East Brighton Trust director Sean Older recently visited The Resource Centre in the course of his work with family lunch club CHOMP Moulsecoomb. East Brighton Trust provides The Resource Centre with £3000 of funding every year specifically to support groups in the East Brighton area.
Sean wrote up in his visit to let others know what to expect if they haven't been to The Resource Centre before. We hope you enjoy reading about his experience, and if you're interested in getting some help from The Resource Centre, click here.
"I went down to the Resource Centre, after making a booking with Kate, with my Chomp Moulsecoomb hat on. Kate started off with a warm greeting, gave me a tour of their various printing abilities, equipment hiring facilities, a general sense of the support that they can give community groups and individuals and quickly followed it up with an offer of some fresh coffee (she knows how to impress!). We then proceeded into a one-to-one around Chomp Moulsecoomb. Kate is VERY experienced and was useful to bounce some ideas off around governance and the books. There were, however, complications in this though; mainly due to the account of Chomp Moulsecoomb being hosted by Good News Brighton (a church and charity) - Resource Centre is A-political, A-religious etc. and so the support they could offer would be strictly to support Chomp Moulsecoomb. This said, Kate offered to look through Chomp Moulsecoomb’s accounts, policies (sending numerous links) and help to offer some advice/training on them, if that was necessary. We, Chomp Moulsecoomb, also asked for support with our DBS (safeguarding) checks, and especially on the possibility of doing these checks internally. Kate, usefully, referred us to the SafetyNet drop-in and this is an ongoing line of enquiry. Kate also offered to help us with low-cost flyer printing, suggesting that this is likely to be competitive with any local printing businesses (and it would be supporting local community projects too!). Kate was also able to offer some written advice (located on their website) around legal structures for community groups, very useful.
Points of Interest:
- Those that register with the Resource Centre can get 10% off of printing costs AND equipment hire.
- The Resource Centre is a bank of wisdom to glean from!
- SafetyNey run regular drop-ins (bookings available) to talk through safeguarding issues OR DBS updates
- Resource Centre would be a GREAT FIRST PORT OF CALL for information - I’d encourage us to send EBT groups to them for help!" Sean
The Resource Centre is a Brighton based charity offering support to other charities and community groups. From advising on governance and financial issues to helping with poster printing, The Resource Centre provides very many useful services to groups across the city.
East Brighton Trust funds them each year to support groups in the East Brighton area. They recently got in touch to let us know how the last year's funding had been spent.
We thought it would be useful to share with you, in case you're wondering how The Resource Centre can help and how other groups are using it.
Here are some highlights from the report they sent us, you can find the full report on the Resource Centre website:
Resource Centre support work with volunteer run community groups in East Brighton area has almost doubled in the last year. It has been inspiring to see so many new groups, run entirely by local people, emerging and finding their feet over the last year. This adds to the many groups that continue to do what they do so well, understanding the needs of their community and taking action to support local people and bring them together.
One-to-one support and consultancy We provided 56 one-to-one support sessions (compared to 22 in the previous year) to 20 different groups. Seven of these groups are either new or had never used the Resource Centre before. Collectively, they help and improve the wellbeing of a wide range of local people from ‘the cradle to the grave’ and lots of people in between. They help improve the local woods, parks and outdoor spaces; provide lunches for children, families and older people; organise events that are free to local people; provide art and dance activities; run community buildings; investigate local history; create newsletters; and provide a hub where local people can come together to build networks and friendships. We supported groups to draft constitutions, policies and procedures; think about legal structures and report to the Charity Commission; keep their accounts and prepare their budgets; improve their communication and use of social media; apply for funding and evaluate their projects. All the groups we support are run by local volunteers for local people. Those involved have a commitment to their community and a vision of how they can improve it. But often they have no experience in running a group and need to develop lots of new skills to do it effectively. In our support sessions we work with people in a way that they feel comfortable. We ask them how they run their groups, what things they find difficult and get an understanding of their confidence levels and skills. We then help them to move forward in a way that suits them and their group, working good practice into their existing systems.
Feedback from groups We ask groups for feedback after each package of support is completed. All of those who responded said the support they received was excellent, they felt more confident and their group would be able to work better as a result.
In the words of Brighton and Hove Filipino Community: “Mireille has been very helpful and accommodating to us. She has been very specific with what requirements do we need for the submission of our application. She has guided us all throughout and has been so patient with us meeting the deadline. We are so grateful as a community that there are people who are there to help.” Moulsecoomb Chomp said: “The work Resource Centre does is imperative to supporting community groups of all shapes, sizes and persuasions.”
Account examinations We carried out 17 Accounts Examinations for 16 different groups. This provides groups with an accurate summary of their accounts to share with members and funders. It also gives Treasurers the opportunity to check the procedures they are using and get some advice and support if they need it. Feedback from groups We received feedback cards from 69% of these groups. They all said the service was excellent. East Brighton Bygones said: “Thank you so much for doing our accounts. It's good to know we always have someone friendly and reliable to help us. If it wasn't for you, it would be a lot harder for us!” Metamorphosis and Splatt Art Group said: “Very good explanation & suggestions and advice given. Very fast turnaround - just a week. Very well presented accounts which has already helped us in sending funding bids for our small groups. The Resource Centre enables our small community groups to function even better and removes some of the problems we encounter. Ongoing training will be taken up shortly to tidy up and streamline the accounts.”
Design and print We did 26 different design and print jobs for ten different groups. This included production of newsletters, flyers and posters.
Exciting things are going on in Whitehawk in the form of a group of local families who are campaigning to save their local parks which have fallen into a state of neglect and are unsuitable for children to play in.
A group called Park Life are engaging local residents to fight for improvements to their parks and on Saturday 1st September held a community picnic to raise awareness of the work they are doing.
Games and sports were on offer, alongside the smoothie bike run by local youth workers, a consultation to ask people what they wanted from their parks and a petition demanding change. A barbecue kept visitors well fed and host of music was put on, curated by the Brighton Dome Miss Represented project. East Brighton Trust were glad to chip in with our own contribution - paying for portaloos and refreshments at the event.
The event saw a fantastic turn out and we look forward to hearing more from this passionate group of Whitehawk families who are determined to make positive changes to improve the facilities for local children. Follow Park Life on facebook to keep up to date with their campaign.
This July, the Moulsecoomb Bangladeshi Women’s Group enjoyed an intergenerational trip to London thanks to a small grant from East Brighton Trust. The group visited the Coriander Club at Spitalfields City Farm, a gardening and cookery club for older generation Bengali women to gather inspiration for a similar potential project in Brighton. This was followed by a buffet lunch and a visit to East London Mosque in Tower Hamlets – where the group had a chance to pray at the Maryam Centre, a dedicated safe space for Women.
The Coriander Club is vital for improving the mental health and wellbeing of local Bengali women, many of whom speak very little English, suffer with long term health conditions and social isolation. Every Tuesday a women-only gardening session is held which helps offset isolation, loneliness and homesickness amongst the volunteers.The club provides a regular opportunity to volunteer and socialise with others, where women can learn to grow vegetables, cook and share healthy meals together.
Supported by Community Development Workers from TDC, the Brighton group organised the trip in the hope of learning more about cultivating specific native Bangladeshi vegetables and explore the feasibility of starting a food growing project in Moulsecoomb. TDC’s Ratna Jan Bibi said “The trip was truly wonderful! It was pure magic seeing the ladies so happy, smiley, confident, ambitious, capable and full of sparks!”
Read more and see more photos of the trip on the TDC website.
Earlier in the year, we awarded a small grant to TDC to run their annual Sports and Activities festival for young people in Moulsecoomb. The festival took place at the 67 Centre and Moulsecoomb Leisure Centre and over 50 young people from the area took part in activities such as a football tournament, skating, climbing, table tennis, disc golf, the smoothie bike, Boccia and lots more.
Local MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle and the Mayor of Brighton & Hove Cllr Dee Simson were both in attendance and spent time chatting to young people and a consultation took place on the day too about the proposed skatepark in the area, giving local people the chance to have their say on this popular potential addition. We’re delighted to have funded this festival which gave so many young people the chance to get active.
We are proud to have supported local charity Amaze Sussex a number of times over the past few years through our small grants fund. The money they apply for goes towards activities for the families they work with in East Brighton.
Amaze are responsible for the Sunflower Support Group Carer coffee mornings at Moulsecoomb Primary and the Whitehawk Parent Carers coffee mornings at The Whitehawk Inn. The monthly sessions focus on various issues around parenting a child with additional needs and/or disabilities. The groups offer support and advice to parent-carers of children with disabilities and/ or special educational needs and are a space for them to come together, meet other parents, feel less isolated and find out about services available in Brighton & Hove. Amaze organiser Paolo Boldrini told us “Some of the sessions are quite intense and emotional as parent-carers talk about their daily difficulties and also the joys of looking after a child with additional needs and/or disabilities.”
In May 2017 the group applied for East Brighton Trust funding to take parent-carers and their families on an outing and on Tuesday 22nd of August 2017 they headed to Drusillas Park in Alfriston.
“For various reasons parent-carers who attend monthly Sunflower Support Group and Whitehawk Parent-Carer coffee mornings find it more difficult than others to enjoy and benefit from family leisure activities. Sometimes it is the cost of taking a family out, other times it is the energy required to organise an outing where every member of the family can enjoy themselves. The outing to Drusillas Park represented, for many families, something to look forward to during the Summer holidays. Some families didn't go on holidays at all.”
Paolo told us about the day “Parent carers, their partners and their children met outside Moulsecoomb Leisure Centre just before 10am where a Big Lemon coach was waiting for us. From there we travelled to Drusillas and after a group picture at the entrance we went in the park. Drusillas was chosen because is not too far from Brighton and it's fully accessible. The park has many activity areas and a quite extensive zoo. Everyone had lots of fun, helped for sure by a glorious sunny day! The younger children were busy - almost all day - on the big play area and in the soft play complex where they ran, jumped and climbed everywhere. Other children spent hours on the 'get wet!' installation which has water jets, ground geysers, twirling streams and spiralling sprays - it was a hot and sunny day! All the families then took a bit of time off from activities by visiting the walk-through zoo. We regathered outside the coach at 4pm and by looking at the children, completely exhausted, we realised that they had greatly enjoyed the day out. All in all a perfect day out and not just for the children!”
“Thanks to the grant from East Brighton Trust we were able to facilitate a day out for families who would otherwise struggle to organise an outing for the whole family, or not be able to afford it. Parents were also able to relax and switch off for a day as they were reassured by the presence of other parents who would understand how demanding it is to look after a child/children with disabilities and/or additional needs. On the day some families grouped together so that they were able to support each other with, mostly, running after the children! Another great factor about the outing was that siblings of children with additional needs and/or disabilities spent a day with other siblings. They felt that they weren't the only ones who experience a sometimes challenging siblingship. And that is important too as many siblings provide care and support to their brother and sisters who have additional needs and/or disabilities. And finally parent-carers were able to meet each other outside the 'normal' coffee morning setting. The outing bonded the families even more.”
Bevendean’s community festival BevFest took place this year on Saturday 7th July. Bevfest is an annual one day music, arts and sports festival in Bevendean for the people of Bevendean, Moulsecoomb and Bates Estate. It started in 2012 and the aim is to encourage creativity, an active lifestyle, social inclusion and to bring together some of the communities of East Brighton. It is now a highlight in the local calendar.
This year’s events included food stalls, gift stalls, live bands, a children’s play area, a refreshment tent run by The Bevy and even a huge screen to make sure people didn’t miss the World Cup match!
Due to the isolated location, low car ownership and low income of people in the area the Friends of Bevfest applied via our small grants scheme for funding to run a free shuttle bus on the day. This ran to and from the event location in Lower Bevendean and encouraged people from Higher Bevendean, Moulsecoomb and Coldean to come along. The free bus service was provided by the Big Lemon Bus company and ran regularly throughout the event from Appledore Rd, The Bevy community pub and the bottom of the Avenue.
Here are some pictures of the day (Credit: Clare Forder), and we hear that a fantastic time was had by all.
Every Monday at the Manor Gym in Whitehawk a group of people meet up between 12 and 2pm for a healthy lunch and a sociable fun game of boccia. Boccia is a ball sport related to bowls and pétanque which was originally designed to be played by people with cerebral palsy. It is now played by thousands of people all over the world, including at Olympic level.
In May 2017 the Brighton group applied to us for a small grant to cover some of the costs of running the group – primarily, venue hire and the cost of providing a healthy lunch.
About 30 people attend the sessions and organiser Tanya Burbidge told us “I have been running this boccia session now for 12 years and I have learnt how important that it continues for the locals as there is no other community lunch club and boccia session open as a drop in to local residents. For many of them this is one of the only times they get out of the house during the week.”
They sent us this picture of one member proudly showing off a trophy from a recent tournament win.
The group describe themselves as “Open to everyone of any age or ability. We're a happy, friendly group”. You can find more images of the Boccia sessions on the Manor Gym facebook page.
Bevendean Community Garden is a place where members collectively grow organic produce, and host neighbourhood social and educational events. With vegetable beds, fruit trees, a pizza oven, a beehive and a wildlife pond, plus community composting bins and a shed for storing tools, the garden is situated on the edge of the South Downs National Park.
In January 2017 the group applied to us for a grant to help them continue to operate the garden in a responsible way. They used funding to pay for insurance, to replace faulty equipment used for cooking, for refreshments for the volunteers and to hold stalls at the local Healthy Neighbourhood Day and community festival BevFest.
The Bevendean Community Garden was established in 2011. It is an open garden where members share the growing of organic produce using sustainable gardening methods. Their aim is to promote food awareness, healthy eating, and to share knowledge of gardening and produce. Making a vital contribution to the community this year the garden made donations of fresh produce to the local food bank and ran cooking workshops with the neighbourhood Chomp club for families with school age children. The garden has also recently provided a space for arts-based events, forest school workshops and an after-school story-telling club run by a local poet.