Getting involved in and contributing to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around us. This may involve doing something nice for a friend or a stranger. It may involve volunteering your time or joining a community group. We aim to maximise the opportunities for you to contribute.
Residents from Dove Court invited students from Bradford College and Bradford University to discover the ancient history and rich culture surrounding Mohenjo-daro, which is located in the Sindh region of Pakistan.
The exhibition was the brainchild of former businessman and Hanover resident Abdul Qayum Shaikh who met the photographer, Professor Ashiq Arbani, at a dinner party during a visit to Pakistan.
Abdul said: 'I wanted to share my heritage with the local community and at the same time show them a side of Pakistan that they had never seen before.'
When he returned from Pakistan, Abdul along with fellow residents from the estate applied for Greenshoots funding, a small grants programme established by Hanover for resident groups to help improve their quality of life and make a difference.
He added: 'The exhibition proved to be a huge success. I couldn’t have pulled this off without the help and support of my friends, neighbours and Hanover.'
Bradford University student Kristine Woodbine said: 'We are thrilled to be a part of this fantastic event and look forward to building links with Dove Court for the future. Many benefits come from working in partnership with our local community and I know that the residents of Dove Court and fellow students had some wonderful moments and lasting memories.'
Chiltern Close resident Janet Burtt has been doing her bit to ensure that members of her local community are able to attend essential medical appointments and get to the shops. 84-year–old Janet volunteers as a telephone operator with the Benson Volunteer Helpline, which is run by the Royal Voluntary Service. Volunteer drivers are paid an allowance to cover the use of their vehicle. In return for the service, users are asked to pay a fee to cover costs.
Janet says: ‘I have always enjoyed helping people and have experienced some humorous instances while volunteering here. On one of those occasions a very well-spoken lady kept trying to call me to book a mini cab!’
The Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) would welcome additional drivers in order to satisfy the increasing demand for this vital community service. Volunteers do not have to commit to any particular times – you drive when it is convenient to you. Please see the RVS website for further details.
84-year-old Barbara Cripps from Patching Lodge, Brighton has regained most of the mobility in her right arm, thanks to a new martial-arts based exercise class. Taught by martial arts instructor Shamsul Choudhury, the new classes combine traditional Shotokan Karate with high intensity chair-based exercises.
The classes are largely thanks to a partnership between Hanover and Volunteering Matters, who have created a community hub specifically designed to improve the health and wellbeing of older people living in the seaside resort town.
Sensei Shamsul says: ‘I am really proud of the dedication of all of my lively students, especially Barbara. In just over three months her mobility has gone from strength to strength and now she even packs quite a mean punch!’
Caroline Carter, Support Assistant at Patching Lodge says: ‘These exercise classes have been a tremendous success. The fantastic partnership we have with Volunteering Matters, coupled with a busy timetable of activities, makes Patching Lodge the perfect community hub for older people living in Brighton.’
Hanover has been working in partnership with the Hertfordshire Hearing Advisory Service (HHAS) to help older people in the county to service and repair hearing devices.
The initiative has been coordinated by Kim Lawrence, estate manager from Hanover Court in Hoddesdon, who became a hearing advisory volunteer after the death of her father.
Kim says: ‘Helping people is at the heart of what I do. My father had experienced gradual hearing loss and Parkinson’s disease towards the end of his life. The loss of dexterity and poor mobility in his hands made it hard for him to keep his hearing aid in good working order. As a result of this, he found it difficult to communicate with others and became somewhat isolated.
‘After his death I learnt of HHAS and decided that I would become a volunteer, to try to help others with hearing issues.’
Resident John Seaman says: ‘Kim and the team have helped me out on a number of occasions. At one point my hearing aid started playing up just before my Sunday church service. Rather than my having to wait for the next local walk-in clinic on Thursday, Kim had my hearing aid working within a couple of hours, so I was able to enjoy all the hymns.’