An abundance of caring

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On Friday, October 21 the community centre was buzzing with people chatting to the different groups and companies who had tables at the seniors fair, organised by Sally-Ann Hart MP and her team. In 2018 a similar fair organised by Amber Rudd, the MP at the time, was so successful that Sally-Ann felt it was the right time to organise a follow up.  It allowed older people, as well as others within the community, the opportunity to engage with the services and assistance available to them locally.

I was taken by surprise as to what was on offer in Rye for those who are looking for help and advice, and groups offering something to do and activities to engage with. These activities are so important for stable mental health, keeping the brain active and encouraging people to socialise.

Tom Guyton-Day, constituency caseworker from Sally-Ann Hart’s office, told me that Sally-Ann’s idea of bringing the community together with a seniors fair was something she has hoped to do since being elected and the on-going cost-of-living pressures was an important impetus to make it happen this year.

He stated, “The aim of the fair was to provide the community with as much information as possible on where to find help and to see what assistance different local organisations can offer. We initially started planning the fair at the beginning of the year and had a great deal of interest from the partners we work with in the community – such as Citizens Advice 1066, Sussex Police and NHS Sussex – who kindly came and spoke with members of the public. We were very pleased to see that people living in Rye and the surrounding areas were able to come and speak to the organisations who could best help and signpost them to the right services.”

Anthony Kimber and some of his volunteers representing Rye Royal British Legion, Friends of St Mary’s, local resilience team REACT, Rye Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, Rye Covid Vaccination Centre and the Rye Hub of the Homes for Ukraine scheme took part. These organisations were delighted to be included to be able to explain to visitors the range of services and interests, provided by numerous volunteers, who give time and effort for the community.

The team from Rother Voluntary Action (RVA) was busy throughout the event, talking with visitors and organisations about volunteering, healthy ageing and community development. In particular the team was sharing information about the ongoing Europe-wide HAIRE project (Healthy Ageing Through Innovation in Rural Europe). RVA, East Sussex County Council and Rother District Council worked with a team of volunteers to conduct 180 interviews with residents of Robertsbridge and Rye to explore what they need from their community to support active, healthy and happy lives as they grow older. For more information about the HAIRE project and Age Friendly Rother, contact Naomi Robinson naomi.robinson@rva.uk.com.

Image Credits: Kt bruce .

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