that can affect our behaviours. This is what the speech and thought bubbles represent on their flag. You can find more information on their website.
Frome Refresh is a small, grass roots charity that collects and distributes basic toiletries to 120 youngsters in 8 local schools. The schools all have their own ways of getting the items sensitively to the students themselves or their families in the case of younger children. They are supported by Rotary of Frome, Frome Lions and Frome Inner Wheel who all give regular, considerable financial backing to enable items to be purchased. Frome Refresh has a donation point in Superdrug and kind supporters give us new, unused products that we can pass on.
The design of the flag is on a pale, fresh background and depicts bubbles – shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste all make bubbles! And who doesn’t LOVE bubbles?
Christ Church and St Mary’s Church
Both churches are welcoming to the wider community; St Mary’s has 2 open space sessions and Christ Church opened up for tea and coffee once a week before Christmas and will be starting up again soon. Christ Church is also used for a variety of concerts, is open to the public and is busy during Festival Week. Both churches are ably assisted by willing volunteers.
The inspiration behind their design was to increase awareness of the two beautiful parish churches within the town by using a stained-glass window background to the design. They hope their completed flag emphasises the spiritual presence in the local community.
SWISH (Somerset and Wiltshire Independent Stitch Hub), is a new stitch group, formerly known as Frome and District Embroiderers’ Guild. They work using a variety of techniques, ranging from traditional to modern hand stitching, free machine embroidery, felting and so much more and you can see these techniques on the flag.
The group meet monthly on the second Saturday of every month at Christ Church Hall from 10 -1pm.
Frome Town Rotary
Frome Town Rotary was set up as a social group with fun events for fundraising and all profits go back to the local community. The flag was designed and made by Linda Bridges, the current Joint President of Frome Town Rotary.
The flag has two sides, one to show the many hands of friendships formed and the other more traditional side showing Rotary makes a big difference to many people’s lives.
Anyone can get in contact with the group at email@example.com
Frome Lions Club
Along with the Rotary Club, the Lions wake up their volunteer elves to assist them with the Christmas float. They also host an annual Golf Day, monthly Winter Quiz Nights, Ride Kidz Ride, Sporting Dinner, Haybale and other fundraising events throughout the year to help local people in need and also Lions Club International Foundation which helps people worldwide.
Their flag depicts their club badge. Find out more about Frome Lions.
Dorothy House is here to make sure that anyone in our community who is facing a life-limiting illness can live well and die well. Dorothy House relies on volunteers to work in the shops to raise essential funds by selling items that have been kindly donated. There are three Dorothy House shops in Frome – clothes, books and bric a brac, and furniture.
The inspiration behind their flag design is the tulip used by Dorothy House as a logo and the aim of providing hospice care at home.
The Frome Shed
The Frome Shed meet, make and mend things together, they work on their own projects and use their skills for the benefit of the community.
They used St. Aldhelm to promote their connection to Frome and the items they chose for their banner reinforce their values of meeting, making and mending.
Millennium Group supported by discovery.
The group volunteer with Frome Town Rangers. Their flag shows volunteer rangers doing some of the jobs they do, as well as making wildlife habitats around Frome. It also shows a rain cloud as well as sunshine as they are happy working in all weathers.
Visit the discovery community outreach page to find out more.
Broadway Community Gardens
Their mission is to preserve and enhance biodiversity and create a green space for the community of Frome to grow, learn and enjoy.
The gardens are known to have had badgers either living at or visiting the site and a badger is used as a symbol for the organisation. They wanted to show the badger in a green (and simplified!) environment and added some flowers to represent cultivation; while the group wish to encourage and enhance biodiversity they also wish to cultivate and grow.
Visit the Broadway Community Gardens website to find out more.
To the organisers, the Frome Carnival is all about bringing family and friends together, in a celebration of everything that is great about our wonderful town. Plus, they aim to raise lots of money for local groups and charities at the same time.
They used bright cheerful colours and crowns to represent both the King’s coronation and their very own Carnival Royalty. They are a very small committee and rely on fundraising events, sponsorship from local businesses and volunteers. They always welcome new members to Carnival HQ and meet the 3rd Monday of every month, at the Frome Football Clubhouse.
You can visit their website www.fromecarnival.org.uk, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or message them via their Frome Carnival Facebook page. Come and join the Carnival Family.
Unique ASD/Adhd additional needs support group
Set up in the summer of 2022 for local families in and around Frome. They meet weekly for a lovely coffee morning for all ages. It’s all about offering support for anyone on the spectrum or going through the diagnostic process.
The inspiration around doing the flag is to get awareness that support is available. They can be contacted via Facebook.
The Zone (Young Carers) children really enjoyed designing and creating their flag, the design incorporates all the children in the group and their individual personalities, with a coronation spin of them all wearing their crowns!
The Pod Plus Group
Pod Plus group is a social group for adults with additional needs. Their flag came from a very clear idea that our club represented friendship to its members and a circle because everyone is equal in the Pod plus space.
They are holding hands to represent that friendship and the support we give each other.
The Frome Area Community Land Trust is dedicated to creating Fair Housing for Frome. They aim to do this both by building new homes and by improving existing housing and its affordability. They work in partnership with the community to support local people in need of suitable homes. They want to make Frome a better place for everyone to live in.
On one side of the flag is the FACLT logo. The other side references the idea of the FACLT tree, with community and local organisations at the root, feeding into the FACLT trunk and branches to create Fair Housing at a time of crisis in social housing.
It also references the importance of the natural world in any consideration of new building developments – FACLT believes it is necessary to seek and find a fair balance between providing homes for those in need and preserving our environment.
Postlebury Bell ringers
This is a small local group who ring for church services around Frome – Marston Bigot, Wanstrow and Nunney (after a huge fund-raising effort the Nunney bells are being augmented and tuned and we are hoping they will be back in the tower in July).
Church bells have rung out across this area for centuries and we are proud to continue the tradition of change ringing for services and special occasions.
Frome Neighbourhood Network
The Frome Neighbourhood Network is a citizen-led organisation that exists to help build connected, caring and resilient communities in Frome at the street and neighbourhood level. Neighbourhood ‘networkers’, representing their local group, share ideas, news, inspiration, and mutual support. The Network is always encouraging new people to get involved, enabling information and resources to be shared as widely as possible.
As the group is about encouraging and supporting connections between people this is represented by the circle of people holding hands. Those people are all different, and that difference is represented by different, brightly coloured fabric. Within the circle are the buildings, and green spaces, that are also an important part of a connected and resilient town.
Let’s Talk is a Frome community group that shares tips and tools for how to tackle tricky conversations. Its aim is to help Frome and its residents build healthier relationships, and become more empathetic and connected to others, by promoting more open, honest and meaningful communication.
The groups work is all about communication and so they chose lots of differently sized speech marks to represent their aim of promoting healthy and courageous conversations in Frome. Bright colours represent their vibrant group members and their hope that with these tools, we can all find positive ways through tricky conversations and difficult relationships.
Active and in Touch
Their volunteers visit, help and befriend people who have become isolated or out of touch with the community around them.
We can offer ongoing befriending support to anyone who feels isolated or lonely in Frome and the surrounding villages. In addition, they also run a volunteer community driving service to help individuals take safe essential journeys (i.e. to their GPs or to a Vaccination centre) Their volunteers were awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2021 with particularly merit for our work during the pandemic. You can find out more here.
Friends of Easthill Field
Their group is dedicated to preserve and fight for the continued existence of the wonderful, diverse, species-rich habitat that is known as Easthill Field. The field supports a myriad of wildlife in uniquely evolved habitats, some creatures, such as Dormice are endangered and vulnerable, and they want to protect it all from development.
On one side of their flag they used the gloriously colourful Easthill embroidery Corinna Sargood made during the first lockdown – they printed it onto heavy cotton, adapted and embellished the image with appliqué creatures to fill the skies with pollinators and finished off with their motto below, which says ‘EASTHILL FOR NATURE’.
On side 2 is their impressive Friends of Easthill Field logo, designed by Steven Jenkins which is printed on cotton and embellished with appliqué leaves.
We Hear You provide free emotional support for patients, families, friends and carers who have been affected or bereaved by cancer or any other life-threatening condition, across Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset and Wiltshire. Donating your time and skills to WHY is of huge benefit to us, and to you too: make new friends, be part of something important and learn some new skills, for as little or as much time as you’d like to offer. Visit their website or Contact their Volunteer Coordinator Lottie to find out more.
Tech Shed Frome brings together people with an interest in technology to make useful things for the community of Frome. You can find their website here.
Sustainable Frome is a group of people living in and around this Somerset town who want to build a greener future, and one in which Frome is better placed to meet the challenges of climate change. Take a look at their website here.
Frome Arts Society
Frome Art Society was founded in 1979 by Charles and Vera Appleyard and Charles Hopkins to encourage local people to become involved in painting and drawing. They remain a welcoming and inclusive group, with members of all abilities, both amateur and professional.
They host workshops along with talks and demos and all are welcome. You can find their website here.
Mendip Community Credit Union
MCCU provides simple savings and affordable loans to people who live and/or work in Mendip. They are run entirely by volunteers who take a real pride in going the extra mile to provide a fantastic service – while much of their activity is carried out online, they also provide the option of meeting up face to face.
The Wild Bunch is open to anyone who is interested in gardening for wildlife in our private gardens and shared local green spaces.
Championing the idea of our gardens and green spaces being inter-connected parts of a much larger wild space that is owned by our wild neighbours, the group shares ideas, hosts monthly gatherings and holds public events that promote wildlife-friendly approaches in our neighbourhoods.
Fair Frome champions greater financial, educational, social and health equality for people living in Frome and the surrounding areas.
They work alongside communities, families, individuals, volunteers, partner agencies and other stakeholders to create joined up, sustainable services, support innovation, raise awareness of the issues of poverty and increase participation across Frome.
Light the night
Frome Light the Night is led by artists Mel Day and Aliss Vaas who have decades of experience in Community Arts Projects.
They’ve been running the Frome Lantern Parade since 2017 and help individuals, schools and community groups to participate in making incredible lantern parades, through accessible, friendly and fun workshops.
Keyford Area Neighbourhood Group
This local group really fosters a sense of neighbourhood; they identify and work through local concerns and have several meetings and fun events for all in the area to enjoy.
Their flag was created by their members and has exquisite detailing their neighbourhood. They have a Facebook group.
Packsaddle Community Group
The group aims to improve the facilities in their two open spaces for the benefit of the whole of the local community. They also aim to enhance life there for young and old alike, to build community and to encourage wildlife in their green spaces.
Their flag depicts the green Packsaddle fields, their new community orchards, a dog and some of their neighbours supporting each other.
There are plenty of volunteering opportunities including weeding and mulching in their green spaces and helping at regular community events. Find out more about the group on their Facebook page.