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Yearly archives for 2015

Comic Zoe Lyons competes for Impetus on Fifteen to One!

Posted on 25th August 2015 by

We’re delighted and excited that our very own Zoe Lyons is appearing on Celebrity Fifteen to One this Friday with B&H Impetus as her chosen charity.

Zoe Lyons

Zoe will be up against Caroline Quentin, Gyles Brandreth, Tyger Drew-Honey, Paul Chowdhry, Rhod Gilbert and others in the classic quiz show which airs at 8pm this Friday 28th August on Channel 4.

Celebs compete for a cash prize for their chosen charity. We’re so pleased that Zoe wanted to support us, and can’t wait to see how she gets on! Watch with us and cheer for Zoe – we’ll be chatting on Twitter @BHImpetus

Facilitating Felicitators

Posted on 29th June 2015 by
Brighton beach by Flickr user aphexlee - Impetus derivative

Photo Credit: Aphexlee via Compfight, cc
Modified by Impetus – logo / text box / crop

At the beginning of June, the whole Neighbourhood Care Scheme (NCS) staff team (except Sharon who was on leave) and Niall Drennan, a volunteer and member of our steering group, went up to Leicester for a conference put on by Befriending Networks and Vista, a Leicester-based charity dedicated to improving the lives of people with sight loss. The conference was entitled rather grandly, “Befriending: The Road to a Happier Future”.

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We need a Voluntary Sector Journal of Negative Results

Posted on 26th June 2015 by

The scientific community publishes what does not work and what did not work as expected,  as well as what did work. This simple and sensible idea allows those working in similar fields to avoid the pitfalls experienced by others. We need to adopt this idea in the voluntary sector.

My sister, a scientist, referred to the Journal of Negative Results once, and the idea has been coming back to me again and again recently. A quick Google search shows that there are at least three peer reviewed journals that provide an online, open access, peer-reviewed platform for publication and discussion of unexpected, controversial, negative results or those that don’t meet thresholds for being considered significant.

Too often we are asked, or feel pushed, to publish information about our huge successes, our amazing innovations and our significant impacts. But what about the times when things don’t work? Or they don’t work in the way you thought they would? Or things carried on much as before, but that in itself is a great outcome, albeit not a headline-grabbing one? Or where the work we’re doing is holding back a tide of regression in social conditions but it looks like we’re not achieving anything?

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Good Numbers

Posted on 4th June 2015 by
NCS manager Sean and volunteer Laura

NCS manager Sean and volunteer Laura working the spreadsheets

In my last blog, I mentioned being immersed in figures and reports. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Analysis of spreadsheets can bring to your attention things that are not immediately apparent, or suggest answers to questions.

For example, why do things always feel so busy?

Maybe because we had to deal with a 30% increase in referrals in 2014-15.

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Suddenly a voice came out of the dark

Posted on 3rd June 2015 by

sean-de-podesta icon

Sean de Podesta, Service Manager

For the last few weeks, I have been absorbed in databases and Excel workbooks compiling end-of-year figures and reports. Monitoring of activity is a seemingly endless task. Amid all this work, it occurred to me that there might be other ways of evaluating a good neighbour/befriending scheme – for example, by looking at what actually happens within it. What would a day in the life of an effective befriending scheme look like?

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10 years at NCS – Volunteer Coordinator reflects

Posted on 2nd June 2015 by

Last week I spoke to Naomi Lacey (Volunteer Coordinator) who has recently reached the 10 year mark of her work with the Neighbourhood Care Scheme. Some days prior to our conversation Sean de Podesta (Service Manager) presented Naomi with celebratory gifts from himself and the rest of the NCS team, and slices of delicious lemon drizzle cake (pictured below and made by Jo Ivens, CEO) were shared around the office.

NCS Naomi and Sean cutting cake

Considering that she has recently reached such a big milestone with Impetus, and that this week is Volunteers’ Week, we thought it would be a good idea to reflect on some of the aspects of Naomi’s job as Volunteer Coordinator. Following are the questions I asked and the responses she gave.

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Election 2015: Isolation and Loneliness

Posted on 29th April 2015 by

With the election only 7 days away, Peter Kyle, Labour candidate for Hove & Portslade attended our Befriending Coalition meeting this morning to hear from befriending organisations in the City on issues that affect our service users. This is a summary of questions and issues that we raised with him:

B&H Impetus asked: Brighton & Hove City Council has had to make £24m cuts this year, with the same planned for the next three years. These are predominantly coming out of Adult Social Care as other areas are protected. We are experiencing a double impact of reduction in funding but increase in demand because of cuts to public services – how will Labour stop damaging cuts that impact unfairly and disproportionately on the most vulnerable people?

Peter: A Labour government will repay the debt but take longer to do so, and it will not be at the expense of vulnerable people. The local Labour party has pledged to protect budgets to the voluntary sector. This means grants, but they will prioritise saving budgets and contracts to the voluntary sector.

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2015 Election – our soapbox: Asperger’s and Autism services

Posted on 2nd April 2015 by

It’s Autism Awareness Day today and, in the second of my series about what we want to see local and national politicians talking about during and after the election, we recommend that Brighton & Hove create an Autism & Asperger’s Department.

Number 2: close gaps in services for Autism and Asperger’s

World Autism Awareness Day logo

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2015 Election – our soapbox: Health and Social Care

Posted on 31st March 2015 by

The election is 36 days away and the campaigns have started in earnest. I was at home last week when the Labour candidate for Hove & Portslade came door knocking, so I grabbed the chance to tell him about some of the issues we at Impetus think the candidates should be focusing on. Here’s the first in a series discussing the things that we know matter to the people we work with. 

Polling Station sign

Photo Credit: secretlondon123, cc

Number 1: Changes to Health and Social Care

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This is NOT Junk

Posted on 20th March 2015 by

Brighton College boys deliver NCS literature

The first three months of 2015 have been a very positive time for us at the Neighbourhood Care Scheme, with at least one enquiry about volunteering every working day – and we will have interviewed thirty new volunteers by the end of March. This interest in volunteering is not an accident. Since last September, we have put literature through the letterboxes of 9,000 households around the city.

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