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Thursday, September 2nd – Judith Collins, HERstay –Rising Sun
HERstay,an innovative service providing accommodation for 16 to 24 year old girls from Kent with no family support who are pregnant and at risk of abuse, exploitation and homelessness. As well as a safe and secure home, HERstay helps the young women to develop the skills they need to lead independent lives.
ROTARY CLUB OF CHESTFIELD
Breakfast Meeting @ Chestfield Golf Club Thursday 2nd September 2021.
Present: Andrew & Jean M; Marian; Robert; Spyros & Pippa; Lesley; Kathy; Andrew B; Pat, Margaret; David K; Nick; Godfrey; Reggie; David M. Hilary & Pete joined us on Zoom.
Apologies: Jackie; Paul; Sue; Elaine; Maureen.
Guests: Lesley welcomed Judith from HERstay.
Grace: Said by Nick
Almoner: Lesley reported that Jackie was not feeling very well.
Correspondence: None that hasn’t already been shared.
Birthdays: Lesley said Happy Birthday to David M.
Speaker: Judith told us about her project, Rising Sun. The name comes from the pub where a refuge was founded in 1975. The aim is to assist people who are subject to domestic violence, defining as any coercive or controlling behaviour. This affects all sectors of the population, including some men, but overwhelmingly women – 1.3 million p.a. there were K26 incidents in Medway in 2017 (the last year with full statistics) and the figure is believed to have risen during lockdown – up to 1/5 of incidents reported to the police.
The project provides drop-in advice, support groups and counselling. There are also preventative programmes with children and young people who are at risk of becoming abusers themselves.
HERstay also runs Cantercare, a house in Canterbury which can house five pregnant women, aged 16-24 years and at risk of abuse, at a time. Helpers teach the women budgeting, parenting and life skills. The women can stay there up to 18 months and are then assisted to move on. Referrals come from the local council.
Any Other Business: Kathy spoke about the shoebox appeal at Christmas. In previous years we have declined to become involved because of their rigid expectations. However, Kathy is aware of a new version of the appeal, linked to Hope for Families & the Elderly. Kathy will bring some leaflets. Note: the boxes have to be collected by November.
Kathy said that 12 Afghan refugee families are due to arrive in our area next week. All are in need of shoes. If anyone has spare shoes they can donate, can they let Kathy know by next Tuesday.
Kathy reported on the progress of Frank a young man whom the club assisted to spend a gap year in South America
Andrew B confirmed that the Shelterbox the club voted on previously has gone to Haiti. He added that the project of looking after the rose bed on Maysdown Road is temporarily shelved; it’s too dry at present, and we still haven’t heard back from the PCC.
Lesley said that our meeting of 16th September will be attended by Ben Fitter-Harding, a local counsellor. If members have any issue to raise, can they notify David K about these in advance, please. Also, we need a good attendance for our evening meeting on 23rd – ‘though we haven’t had the menu yet.
Kevin Fielding would like to arrange joint meetings between ourselves and the Whitstable club. Suggested that they should come to us first.
Greetings from Other Clubs: There were greetings from the Romney Marsh club. Perhaps we should go down there for a trip out sometime? They meet on a Thursday evening.
Robert met someone from Canterbury Sunrise at a cluster meeting.
Raffle: This was won by Jean M & Dave C. Margaret reminded members to donate prizes.
Master-at-Arms: Nick told us that September is ‘Happy Cat’ month.
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