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April 2014 Report

posted 13 May 2014, 13:14 by Rotherfield St Martin
Easter Bonnets 2014
Many lovely events enjoyed by RSM members this month. There were just three Monday meetings, the first being a wonderful talk by Derrick Hughes on his years as a Head Teacher with some hilarious stories and poignant tales. Derrick and his wife, Joy, will be coming back at Christmas to entertain us at our party. We then had an ‘Easter’ afternoon when Sue Evans & Janet Smith came to entertain us with a ‘Sing-a-long’. We had an Easter Bonnet competition and enjoyed hot cross buns from Jarvis Brook bakery. The final meeting was one where members brought in their favourite poems to share. This was really lovely with a diverse range of poems. What was really interesting was the reasons particular poems had been chosen. This is an activity we will certainly do again as it was much enjoyed by everyone.

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.

April 2014Jane 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