We have been getting on with organising our 50th anniversary celebration (happening in May next year) this month but were pleased to find time to welcome two guest speakers. Firstly we were given a presentation by Claire Battersby who is the local fund raiser for Demelza Hospice Care for Children and works with local businesses, schools and community groups to secure donations for what is a very worthy charity which we are proud to have supported with a number of grants since it first started back in 1998 – they celebrated their 20th anniversary in June of this year.
She explained that it costs £10.5 million to keep the three hospice sites they operate going every year and that they are almost completely reliant on support from local communities as they get very little from government and nothing at all from the NHS. The Kent hospice is located in Sittingbourne and provides end of life care for children up to the age of 19, bereavement support, counselling and respite care for families as well a range of therapies including music and play, a hospice at home service and a 24 hour advice line. Many people believe that hospices are just there to provide end of life care but at Demelza they are anxious to emphasise the terrific work they also do to support families which may need to use the offer of respite care to enable them to have a day off even if just to go shopping or to get some support for a brother or sister in need of a some tender loving care when they are feeling a bit neglected as the parents struggle to manage the needs of the terminally ill child. They also help families to make the last days special by building memories according to their own particular wishes.
The hospice estimate that there are more than 2,600 children who could use their services and are not doing so and they are therefore constantly battling to increase public awareness and promote their work to a wider audience. For more information, see their website at www.demelza.org.uk
Our second speaker, Amanda Weston, is part of the Kent County Council’s children’s services team supporting families who are experiencing challenges throughout the Romney Marsh area. They provide different levels of support according to need ranging from children’s drop in centres such as those located in New Romney and Lydd to intensive help with dedicated workers supporting vulnerable families who may need help in a number of areas such as facing financial challenges or in troubled relationships, suffering from domestic abuse, in poor mental health or missing out on available help because of poor communication skills. They are trying to set up community partnerships with groups such as Rotary to help identify those in need and garner support and it is our club’s hope that we can work with the team to identify local individuals and families which may need a small grant to help through a particular short term problem. More information and contact details can be found on the KCC website at www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/childcare-and-pre-school/childrens-centres
What’s coming up?
Forthcoming members activities and public events include ..
⦁ Regular club meeting and dinner every Thursday at Littlestone Warren Golf Club; 7.00 pm
⦁ Thursday 8th November; Presentation from Hi Kent
⦁ Friday 7th December; New Romney Lantern Parade
⦁ Friday 14th December; Partners Night dinner at Littlestone Golf Club
⦁ Saturday 15th December; Daytime collection with Santa and the sleigh outside Sainsbury’s New Romney
⦁ Santa Sleigh Runs throughout December
So what do I do if I want to join?
New members are always welcome, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our website – www.romneymarshrotary.co.uk where you can also find out a little more about who we are and what we do.
Quiz answers 1; None 2 ; Rudyard Kipling Reg’d Charity No 281361