Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust has gone from strength to strength during the pandemic. Anna Bradley-Dorman reflects on the organisation’s successes as it looks to recruit new trustees and a new chair to its board.
Over the last few years Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust (RNT) has built up its offer in Ramsey and its surrounding villages and now runs two youth clubs, Job Search, community workshops, Ramsey Timebank, social activities and community events. RNT also works closely with local government and the statutory and voluntary sectors to provide a voice for local people on issues that directly affect them. The trust continues to expand its range of activities and is working with Ramsey Cricket Club and Ramsey Million Partnership on an exciting joint venture to create Ramsey’s new sporting community hub.
Rising to the challenge of COVID-19
COVID-19 could have ‘put a spanner in the works’ but, due to a concerted effort by our staff, volunteers and our fabulous community, RNT has managed to not only continue its activities but develop them further. Despite all working remotely, within days, the staff set up, with the support of local, district and county councillors and Hunts Forum, ‘Ramsey Area COVID-19 Support’. This then became the Recognised COVID-19 Organisation for our area. Our community did not fail us. In a few days we had over 50 volunteers registered to help out where necessary, many of them new to us. Our dedicated phoneline, email and social media platforms were inundated and many shopping trips, prescription collections and well-being calls – to those who were feeling the strain of being in isolation – were made over the following months.
Once this was established, we then had to work out how to keep as many of our existing activities going. Facebook, Zoom and WhatsApp all came to our rescue. Our youth clubs (BOSH & CRUNCH) and social club for adults with additional needs (SPARKS) have been meeting at their regular time via Facebook. Our youth workers and activity coordinators have been putting together and delivering activity packs so that members can join in with the live broadcasts – one of which had over 1,000 views. We’ve also been working with the Young People’s Counselling Service to offer online support for some of our most vulnerable young people.
Our craft, crochet, clay and sewing groups have been meeting via Zoom and we have been delivering newsletters and boredom buster activity packs to some of our more isolated older residents. Our Job Search has continued to run on an appointment only basis and we have linked with iHASCO to offer free online training courses.
Now restrictions are slowly lifting we are holding socially distanced tea parties and our Dog’s Meet Community Café will soon be opening. In addition, our BOSH summer playscheme has been able to run some sessions with children safely in ‘bubbles’. Thanks to a grant from Cambridgeshire Community Foundation (CCF) we have been able to pledge to our community that this service will be available as long as it is needed for those suffering from the effects of COVID-19.
Working with other organisations has been vital. These have been too numerous to mention but funding support from HDC Community Chest, CCF, Ramsey Rotary and Ramsey Million Big Local has meant that we have been able to offer more. We have also benefited from being a Recognised Organisation as we have been able to coordinate with, and learn from, other groups. Roger said,
‘I was referred to Covid-19 Ramsey by the district council because I needed support. It was so easy, I phoned up and they did all my shopping for me. This meant the world to me and it meant I was safe. I cannot fault any help I’ve had. All have been very thoughtful and respectful. I have recently started to have my grass cut through the volunteer service and this too has been fantastic! Thank you all!’
So, as you can see, RNT has been very busy! All this has been achieved under the leadership of Carol Aston who, after five years as Chair, is taking a well-earned rest. Therefore, Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust is looking for a new dynamic, innovative Chair who will work with trustees, staff, volunteers, strategic partners, and residents to shape the future direction of our organisation.
Don’t fancy being Chair but would like to volunteer or become a trustee? Please get in touch. Being part of the RNT family is very rewarding and we can guarantee you will get more back than you give. By working together, we firmly believe that the possibilities for our community are endless. Come and join us on our mission to improve the lives of everyone who lives, works or volunteers in our town and its surrounding villages. A message from one of the people we are supporting sums it all up,
“God bless you all. I am proud to live in Ramsey, it has the most wonderful people.”
If you are interested in leading our enthusiastic, passionate, and dedicated team please contact email@example.com for an application pack. If you want to find out more feel free to make an appointment to visit us or have an informal discussion with RNT Vice Chair Linda Collumbell. Deadline for Chair applications is 25 September 2020.
For all general enquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow their projects via their individual Facebook pages:
- Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust
- BOSH Ramsey
- CRUNCH Ramsey
- Sparks Club
- Jobsearch Ramsey
- Ramsey Timebank