Engie Litter Pick

As part of the Heart of the Community project, management had met local building contractors in discussions about how they could better engage with the local communities within which they are working. In the Dalton/ Thrybergh ward the Friends of Dalton, East Herringthorpe and Thrybergh Green Spaces group already have regular litter picks on the estates. It was suggested that all of the partners come together to do a litter pick around the building works on Oldgate Lane.

The litter pick was really successful, as you can see from the amount of bags that were collected. So fantastic to see proper partnership working within the community.

Heart of the Community Litter Pick

In February Dayle pledged to pick up 30 bags of litter within her community with Keep Britain Tidy and has been litter picking throughout the week in Canklow. Dayle has supported the annual KFC Canklow Franchise litter picking event.  The activity was led by KFC and Dayle advertised it amongst the Canklow areas social media groups to gather support for the community action.

Working hard to meet her pledge Dayle also organised a Spring clean event for her area inviting RMBC love where you live and Andrea Mason. The Spring Clean event was a litter picking event in Canklow for residents and partners to clean up the greenspaces around the pavilion. The event had an attendance of 11 people as well as achieving a massive 61 bags of refuse in a few hours.

The difference these litter picks have made to the area is huge because the litter within the woods surrounding the Canklow pavilion could be described as astronomically dense. The woods still need further picking but the difference that Dayle and residents have made has been fantastic. Accumulatively Dayle has been part of Litter picks that have picked 87 bags of refuse in Canklow and wants to carry on cleaning up Canklow.

Continue reading “Heart of the Community Litter Pick”

Community Centres – Warreners Drive and Elizabeth Parkin

Warreners and Elizabeth Parkin has received funding from Pivotal Wellbeing and Fitness centre to be able to deliver exercise sessions at their centres. They also received funding from Councillors in the area to be able to add on an extra wellbeing and mindfulness session after the exercise. The ladies and gents are loving these sessions and can’t thank the councillors enough for funding the project. They all feel more energised and generally happy when they leave the centre. Some would like to continue their exercise either at the centre or by attending the gym which Abbey from pivotal owns.

Wentworth Residents Association

I have been working with this group now for the last 18 months. They are only a small group but are very active and passionate about the area where they live, they have worked together for a number of years now, however, would always welcome new members from the village joining them. They meet on a monthly basis in the Barn at the Rockingham Arms pub. 

The group carry out regular litter picks, with Rotherham Council providing the bags and collecting the rubbish. They are also trying to get some something done about the speed of the traffic through the village. The volume of traffic to the village is also a concern that they have. They have agreed to write to John Healey MP and copy in the local councillors to see if he can help. The group also plants bulbs, shrubs and hanging baskets around the village, new plant boxes have been purchased to replace the old ones in Alms House Gardens. The group works closely with the Parish Council and the Fitzwilliam Estate, who both contribute with funding for the group.

In November 2021 I encouraged them to apply for the COMF funding available through VAR. I helped them with their application form, and they were successful and received £780. This money enabled the group to pay for this year’s public liability insurance and put on some defibrillator training with lunch afterwards.

The group designed some leaflets which we printed for them to advertise the training, and these were distributed through the village. The training was held in the Barn at the Rockingham Arms on Tuesday 22 March, it was very successful, and it was attended by a good number of people. Everyone said how useful the training was and how they’d enjoyed getting together for some lunch and a catch up. As the group still have some of the funding available, they are going to look at putting another first aid course on for the local community in the near future.

I will continue to work with and support this group as required. 

Sunnyside Supplies

Sunnyside Supplies was set up in response to the covid pandemic, this was as a food bank to help people struggling with the impact on their finances this caused as well as people who had to isolate in the Sunnyside area. The group worked closely with RMBC who helped identified people in need of help and referred them into the group for essentials while they were shielding or isolating.

Over the last two years the group has continued to grow and evolve as restrictions and the need of the community changed. The group now run a social supermarket where residents pay a small amount for their shopping and can enjoy a meal or other refreshments in the onsite café. This is helping to keep the project sustainable and less reliant on funding. Currently the group are thinking about becoming a registered charity. The group started with a small core of volunteers but has doubled in size since then as the community has come together around this project.

The group are currently supporting around forty-five families in the area with weekly shops and the café.

Energy Know How Case Study – Beryl

I was contacted recently by a lady of very mature years (92) who was given my number by a friend who had also had support from our project. She was very upset when she called me and did not know where to turn or what to do about her energy issue.

She had been with a company that went out of business in November 2021 and had been paying regularly by direct debit. A payment was taken by them in December even though they were no longer supplying her with energy.

Her service was transferred to Scottish Power. She had called them on many occasions to set up a direct debit for her ongoing usage and they had called her at least 3 times asking for bank details which were provided. Due to some technical issue that they were unable to explain they seemed unable to set up the direct debit for my client and instead said she would have to pay quarterly and that she already owed £700.00.

This was quite upsetting for my client as she had tried numerous times to sort out the direct debit but without success, she was also unable to obtain meter readings herself due to an issue with the ramp to her property. The handrail for the ramp was blocking access to both the gas and electricity meters so the gas could not be turned off in the case of an emergency, this issue had only been noticed when the new supplier had asked for meter readings.

After discussion with a colleague two complaints were made on behalf of this client – the first to the local authority stating that the client was not safe due to being unable to access her meters to turn off the supply.

Several phone calls and emails resulted in the swift alteration of the ramp which has had to be moved to allow access. Unfortunately, the contractors subsequently flooded the clients’ garage with water after leaving a tap turned on, damaging some of her belongings and the charging pack for her mobility scooter – this issue has been referred to the local authority.

The second complaint was made to the Chief Executive’s office of Scottish Power for their failure to set up the direct debit for the client despite many contacts with her, they also failed to act on her vulnerability despite being told of her age and concerns.

With the intervention of the CEO’s office a direct debit was set up for my client, she was placed on the priority services register and will have her meters read regularly by Scottish Power. They have also given £100.00 in compensation and will review the account upon receipt of the credit balance from the previous supplier.

Except for the damaged personal effects (the issue of which is ongoing), the energy issues for this client have been satisfactorily resolved and the client was very grateful for our help. She now has a direct debit set up and can, if need be, access her meter boxes to turn off her gas supply in the event of an emergency.

Energy Know How Case Study

We have spent a lot of March focusing on one of our target areas, Swinton. We popped over to one of the Crafty Ladies gatherings to find out what sort of questions they had around energy and the upcoming price rise. Although it was a small group, it was a very engaging group who had a lot of questions on how to be more efficient, how to be savvier with the current energy market and what services we offer.

We referred most of them (ones who were interested) for a Green Doctor home visit as they advised they had the older energy saving lightbulbs, they now understand that Energy Saving LED light bulbs use 90% less electricity than standard ones. We talked about heating habits and learned as a group that a lot of us have radiators on external doors and would benefit from having foils installed.

This group were eager to talk about energy efficiency and how old some of their appliances were. For example, using an electric hob instead of gas and making sure these appliances are efficient and not too old. As well as learning about water savings and what items they can get for free from Yorkshire Water to save them money on their water meters.

Making Our Money Go Further

Client B had been a member at the Social Supermarket since last year. Although they were not ready to engage with any money support at the time they have kept in contact with the project. They recently had to submit their PIP review and were worried about doing this alone. They struggle to engage online and prefer doing things face to face. We signposted them to some drop-in sessions they could attend in person and even gave them a call on the day before they set off to the session to check they were okay. They gave us a couple of updates throughout the morning about how it was going and when we arrived at the Social Supermarket, we were told they had just dropped in on their way to post the form off and had the biggest smile you can imagine on their face. This been such a massive positive step forward for them.

Making Our Money Go Further

There were a group of people waiting in the hall at the Unity Centre while I was there for the Job Club. I just started telling one of them why I was there and they all started listening in and asking questions. Neil decided to come along after his group and has started the process of signing up for the Pathways project to find employment. I spoke to him about green doctors and he has asked to book an appointment with them. We also spoke about other ways in which we can offer help. He doesn’t qualify for the fuel vouchers but he believes a family member does so we’ve helped them too. He has said that the others were daft not to come today but he is going to tell them about us and encourage them to join us at the next Job Club.

Ferham Community Skip Day

Rotherham West ward councillors and RMBC Neighbourhoods hosted the Ferham Community skip day on Thursday 24th February. This was supported by staff from RotherFed, Rema as well as other RMBC teams. The skip is the next step in tackling the fly tipping and litter in the area after the success of the bin amnesty event last year. In the run up to the event every resident received a leaflet containing the time, date and what items couldn’t be taken in the skip and on the day a shout out was put on the areas Facebook page reminding residents of the event.

The skips were funded by the local councillors through their ward budgets. Provisions were made that any resident that couldn’t remove the rubbish from their homes due to ill health could book an appointment for the caretakers to collect this from outside their homes and bring it down to the skip on their behalf. There was also a door knock on the day this ensured that everybody in the area could benefit from the day and remove any rubbish they had. 

During the 3-hour event, residents filled two walk in skips of household rubbish like old sofas, mattresses and general garden waste, and two loads of scrap metal was taken to be recycled. Resident came together with workers and helped each other to get larger items down to the skips and to fill the skips bringing the community together and making Ferham a nicer place to live. During the event approximately one hundred residents participated and disposed of their rubbish