Our Spring general meeting/social will be on Monday 24th April, 6.30-8.30pm in the Community Hall. Volunteers will share their experiences of volunteering; we will discuss how we can use the planned Community Cafe in the village for our work to reduce social isolation; and we will hear about what’s happening with community transport.
Everyone in the village is welcome – you don’t have to be a volunteer.
The Community Transport service for our area has been reduced since Suffolk County Council entered into a new contract. Stutton Support Network wrote to our MP, James Cartlidge, and he met with us in September to hear our concerns. After a lot of effort following up on this meeting we now have a meeting scheduled with the Council Councillor and officer responsible for the contract. This will happen in January 2017.
We held a short AGM on Monday 17th October and then the rest of the evening was taken up with a HeartStart course run by Adrian Garnham and his colleague. We learnt a lot about CPR and about how to use a defibrillator!
You can see the AGM Minutes by clicking agm-minutes-2016
Volunteer advocacy training
Our Network has been supporting some people in an informal advocacy role – helping them to sort out a difficulty with a bank, a utility supplier, claim a benefit, or make a complaint. So we’re hoping to pay for one or two people to go on a course to be volunteer advocates. If you, or anyone you know, might like to consider being an informal advocate, or if you’d like to find out more, do please contact us. You wouldn’t be expected to provide this kind of volunteer advocacy without support and we’d make sure that was available.
Heartstart course: learn CPR and other emergency life-saving skills.
Adrian Garnham, who is a First Responder and a Network volunteer, has offered to put on a Heartstart course for us and for anyone else in the village who might be interested. This is a two hour session, devised by the British Heart Foundation. It will take place on Monday October 17th 6.30pm in the Village Hall.
Annual General Meeting: Our AGM, planned for September 6th, has been cancelled. We will now have a very short AGM prior to the Heartstart course on Monday October 17th.
Have you considered being a volunteer? If you want to know more, please contact us on (01473) 327753
We continue to offer valuable help to local residents, all made possible by our wonderful volunteers. We’ve now responded to 228 requests since we started 18 months ago. Most have been for lifts but other requests have been for things like dog walking, shopping, visiting, minor DIY tasks, collecting prescriptions, helping with forms and the internet, and so on. We have set up two visiting rota for people who are socially isolated and one of our volunteers holds regular tea parties.
We’re having a social event, combined with our next general meeting, on Monday 20th June, in the Village Hall, 6.30-8.30pm. Tea and cake; cheese and wine. Last year’s event was great fun. It’s open to everyone in the village.
A couple of years ago, a questionnaire was distributed throughout the village asking people what help they could offer, or what help they might need, in the event of heavy snow or a prolonged power cut. We’ve now put together that information, divided the village into ‘patches’ and identified ‘co-ordinators’ for each patch who hold this information for their part of the village. The intention is that, in the event of such emergencies, people can ring the Network number and we will contact the relevant co-ordinators who should be able to match the need for help with offers of help. So far this winter we’ve been lucky with the weather but we feel better prepared than in previous years.
In other news, we’ve received further funding from our Parish Council, for which we are very grateful as it will enable us to continue to pay our telephone bill and insurance, which are our main outgoings.
At the last count, two weeks ago, we had carried out a total of 173 requests since we started in October 2014. Most of these were for lifts, illustrating how important transport is in a village like ours. But we’ve also done other things, from shopping to dog-walking. We have also set up a couple of visiting rotas and one of our volunteers is holding regular ‘tea parties’ for people who are isolated/lonely.
3rd October 2015
We had a very successful AGM and the following week also held a Dementia Awareness session.
Click on this link to see the Minutes of the AGM. AGM Minutes 1.9.15
We need more volunteers willing to offer lifts – if you’re at all interested please contact us on the Network number: 01473 327753.
26th July 2015
Two dates for your diary:
Annual General Meeting. Tuesday 1st September 6.30pm in the Village Hall: Refreshments and music. All welcome. Someone described our last meeting as ‘the best meeting I’ve ever been to’ – we’ll try and achieve this again!
Dementia awareness session with the Alzheimer’s Society. Monday 21st September 6.30-8.30pm in the Village Hall: Gain an understanding of dementia and the small things we can do that can make a difference to people living with dementia, and how to signpost to local services. All welcome.
16th April 2015
We held our first general meeting two days ago and it was a great success. Everyone who came seemed to enjoy themselves and we’ve had lots of positive feedback. One person even said it was the “nicest meeting” she’d ever been to, which is praise indeed. Of course it might have had something to do with the cheese and wine, tea and cakes – not to mention the live music supplied by Ian and Clare! The gathering seemed to reflect the positive experiences that both volunteers and users of the Network have had.
Our AGM will be held on Tuesday 1st September. Let’s hope we have as much fun then as we had last Tuesday!
We do need more car drivers and we also need people to be aware that we can offer more than just lifts. Copied below is the Update that we gave out at the meeting.
Stutton Support Network has now been up and running for six months and we’ve fulfilled over 75 requests – mainly for lifts to the hospital, doctor, dentist, to the hairdressers, to go shopping etc. We’ve also collected prescriptions, helped with using the internet, and visited people.
HOW IT WORKS
Four of us have shared the role of On Call Person on a rota. The phone number for the Network is diverted to the On Call Person’s phone and when they take a call they find someone to undertake the request from amongst our 30 volunteers. We stress that volunteers should feel free to say no to a request if it’s not convenient for them to do it.
All volunteers have received DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks (the system that replaced Criminal Records Bureau – CRB – checks). This is a really straightforward thing to do – Community Action Suffolk organise it for us and it just involves coming to a session in the Village Hall where people bring identification, and they get their photo taken. The Network pays the fee and the DBS check (unlike the CRB one) is transferable so it means the volunteer can use it for other roles which similarly require a DBS check.
One thing that has become clear is how our service can help people who are supporting elderly parents or neighbours. Often someone can be relying on one or two people for regular assistance. In these circumstances the Network can step in to offer help which makes things easier for all concerned. Sometimes relatives live too far away to offer help immediately; for example we were contacted by someone living in the south-west of the country whose mother was unexpectedly admitted to hospital and needed someone to visit.
We’re very grateful for the funding we received from the Parish Council, from Dave Wood, our local Councillor, and from Stutton Community Council. We’ve also received a number of donations from people using the service and also from volunteers who have donated their expenses. We’re seeking further funding as the phone rental is an on-going expense and it will soon be the Autumn when we will have to pay the next insurance premium.
16th March 2015
Stutton Support Network has now been up and running for six months and we’ve had a steady stream of requests – mainly for lifts to the hospital, doctor, dentist, to the hairdressers, to go shopping etc. We’ve also collected prescriptions, helped with using the internet, and visited people.
One thing that has become clear is how our service can help people who are supporting elderly parents or neighbours. Often someone can be relying on one or two people for regular assistance. In these circumstances the Network can step in to offer help which makes things easier for all concerned. Sometimes relatives live too far away to offer help immediately; for example we were contacted by someone living in the south-west of the country whose mother was unexpectedly admitted to hospital and needed someone to visit with essentials like her glasses and dentures.
All this is possible because we have about 30 volunteers who have signed up to offer a variety of types of help. They are all playing their part in making Stutton the friendly, welcoming village that it is. If you want to join us, please do contact us – we particularly need more car drivers.
We’re having a social event, combined with our next general meeting, Tuesday 14th April, in the Village Hall, 6.30-8.30. Tea and cake; cheese and wine. Open to everyone in the village – hope to see you there.