£2161 of community engagement grants released

Keen to get the communities of Rotherham engaging with one another, Rotherham Federation offered grants to Community Groups/Tenants and Residents Associations, up to £200 for a project in their local area.

After a fantastic response we are delighted to announce that £2161.97 was issued to 11 TARAS/Community Groups around Rotherham, all of which will be used to bring their local community together.

Community Groups/TARAs who applied and were successful are:

  • Aston Carnival £200
  • Canklow Rainbow Kids Club £200
  • Hellaby Community Project £200
  • High Nook TARA £200
  • Friends of the Rotherham African Drummers £200
  • Bakersfield Court TARA £200
  • The Lings Monday Club £200
  • Friends of Turner Close £175
  • Greenside Residents Association £200
  • Oaktrees TARA £200
  • Rotherham Pride £186.97

Rotherham Federation’s Company Secretary  Mr Terry Adair said “Without these grants the smaller groups wouldn’t be able to flourish or deliver their projects, this is so important to them by creating & building community spirit.  Giving them their own autonomy & recognition to achieve their target”

AGM Report

Rotherham Federation Annual General Meeting was attended by 95 people on the afternoon of Tuesday 27th March 2018 at Rotherham Trades Club.
The meeting was opened by Jane Davies, Strategic Housing and Development Manager at RMBC. Both Jane and Lilian Shears the chair of the meeting thanked Pat Cahill for all his work leading the work of the Federation during the last few years. As Chair, Pat has implemented major improvements to the charity ensuring it has become more professional in the way its charitable services have been delivered.

The Annual Accounts were presented by the Treasurer Val Baldwin and unanimously approved by members. Members also unanimously agreed the election of Antony Ball as the Examiner of Accounts for the next year. Terry Adair (Rother Valley West), David Ramsden (Wentworth Valley) and Mary Jacques were re-appointed to the Board and Pete Deveaux was also appointed as a new co-opted member.

The afternoon included a number of workshops on the theme of ‘strengthening communities’. Workshop 1 used photos to look at ways we can listen to our communities, the second workshop used forum theatre to explore the power of door knocking, the third workshop discussed ways the Federation can support groups and the final Workshop, Creative Communities, demonstrated the difference community arts can make.

The Easter raffle was won by Tony Simmonds the £100 proceeds from which will go to the Mayor’s Charities.

Steve Ruffle Chief Executive said “Rotherham Federation liked to thank everyone for their support during the past year, board, staff, funders but most of all our members and volunteers who are out there doing what they can within our local communities “

10th Round of Thurcroft Small Grants Allocated

12 small grants totalling £1420 were approved by the Thurcroft Big Local grants panel on Monday 5th March 2018. Amongst those grants distributed, Thurcroft Welfare Brass Band received £200 for assistance with cost of repair of some of their instruments, Hotshots Junior Theatre £200 for costumes, props and hall rental, Thurcroft Miners Welfare £200 for equipment to help maintain their grounds and Thurcroft Youth Club £180 for some room dividers.

This is the tenth set of grants allocated by the Thurcroft Big Local Partnership. All the projects support one of the three themes in the Thurcroft Big Local Plan- community pride, regeneration or children and young people. Tony Simmonds, local resident and a member of the grants panel said “though consisting of small amounts of money, these small grants help community groups and volunteers make a big difference to Thurcroft life”. 95 small  grants have now been distributed in the village.

These grants have been made possible through a Big Lottery Fund investment and managed by Local Trust supported by charitable company  Rotherham Federation of Communities Ltd (RotherFed). More information available from Steve Ruffle on 01709 368515 or email grants@thurcroftbiglocal.org.uk.

Name of group applying What is it for?


How much allocated?
Thurcroft Infants School Books and take home bags £50
Thurcroft Bowling Club Summer/Spring and Autumn/winter fertiliser £100
Aughton Early Years Centre Disco during the Easter holidays. ‘Disco George’, Hire of venue, refreshments/prices £100
Thurcroft Welfare Brass Band Assistance with cost of repair for some of their instruments £200
The Willows School Equipment for clean up £100
Thurcroft Youth Club 2 room dividers to corner off an area were discussions can be held and young people can sit together and chat £180
Thurcroft Friday Circle To pay for speakers on various subjects to come to monthly meetings £100
Thurcroft Miners Welfare Recreational Ground Maintaining ground for sporting events. £200
The Friday Club Art materials for various activities for family craft sessions £100
Hotshots Junior Theatre Costumes, props and hall rental £200



Future of Social Housing – Meeting Report

The Future of Social Housing was the theme of a major Rotherham Federation meeting on Friday 26th January 2018, attended by over 100 people. As well as speakers, there were workshops on a number of themes including building more social housing, who is social housing for, the perception of social housing tenants and the role of tenants’ voices.

Meeting Report

As well as tenants from Rotherham there were tenants from Lincoln, Doncaster and Leeds in attendance. One of the organisers Steve Ruffle CEO of Rotherham Federation said “having a safe and secure home is important to all of us. This meeting was an important one for everyone as the future of social housing is a key issue for our time.”

Federation Becomes Social Action Hub

Rotherham Federation is now one of 20 Social Action Hubs around the country. Social action hubs are  locally rooted community organisations which support people to contribute to and create a better community and build a more democratic society.

The 20 Social Action Hubs are funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and led by Community Organisers Ltd. As a hub the Federation  will  act as a catalyst for action, training local people, members of the public sector and young people in community organising and supporting them to listen, reach out, bring people together and take collective action.

Over the next few years  the Programme will see 3500 people trained in community organising across England and supported to ignite social action. People who want to make their community stronger, their government and public services more accountable and their society fairer.

The first of these volunteer organisers in Rotherham  were presented with certificates by the Deputy Mayor at a special event on the evening of 16th December 2017. Community organising is the work of bringing people together to take action around their common concerns and overcome social injustice. Volunteer community organisers  reach out and listen, connect and motivate people to build their collective power.

Sofia Gkika and Jessica Clarke also recieved their graduation certificates at the event.

Private Tenant Representative Sought

Are you a private tenant living is Masborough, Eastwood Village, South East Maltby or Dinnington Central?

Rotherham Federation are seeking 2 private tenant representatives to sit on the Selective Licensing Steering Group. The Selective Licensing Steering Group aims to ensure licensing of all applicable properties within the above areas are licensed, contribute to reductions in the rates of anti-social behaviour, empty properties and occupier turnover and to improve private rented property and management standards across the licensed areas.

More information about selective licensing here

This is a great opportunity in working with us and the Council to improve some of our local communities and the properties many tenants live in. Rotherham Federation will support anyone interested in taking on this role. For more details contact Steve by email or phone 01709 368515

Congratulations to Enid Watson

Congratulations to Enid Watson who has been elected by secret ballot of members attending our general meeting on 26th January 2018 onto the Repairs and Maintenance Contract Re-Tender Steering Group. The purpose of the group is to provide governance to ensure a compliant re-tender of the housing repairs and maintenance contract for Rotherham Council tenants. These contracts, currently with Fortem and Mears, are due to renew 1st April 2020.

Rotherham Housing Staff Awards 2018

Nominations for a staff member from Rotherham Council, Fortem or Mears who have done that little bit extra to help council tenants in 2017-2018 . Nominations must come from a Rotherham Council tenant.

Awards will be presented at the Tenant Conference on the morning of Tuesday 3rd July 2018 at New York Stadium.

Closing date for nominations is Friday 15th June 2018.

Council Tenant Rents to be Reduced

RMBC Cabinet on 15th January agreed  to reduce council house rents by 1% in line with requirements by the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016. They also agreed:

  • That there is a 3% increase to charges for garage rents, communal facilities, cooking gas and laundry facilities in 2018/19 in line with the increase in Consumer Price Index as at September 2017;
  • That the unit charge per Kwh for District Heating Schemes remains at the same level as agreed by the Council in December 2017.
  • That the draft Housing Revenue Account budget for 2018/19 be approved.

The Draft Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2017 to 2018  has also been published. Projections for the future investment in council housing and tenant services are more positive than predicted a year ago.

Draft Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2017-18