Judith Stratton has completed her work in our area and has moved onto being a ‘Community Navigator’ with AgeUKIW. She has been an inspiration to us all and the whole area has benefitted from her enthusiasm and dedication to improve community relationships.
As an AgeUKIW Community Development Officer, has been working with local organisations, businesses and residents to facilitate the development of a Good Neighbour Scheme in this area. This was a volunteer-led initiative supporting services and activities aimed at reducing loneliness and isolation for older people in your community. In the two years that Judith Stratton worked in the locality much has taken place in order to achieve our aim in addressing the needs of the more vulnerable older people living in the Benefice and to strengthen the sense of community between the parishes. Here are just a few of the initiatives Judith supported before moving on to a new post working in the North-East Wight.
AgeUKIW Good Neighbour Scheme Volunteers
10 residents are receiving weekly one to one visits from a volunteer befriender
27 Brighstone residents and 13 Shorwell residents have become AgeUKIW GNS volunteers.
19 Brighstone residents and 3 Shorwell residents have become regular ‘lay’ volunteers supporting events set up as part of the project
Volunteer transport, taking residents to social events, medical appointments, and social visits.
Volunteer computer support – ie using social media/email to keep in touch with friends and family
Writers group – meets 6 weekly at the Reading Room, 11 members at present
Craft Club – weekly on a Weds afternoon in the summer, 5 regular attendees.
Methodist Church – Tuesday Coffee Morning – since starting in August 2014 the coffee morning now welcomes between 30 and 40 visitors a week. Since August 2014 over 6000 volunteer hours have been given at Coffee Mornings and Drop-ins.
Drop-in at the Methodist Chapel –on Tuesdays from March 2016 (previously held at the Exchange)
‘Pitch up at the Pub coffee mornings at the Crown Inn – every Friday. 20+ attend. Special events have included a Christmas party, Macmillan Tea Party (raised £252.05), Pancakes and Valentines Day celebration
Table Tennis Club – Every Weds, Shorwell Parish Hall.
Social Men’s group – ‘Blokes, Bacon Butties and Banter’ in the Village Hall. 3rd Weds, Monthly.
Tea Pot Club – a 95 year old, housebound lady has volunteer support to hold an occasional afternoon tea ‘get together’ at her home.
Brighstone Newsletter – Raffle held and donations given to raise funds for newsletter
Wight Seated Exercise – classes held at the Methodist Chapel, 10+ users a week Paul Fifield raised £100 for a new table for the Community Coffee Morning
Tai Chi classes set up – weekly in the Wilberforce Hall
Totland Alzheimers Café – support in setting up a quarterly ‘Pop Café’ in Brighstone
Brighstone Horticultural Society – Coffee morning visitors making items to enter in the shows
Age Friendly Island Dementia Friendly Church Service held in 2015
AgeUKIW Extreme Weather Support Service – 5 people given items to help them stay warm
Jack Frost Appeal – 2 people received funding to help pay winter fuel bills
Footprint Trust – 7 people had help to reduce the cost of utility bills.
Welfare Benefits Checks – 6 people now get funding they were entitled to but were not claiming
Wight Care – 3 people now have emergency buttons.
Brighstone Methodist Church Community Coffee Morning Events have included:
Christmas Party x 2- 85 people attended
Subsidised trip 44 people visited the attractions at Fort Victoria followed by lunch at the Freshwater Bay hotel
Subsidised trip 21 people had a tour around the EMH John Cheverton Centre followed by a cream tea and ceramic painting
Garden Party – cream teas and entertainment from Frank Sinatra tribute entertainer Alan Rodway. 90+ people attended.
Easter Egg Hunt x 2with eggs donated by Island Roads in 2015
Red White and Blue – proud to be British event
Hand bell ringing (two visits)
Lisa Kerley from Carisbrooke Castle Museum, met ‘Born and Bred Islanders’ in their 80’s 90’s and 100’s who wanted to get involved in an oral history project to explore and record personal memories of Island life in the past. She then visited residents in their homes to record their stories.
Queen’s 90th Birthday Bash – celebrating with three of our own Queen’s as they turned 90 years young. Over £127 was raised for the Wessex Cancer Trust
Ukulele lessons – Held on Saturdays throughout April and May 2016 at the Methodist Chapel.
Frank Sinatra Tribute
Birthday celebrations – all regular visitors birthdays are celebrated with a cake, card and singing ‘Happy birthday’
Since Judith moved on…
The aim was for the project to continue way beyond the two years that Judith was working in the area. Volunteers have ensured that activities set up/supported as part of the project continue to run and are self sustaining. New activities continue to be introduced including:
‘Singing for people who can’t sing!’ monthly sessions at the Methodist Church Community Coffee Morning from September 2016-12-05
‘Play Reading’ we are looking for people to join this new group (please contact Alan at the Methodist Church Community Coffee Morning)
Table Tennis League Games – at Shorwell Table Tennis Club – a chance for people to be more competitive
The Isle of Wight Community Action Awards 2015 were held at the Riverside Centre in May. The AgeUKIW Good Neighbour Scheme won first prize in the ‘older persons’ category. A number of Brighstone and Shorwell GNS volunteers took part in a presentation for the judges which undoubtedly helped them to win first place.
The Celebrating Age Awards 2015 Brighstone and Shorwell Coffee Mornings were nominated for an award in the ‘Age Friendly Team of the Year’ category, recognising what can be done when a group of motivated, hard working individuals come together. The award goes to a group of people who have worked together and accomplished something outstanding. Although we were not the winners we were recognised for our incredible achievements and enjoyed an evening of celebration.
The Celebrating Age Awards 2016 were held in October and once again the Brighstone and Shorwell Coffee Mornings were nominated for an award in the ‘Age Friendly Team of the Year’ category, and this time… we won!
David Lumley was also nominated for his outstanding contribution as a volunteer, helping older residents to use computers, access the internet and get used to their mobile phones.
Working in Partnership with the Five Churches
Funded by the Five churches, Judith Stratton, your AgeUKIW Community Development Officer, is working with local organisations, businesses and residents to facilitate the development of a Good Neighbour Scheme in this area. This is a volunteer-led initiative supporting services and activities aimed at reducing loneliness and isolation for older people in your community.
If you would like to enquire further about our Good Neighbour Scheme, please call 525282, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are welcome to join us at our Brighstone Age UK Community Coffee Morning which is every Tuesday morning 10am – 12 noon. Click here Apr 16 Newsletter – Brighstone to find out who is visiting and what we will be doing each week.
Alternatively pop into The Crown at Shorwell on a Friday morning 10.30am – 12 noon for Pitch up at the Pub, to meet with friends over coffee and cake. Click here Apr 16 Newsletter – Shorwell to find out what is going on each week in Shorwell.
You can also pop in to The Exchange in Brighstone, every Wednesday morning 10am – 12 noon, or to 1 Taylor Court, The Green, Shorwell, 10am – 11am, to speak to Judith, about any issues or concerns you may have.
Christmas Day Lunch
The Wilberforce Hall was a buzz of activity on Christmas morning as more and more people turned up to help get the Community Lunch ready and onto the tables. There was a team of willing helpers up in the Scout Hut kitchen, getting the vegetables (and the plates!) hot while others were laying up the tables with festive tablecloths, beautiful table decorations, crackers, cutlery and glasses and still more were carving the turkey, making the mulled wine and getting the food ready to serve. It was organised chaos but it was wonderful fun.
All the food was contributed by those who came to enjoy the meal together and wine was donated by well-wishers. The whole atmosphere was one of generosity of spirit and everyone enjoyed the fun.
There was also plenty of entertainment with musicians, carol-singing, a quiz and bingo. Father Christmas swung by with a sackful of presents for everyone and, once the final mince pie had been eaten, the tables were cleared and we got stuck into some barn dancing.
It was certainly a Christmas Day to remember!
Coffee Morning Garden Party – Ist Anniversary Celebrations
The sun didn’t shine and at one time we were forced to get out our umbrellas but nothing was going to dampen our spirits as we celebrated the first birthday of the Brighstone Project. Funded by the Church of England and facilitated by AgeUKIW staff and volunteers, this project is working towards reducing isolation and loneliness in the parishes of Brighstone, Shorwell, Mottistone and Brook. The celebration took place at the local Methodist Chapel where a weekly coffee morning is held. The event attracted 70+ people who enjoyed a delicious cream tea while being entertained by Alan Rodway who performed a number of well-known Frank Sinatra songs. The atmosphere was lively and welcoming and as guests got up to dance the rain stopped and the sun did its best to peep from behind the clouds. Alan’s lovely singing voice could be heard in the village centre and attracted a number of people who had not previously attended our regular coffee mornings. They enjoyed themselves so much they are planning to return next week! Many guests took advantage of the opportunity to have a photograph taken in front of a beach backdrop which resulted in some hilarious hula dancing and attracted quite an audience. Onlookers encouraged the participants by singing their version of ‘Aloha Oe’ while cameras were clicking away furiously in an attempt to catch a snap of friends in grass skirts and leis. And to top it all the raffle raised £72 in aid of the Brighstone Newsletter! As people left they were keen to know what we had planned for our next party… watch this space!
If anyone fancies coming to our coffee mornings they are held every Tuesday from 10 – 12 at the Methodist Chapel, New Road, Brighstone. You are assured to get a warm welcome and will soon make new friends. Enjoy these photos.
Shorwell Table Tennis Club Update
The Shorwell Table Tennis Club held it’s first meeting last night (24th June) and 24 people turned up to see what it was all about. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming and although many people had not met each other before they were soon playing friendly matches and teaching the rules to those who had never played. With three tables available no one had to wait long for a game and when doubles matches were introduced even more people were able to play. Some people played short matches, others preferred to hone their skills with easy going ‘knockabouts’, either way, everyone was getting exercise, having a chat and sharing a giggle. With ages ranging from teens to 80+ it was a real community event and there were lots of opportunities for new friends to be made. Thank you to Tony, Jan, Barbara, Keith and the Shorwell Midsummer Fair and Village Hall Committees for all your support and enthusiasm.
If you fancy joining us we meet in Shorwell Village Hall every Weds from 7- 9pm. All ages and abilities welcome. For just £1.50 you will have two hours of fun filled exercise – what are you waiting for?
For more information please contact Tony Pearse on 740002
Coffee Morning News, June 2015 – by Judith
The Methodist Church, Brighstone resounded with the sound of singing and laughter when the visitors to our coffee morning took part in a Red, White and Blue event. A few weeks earlier, Brian and Bev, two of our amazing volunteers, had suggested that we spend a morning celebrating all that is British by wearing red, white and blue, eating cakes iced with Union Jacks, having photos taken with ‘British’ props and having a good old fashioned sing song! What a great morning it was, Brenda played the Keyboard for us and Bev led the singing. Terry got up and danced and commented that it was the ‘…best coffee morning yet!’. We took some lovely photos for people and gave out copies for them to share with friends and family.
Here are some of the photos from our Red, White and Blue day:
and a recent outing to Fort Victoria:On another delightful morning in June, the Brighstone Handbells treated us to a medley of popular tunes. They were amazing! I had not heard handbells played ‘live’ before and was enchanted by the sound. There were at least 11 members of the team led by Michael who introduced each tune with expertise and encouraged the audience to sing or hum along. We are not a shy bunch at the coffee morning and didn’t need to be asked twice, soon everyone was joining in and feet were tapping along to the tunes. After the performance Michael surprised us all by offering to let us have a go at ringing the bells ourselves and as you might imagine, there were lots of people who jumped at the chance. Michael had prepared some ‘music’ for us to follow – pieces of paper held up by his team with the notes written on them … C D E C C D E C E F G E F G G A G F E C G A G F E C CGC CGC (can you work out what we played? Answer below!) Well, as expected we did make a bit of a mess of it but it was great fun and a real treat.
Thank you so much to Michael and the Handbell Ringers for giving up their morning to entertain us, we are looking forward to next time – perhaps at Christmas?
Brighstone Handbells meet on Monday afternoons between 16:00 and 17:00. For more information, please contact Michael Camps through the parish office, tel: 07474987683 or email email@example.com.
We played Frere Jacques.
Award Winners! – by Mark O’Sullivan, (Manager of The Good Neighbour Sheme)
I am delighted to announce that the Age UKIW Good Neighbour Scheme won two awards at the 2015 Isle of Wight Community Action Awards held on Friday night at The Riverside Centre. The awards, which started in 1994, are an annual celebration of inspirational Island voluntary and community group work. Sponsored by the Isle of Wight County Press the evening is an opportunity to showcase some amazing work carried out by volunteers across the Island.
So a MASSIVE ‘Thank You’ to all our fantastic volunteers…this award is for you…..!!
Enjoy these photos of recent coffee mornings:About Age UK Isle of Wight: www.ageuk.org.uk/isleofwight/
Age UK Isle of Wight is an independent, local charity, founded in 1973.
Our purpose is to ensure that the needs of individuals aged 50+ living on the Isle of Wight are supported either through direct service provision or by working in partnership with others.
• Around 1 million older people regularly go an entire month without speaking to anyone.
• Almost 600,000 people only leave their house once a week or less.
• An estimated 5 million older people consider their TV to be their main form of companionship.
How we can help you
Volunteers living in your area are on hand to help older people over the age of 50+ who have no family or friends to turn to in times of genuine need. You may need help with a one off task or you may need more regular support. Either way we can hopefully help you.
Some of the services we provide are:
- transport to an appointment or a local event
- reading your post or completing a form
- regular visiting
- Dog walking
- Helping people to regain confidence after illness or bereavement
- Helping with small tasks in the home
How you can help
By volunteering for your local Good Neighbour Scheme you can use your spare time to make a real difference to the life of an older person. Just 10 minutes a week chatting to a neighbour or doing a small task for someone who is struggling to remain independent, can help to reduce isolation. We do not ask our volunteers to give more time than they can spare or to to tasks they do not feel able to do.
To find out more about volunteering for your local Good Neighbour Scheme please follow this link:
Or download this leaflet: Volunteering Make a Real Difference