Zoom Santa

By Rob Gooding, Community Organiser

The project began when Winston contacted RotherFed saying he wanted to make the community feel better at Christmas. This was because of the pandemic and children would not get to see Santa Claus at the local amenities and festive attractions due to the COVID restrictions at the time. So we worked with Winston to create a Santa Grotto Online that would be free for all families to enjoy. We sourced Santa a fancy new red suit for the occasion and supported him to catch up on his IT skills. This is because Santa was okay at using technology but needed some support from RotherFed to adapt to the task at hand.

The project had adhered to strict safeguarding procedures and we worked with Winston to ensure that these were followed throughout the 3-day project. We were pleased that there was no incident where the procedures had been broken throughout. Winston’s performance as Santa Claus was great and he really enjoyed playing the part. He was very enthusiastic on each call and he just pleased that he had been able to make some families happy by seeing Santa Claus before Christmas.

This was Winston’s second Christmas event with RotherFed and will probably not be the last. Overall the event managed to engage with 46 individuals in total across East Dene, Dinnington and East Herringthorpe. Most of the community members who participated in the event were all new engagements for the area. The event managed to engage with 12 people from the East Dene area, 21 from Dinnington and 13 from East Herringthorpe. Families enjoyed the online experience and had thanked Santa and his helpful elves for a Christmassy event when Christmas didn’t feel quite the same. A massive thanks to Winston and all his enthusiasm to cheer up his community.

Sheila From Swinton Crafty Ladies

Shelia has been involved with Rotherham Federation for many years now and although I have heard Shelia mentioned in passing until recently, I have not had any direct contact with her.  Since moving to the North of the Borough at the end of October 2020 I have spoken to Shelia on many occasions and have now got to know her much better.

Shelia is a very active member and volunteer who is part of both Swinton Community Focus group and Crafty Ladies. She does a great deal for others despite sometimes suffering with her own health. Shelia has just re-engaged with the Housing Involvement Panel meetings and has expressed an interest in becoming involved in the Housing Hubs and with coffee mornings.

During the summer months of lockdown Shelia started chair aerobics outside in the street for people to join in with her, this was very successful, and everyone enjoyed it.  Shelia is now working with Active Dearne to deliver the chair aerobics online. RMBC are running a piece on wellness in the next edition of Home Matters and Shelia will feature in this.

Swinton Community Focus Group ran a Christmas Give A Gift for the underprivileged children in the area and not only were they overwhelmed by gifts, they also received over £1000 in donations. As all this money wasn’t used, they will now do a Easter egg hunt at Easter and purchase Easter eggs with the leftover money to give out as prizes.

Shelia also has weekly contact with other members of both groups where they do crafts/play games etc online, making sure everyone is well and keeping in touch with each other where possible.

I am looking forward to working more closely with Shelia and getting involved in her area, especially when the lockdown has eased more.

Christina

Christina first became involved with RotherFed through the RotherSteps project, this was to help her lose weight and improve her fitness. During the project she has regularly input her steps and posted pictures of her walks. So far over the seven weeks of the project she has entered an amazing 315,882 steps so far in the project and came in third place in the first month with a massive 242,108. During conversations with Christina, she has mentioned how difficult it is as woman to walk in local beauty spots alone due to the dark nights at this time of year and has spoken about starting a walking group in Greasbrough when COVID restrictions ease.

As Christina found out about more of RotherFed’s projects she became interested in the befriending calls and has since signed up as a befriending volunteer and will start making regular calls to lonely and vulnerable people as soon as her DBS has returned. This is an ongoing project to tackle loneliness in Rotherham where we match volunteers to people that have requested a friendship call.

Christina has expressed an interest in getting further involved with council services and I am currently discussing options on how she can get involved in Housing Involvement Panel meetings and putting community projects ideas into RMBC through the housing hub suggestions.

Dinnington SEND Group

By Ian Huddleston, Community Organiser

Dinnington SEND group are a group for young people who are very active in the community, providing support for many families in and around Dinnington. I met with Jo from the group in early March to look at ways in which we could work together and to try organising events for their young people.

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Ferham Community Group

By Dan Barron, Community Organiser

Since May, I had been supporting Kadeer, who is a community leader from Ferham to engage with the community both physical and virtually. Initially, Kadeer was looking to create a constituted group. We were able to support Kadeer in understanding what was needed and searching for others who wanted to join over several weeks. This included several organisational structures as Kadeer’s daughter was also considering becoming a Community Interest Company. I was able to advise Kadeer about the current COVID guidelines regarding activities, when he was very actively coordinating litter picks within the area.

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A Reason to Like Mondays Group

By Dan Barron, Community Organiser

I have been lucky enough to be able to support the A Reason to Like Mondays (ARTLM) throughout the pandemic with several activities. The group are based in East Dene, St James Church room and they offer help, support and advice to parents and full-time carers of children pre-birth to 18. The group offer somewhere for people to go once their children are at school or if they are a full-time mum. St James Church offers a place where they can relax, have a chat or even a rant about what is going on in their life. Since COVID19 restrictions were implemented in May, the group have consistently provided a virtual coffee morning, which have totalled 21 sessions to date. The group have adapted to the pandemic and continued to engage with their group members via online coffee mornings. The virtual coffee morning is averagely attended by 3-5 members every Monday morning via zoom and the online Facebook page has 65 members who it is supporting.

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Dinnington Coronavirus Community Action Group

By Ian Huddleston, Community Organiser

In March, the country went into lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic. This put a lot of strain on the local community of Dinnington and left a lot of residents lonely and isolated. A group of residents put out Facebook posts to assemble a team of people who could work together as a committee to try and tackle these issues to help those residents most in need.

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East Herringthorpe Friends of Green Spaces

By Rob, Gooding, Community Organiser

Led by Natalie from the East Herringthorpe Litter pickers, the group has brought together members from other East Herringthorpe groups such as the cemetery clean up and the local history group. The aim is to create a large group focused around improving green spaces in East Herringthorpe. The group already has around 18 residents involved with them and is hoping to grow this over the next year. Natalie said: “I was tired of looking out of my flat at rubbish in my neighbourhood so decided to do something about it.”

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Mowbray Musers

By Dan Barron, Community Organiser

The Mowbray Musers are initially started as an in-person group in the Mowbray Gardens Library in February 2020. The aim was to form a group of friends would all sit and talk about creative writing, play some literature games, and show off their works in progress to friends for feedback. To allow people the opportunity to write in-between meetings, they planned to hold their meets, fortnightly at 12 noon on the first and third Tuesday of each month. The group were able to hold just two, in person meetings before the country went into lockdown.

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Silverwood Colliery Group

By Rob Gooding, Community Organiser

Over the last year the Silverwood group have continued to grow and thrive, the group have an active Facebook page with 568 people to date. They regularly engaging with the page, with posts about memories from life down the pit to ways the area could be improved. A key aim of the group is to bring back the old pit community spirit in the area.

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