On Wednesday 4th November, our Community Engagement Co-ordinator, Lucy Cheshire, hosted the fourth Community Links Get Together event on Zoom. Those in attendance were:

  • Eastbourne Rainbow
  • East Dean & Friston Community Watch
  • East Sussex Hearing
  • Facing Cancer Together
  • Parkinson’s UK – Eastbourne
  • Student Services at the Bader International Study Centre
  • Victoria Baptist Church
  • Village Information Centre in Herstmonceux
  • Vitality Villages

The Community Links project, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, aims to create a vibrant network of organisations and community groups across our catchment area. These groups might provide services and activities that may be of interest to our patients and families. It also provides the hospice with the chance to raise awareness of our services, upcoming fundraising events and volunteering opportunities. To date, the project has 50 groups involved.

Lucy began the event with some updates about the Community Links project and how the hospice has been working through the coronavirus pandemic. She then gave time for the groups to share their individual updates.

While some groups have struggled with the restrictions more than others, they are all adapting and coming up with innovative ways to stay in touch with their members and clients. For example, Parkinson’s UK – Eastbourne have been making the most of Zoom, with monthly meetings and even a virtual choir! For Christmas they will be having cream tea, also over Zoom, kindly provided by the Hydro Hotel.

Meanwhile, Victoria Baptist Church, who have only recently become a Link, have had to limit the number of people who can attend their services from about 400 to 60. For those who cannot attend in person, they have also been holding their services online.

Following from the groups’ updates, Pam Russell, St Wilfrid’s Development Director, spoke about our upcoming 40th Anniversary Year and Sarah Marsh, our Community Fundraising Manager, said a few words about our upcoming fundraising events before bringing the event to a close.

Lucy said: ‘Our Community Link Get Together events have always been a wonderful opportunity to continue to learn about the variety of services and activities that our local community groups offer and also to update everyone on the latest news and events from St Wilfrid’s. Despite being unable to meet in person this time, it was really good to catch up online and we look forward to arranging another Get Together via Zoom in the New Year!’