RMA is one year old

Rye Mutual Aid central team, zooming in on what matters.

RMA (Rye Mutual Aid) was first created on March 15 last year ahead of the first lockdown. We did not envisage back then that we would be in lockdown a year on, and still working to support our community.

We wanted to take this occasion to say a very big thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who have helped during this period and to share a brief summary of what we have done together over the last year:

  • WHO? RMA has over 500 volunteers, of whom over 50 work as dispatchers who receive calls from residents and coordinate the support given by volunteers. Together our volunteers have completed over 2,000 requests of help for local residents.
  • WHERE? We are organised in 21 zones, 10 zones in Rye and 11 zones covering local villages (Playden, Rye Foreign, Peasmarsh, Beckley, Brede, Westfield, Udimore, Camber, East Guldeford, Rye Harbour, Winchelsea, Winchelsea Beach, Pett, Pett Level and Icklesham). The area we serve represents 25 to 30% of Rother, about 20,000 residents
  • WHAT? The main remit of RMA is to help local residents with services such as food shopping, collecting prescriptions, offering friendly calls and helping in other ways too, such as walking dogs for people who are shielding etc. 40+ of our volunteers are part of our listening support group offering friendly calls to people who feel isolated. RMA plays a role in sharing information about how to stay safe in the midst of the pandemic, through our letters to residents, our website, and on our social media too. We also try to help the communication between our local community and RVA and authorities.
  • WHAT ELSE? We have also taken part in and sometimes led a number of side projects:
    • our amazing sewing club volunteers made and distributed over 1800 face coverings locally and sent 275 to Kenya too.
    • we collected hundreds of toys for local families at Christmas,
    • we collected and distributed over 65 computers to local schools to help children access home schooling,
    • we organised a series of four live cookery lessons on cooking on a budget
    • we fundraised in excess of £15,000 to support RMA’s work and other local projects. We donated £5,000 to Rye food bank,

We would like to thank you.

All the wonderful work that was done would not have been possible without our volunteers and without the support from our local community. There are so many people we would like to thank:

  1. People who donated laptops,
  2. Companies that donated PCs or iPads i.e, Link Health Group and Entertainment Workshops,
  3. People who donated to the fundraiser, with a special mention to Ethel Loves Me for their incredible £1,000 donation, and organisations that awarded us grants in support of our work,
  4. Rye News, Rye Fixtures and other local press and media, parish newsletters, for sharing our news,
  5. Local shops and businesses, in particular a big thank you to Ian at Adams for his help with printing,
  6. Partner organisations and authorities e.g., local schools, RVA, Rother, ESCC, Parish councillors, Rye Town Council, etc. for their support,
  7. Local residents, for their kind words and positive attitude throughout.

And of course, a very heartfelt thank you to everyone at Rye Mutual Aid:

  1. The people who help coordinate the work of RMA,
  2. Our fabulous group of dispatchers, in direct contact with residents and managing the support of volunteers in their zone
  3. And last but not least, our amazing volunteers, who stepped up to join RMA when we knew very little about this terrible virus, and selflessly donated their time to help our community.

On behalf of all of us at Rye Mutual Aid, a very big thank you!


Image Credits: Anthony Kimber .


  1. Thank you so much RMA for the invaluable help you have provided to us. We appreciate your support so much it’s difficult to say. Without you it just wouldn’t be the same! You help us practically, with your generous donations of goods and money, and you help us with your cheerful “can do” attitude and positivity which has been so important during these difficult times. We know you are always there to help whenever needed. This is a massive support when the going has been tough!

    We’ve got abundant supplies of gloves and face masks thanks to RMA! Not only that but we had fantastically well stocked stores at Christmas, which helped us send all our clients and their families away smiling.

    You’ve been, and continue to be, absolutely brilliant. You are all an absolute pleasure to work with.

    Big Big Thank You 🙂 and socially distanced hugs!

    Love from Chris Emson, Bob Harper and all the volunteers at Rye Food Bank.

    • Thank you very much for your lovely words, which touched us deeply.
      We feel fortunate to have been able to work with you and all at Rye Food Bank, and enjoyed being able to offer some support.
      The work you do is so vital for our community and the way you managed the increased demand was remarkable.
      We look forward to continuing to work with you!

      More socially distanced hugs!

      Love from us all at RMA xx

  2. We, at Rye College, are extremely grateful for the work RMA are doing. There are a number of our students who have access to laptops thanks to the kind and generous donations of the group. Access to technology has been crucially important as most children have been forced to study from home during the lockdown. Without RMA’s kind donations, their continued learning may have been made even more difficult. Access to technology will remain a crucial aspect of education beyond the pandemic. Significantly, owing to the donations from RMA, we are able to continue to loan laptops to families beyond lockdown to allow children to use them throughout their time at Rye College.

  3. On behalf on the children of Rye and surrounding areas who have benefitted from the laptops and computers RMA kindly donated, I would like to say thank you and happy birthday. Best of luck with future projects, making a real impact on the lives of people during these challenging times. Again, a great example of the community spirit that marks our community out.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here