The Lanes Community Centre

By Brandon Freeman, Community organiser

I have been re-establishing relationships with the Lanes community and their community centre which was built  in 1997 after the group secured £245,000 from lottery funding. The centre is a sustainable venue as they do not rely on funding and they have charges in place to fund the venue, the cost of membership is only £2 per year. The leader of the group Lorraine has managed to sustain a bank account with a surplus of £18,000 for maintenance and repairs.

After speaking to local residents in the area it was clear people knew that the community centre existed but didn’t know what events were available. An online presence (in the form of a Facebook page) was suggested and this is currently in the works. The Lanes community centre offers daily events such as: coffee mornings, games nights, bingo and the most popular event the lunch club where you can get a hearty home cooked meal for as little as £3!

After speaking to Lorraine who runs and leases the community centre, it is clear that the local residents are not happy with the raised plant beds outside the centre as they are overgrown and unkempt. She mentioned that the raised beds needed work and wants something low maintenance as majority of the local residents are elderly. I am in the process of gathering interest from volunteers, organising equipment and discussing what plants the local residents would like to see sourced. I am hoping to link the event with the local school and other older volunteers I have met with an interest in outdoor activities in an attempt to encourage intergenerational work.

Springwell Sports and Fitness Project

By Dan Barron, Community Organiser

Dilly is a resident living in the Springwell area and is wanting to start a sports/fitness project in the area to engage with the community. He has spoken to local facilities to start costing up the project. After speaking with residents there has been interest for boxing and football sessions for the younger generation of the area.

Dilly has sourced the local RUFC indoor training pitches as a local resource to hire a pitch for the local youth to be able to play football. One of the biggest requests that we have heard from listening in the area is the lack of youth facilities that sees kids roaming the street looking for something to do.

Residents have also indicated they would be interested in a fitness class that would be based in Springwell Gardens Community Centre. Steve is currently designing a poster for a litter pick and has arranged a date to get the poster printed.

Springwell Litter Pick

By Rob Gooding, Community Organiser

I am currently supporting Nina a local resident who is wanting to hold a Springwell litter pick event on the 28th October. Due to RotherFeds continuous support Nina has developed a trusting relationship with RotherFed.

Nina first approached us at the end of September with the idea of a community clean-up project, this was due to the litter bins in the Springwell area not being emptied leading them to be full and overflowing and consequently having further impact on the amount of litter being dropped around the area.

During a TARA residents meeting it was raised by many of the residents the area was a ‘litter tip’. She approached the Springwell TARA and Nina raised the need for the activity on 9th October. She has asked them for help through promotion and supporting the event to the local people by posting it on the TARA Facebook page, to try and engage more residents support and involvement. She came into RotherFed on the 14th October for I.T. support to create a poster for the event. She is arranging a leaflet drop to residents in this area later this week for the litter pick that has been arranged for 28th October.

We aim to get support from Wayne Munro- Smith from ‘Love where you live’ as well as a few residents that have already shown an interest in getting involved with the project.

Rotherham Deaf Futures

By Rachel Cole, Projects Officer

Rotherham Deaf Futures is a group of profoundly deaf people who support other members of the deaf community and champion deaf awareness in Rotherham. The group formed in 2012 and with the help of RotherFed became a constituted group. Prior to this group setting up they had a dedicated team at RMBC who helped and supported them.

The group have met at Springwell Gardens on a Friday from 11am until 3pm. The sessions are open to all the deaf community and include cooking, bingo, quizzes, arts and crafts and key speakers from various companies. An interpreter has supported this group for the past few years to help them with everyday things i.e. phone calls, letters, doctors and hospital appointments etc, the things which the hearing community take for granted. Without an interpreter the deaf community cannot communicate with the hearing community.

In the past few months a significant amount of the funding they had been receiving was lost and therefore so was a lot of their support. Funding in the past had covered the cost for interpreters, room hire and refreshments. Unfortunately, without this funding the group have been without the help of an interpreter to help with their everyday issues and problems.

RotherFed prepared an application for an Awards for All grant on behalf of the group in August, which has been successful in securing £9,900. This grant will pay for cost of BSL interpreters to enable the Deaf community to link with the Hearing Community and also for room hire, refreshments, activities and training.

This is fantastic news for Rotherham Deaf Futures as they can now continue to support the deaf community.

Over a 12-month period from January 2020 there will be 50 weekly sessions organised with between 15-25 Deaf people attending each session. The sessions will be open to all and include cooking, bingo, quizzes, arts and crafts, films, educational videos, as well as key speakers from local authorities, Police, DWP, etc. An Interpreter at the sessions will support with everyday things i.e. phone calls and letters to doctors, dentist, hospital, RMBC, Citizens Advice etc, something the hearing community take for granted.

This project will also enable the development and growth of Rotherham Deaf Futures community group and sustain the group as a self-organised entity supporting the social and learning development of Deaf individuals and championing Deaf issues with the hearing community. Over the 12-month period the group will raise funds through raffles, sales, bingo etc. and also apply for additional grants that will enable the group and their activities to be maintained into the future.

This whole project has been designed by the group through listening and understanding the issues that deaf people are experiencing, and then planning the type of events, activities and opportunities that will address those needs. Attendees will be from a range of age, genders and backgrounds.

RotherFed will continue to support where required.

Painting Swinton Red For Remembrance Day

By Ian Huddleston, Community organiser

Swinton Community Focus Group and Swinton Crafty Ladies have come together for a joint project to remember those fallen for Remembrance Day, with the idea of Painting Swinton red. #Swintonpoppy

The idea started last year after a resident suggested the group do something for the 206 local men fallen in WW1, which are commemorated at the Swinton war memorial at St Margaret’s church. The groups worked together to make poppies to go through Swinton and was a real success with lots of good feedback from residents and surrounding communities who travelled in just to see it.

This year, they wanted to expand on this and do something a bit bigger. The idea was to recognise all wars, and the fallen animals in wars, which would be commemorated with purple reefs, and some information on about this.

The group contacted Milton special needs school and invited some of their students to come to the centre and help make the poppies with them. This was a real achievement for the students there, as they have never worked on projects outside of school.

Rotherham college have also been involved with the group, with students painting canvasses which will be displayed in Swinton Library and the train station.

The poppies will be on display for 2 weeks from the first weekend in November, going from Woodman roundabout, right through the main street of Swinton to the border. St Johns church are also involved and will be doing a waterfall feature of poppies and Swinton train station will have posters on display.

Employment – Machine Operative

By Louise Johnson, Employment Coach

A Client attended our first appointment on 29th July 2019, he had finished work in April 2019 and not received any invites for an interview. He was worried it was because he had a 3 year gap where he was a stay at home parent.

We reframed his CV to focus it on his skills and experience not the gap in work. He was able to find work as a roofer but discovered on his first day he was terrified of heights.

He got in touch and asked if I could help him find a new job. I suggested he attend the jobs fair, which he did. While he was there he was interested in working for a company who attended. I helped him complete his application ensuring he demonstrated his skills and experience which related to the job and we talked about the level of detail needed in his answers if he gained an interview. I then handed in his application to the HR Manager who was my contact at this company.

A week later he was invited to an interview and he was successful. He has recently started as a Machine Operative. This will be a new job role for him but they will train him up and he is excited to start a new career that will support his family! 

Ferham Community Cafe Presents Picnic In The Park

During the summer the Timebuilders Community café has been ran outside in Ferham Park as ‘Picnic in the Park’.

This was to further engage families and young people who would not necessarily come into a church through either personal or physical barriers.

Rotherham Federation community organiser Vicky Hilton, Christine Batchford from Timebuilders and volunteers promoted the 6 week programme through door knocking, attending local events and speaking with local partners. Whilst running an assembly at Ferham School. We discussed the idea with young people and created an immersive learning environment in which young people helped us set up a picnic within their school hall. We then arranged a couple of sessions talking to and promoting the activities to the families collecting their children on the school gate.

100s of local families were engaged with and invited along to the picnic. Mascots— minion and Marshal from Paw Patrol—helped to attract a lot of attention!

The Timebuilders serving families food

Staff, volunteers and local people provided a  delicious range of homemade food from fresh salad to rice dishes, which were very popular with families. The sessions gave local people the opportunity to socialise and make new friendships with other local people attending the picnic, with plenty of activities for the children to do including parachute games, rounder’s, cricket and a scavenger hunt ran by Places for People.

Childrens activities at the Ferham picnic

The summer picnics have now come to an end but the events have been incredible for local life and community cohesion. Over the 6 weeks hundreds of individuals and families have attended the picnic and Christine from Timebuilders has done an incredible job alongside the volunteers and local community members to make it work. Without the team all working together the project would have been much harder.

We now hope that this will encourage more families to further engage with activities at the Church including the community café which will now take place in the Church again every Monday evening.

This was taken from our Autumn ‘Connect’ newsletter. Click here to read the newsletter.

East Herringthorpe Litter Pickers

Local East Herringthorpe resident, Natalie approached Community Organiser Penny Thompson after a concern of the amount of rubbish thrown on the streets.

Natalie and Penny discussed potential solutions to the waste on the streets and Natalie was passionate about ‘doing something to help her own community’. Penny suggested she attend Community Organiser training in order to equip her with the skills and knowledge when working with the community.

Natalie was excited with the idea to lead a community clean-up in the area, dates for the clean up and partners to involve were discussed including Street Pride’s ‘Love Where You Live’ Wayne Munroe-Smith, High Greave School and Tesco. Another ex-resident, Michael also suggested the Titans Rugby Club who may be able to donate game match tickets for the under 16s.

They agreed what we needed to complete, a poster was designed and the event was promoted through social media as well as through links with the local school and community champion at Tesco. Natalie with the support of Michael contacted Street Pride, The Titans, RotherFM, and The Advertiser.

Natalie planned where the litter pick would take place and on the day, 1st August, 2 members of the Yorkshire Party Chris Whitwood and Jack Carrington came to support the event. They all rolled up their sleeves and began cleaning around the disused ground on Laudsdale Road and Lady Oak Crescent, with lots of residents supporting Natalie’s idea of promoting civic pride. 

After 2 hours, over 30 bags of rubbish had been collected as well items that managed to fill a council pick up van. The litter pick was thoroughly enjoyed so much it will be becoming a weekly event.

Every Thursday there will be a clean up 9am—11am, meeting at High Greave School gates. With the support of Love Where You Live the group was given litter picks, high visibility jackets, black bags and hoops as well as a trolley for those with mobility issues who still wish to get involved. Contact Penny Thompson for more information or if you’d like to be involved in East Herringthorpe.

This was taken from our Autumn ‘Connect’ newsletter. Click here to read the newsletter.

Residents Form Swinburne Social Club

A group of residents have worked to form a committee and the group ‘Swinburne Social Club’

Over the last year Rotherham Federation has supported a group of residents to come together to tackle the issues and social isolation they were facing in their own community, during the last 5 months the residents have been working to put everything needed in place such as their constitution, a bank account and starting to raise funds.

They have worked with RMBC in getting their residents centre re-decorated and have put on community engagement activities including a mothers day lunch. The group have undergone food hygiene and first aid training so they are well equipped to run more events in the future.

The group are now planning a jumble sale in hope to raise more funds for to allow them to develop more activities. Rotherham Federation has supported the group by listening to their issues and directing them on how to address them, for the future they are keen to engage with their Area Housing Panels and develop projects looking at more lighting for the community.

Earlier in the year Rotherham Federation recognised the work they have achieved in such little time and they were awarded with a silver group award. If you want to be involved with the group they meet for a cuppa and a chat at the Swinburne residents centre in Herringthorpe every Tuesday and Thursday at 1.30pm. Everyone is always welcome!

Swinburne Social Club

This was taken from our Autumn ‘Connect’ newsletter. Click here to read the newsletter.

Henley Community Group

By Vicky Hilton, Community Organiser

Henley Community Group (Henley TARA) are a group of local residents who come together on a weekly basis to plan and deliver activities within their area. They identify local issues and needs by talking to residents and engaging them in activities such as weekly bingo, youth clubs, trips and further support for the community. Many of the groups members are seen as ‘pillars’ within their community and support other residents living within the Henley area for over 15 years. The majority of the group are over 60 years of age.

The project will support the group’s priority of bringing communities together by enabling the group to help local residents who suffer from poor health, often disguised as loneliness and isolation. The TARA want to ensure a good quality of life for local residents, especially in this case for the elderly residents. They want to give local residents a chance to feel healthier and happier about where they live and the opportunities they can take as a community.

With high levels of deprivation, particularly around the Henley area, elderly residents cannot often afford or do not have a supportive network and family which enables them to get away on holidays and day trips out of the borough. We want to guarantee that there are fun things to do for people of all ages as its often the elderly residents that get overlooked.

When planning I hope that by giving this disparate community a chance to come together and help build a stronger and more cohesive community it will have an effect on the sustainability of the group. The idea of a trip will bring volunteers and leaders out, who then naturally take a lead role within their community. By ‘doing with’ we hope to achieve a better outcome, not just for individuals but for the wider community. We encourage people to get involved in their neighbourhoods and help each other, which in turn can lead to community action and stronger communities, drawing in on existing strengths and tapping into the skills and knowledge of individuals and the community as a whole.

Henley TAR are working with the community to organise a trip in which local residents visit a local seaside town. This will be a community decision with a workshop to consult with local people as to where they would like to visit and how it is to be organised. Already the group have met with me to share and speak about their ideas as a group and identify the support needed. I have helped the group to further consult and to make sure other local residents voices are heard when planning the project.

The project addresses many different priorities which benefit local people. By working closely with Henley TARA we have ensured the project addresses and identifies further need within the community ensuring that it is community led.

We have planned a day trip, out of the borough, predominantly with residents who are 50+ who work hard all year to ensure the young people and families get away.

As volunteers they also organise community seasonal activities such as Easter events and Father Christmas for the wider community. We have booked a 45 seater coach which will ensure many of the elderly residents can attend.

Working together I have supported the group to apply for CLF (community leadership fund) in which they have been successful in receiving £375 in which the group will use on a community trip to Mapplethorpe before the end of the year.