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Making connections in Fenland

The Healthy Fenland Team work hard to stay well connected with our communities. We spend a great deal of time getting to know what is happening by engaging with members of the public and established community groups. Early in the project we realised there was a lot of duplication between organisations trying to deliver community activities in Fenland, especially where they received statutory funding. To try to reduce this and make sure that our projects were really meeting the communities needs we established The Community Development Workers Get-togethers.

Three times a year we host a meeting for anyone working with the community in Fenland to meet and share what they are doing. Most professionals struggle to make time for yet another meeting but everyone needs to eat so we hold the sessions at lunch time. We provide the venue, a few nibbles and tea & coffee and suggest people bring and eat their own lunch.

We start each meeting by inviting one of the members to tell us about a new project or scheme for about 15 minutes and then it is all about networking. We expect by the end of the event that everyone will have talked to everyone else in the room.

This meeting has led to some really good collaborative work such as the International Food Event, more referrals to the Benefits Support Scheme at the Rosmini Centre and input into the public consultation on the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough – New Lifestyle Service.

This meeting has really helped establish the Healthy Fenland Team as a major player within the local community development family. Whenever we meet a new professional or come across a new scheme or initiative we invite them to the next meeting.

 The speaker at the next meeting will be Nikki Dekker Warm Homes Project Officer working for PECT.

Julie Jeffryes

Volunteer Christmas parties!

In December we had our Volunteer Christmas parties for both North (at the FACT Offices in March) and South (at C3 Church in Cambridge). It was great to catch up with the volunteers and for them to meet one another. One of the reasons why volunteers come to these events is to catch up with their coordinators so a big thank you to all coordinators for looking after the volunteers throughout the year and for helping make the parties that much better. A big thank you to Sarah Bellow who loaned me all the decorations for the tables which she found in the boot of her car  – amazing!