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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Eggy The Eggsellent Eggsplorer

By Sam Dixon, Community Organiser

Easter was around the corner and our project wanted a fun activity for families to engage with. We came up with the idea of having an Easter character joining the Rotherham Federation team, who would go out on an adventure during the Easter holidays.

We decided that the first part of our project would be a design competition, young people were given the incentive of receiving a free prize for submitting a design to us. We had 19 entries for our design competition.

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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 (www.iansfarm.com). 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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The Great RotherFed Pancake Off

By Dan Barron, Community Organiser

For Pancake Day 2021 Rotherfed decided to create we decided to create a “flipping fun” competition for our communities in order to help keep families engaged and entertained during lockdown. The event managed to engage with over 126 unique members of the communities over the events duration. The competition awarded a winner for each category that was voted by the
Rotherfed Good news online community. So let’s go through the winners!

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Rotherham Federation Covid-19 Response

RotherFed have been part of the overall community support programme targeting those most in need in our communities, initially through the Rotherham Heroes campaign and Community Hub, but also through providing support to our network of TARA’s and community groups. Our CEO has been involved in the multi-agency response and the Rotherham Tactical Group that work together to respond to community needs. As part of our involvement in the Rotherham Heroes campaign, we took a lead role in helping to shape and organise Friendship Calls to the most isolated and lonely people across the borough, culminating in the creation of a Befriending Providers Network that is Chaired by our CEO and meet monthly to improve outcomes for local people who are lonely and isolated.

Read our full Covid Response below:

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.