HELEN BURTON: Groups at risk from cuts are vital to our communities

Helen Burton SUS-150709-171138001
Helen Burton SUS-150709-171138001

With 90 million pounds in cuts coming from East Sussex County Council over the next three years the role of volunteers in our community is likely to become even more important. There are some amazing groups and charities in and around Eastbourne whose work will become vital if the ESCC cuts to social care go ahead. I still intend to fight the cuts as I don’t believe that they are necessary or moral, but in the meantime supporting local initiatives offers a safety net to the vulnerable who are in need because of poverty or cuts to support services.

In my parish of Pevensey groups such as Pevensey Senior Support Group, the Monday lunch club, Pevensey Dreamers and the Information Centre’s Patient Transport Scheme provide an excellent service and are essential to the elderly in our parish, however all of the clubs and groups locally are valuable and offer us chances to get to know each other and help to stop social isolation which inevitably makes our communities stronger.

Pevensey Volunteers aims to recognise the work of local volunteers, ensure volunteers feel valued and also encourage more people to volunteer and take an active role in village life. The project will promote the clubs and groups doing great work in Pevensey and advertise opportunities for volunteering within the Parish. Printed copies of volunteering roles and groups and clubs in the Parish will be available at Pevensey Bay Information Centre.

Simon French our local PCSO in Pevensey has managed to access £400 from the Police Fund (the money comes from the proceeds of crime) and with this every volunteer in the parish will be given a ‘Pevensey Volunteers’ enamel pin badge. The idea of the badges is to make volunteering in the parish more visible, they will be a gift to volunteers and hopefully a source of pride to those who achieve them and the community as a whole. Wearing the badges whenever possible will also promote volunteering in the community and hopefully encourage more people to offer some of their time. The money will also pay for printing costs.

If you live in Pevensey and want to get involved with the project or have ever thought about volunteering please do get in contact and we will let you know what opportunities there are. Even a small amount of time can be helpful. Email: pevenseyvolunteers@gmail.com

You can also follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pevenseyvolunteers

The Volunteer Centre East Sussex provides volunteering opportunities for those of you in the Eastbourne area (www.vces.org.uk) or of course you can contact a charity you are particularly interested in directly, I’m sure they will be glad to accept any offer of help. If you have ever thought about volunteering now is the time to get involved – your community needs you!