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Yearly archives for 2014

Open Arts Open Week Optimism!

Posted on 4th July 2014 by
Open Arts Open Week Flyer

Click image to view the Open Week flyer.

Open Arts is a new arts creation and learning space in Brighton Open Market. It is a collaborative project between Autism Sussex, Impetus and Grace Eyre. Open Arts will run Visual and Live Arts courses for adults with Asperger’s, Autism and Learning Disabilities, and will be both an educational and social space that accommodates all levels of ability.

Next week, from Monday 7th to Friday 11th of July, you can drop in between 10am and 4pm to meet Open Arts staff and learn more about all of the wonderful courses! Anyone is welcome, and it’s a great opportunity to visit the Open Market.

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Brighton University Students Raise £1400+ for Impetus

Posted on 27th June 2014 by

Last week, University of Brighton students carried out some fundraising activities for Impetus. Their hard work generated a total of £1437.86! We think that’s an impressive figure for the short time they had, and all of us are feeling very grateful. Matt Day (manager of ASpire, Interact, and Better Futures) visited the uni today to personally give our thanks and collect the cash donations.

UOB UltraViolet Entrepreneuring students

Photos from the university’s Beepurple course.

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St John’s Annual Learner Voice Conference

Posted on 17th June 2014 by

On the 11th of June Better Futures were very kindly invited to take part in St John’s Annual Learner Voice Conference. The event was aimed at showcasing the amazing variety of activities that St John’s students have access to during their time with both their Seaford based school and the college situated in East Brighton.

The event was a huge success with a mixture of speakers, entertainers, and an opportunity for students to explore the various learning opportunities on offer to them – including volunteering through Better Futures.

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Volunteers’ Week – Supported Volunteering

Posted on 6th June 2014 by

Jason Better Futures

“Better Futures gave me as little or as much support as I required.”

We’ve just published Jason’s Story, written by Danielle (Better Futures Volunteering Coordinator), to the Better Futures stories section. Better Futures has supported Jason to be a volunteer for thirteen weeks, but now our involvement is over and he is doing the role independently.

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Isolation – NCS Manager Speaks on BBC Sussex Radio

Posted on 4th June 2014 by

“The difficulty, for people who are isolated, is that they become invisible to other people.”

In response to the news of a broken lift causing a disabled man in Brighton to be housebound for a month, Sean de Podesta, service manager of our Neighbourhood Care Scheme (NCS), spoke on BBC Sussex radio – twice! He was on Sussex Breakfast talking to Neil Pringle this morning, which you can listen to on the BBC Sussex website until it expires in seven days time. Sean is featured about 2 hours and 13 minutes into the show. He was also featured on Afternoon with Allison Ferns, which finishes at 4:00pm today – you can listen to that on the BBC Sussex website as well, but again this expires in seven days.

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Celebrating Volunteers’ Week – Sheila

Posted on 4th June 2014 by

Mini blog 3: Keeping out of mischief.

Sheila says that volunteering keeps her out of mischief. In fact, she epitomises the spirit of good neighbourliness. She became a volunteer with the NCS when she retired from hairdressing, and for five years regularly visited Janet, a woman with severe disabilities with no family locally.

When Janet’s condition worsened and she had to go into a care home, Sheila continued to visit, dealing with her business and raising the alarm when on occasions Janet’s care was inadequate. She helped arrange Janet’s funeral. For the last three years Sheila has been making weekly visits to a 90-year-old woman, who benefits from her hairdressing skills.

Thank you, Sheila!

Celebrating Volunteers’ Week – Chris

Posted on 4th June 2014 by

Mini blog 2: A man who likes to say yes.

When Chris retired as a sheltered housing manager, we were delighted that he chose to volunteer with the NCS. Perhaps he knew what many older people need: help with those small niggling tasks that might once have been easy.

Equally adept with screwdriver, spade or computer and happy to give lifts, Chris rarely turns down a request for help and has assisted 44 scheme members over the last three years, in a quiet, kind and unassuming way. Chris is also a volunteer Lay Assessor, visiting older people in their homes to get feedback on the quality of their home care.

Thank you, Chris!

Celebrating Volunteers’ Week – Keith

Posted on 4th June 2014 by

Mini blog 1: A kind and reliable man.

Keith became an NCS volunteer in 2004. He was then in his early fifties. Over the years he helped 40 older people with their gardens. He also played a very important role in doing risk assessments when we started doing falls prevention work in 2004-05.

When his own health declined, Keith started helping in the office, where he has ensured that the paperwork for assessments and volunteer recruitment has been kept up to date – essential work given the numbers of volunteers and scheme members we have. But he has continued to visit scheme members (without gardening), lending a helping hand to, and keeping a watchful eye out for, some of the most isolated and vulnerable people on our books.

Thank you, Keith!

Thoughts of a Volunteer Mentor

Posted on 3rd June 2014 by

Richard ASpire volunteer mentor

Today I spoke to Richard, a man who has been volunteering for ASpire since 2007. We invited Richard to the office today because it’s Volunteers’ Week, and I wanted to hear about volunteering directly from someone who does it. He is one of our longest-standing mentors so he has a wealth of experience with the service and is well informed. Richard is also part of ASpire’s steering committee as a mentor representative, where he can draw on his experience to help with decisions that the committee makes.

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Mining Gold – NCS on Volunteers’ Week

Posted on 2nd June 2014 by
Sean NCS Mining Gold

Sean, NCS Service Manager, mining the rich seam of neighbourly good will!

In 2008, at the end of our Big Lottery Funding, the Neighbourhood Care Scheme (NCS) in collaboration with the Health and Social Policy Research Centre at the University of Brighton held a conference on “You, Me, Us: Neighbours, Communities and Care”. Here is part of my welcome address for the conference:

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