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March 2012

posted 26 Mar 2012, 01:59 by Andy Lakin-Hall   [ updated 26 Mar 2012, 01:59 ]

March has seen another full and busy month at Rotherfield St Martin. We have had a packed schedule of activities both in the centre and elsewhere. The warm days and sunshine were very welcome, but we have also had a couple of really cold mornings where we were glad of the heating.

We began our month by entering a team in the Rotherfield Fun Quiz. What fun it was, with a beautiful joker made by Gerry, which has now joined us as a member of the office team - with special responsibility for making visitors smile. Although our cunning strategy of waiting until the last round to play our joker boosted us into the lead close to the end, we were foiled by the Table Quiz and only managed fourth place in the end. 

Our Monday afternoon meetings have continued to be interesting, with a series of figures from the public and political scene. Chris Dowling, Chair of East Sussex County Council visited us on the 27th February. Councillor Kay Moss came to speak to us about her role as Mayor of Crowborough, and then we were pleased to welcome Kathy Gore - High Sheriff of East Sussex. Veronica Payne and Fenya Sharkey from ”Mobile Memories” spoke to us on the 5th March, sharing multimedia reminiscences including the wail of an air raid siren. Reminiscences have been rather a theme this month, with the start of a project of Memories from World War II, led by Alistair Milne and sixth formers from Beacon Community College. 

Our regular activities continue to grow. Knitting and Nattering has now outgrown the number of seats around the large table, so we have had to expand the space to fit everyone in. A large number of their colourful knitted blankets have been delivered to Pinewood and High Broom Care homes, where they were gratefully received by the residents. Table tennis sessions on alternate Fridays are also welcoming more players, and these sessions continue to be light-hearted and filled with laughter. We have had a month of Bridge games, with our regular Bridge afternoon alternating with Lessons for Beginners on Tuesday afternoons, led by Jean Smallwood. Heather Nettleton organised a very successful Bridge Tea at the Village Hall, raising over £450 for RSM and St Denys Church in the process.

Regarding fund raising, we are pleased to report that the online giving event through was a great success, with donations being matched pound for pound with Gift Aid thrown in for good measure. This event was very time-critical as the pot of money available for the whole country was quite small, It was really important to get our donations in as soon as the project began on the 1st of March so that we would receive the Match Funding. A huge thank you goes to all our generous supporters who donated online. Thanks to these donations we have received just over £6,400, which will be invaluable to sustaining our work. Although the Match Finding has now finished, the website remains open for secure online donations to RSM, and you can find links to this on our main website,

We have another fund raising opportunity later this year, when we are planning a traditional Summer Fayre in partnership with the Kings Arms - taking place on Sunday 8th July from  12-5pm. We have invited as many local groups and organisations to join us and hold their own stalls at the fayre, and we are hoping that this will set a pattern for a regular Village event. There is more information about this on our Summer Fayre website,, but we can already announce there will be a barbeque, fun dog show, performances by Mayfield Sliver Band, and a Water Rocket Challenge. Stalls are still available for groups and individuals, so take a look at the website, or call the RSM Centre for more information.

Our volunteer drivers continue to provide much appreciated help for members to attend appointments, and we have been pleased to welcome two new drivers. However we are still heavily stretched with the number of request for drives steadily increasing. We continue to appeal for new volunteer drivers, so if you could spare even one drive a month then we would be very grateful.

The RSM Centre remains open daily from 10.00 until 12:30, and then in the afternoons from 1.30 to 4pm between Tuesday and Friday. We have coffee, tea and cake, and a fiendish jigsaw on the go for fun. The library is also available for the loan of books, and on Friday mornings there is a selection of board games to play, accompanied by volunteers from the Sixth Form at Oakley School in Tunbridge Wells. Do drop by and join in for fun and friendship.

April activities can be found in the diary. 

Please note that we will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday

Andy Lakin-Hall