The Centres reopened on Monday 19 July and the following week I popped to see Peter at the Dorothy Taylor Centre on Leverton Way, Dalton. It was lovely to meet Peter and the other members of the group. I have been speaking to Peter on a regular basis for the past 8 months so it was lovely to put a face to his name. The group currently has 6 very active members, however, they are hoping the numbers will grow now that restrictions are being lifted. Peter has been doing a fish and chip run every Friday for the local residents, this will continue but the residents will now enjoy them in the Centre. The group meet every Tuesday and Friday and do various activities. From my budget I purchased a slow cooker for this group as theirs has recently failed its PAT test. They were so grateful as it will enable them to do their monthly cooking sessions. I look forward to working with Leverton Way Tara and all the other groups in my area.
By Claire Stinson, Community Support Worker & Karen Jay, Community Support Worker
One of the guys has got a job, albeit on agency but the guys from Good Work have contacted him and are going to support him to get a full-time job. He’s worried about buying boots etc. for going back into work so we gave him the contact details for Access to Work to see if they can help. He’s so happy with what we’ve done that he’s told his ex-wife to come and see us, along with her ex-partner. He’s chuffed to bits and said thanks to talking to us, it gave him the kick he needed to get things done.
Unfortunatly, his job with the agency didn’t work out, because it didn’t suit him and the barriers he faces daily but he’s still being supported by Good Work and his job hunt is going well. With the support of Good Work, they will ensure the next job will be more suitable to his needs. Until then, he will still be getting the support from Social Supermarket to make sure he can still feed himself and his daughter.
We also had a conversation about his TV license, he’d been paying £25 since 2018. He said he was going to leave it, until I calculated that it would be nearly £500, they owe him. His eyes lit up and he said he’s going to call them back. TV licensing investigated it for him and they’ve agreed he’s paid too much. He’s now got his TV license free until the end of next year and will be getting a cheque for two hundred pounds.
I met with Emma about Sunnyside Supplies. So far, the group have delivered over 2000 food parcels over the pandemic to customers in the Bramley and Ravenfield area,
The group are wanting to turn the food bank into a social supermarket with a social café after visiting the Rotherham minister, the group have asked for advice how to do this as well as help with changing the constitution and putting risk assessments in place by the 6/7/2021 as this is the date the group want to make the transition.
The group already have 22 existing members wanting to access the supermarket when it opens and are planning a big advertising push on Facebook alongside a leaflet drop.
The proposed changes were adopted at the group’s AGM on 29/06/2021 along with a new committee to help run the social supermarket and café. The group have asked to become Rotherfed members and are wanting to run money management sessions in the café.
As part of the Community Pride initiative, we have been providing 40-yard roll on roll off skips on a quarterly basis for the past few years. We hold them in different areas of the village and they have always been very well accepted and much needed.
Due to the Covid 19 pandemic and the restrictions in place, we have not been able to have any skips in the village and the last one was in late 2019.
Litter picks have continued throughout the pandemic to help keep the village tidy, however, people have been unable to get rid of the larger items.
On Saturday 26 June we ordered two community skips for the village, one went on the Miners Institute carpark and one at the top of the village on Loxley Road. Also, for the first time we hired a man with a van to collect rubbish from people’s gardens which they were struggling to get rid of. This proved to be really successful with over 14 houses asking for help. This is something that we definitely do again.
Eight volunteers helped manage the skips and the new local MP Alexander Stafford attended as did both the new local elected members for the Thurcroft and Wickersley South Ward, Zach Collingham and Thomas Singleton, who all got stuck in and helped people to get their items onto the skip. The Rotherham Advertiser also came along and took a couple of photographs, which will hopefully be in this week’s newspaper.
By 11.30am both skips were full and ready to be collected. We will look at having another skip in a month or two at the bottom of the village so the whole village has been covered.
All in all, it was a very successful Saturday morning.
Part of a listening that came from a local resident suggested that something needs to be done around how women feel in their community. Do they feel safe? Are there black spots recognized within the neighbourhood that women avoid?
I approached RUCST (Rotherham United Community Sports Trust) as I was aware that they were already working with women in other areas. RUCST were already looking for another opportunity to replicate their current program of work so we were able to quickly turn our ideas around and start our project.
The project consists of 14 weekly walks in and around Herringthorpe Valley Park, some sessions delivered to help women recognize services that can support them and a self defence session.
The first few sessions have been really successful, with different women from different backgrounds attending. Everyone is getting to know each other and we’re slowly building up relationships, the conversations are getting more in depth and I aim to get some more opinions and see how the community could work together to improve going forward.
Since the Making Your Money Go Further project started, we have linked with social supermarket and after meeting with Christine from Time builders, MOMGF will now be in the social supermarket, on Wednesday and Thursday to help members make their money go further, give advice, and help with budgeting. The first day at Social Supermarket went really well. we had 6, 1:1 meaningful conversations, with a mix of members and volunteers. I was introduced in the morning team meeting and asked to explain what we do.
The Peregrin Way TARA’s committee decided to step down during lockdown after years of service to the community, working with Nicky Hayes from RMBC Neighbourhoods, we set about holding engagement events to identify new members that are interested in taking over the running of the group.
So far, we have identified several members that could fill these rolls moving forward. As part of the engagement several residents have stated that they would like to see new activities taking place in the centre, and not just the usual bingo and luncheon clubs. We are currently working with the residents to identify activities that the new group would be able to hold in and around the centre. So far, the group has mentioned gardening clubs, knit and natter’s, craft groups and potentially a breakfast club one or two days a week.
Nicky and I are going to continue to work with and support the residents moving forward to set up the new committee and gain funding to hold these clubs. The group have an AGM on the 27/05/2021 where we hope the new committee will be formed and the changes to activities can start to happen as restrictions ease and allow.
During the AGM we did identify three members that would like to take over the group and we are now meeting with the on the 2/06/2021 to discuss how the transition will happen.
Whilst out on a walkabout of Rawmarsh a few weeks ago I got chatting to some council tenants who would like some help to set up a Neighbourhood Watch group. They are having a few problems with drugs and a couple of the residents who live on the street. An application for a CCTV camera on the street, where people seem to be dealing the drugs, has been put in for through the Ward Housing Hub.
I have designed a leaflet and this week distributed this to over 100 houses around the area asking if other residents are interested in getting involved in this group. Once residents have got back to me, I will organise a meeting to move the group forwards at the local neighbourhood centre on Turner Close at the end of June. I have spoken to RMBC staff and Councillors and they are willing to get involved in this group which is great. The local PSCO’s will also be asked to attend for their support.
I am hoping this will be successful group which once I have helped to set up, they will become active on their own. It will also be another group using the Turner Close Centre.
I was approached by one of our volunteers who wanted to support with putting together an allotment group. The group came out of an idea created by CGL (Change, Grow, Live) who support people in recovery from addiction. The idea is around having an allotment space where people can go to grow things, create a space that they can be proud of, and, most of all, be there without judgement. The focus for the group is to be around recovery, not only for those battling the issues that exist around addiction, but also those overcoming mental health illness.
There was already a group of previous CGL users eager to join the group so it seemed quite simple. The group would dig and start planting, and I would assist with the paperwork so that they could look to opening a bank account and look to applying for funding.
This group was my first!! I was a so eager to get them up and running, to be honest, in hindsight, a little too eager. Not all of the group were confident in the responsibility of taking on a formal community group, and as part of my job role I should have been more aware of their lack of experience and how that was going to play a factor. Individuals had put themselves forward to take on the committee roles. There had even been a donation made to the group that paid for the ground rent for the plot with a little left over to pay for other bits and pieces.
Very quickly there was a conflict between the key members of the group, and it seemed as though the group was doomed to never get started. Another of the group leads was also facing up to the fact that they needed to go back into rehab and therefore wouldn’t be able to give their time as they would have initially liked. This also became a bit of a trigger for other members as well and it made me realise that to move forward I would have to offer a lot of support to the committee, and check in with them all regularly.
Serenity Community Gardens are now at the stage where they have a signed constitution, with committee members planning on attending the training being offered by RotherFed and VAR. They are working closely together to research which bank account will suit their needs best, a risk assessment and a code of conduct have been drawn up, and the allotment plot is starting to take shape. The members involved so far are proud of what they have achieved and looking at the future and at being able to offer the support to others in their journey of recovery.
The Ferham Community Group started over a year ago at the beginning of the pandemic with roughly 50 members. Now the online community page hosts 357 members. Kadeer has preserved with a consistent message” be the change you want to see”. It has not always been smooth sailing with engagement on the page but Kadeer’s message is starting to get through to the community. By conversing with those who only have negative comments and speaking with services Kadeer is building a community to create positive change. This is because he leads by example and now the community are starting to take notice.