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Yearly archives for 2014

Meeting the Inner Swordswoman

Posted on 24th December 2014 by

In July, I attended the funeral of Eve Bracegirdle, who had been a member of the Neighbourhood Care Scheme (NCS) for many years, and whose picture, together with her volunteer Daniela Westcott, appears at the head of the NCS page on the website. The funeral was a celebration of a long life well-lived. I was particularly struck by this photograph of Eve from before the War:

Eve NCS Fencing

Eve’s spirit, determination and zest – so evident in the photo – were still immediately apparent when I first met her sixty years later, though her physical prowess had declined. Last year I reached the age of sixty, but I still felt very much in touch with my inner sixteen-year-old, though he was not visible at all in the mirror. People’s spirit can remain more sprightly than their bodies as they get older. It is one of the pleasures of running NCS to be able to introduce our volunteers to older people – with their inspiring inner swordswomen, inner adventurers, inner sixteen-year-olds, inner whatever – and their depth of knowledge and experience.

Eve’s life was remarkable (as the obituary below by her son Nicolas clearly shows). But she was typical of most of our scheme members – they still have a lot to give even if they no longer have their youthful physical powers. Feedback from our volunteers confirms that they enjoy being with these spirited older people:

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Mince Pies, Friends and Neighbours!

Posted on 12th December 2014 by

Mince Meet Up poster

A couple of weeks ago, I was at a meeting at The Fed Centre for Independent Living with a small group of people who had been involved in their Out and About pilot project. We were looking at how we could translate the lessons of the project into accessible guidance both for individuals who might want to help a person with a physical disability or an older person go out safely and for groups which would like to increase access to their activities. For people who are at risk of being housebound, getting out of the house and enjoying activities with the opportunity to make new friends can be really life-enhancing. The Out and About group plan to produce a simple advice leaflet in 2015.

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#GivingTuesday – Diary of a Volunteer

Posted on 2nd December 2014 by

Fran has recently completed an 8 week placement as a volunteer receptionist with the support of Better Futures. She has thoroughly enjoyed this experience and has recorded her reflection in a weekly diary. Fran is now continuing her role and was keen to share her experiences with others, so they can get an understanding of the typical journey they might expect from doing one of our placements. We decided to publish her story today for #GivingTuesday as Fran’s volunteering is a great example of the the work of our staff in accompanying service users on their journey to become comfortable with volunteering by themselves.

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#GivingTuesday is coming!

Posted on 20th November 2014 by

It is 13 days until the first UK #GivingTuesday – a global day of giving. The simple idea behind #GivingTuesday is to encourage people, charities and businesses to donate time, money or their voice to help a good cause.

Here at Impetus we are planning to open our doors up to show everyone the wide range of things we do and what difference it means to our service users and volunteers. Look out for our tweets and Facebook posts showing snippets of our activities with photos, links, stories and more!

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NCS Wins Award for Outstanding Volunteering Contribution

Posted on 12th November 2014 by

award pic no red eye

NCS manager, Sean de Podesta, NCS volunteer, Frances Rhodes, and Impetus CEO, Jo Ivens show off our Sector Star Award

Our Neighbourhood Care Scheme (NCS) won its third award in as many years last night at the Brighton & Hove Community Works annual Sector Star awards. This year we won for Outstanding Volunteering Contribution – Adults with the judges particularly commending the scheme for the large numbers of volunteers involved over a long period of time.

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The Living Wage Campaign

Posted on 28th October 2014 by

living wage logo We are proud to announce that we’ve signed up to the Living Wage Brighton & Hove Campaign, a local campaign started by the Brighton and Hove Living Wage commission to make sure that employees throughout the city are being paid fairly.

The goal of the Living Wage campaign is to make sure that shops, businesses and organisations throughout Brighton and Hove are paying their workers enough to not just survive, but to enjoy life and live it to the fullest.

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Valuing local grants

Posted on 23rd October 2014 by

The voluntary sector in Brighton & Hove punches way above its weight. For every £1 invested in the Brighton & Hove voluntary sector through our Council’s discretionary grant programme, the sector is able to bring in another £13. That’s a huge additional £15.98 million leveraged off a £1.25 million investment from the Council. That’s sounds like exceptionally good value to me.

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Community Navigators helping patients access local support

Posted on 30th September 2014 by

On Friday night our Community Navigator team joined over 120 people at the launch of the Extended Primary Integrated Care (EPiC) project. Impetus are the delivery partner with Age UK Brighton & Hove to deliver the Community Navigator work stream. Community Navigators are volunteers based in GP surgeries whose role is to help people find support activities or options within their local community that complements their health care.

Jess Sumner, CEO of AgeUK Brighton & Hove, explains how the Navigator role works in this short film:

EPiC – Extended Primary Integrated Care for Brighton & Hove

We are delighted to have recruited and trained our first two groups of Navigators, and that the idea behind the role is gained such an enthusiastic reaction from patients, GPs and other clinicians.

If you’d like to know more about the Navigator role or to volunteer with us, please contact Clair on 01273 229 382 or go to the Community Navigator page.

Two Good Things in a Day – Thanks to the Garfield Weston Foundation

Posted on 24th July 2014 by

Monday, 21st July, was a good day for the Neighbourhood Care Scheme (NCS). Volunteer Co-ordinator, Assuntina Cardillo-Zallo, and I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the BBC Sussex radio presenter, Alison Ferns, during an outside broadcast from St John’s Day Centre in Hove. This was part of BBC Sussex’s day devoted to the theme of combatting loneliness. During the day, several NCS members and a volunteer were interviewed. However, the outside broadcast featured many groups engaged in activities to combat loneliness: St John’s Day Centre, of course; the Trust for Developing Communities, the Hangleton & Knoll Project, the LGBT Switchboard, a yoga teacher, and a singing group.

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Four walls, Four steps – Barriers of Loneliness

Posted on 17th July 2014 by

Last week, on Radio 4’s Today programme, there was a long feature about loneliness. People talked about “the four walls” and how good it was to get out. The phrase echoed in my head, “Four walls do not a prison make”, but it seemed that for these people the four walls did make a prison.

A quick Google search revealed the source of the echoing phrase – the last verse of Richard Lovelace’s poem ‘To Althea, from Prison’:

“Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage; …”

For Lovelace, the love which fed his spirit made him feel freer than birds in the sky – as free as an angel.

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