Queen's Award for Voluntary Service
FiSH Neighbourhood Care, has won the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. (FiSH stands for Friendship, Independence, Help and Support). FiSH exists to combat loneliness and social isolation in older and vulnerable people living in Barnes, Mortlake and East Sheen so that they continue to live independent and dignified lives. Through their 300 strong volunteer network they connect the community offering friendship, support and practical help.
Receiving the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for volunteer groups, represents a tremendous achievement for the charity and its volunteers.
Crispin O’Brien, Chair of FiSH said “Everyone who volunteers for FiSH should feel immensely proud of the recognition that this award represents. They should never underestimate the value of their service to the local community and the difference they make to people’s lives. Without the goodwill and generosity of our dedicated volunteers none of FiSH’s activities would be possible. In 2017/8 FiSH volunteers gave 32,500 hours of their time to help older and vulnerable people in SW13 and SW14. It would require over 18 full time trained staff to replace these hours at a cost to Richmond Council of over £580,000 every year.”
Micky Forster, Director at FiSH commented “Volunteers are our life blood. We are lucky to have so many wonderful people carrying out a range of roles as befrienders, car drivers, bus escorts, minibus drivers, shoppers, listeners, cake makers, fundraisers, event organisers, dementia friends, speakers, gardeners, handy people, helpline co-ordinators and trustees. However we always need more volunteers. If you live in Barnes, Mortlake or East Sheen and have a few hours to spare, please join us. We’ll provide you with support and training and you’ll get more back than you can ever imagine”.
Royal Wedding Tea Party
Here at FiSH we do like a good tea party! Bone china, sandwiches and cakes, scones with jam and cream... and what better excuse could there be than celebrating the marriage of Prince Harry! On Friday May 18th, the day before the wedding of Harry and Meghan, almost 100 guests came to Barnes Green for a party arranged jointly by FiSH and Age UK Richmond. Afternoon tea was served and the guests entertained by a Skiffle band!
Popular art therapy programme to continue
FiSH Neighbourhood Care is stepping in with funding to enable the popular art workshops delivered by Picassos in the Park to carry on in Barnes. The workshops, which are open to people living with early stage dementia and their carers, will now continue this summer and offer participants a chance to be creative together. Classes will run on Tuesdays from 1:30pm to 3:30pm from 5th June to 17th July at the OSO Arts Centre. To find out more or book a place, please contact Liz on 020 8878 8100 or by email.
Micky Forster, a long-term Barnes resident and trustee of Barnes Community Association, will be joining FiSH Neighbourhood Care as Executive Director in February 2018.
Micky says ‘’I am delighted to be joining FiSH, a charity that delivers a much needed and unique blend of practical help and emotional support to older and vulnerable people in Barnes, Mortlake and East Sheen through its amazing staff and volunteers.
Having parents in their 90s still living at home in the area, I believe passionately in helping people to maintain their independence so they can do as much as they can for as long as they can.
I hope my experience from 10 years in the charity sector, knowledge of the area, local contacts and community organisations will enable me to effectively champion this trusted organisation. I feel very proud to be joining FiSH at this exciting time to help this wonderful charity meet the growing needs in our local community.’’
Micky started her career in sales and marketing in the airline and travel industry and has spent the last 10 years working as a fundraiser at Turn2us, Bowel & Cancer Research and Breakthrough Breast Cancer. She has also been a Samaritan’s listening volunteer for nearly 25 years.
Crispin O’Brien, chair of FiSH, commented, “It will be hard to follow Jenny Hughes who has done a great job for over 17 years but we are really lucky to have found someone so committed to our cause, so well connected in SW13 and SW14 and already involved with our community. Micky will provide leadership and help us put our strategy into effect in the challenging years ahead.”
FiSH Sunday 2018
We celebrated FiSH Sunday on February 4th, this year hosted by East Sheen Baptist Church. The theme was Back to Basics: Who is my neighbour? as we remembered how FiSH began and celebrated all that it has become. As always, the afternoon ended with lots of tea and cake and good company.
On the 23rd of November 2017, our Star FiSH Elders Dance Group went on an outing to the Rambert Studios and were able to perform there. This project has been funded for the past year by the Richmond Parish Lands Charity and the Friday morning dance classes, led by an animateur from Rambert Ballet, have become a firm favourite.
Harvest Tea Party
This year St Michael & All Angels Church in Barnes celebrates it's 150th anniversary. As part of the celebrations, FiSH was invited to arrange a community tea party and this took place on Saturday October 7th 2017. With music from Saxanova, and a film by Tom Stanier about days gone by in Barnes (featuring FiSH members, Ellen and George) plus plenty of tea, scones, chat and laughter... a lovely day was had by all!
Our Helpline is open Monday to Friday from 09:00-12:00. Please do make use of this by calling 020 8876 3414 if you need help with transport for medical or social appointments or if you need some shopping done. Although we cannot help with personal care, we can help with simple things around the home like replacing light bulbs, occasional gardening tasks or at other times when you just need a useful helping hand. Please call as early as possible in the day and, for medical appointments, please try and give us at least two days’ notice.
Last year, FiSH ran a pilot series of dance classes led Rambert Ballet which proved to be extremely popular. Dance is known to have positive effects on those with Parkinsons and dementia but is also an excellent form of exercise for older people. We are delighted that the Richmond Parish Lands charity have funded a series of three terms throughout 2017. The sessions now take place every Friday morning at Barnes Green Centre. Please call Linda on 020 8876 3336 for further details or to book. Cost per session, £5.