The Warm and Toasty Club is a unique life-affirming intergenerational community organisation working in music, arts and history.
We are based in Colchester,Essex
Our focus is in championing real people and real stories through creative interventions that provide positive outcomes for our participants-shining a spotlight on people who haven't been in the spotlight before.
We work with older people aged 60+ (often in their 80's and 90's) living in retirement homes .We hold regular memory afternoons which are engaging and entertaining people centred oral history sessions-we chat,we laugh,we drink tea and eat biscuits and have a real great time revelling in the stories from everyone's past(including our own).
This is positive face to face engagement that is not only enjoyable but which captures people centred positive stories of days gone by for future generations to listen to via our partnerships with Colchester Recalled and Essex Sound and Video Archive.
We also work with the finest emerging contemporary music artists by supporting them in developing their creative music making careers and work and showcase them at our live variety shows.
We hold Live Variety showcases at Colchester Arts Centre and/or local retirement establishments with delightful mixed media content-
Live music-participant based documentary
and of course free toast and biscuits.
Supported by Arts Council England, The Big Lottery Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund, Essex County Council, Colchester Borough Council and Grassroots charity we have recently completed our project Coast to Coast on the coast of Essex-
Have a look at what we have been up to HERE
To give you an idea of our variety shows I encourage you to read the reviews via the links below from the Colchester Chronicle
Walton on The Naze 1
Walton On the Naze 2
May show (reviewed by Adam Roxby)
February 2015 Show
May 2015 Show
August 2015 Show
We also undertake social engagement projects unrelated to the arts in retirement accommodation in our community.
We welcome you to The Warm & Toasty Club!
The Warm and Toasty Club are proud to be funded by
Arts Council England artscouncil.org.uk/
The Big Lottery Fund biglotteryfund.org.uk/
The Heritage Lottery Fund hlf.org.uk/
Essex County Council essex.gov.uk/
Colchester Borough Council colchester.gov.uk/residents
Our partners are
Colchester Arts Centre,
Colchester Recalled Oral History Group
Fresh On The Net music blog,
Essex Sound and Video Archive
"I sat outside during the break on the 2nd visit and said to my friend, listen to that-everyone was laughing and to hear everyone chatting and laughing was so good" Participant
"You delivered happiness Johnno"
“When one gets old one get used to the fact that you become almost invisible and for people just to notice you and listen to you without their eyes glazing over is unusual and to have someone like you come in and not only want to listen but cherish what we are saying is special to us”
"I've had 2 strokes and a brain haemorrhage and the warm and toasty club has given me my sparkle again,I've got naughty again.I now remember so much thanks to you".
“I love it,it has brought back a lot of happy memories that I’d forgotten”
“I so look forward to you coming along,the warm and toasty club is a real tonic”
"I think it’s fantastic and has helped me no end. The work you do has improved my memory and confidence, you’ve revived me a lot, I would like to go to more”
"This project has revived me a lot & improved my memory & no medicine did that after my brain surgery"
“Such an empathic, sympathetic and understanding facilitator. You make us feel welcome and worthwhile and cherish our memories, letting people talk and ensuring everyone is heard in such a respectful way-an excellent facilitator”
"Thank you so much for these wonderful clips of my mum!! What a fantastic memory for us all to keep , we are very grateful for everything you have done to keep these memories alive.The work you do with the elderly is truly remarkable, and I know my mum thoroughly enjoyed her time with you and for making her feel so special at the afternoon showing.
I do hope she continues to go along to the Warm & Toasty club, you bring joy to so many!!"
“Brilliant initiative. Inclusive fun. Not much else spans the generations so well. Long may it reign”
"I love love love the warm and toasty club and after joining the gang in May I was delighted to bring along several more friends along yesterday who have also become devotees.. A delightfully random mix of acts, a fantastic way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Look forward to seeing you next year. Good luck with your tour of the local retirement homes. God bless xx”
“Thank you for giving mine and my sister a great time after a bad year and loss of our sister. Loved it. I love the fact she loved it as I am deep in my music and is something I can now enjoy with my mum”
“Lovely review summing up the W and T club I have grown to love after my very first attendance x”
“Another fantastic show this afternoon with some great artists and a beautiful documentary of Doris. Thank you Johnno
and all the W and T team .... The show will be missed at the Arts Centre. Great to hear it will be out there in the community in the meantime and also back at the Arts centre next year ”.
“Already,given my five star review highly recommended x”
“Praise well deserved , you have created something very special with W and T club x”
“We are counting down the days to the next club x”
“We love biscuit of the month.We love Warm and Toasty Club - Full Stop” .
“The Warm and Toasty club is a joy to behold. I remember my darling Nana making me chunky toasted white 'Vienna' loaf bread - with doorsteps of melting butter. It was our secret.
“Really special afternoon - felt more a part of Colchester community than I've ever felt in 11 years since moving here! Definitely will be at the next one in August.”
“Brilliant concept .... Embodies the spirit of love , fun and families that transcends generations .. Thank you so much for a brilliant , funny warm .... And toasty afternoon well done to everyone involved .. Showcase artistes were fab ,highly recommended”
“I love W and T. For the voice it gives to our elders to share their lives and their memories. In doing so and showcasing the social histories at the live show alongside some excellent artists, history, tea, toast, biscuits ... well what happens next is that their memories become part of our memories. Oh, and the putting together of the memories to lyrics and song .... well that had me crying ...... the tracks are so moving and like the memories shared listening to them leaves you happy and sad in a rich tapestry of life kind of way. X keep up the good work W and T we ❤ you x”
“Loved Sunday!!! Thank you so much! Can't wait for the next episode xx”
“Lovely. Had a wonderful afternoon. Congratulations to all involved x”
“That was another fun show. Thanks all”
“Was just about to post ... What a fantastic afternoon thank you Johnno and the artistes and crew ..... Definitely left me feeling warm and toasty xx. What a. Brilliant project embodies all my values ... See you in August x
….Ps Jan the nan can't stop talking about it .... She said " what a brilliant afternoon" x”