When people ask what we do, I tell them that we run a hybrid co-working and fitness studio. That is also a bar…that offers drop-in breast-feeding clinics (not when the bar is open), with the occasional pub quiz, a range of workshops and networking events, a rotating art gallery and a party venue.
Aside from realising that I really need to work on my elevator pitch, I’ve increasingly come to understand that what I’m describing is a modern-day community hub. We are a meeting point for a range of tribes that come together around their shared interests.
Witnessing the interaction within, and between, these groups is one of the highlights of running Well & Good. Many of our members and patrons have got to know each other by attending classes or working side-by-side. This has led to new friendships, burgeoning business ventures being planned and many glasses of wine being drunk in our humble space on Godalming High Street.
From the outset it was important to us that we established ourselves within the community. We immediately set about forging partnerships with other local small businesses, with the belief that the High Street still has a lot to offer. However, the real sense of community only comes when you add people, and then it becomes something so much more.
Much has been written in the last two years about the merits of working from home vs working in the office. Less however, has been written about the value of having access to shared spaces. Just because people don’t want to face a potentially unnecessary or pricey commute, that doesn’t mean to say that they want to be confined to their homes for the entirety of the working day.
Many of our members comment on how much they appreciate even the low level of social interaction that co-working provides. Class attendees send me notes about how much they value their teachers, and the camaraderie that comes with being part of group exercise.
It’s long been known that people who are more socially connected to family, friends, or their community are happier, physically healthier and live longer, with fewer mental health problems than people who are less well connected.
When we set up Well & Good in our premises last year, we hoped that we could play a small role in bringing people together. It has been a pleasure to see that come to fruition. Now that we know what it is to truly be isolated from one another I hope that we continue to find new and exciting ways to create safe shared spaces for communities to thrive.
Please visit www.bewellgood.co.uk for more information.