Volunteer Recognition

As Volunteers week is in June, we held a virtual celebration with our volunteers and sent out gifts/certificates to all Friendship Call volunteers. We received many messages from our volunteers.

Hi Jane and Nicola
Just a quick thank you for all your time and efforts in making Volunteer Week special for us. Thank you for the afternoon tea – I was able to contact 2 long-standing friends at short notice and we were able to spend a lovely afternoon together in the sunshine enjoying the tea and cakes along with some wine, strawberries and ice-cream I happened to already have. A good time was had by all. I do hope that you are both recognised too for the work you are doing for vulnerable people.
Thanks and best wishes again from Margaret, Val and myself.

Wow, thank you all so much for the lovely surprise of the biscuits and the certificate that I received this morning, I would also like to thank you all for this opportunity to try to help others in need.  Once again Thank  you

Social Supermarket at Rotherham Minister

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.

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Peregrin Way TARA

By Rob Gooding, Community Organiser

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.

Rawmarsh – New Group

By Rachel Cole, Projects Officer

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.

Serenity Community Gardens

By Sam Dixon, Community Organiser

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.

Ferham Community Group

By Dan Barron, Community Organiser

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.

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Rotherham Gaming Community

By Dan Barron, Community Organiser

The gaming group is now at 74 members on Facebook, and Dan is now posting for the group on Instagram. I will be speaking with Benji the group moderator and community lead about finalising the venue and plans for the May 17th guidance change.

The group wants to get a physical meet up as soon as possible. We have created a poll to see what people want to do with the first tutorial painting and testing army models. We are also looking at buying some supplies and building the first gaming board to be created by the gaming group so that attendees can being to practice war gaming! We have spoken to the lanes to start confirming dates now we are out of lockdown. Benji has started a painting competition in members are taking part in. Each member will receive a model to paint, and they will be posted in a poll to the group to decide on which model is the winner.

Tenant Voice Group – Facebook and Virtual Coffee Mornings

The Tenant Voice group has continued to grow since it was started in January reaching 32 members all of whom are council tenants in the Rotherham area. This offers a community page for tenants to discuss meetings, mentor new tenants and grow relationships making tenants meetings more sociable and hopefully this will increase the uptake of tenants at these meetings it also allows people that cannot attend the meetings a chance to add their input and find out what has happened.

We are currently holding virtual coffee mornings once a month for the group to meet and as restrictions ease we will explore getting the group constituted and having meetings in person. The tenant voice group are a mix of existing tenant voice members who attend the tenant scrutiny and hip (housing involvement panel) meetings as well as new people who are interested in getting involved.

Most of the new tenants have previously been supported by RotherFed to put in Housing Hub Suggestion forms for projects that would improve the estates they live on. This has also offered a platform for our youngest Tenant Voice Volunteer to get involved. Ebony is a 17-year-old living in council housing, she is very eager to get involved in anything community based, she has already asked that when she turns 18 if she can start to attend meetings. We are currently supporting Ebony and other volunteers to gain the skills they need to attend virtual meetings and get more involved with RMBC services moving forward. We hope that as this group continues to grow, we can identify more tenants that are interested in making positive changes in the areas they live in and continue to support these going forward.

Rawmarsh & Parkgate Friends of Green Spaces

By Rachel Cole, Projects Officer

As I now cover the Rawmarsh area this group now falls in my HRA work. A couple of weeks ago I had a walkabout in Rawmarsh and met a couple of people from the group. I’ve also met the two local councillors who are involved in this group and regularly attend the litter picks put on. This group have their own Facebook page with nearly 400 members.

The group holds weekly litter picks, however, due to Covid-19 these were put on hold. The group did however go out on an individual basis to help to keep the community as clean and tidy as possible.

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Henley Resident Association

By Rob Gooding, Community Organiser

This month I have had the pleasure of mentoring the newly formed Henley Residents Association. The group have formed due to the old group dissolving last month. Since then, they have organised proactive community members who want to pick up the gauntlet of supporting their local community.

The HRA plan is to reignite the community spirit through activities to improve their neighbourhood by hosting coffee mornings with board games, weekly bingo at community centre and garden projects for those who want to leave their mark on the community centre garden on Oates close. The group also want to be able to put on away days for the residents like the good old days.

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