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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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Minister for Civil Society visits Community Navigators project

Posted on 13th March 2015 by

Yesterday Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson MP visited the Community Navigators project at one of our participating surgeries. Benfield Valley Healthcare Hub is a site where one volunteer (pictured below) has provided navigation to at least 25 clients since the beginning of the project in autumn last year.

Minister for Civil Society meets Community Navigator

From left to right: Jenny Moore, EPIC Project Development Manager; Rob Wilson MP, Minister for Civil Society; Bunty Bateman, Volunteer Community Navigator

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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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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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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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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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Neighbourhood Care Scheme Featured in BBC Article on Loneliness

Posted on 23rd May 2014 by
Elaine & Miles

An older but lovely photo of Miles and Elaine
(more recent pictures on the BBC article)

Yesterday the BBC published an article titled “Loneliness: Beating the curse of old age” featuring Elaine Rothwell, a Neighbourhood Care Scheme (NCS) member, and her volunteer Miles Sigley-Brown. It gives us a small window into Elaine’s long and eventful life then highlights a big contrast: Elaine lives alone.

Elaine told BBC journalist, Nick Triggle, how she feels about her situation and how she gets on with her life despite the loneliness of older age. One major part of enjoying her life is her volunteer, Miles, who was matched with her by the NCS.

“[Elaine] has found comfort in a new friendship she has developed with Miles Sigley-Brown, a 46-year-old whom she was introduced to through a local befriending scheme.”

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Anxiety – Are You Anxiety Aware?

Posted on 14th May 2014 by

Anxiety is one of the leading causes of mental ill health. As part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2014, let’s talk about that.

Since 2000, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) has been raising awareness and generating discussion about issues relating to mental health. They have campaigned around a variety of themes so far over a week each May, including loneliness and physical activity. Now it’s time for 2014’s theme – anxiety. Here’s our insight into the topic.

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