Craft Tabletop event at Dalton Community Group

By Rachel Cole, Senior Projects Officer

The Dalton Community group have been trying to improve their capacity and their offer to the community. They already have several services attend the monthly session regularly such as local electorates Cllr Bennet-Sylvester and Cllr Baker-Rogers. The session is also regularly attended by RMBC housing.

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The Steadlands Neighbourhood Centre

By Rachel Cole, Senior Projects Officer

I first visited this Centre in April 2022; it was one of the Centres selected by RMBC to look at the usage.  This Centre is used every single day by a group of lovely residents who hold and run regular activities and events.  They see the Centre as an extension of their homes and say they would be lost without it; this is apparent in the Centre too as it has a lot of homemade furnishings around making it feel homely. As a lot of the residents live alone the Centre gives them the opportunity to get together and have a chat, without having to go far.

Since then, I have visited the group on many occasions.  On a weekly basis they hold coffee mornings, craft sessions, book club, film afternoons, games afternoons and bingo. They also hold afternoon teas or parties for special events i.e., Christmas, Easter etc as well as trips out.  They had a trip to the pantomime in January and this month visited the luncheon club at Dinnington Resource Centre, both of which they really enjoyed.  The are now planning events for Easter and the King’s Coronation. I have recently helped them with a leaflet giving details of everything that is happening in the Centre, this has been distributed to all residents to try and get more people involved in the group and using the Centre.

I submitted a ward housing hub proposal last year with this group for extra lighting around the bungalows and this has now been completed. This month a ward housing hub proposal has been put in for them to have a noticeboard outside the Centre.  

When I first met this group they really didn’t want to become a constituted group, therefore, I never pushed this. However, just recently they have talked more about this and would now like to investigate becoming constituted. I will support them with this. This is a lovely active group of residents who I enjoy working with. I will continue to support the group as and when required. 

Bevan Crescent Community Group

By Rob Gooding, Community Organiser

Rob supported the group to get CCTV fitted at the centre after a break in that resulted in the groups garden furniture being stolen, this was achieved through the Housing Hubs funding. Throughout the lockdowns members have supported each other and kept in touch, and even managed to hold a few outdoor sessions on their gardens, as restrictions have eased the group have slowly started to meet up back at the centre for their coffee and cake mornings and members have slowly grown back to pre-covid numbers.

The group decided to highlight some special people who work in the community and held a special coffee morning inviting people that had helped the group over the pandemic. Invited for the celebration were Councillor Biggin (Town Councillor), Rob Gooding (Rotherham Federation), Julie Jones (Tesco Community Champion) and Iain Cloke (Age UK).

Swinton Mobile Farm Visit

Rotherfed worked with Councillor Wyatt, Councillor Sansome and Brookfield Junior Academy in Swinton to fund a Mobile Farm Visit, which was provided by Ian’s Mobile Farm ( The aim was to provide a fun activity in what has been a difficult year for the pupils.

Lauren Moore, the Inclusion Manager at the school said ‘I just wanted to write to say a huge thank you on behalf of the whole Brookfield Junior Academy family – staff, pupils and their families for funding the mobile farm visit. The mobile farm visit yesterday and was a huge success. Thank you for making happy memories and experiences for our pupils.’

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Mindfulness and Health & Wellbeing

By Rachel Cole, Projects Officer

The last 11 months have been very different and difficult for many people and for different reasons. The Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession have negatively affected many people’s mental health and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness. To try and help Thurcroft investigated doing something to help towards mindfulness and health & wellbeing.

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Jo Workman

By Rob Gooding, Community Organiser

Rob nominated Jo for the volunteer of the month award in Wickersley Ward in December 2020.

This is a project run by RMBC staff and local councillors Jo is has run the local SEND youth club for children with additional needs for the last two years and was looking to expand this to other areas of Rotherham until Covid struck.

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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.

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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Ferham Primary School

By Dan Barron, Community Organiser

Initially RotherFed were engaging with multiple partners as part of the Ferham Steering groups including Ferham Primary School at the beginning of 2020. The consensus was that greenspaces in Ferham were scarce such as allotments and were originally looking at doing a greenspaces project that would encourage people to use this space again and make better use of the local parks etc. However, the steering group have not met again until October 2020 due to COVID19. This had changed the priorities for several groups over the year.

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Litter Picking in Ferham

RotherFed had organised several litter picks in Ferham park as part of the Green Spaces campaign to help maintain and improve local greenspaces in Masbrough. The litter picks have attracted 6 volunteers over the activities and has managed to clear 15 bags of waste from the park so far.

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