Voluntary agencies networking

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On Tuesday July 5, I attended an RVA (Rother Voluntary Action) network meeting which takes place quarterly, on the first Tuesday of January, April, July and October between 1pm and 3pm. It was a very interesting meeting and I would think that for agencies who are trying to help the elderly, the disabled and individuals with dementia, as well as teaching skill development and helping with employment opportunities, this is the place not only to share experiences but also find out if they can help each other.

Sam Stone from RVA, who is a wonderful resource in the community, organises these meetings and sends out more than 100 invitations to agencies in Rother. She told us that each meeting is attended by different agencies/individuals, though some agencies are constant. The idea of this networking get together is to try and find ways for more collaborative working in the communities.

As the RVA leaflet puts it:”To enable sharing of information and concerns and see ‘not just me’, share positive feedback and appreciate how important volunteers are, share stories about how RVA and other organisations can support groups to help each other.”

Sam had invited Sally-Ann Hart, a Rother District Councillor, who offered her help where possible to the various groups.

Just some of the groups which attended: Careline – Care for the Carers, www.cftc.org.uk ,

Rye & District Dementia Action Alliance – chair: Daliea Redman – rddaa@outlook.com. Apparently there are currently 820,000 people in the UK living with Dementia.

Committee members from Peasmarsh Memorial Hall attended, promoting the various activities they offer.http://www.peasmarshmh.btck.co.uk

Kevin from Little Gate Farm in Beckley explained how they help young and older people who are disabled and have mental health problems. It is a working farm and a skill-developing centre which, once someone is ready to move on, tries to find them employment opportunities.   contact@littlegatecarefarm.co.uk

I was there as a member of Energise Sussex Coast (ESC) whose job it is, in conjunction with Amicus Horizon, and separately, to fight fuel poverty, which is prevalent in Rother. The EU recently contributed a considerable amount to Amicus to help with this. As it has proved quite difficult to reach the people that need help in this area, we are hoping to set up a Referral Network. Agencies which work in and with the community can more easily ascertain who is in need and happy to ask for help. If interested in more information please go to:  richard@energisesussex.com

Each RVA meeting has a Spotlight, and this afternoon it was a young woman from Homewood School, Hannah Lane. She is embarking on a World Challenge “Education through Exploration” with a group of pupils and teachers. Each of them have to raise £3800 for board and lodging and a community project where they are staying. They will be tracking the rainforest, helping with a six day project and spending the last week in Malaysia. Hannah has to raise the money through activities which she has to arrange. The next interesting one is Friday July 8, a pamper evening between 7pm and 11pm at Peasmarsh Memorial Hall. £2 entry fee. Do support her if you can, it sounds like a fun evening or go to:http/www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/hannahlane

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