Dates for the Summer
The RSM Centre will be closed over the summer from Friday 17th July and reopens on Tuesday 1st September. Therapies and Volunteer Driver Scheme (where possible) requests only during August. Activities will commence on Monday 7th September with Membership Renewals on the Monday afternoon starting 2.30pm at the Village Hall.
Starting in October at Rotherfield St Martin Memorial Institute, North Street, Rotherfield 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month Between 10-12 noon
‘Working together to support our community’
Citizens Advice Outreach Centre at RSM offers an advice service over the internet using Skype. You can speak to a CAB adviser via a video link in a private room. All equipment will be provided and a member of staff will be on hand to help get started.
The advice given is completely independent, impartial and confidential.
This service is now going to be offered at the Rotherfield St Martin Centre every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month starting from Tuesday 7th October.
This is a great service offering advice on a wide range of subjects ranging from benefits to consumer rights. It also means that you don’t have to travel to one of the CAB bureaux.
This service is available to anyone in the community and our help is totally free of charge.
You will need to make an appointment by ringing the office at Rotherfield St Martin on 01892 853021.
Jo Evans BEM writes...
Our 10th Year has started with aplomb. We opened the RSM Centre for activities and refreshments and then had our first meeting on 8th September. This was for membership renewals and a chance for folks to meet up and have a good chat after the summer break.
Chantal Wilson, Chair of the Friends of Crowborough Hospital, came to give a super presentation about the history of the hospital and all the amazing work done there over the years. As we reported recently RSM has been asked to take over the running of the Day Centre there so this was a very timely presentation.
Rachael Wood, our new General Manager gave a wonderful presentation of her journey from Africa and back. She worked in various countries for five years and showed some wonderful photos of her time there. Our last meeting of the month was a return visit by Felicity Watson who led us in a super sing-a-long.
All our activities are up and running. We have a number of new participants in the exercise programmes which is very encouraging. There were definite benefits to us having exercise sessions at the Village Hall in August as folks have started this term’s classes in a much fitter state than in previous years when we have had a long break.
We held out Grand Summer Draw at Kennedy Ford at the end of the month and I will report on this in next month’s edition. We had some amazing prizes and have been told it was the best raffle this summer!
The diary for October is in this edition and I would like to draw your attention to the Dementia Support Seminar on Saturday 18th October. This has come about through our concern for those people in our community who are either living with dementia or caring for a loved one with the condition. We are holding this morning jointly with St Denys PCC and are hoping that many people from the village will attend to order to learn about the condition and ways in which we can support those affected by it.
The morning starts at 9.30am and finish at 1.00pm. To book a place call RSM Centre on 01892 853021. This will be just one event we will be organising over the next period of time in our desire to make Rotherfield a ‘Dementia Friendly Village.’ This is linked to the initiative by the Alzheimer’s Society to encourage people to become Dementia Friends.
Don’t forget to have your electric blankets tested before the cold weather sets in. This will be on Wednesday 15th October at Crowborough Fire Station. You can bring your blankets round to RSM Centre on Tuesday 14th Oct and we will deliver them to Crowborough for testing on Wednesday morning. If they pass they will then need to be collected between 2.30-5.00pm on Wednesday afternoon. If they don’t pass they will not be returned to the office. Please make sure blankets are clearly labelled with your name, address and phone number and placed in a bag also labelled.
We have booked 50 seats to see ‘Are You Being Served’ by the Rotherfield Players on Thursday 16th October. If you are a RSM member and would like to join us for a fun evening out, please ring the office to reserve a place.
We welcome new members from the community to come and meet us and find out about the services and activities we offer. We want to reach out to our older folk and give them the opportunity to try new activities and make new friends.
Jo Evans BEM CEO writes...
A shorter report this month as we are closed for activities till September 1st. Having said that, office staff are very busy sorting out, tidying up and getting everything ready for the beginning of our 10th year!
Our new General Manager, Rachael Wood is settling in and getting to grips with office procedures and how the charity is run. It is a good time for her to start as she will be more familiar with all things RSM by the time we reopen in September. When we reopen do pop in and meet her as this will give her a chance to get to know members and folk in the community.
As promised here is a report of our 14th Holiday at Home. Yet another wonderful event much enjoyed by those who participated. On Wednesday our trip to Bexhill saw a glorious day and a chance for everyone to enjoy the De La Warr Pavilion and a walk along the sea front. Luigi and his team at Di Paolo’s Restaurant gave us another super fish and chip lunch and of course there was the fabulous Italian ice cream for which they are so famous. We returned to the Village Hall for tea and cakes and everyone went home in a very happy mood. A lovely day. Thursday’s activity was Ikebana (Japanese Flower Arranging) led by Valerie Burns. A beautiful exquisite craft with deep spiritual meaning. The efforts of those who participated were wonderful and there was a lovely, gentle atmosphere in the room. RSM committee prepared lunch which was much appreciated by everyone and then we had a fun afternoon with entertainment provide by Jeff Small, Helen Bennett, Sue Evans and Laurie Jeal. Lots of toe tapping and singing. On Friday a group went to Laddingford Aerdrome to see the Europa Two-Seater Plane made by one of our members, Peter Kember. He had previously been to talk about how he had built the plane and offered a trip as part of the Holiday at Home. It was a very informative an fun afternoon with one of our members, Margaret Farmer actually getting to sit in the cockpit. So a great end to the three days. Many thanks to all who helped to make it all run so smoothly, cake makers, tea ladies, musicians and drivers. A special thanks to Tony Holcombe who on two days drove the All Saints minibus for us.
In addition to all the tidying up, we have had a continuation of therapies, exercise at the Village Hall and VDS bookings. We know everyone is looking forward to September 8th when we have our first meeting and membership renewals.
The September Diary is in this addition as well as a report on the wonderful Fiesta. With regard to the latter we are selling raffle tickets jointly with Kennedy’s for the Grand Draw on Saturday 27th September in Kennedy’s Showroom. There are some fabulous prizes, the top one being tickets to the award winning production of War Horse with an overnight stay in London. There will also be the raising of the ‘Rotherfield Fiesta Flag’ designed by Megan Winn on the same day so do keep that Saturday free. Other dates to note are the Macmillan Coffee Morning on Friday 26th September here at RSM Centre and the production by Crowborough Arts ‘From Sussex Weald to Flanders’ Field’ on Saturday 20th September. We will be organising a party from Rotherfield St Martin to the matinee.
You will also notice a poster about a Dementia Seminar jointly hosted by RSM and St Denys Church on Saturday October 18th in the morning. This is part of our desire to encourage Rotherfield to become a Dementia Friendly Village in the near future. Dementia is a condition that affects many people, the majority of them living at home with their carers. It is possible to live well with dementia but those with the condition and their carers need support not only from their families but from the community in which they live. The seminar will raise awareness of the disease and show ways we can support and help. The main speakers will be Chris Walton-Turner from Joined -up Training and Ben Bano, Director of the Welcome Me as I Am Project. RSM’s Dementia Champion, Samantha Dahman will also be there to encourage delegates to become Dementia Friends, an initiative set up by the Alzheimer’s Society. To book a place please call RSM Office on 01892 853021.
Jo Evans BEM- Chief Executive Officer writes...
Here we are at the end of our 9th Year and amazed at all that has happened over the last month.
We had a tremendous presentation by Martin Williams about Iran’s Islamic Revolution and how the film ‘Argo’ got it wrong! It was a first-hand report which was enjoyed by those who were at the talk. The final meeting of the year was a cream tea party when we wound up the year and had a great time of reflection and a very successful raffle.
The Rotherfield Fiesta was fantastic even though we had to make the decision to change venues for the Summer Fayre from the Kings Arms to the Village Hall because of the weather. Please see a separate report about the weekend.
Our 14th Holiday at Home ended July and a report will appear in the next addition of the magazine.
This year we once again went to Bexhill on Sea, had a Japanese Flower Arranging morning, some super musical entertainment and a trip to Laddingford Aerodrome. All this washed down with numerous cups of tea and yummy cake!
With the development of RSM, our growing services and our outreach programme, we felt we needed a more robust structure in the office and have recently appointed Rachael Wood as General Manager. This will free Jo up to go to talk and help other groups to set up a similar work as well as visiting RSM members. Rachael comes with great experience in both the commercial and charity sectors and has worked in Africa for five years. She has vast experience in leading and motivating volunteers as well as fundraising. We are very much looking forward to her joining the team at RSM.
As you may have read in the Courier RSM has been commissioned by The Friends of Crowborough Hospital to take over the provision of Day Care in the autumn. There was a real possibility that the provision would end as funding had been withdrawn. However the Friends stepped in and are continuing to fund the programme but have asked us to run it. We are very excited about this prospect and will be advertising for a manager to run the centre under RSM’s umbrella. We are delighted that the older folk of Crowborough will continue to have this service and we are hoping to develop and extend it in the future.
Rotherfield St Martin was nominated as Public Health Hero of East Sussex a few months ago and since that award and a presentation to the staff team in London, we were visited recently by members of the team who wanted to see what we did here in Rotherfield. We planned a programme of activities for them to join in with, exercise, charity shop, VDS drive and Befriending. They had a great day and were very complimentary about the support and care services we provide.
They have offered to help us with a cost benefit analysis so that we can really show how much money we are saving NHS and Adult Social Care.
Although the office is closed we are all very busy catching up and sorting out before we reopen on September 1st. Also it is time for staff to take a holiday.
We look forward to the beginning of our 10th year and all that is in store for us and the community.
Jo Evans BEM Charity Manager writes...
What a busy month we have had, action packed and full of activity. We started the month with a wonderful presentation by Sally Baldwin on Nowzad Dogs. These are dogs that were rescued from Afghanistan by soldiers and then rehoused either in that country or here in Britain. It was a very moving presentation and members very generously raised £ 210.78 for the charity.
We then had a wonderful trip to The British Wildlife Centre at Lingfield where we saw some of the best of British Wildlife. Red squirrels, foxes, wild cats, otters and much more. We had the whole place to ourselves and Lucy our guide was superb giving us detailed information about different species. We also had a demonstration of owls flying which was delightful. It was definitely one of the highlights of our year.
We are developing our support for those living with dementia and their carers so with this in mind we had a presentation by Samantha Dahman, our Charity Shop Manager who is also our Dementia Champion. She went through the causes and effects of dementia and how each of us can respond in positive ways to those living with the condition. At the end of the presentation members were invited to become Dementia Friends. In addition to this Jo, Helen & Samantha gave a presentation to PCC at St Denys and in the autumn we will be hosting a joint seminar at the church for the community and other churches to raise awareness of dementia. Our aim is to become a Dementia Friendly Village in the next two years.
Peter Kember gave a fabulous presentation on building and flying a small aeroplane. Peter has built two planes and houses them at Ladingford Aerodrome near Paddock Wood. A number of members will be visiting the airfield as part of our annual Holiday at Home. It was a very informative and detailed talk and made us realise just how complex aircraft are…even small ones.
The last meeting of the month was an outing to Crowborough Locomotive Society at Goldsmith’s where members saw the miniature railway in operation and had a go at driving remote controlled boats. A very fun and happy time was had by all.
The July diary is out and as we are coming to the end of our ‘year’ there are just a few activities. However we will be offering some exercise sessions at the Village Hall to keep everyone fit and the Volunteer Driver Scheme will be operating but will be dependent on drivers in the holiday period.
After receiving the award as Public Health Hero for East Sussex, Andy & Jo were invited to speak to staff at The Department of Health. This was very well received, the result being that we are having a visit from a number of staff from the department on July 16th when they will come to see what we do and join in activities.
We have advertised for a General Manager for RSM to oversee the day to day running of the charity and help with our development plans. This will enable Jo to be freed up to go out and assist other groups to start a similar work as well as continuing the work in Rotherfield. We have had a great response to the advert and will be interviewing in the first part of July.
The two big events coming up this month are The Rotherfield Fiesta from Friday 18th – Sunday 20th July. Please see additional article. Suffice it to say it is going to be a fabulous weekend bringing the village together with something for everybody. Don’t miss it!
Also our 14th Holiday at Home is action packed this year full of fun activities, trips, and of course…..abundant tea and cakes!
We close officially for the summer on Friday July 18th and reopen on Monday September 1st. The office will be open for drives, therapies and emergencies but it will be a time for sorting and tidying up the office, preparing for the next year as well as staff holidays.
From us all here at Rotherfield St Martin, we wish you all a sunny summer and look forward to meeting up again in September.
May was the month of blossom and bank holidays!! Just two meetings this month but both really interesting and gave us much to think about.
We had Liz Sharma from East Sussex Disability Association who brought along some very useful equipment and told us about the wonderful service provided by the staff. It was very heartening and encouraging to see the kind of support that is available to people with. We then had a fabulous presentation by Heather Woodward representing the Kent Air Ambulance. She told us that the service is one of the best in the country and that none of us lives more than 30 miles from one of the helicopters. We saw pictures of the highly trained staff heard of some of the incidents they had attended. It made us feel very blessed to be served by such a terrific organisation.
We had a visit from Richard Ashworth MEP just before the elections. He came in to join the table tennis group and had a game with some of the members. On the same day a group from Uckfield U3A dropped in for tea and cakes after a visit to St Denys. So a very busy afternoon.
Andy & Jo were out and about in Somerset at the end of the month speaking to a group in Blagdon who want to start a similar project.
Much is happening at RSM. June is a very busy month (see diary) with many extra activities including concerts, trips out and visits to RSM by interested people. On 23rd we have a group coming from the Department of Public Health to see what we do and to meet members. Andy and Jo are also going to address staff from the department at a morning seminar on 11th award as Public Health Hero for East Sussex.
Over the next months we are planning to develop our Dementia Support activities. Samantha Dahman, our Charity Shop Manager, is now our Dementia Champion and she will be giving a talk at our Monday meeting on June16th. If you are a carer or someone living with dementia, you would be most welcome to attend. Please give the office a ring for further details.
Holiday at Home is filling up fast. The only activities with availability are the trip to Bexhill on July 23rd and the afternoon entertainment on 24th.The Summer Fiesta is gaining momentum. This is going to be a fun packed community weekend from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th. Please see advertisement and article about the event. The organising committee have put together a fabulous programme to suit everyone, a real family occasion. Do put the dates in your diary.
Jo Evans BEM
A regular feature in our week is the Monday afternoon meeting. Last Monday was poetry afternoon. Here's committee member Ann Mortlock, reading out her favourite AA Milne poem. Other favourites from members, volunteers and staff included John Benjamin, John Keats and Spike Milligan.
Here's the office's favourite Spike Milligan poem
A small group went for a pub lunch to Cricketers Arms at Berwick followed by a walk around the beautiful church. There is going to be a monthly pub outing during the summer months. Another group went to see Oliver at the Assembly Halls. TWODS very kindly gave us some complimentary tickets and a great evening was had by all. More outings are planned for the summer months including one to the British Wildlife Centre on June 9th and to Crowborough Locomotive Society on 30th June. Our annual Holiday at Home is now advertised and we have a fun filled programme ready for our three day summer event. Also advertised is the Rotherfield Fiesta which we are collaborating with the Kings Arms and St Denys. It’s going to be a fabulous weekend from July18th-20th, with some amazing entertainment, a beer festival, open gardens and plenty for the whole family. Put the dates in your diary and you won’t be disappointed.
A big ‘Thank you’ to Samantha, Jeannette and Yvonne for raising over £103 from the Charity Shop Stall at the Easter Egg Hunt on Good Friday at the Village Hall. It was a lovely occasion organised by the Bonfire Society with many families enjoying fine weather and lots of activities.
We have two more Bank Holidays in May so we only have two Monday meetings but they are going to be very interesting. We have Liz Sharma from East Sussex Disability Association and then Kent Air Ambulance.
We were delighted to hear that we and been nominated as the Public Health Hero of East Sussex by Cynthia Lyons, Acting Director of Health for East Sussex.
Jane Ellison, Public Health Minister had written to all directors of Public Health in England to ask them to nominate a ‘Hero’ so that work at the grass roots could be celebrated. We were both humbled and honoured to have been chosen for East Sussex. Andy & Jo went up to the House of Lords to receive the award and meet with MPs and leaders in Public Health. It was a wonderful occasion hosted by Jane Ellison and Lord Adebowale. What was so encouraging was to see the fabulous work being carried out by many community groups and charities all over the country. For us it was very affirming that the work we are doing has been recognised in this way. We are being asked more and more to share the RSM model with other groups both locally and around the country. If, by doing this, we are able to help more elderly people, it will be worth the work involved.
All our activities are flourishing. As I write this, the table tennis group are having a great afternoon with much fun and laughter. Our next exercise session at Freedom Leisure is underway and we are having new enquiries about the hydrotherapy pool. The Dementia support sessions are going well and our Charity Shop Manager, Samantha, is now our Dementia Champion and is now giving talks in the community to encourage people to become Dementia Friends. A group from RSM will be attending the Alzheimer’s Show at Olympia this month so we are looking forward to hearing all about it.
Our Befrienders are being kept busy with visiting and making sure that folks are visited in hospital. We have had a number of members in hospital over the last month and we hope they will be back with us soon. Our volunteer drivers are also extremely busy with hospital journeys all over the county. We are always on the lookout for drivers so would be grateful to hear from anyone in the community who could spare a few hours a month.
Have a Merry May with yet more Bank Holidays!
Jo Evans BEM – Charity Manager
If you have ever attended a RSM AGM, you will know what a friendly and welcoming atmosphere prevails at these meetings, so it's no wonder so many people turn up!
Over 120 members, invited guests, visitors and of course the Committee and Charity Manager (ie.Jo!) attended the 9th Rotherfield St Martin Annual General Meeting held on Monday 18th November 2013 at Rotherfield Village Hall. Jo Evans opened the Meeting in prayer and welcomed everyone.
The improvements wrought on members through social interaction and exercise have been marvellous to see. Exercise projects are so important, aiding in recovery from small to major ailments and give confidence and fitness to cope with everyday life. Day-care for some older and less able members is on offer, as is help for people living with dementia and their carers - RSM wants to promote dementia awareness throughout the village.
Of course regular activities are still going strong: Monday meetings: bridge: table tennis; knitting and nattering, Volunteer Drivers Service – its use ever expanding, and the many phone calls and visits received at the Drop-In Centre with queries, bookings, worries or just making contact.
The summer fair brought in funds but perhaps more importantly brings the village together for a joyous event. The charity shop, a great success, is blessed with its wonderful manager Sam, and her hard working band of volunteers going from strength to strength. RSM are determined to extend the care from Rotherfield St. Martin to provide or enable greater pre, during and post hospitalisation care. Andy reported, sadly, on those members who are no longer with us. They are all missed but RSM are glad to have been of some support, not to mention the joy their friendship gave to us all.
For all the wonderful help and efforts, Andy thanked the members, the volunteers, all those who have contributed financially last year whether individuals or organisations, and 3VA for their advice and support; the staff of Rotherfield St. Martin including Andy L-H regrettably leaving at Christmas, Helen the new Deputy Charity Manager, Sam the Charity Shop Manager; the Committee – including Thelma Goulding and Stephen Whitehead retiring this year ; the Trustees - and a warm welcome to new Trustee Teresa Lipson, much experienced in Adult Social Care; Patrons: Andrew Goodsell was welcomed; and all those organisations and their members around East Sussex who have given their help so unstintingly. Andy ended with the thought that Rotherfield St. Martin is a family.
John Westwood gave the Treasurer's Report outlining some income and expenditure, referring to the annual Accounts. The Charity Shop got off to a successful start, with thanks to the Rotherfield Trust who paid 50% of the rent for the first 6 months.
The major Grants in 2012/13 were the legacy from Bert Mitchell and others included those from Tudor Trust , Santander Charity, Rotherfield Parish Council, Crowborough Town Council and Wealden District Council. When you are making or updating your Wills, you might like to consider leaving a little something to RSM - every penny helps carry on good work in the community. The regular monthly, quarterly and annual donations through 'St Martin's Cloak' were most useful regular income. Various Activities, Outings & Visits broke even; Freedom Leisure Exercise Classes and Holiday at Home were costly, however, grants cover this deficit. Other costs included holding the Monday Meetings and the running costs for the "Bertmobile", and of course payroll and office expenses. Abbeyfield kindly continued to cover the rent for the Institute.
The year finished with 357 members - that's an income of £3,570 and all together the impressive sum of £35,767 was raised from self-generated income - or £46,367 including Gifts & Donations - well done to everybody.
The Treasurer outlined some problems encountered during the year as a result of which RSM are in the process of changing banks. Adoption of the 2012/2013 Accounts was proposed and approved nem con and the Auditors were re-appointed.
The Management Committee were elected en bloc unanimously by those present: Andy Miller, John Westwood, Daphne Bagshawe, Bernard Sparrow and Robin Kennedy had agreed to continue as Trustees. In addition, Teresa Lipsome from ESCC Adult Social Care was welcomed as a new Trustee. Andy Miller continues as Chairman and John Westwood as Treasurer. The Hon. Secretary's post was currently vacant. Hazel Thorne and Yvonne Kennedy, members of the Management Committee, were re-elected and joined by Sylvia Westwood and Ann Mortlock; also Margaret Farmer and Geoff White as Members' Representatives.
Next on the Agenda were "Refreshments" - delicious tea and RSM cakes as always!