127 people attended the Annual General Meeting of Rotherham Federation of Communities (RotherFed) on Tuesday 30th March. Following presentations of the annual accounts, election of trustees and speeches from Councillor Dominic Beck, RMBC Cabinet Member for Housing, and Tom Bell, Assistant Director of Housing and Neighbourhood Services, a number of people shared stories of some of the excellent work undertaken by community volunteers around the borough. John Woodland from Woodlaithes Wombles was one such speaker who inspired people by the fantastic work done by local volunteer litter pickers with very few resources, just a passion to make their community a better place to live.
Two new small grants were launched at the meeting. Groups can apply for small Environmental Grants of up to £500 for small projects including litter picks, pocket parks, adopting a street, maintaining flower beds, litter picking and looking after community gardens. A second small Project Fund was also launched at the AGM. Rotherham groups can also apply for up to £500 for a specific community project, event or activity.
PC Chris Nicholson made a short speech about Operation Solar a new way to report hate crime for people who don’t want to make formal reports to the police. RotherFed is an agreed reporting centre for this scheme.
Lilian Shears, Vice Chair of RotherFed presented trophies to Madge Tyas and Pauline Davies for the volunteer work they have undertaken. Jennie Helliwell was presented with a trophy by Trustee Sue Fox for her volunteer work in Harley helping keep the village looking good. A number of people were presented with certificates for attending a Strengthening Communities course and the café volunteers were all given flowers.
A mini auction was held at the end of the meeting raising £249.27 for Rotherham Talking Newspapers, a local charity which provides newspapers for people who are blind, visually impaired, or unable to hold and read a newspaper for any reason.
Community groups are invited to apply for funding for their activities, bids of up to £500 can be made. Last year successful bids included; costs towards galas/fetes, equipment to help raise income for groups, promotional materials and educational visits.
To be eligible for a grant a group should be a member of Rotherfed. The closing date for grant applications is 12th May. For further details on joining Rotherfed and on The Projects Fund contact Gavin.Shawcroft@rotherfed.org or call 01709 368515.