Previous projects – prior to 2013

Rotary Literacy Challenge

In early 2012, several members joined with Rotary members in their Literacy Challenge. This meant that members spent a couple of hours a week in a local school, hearing children read. The children were fairly good readers, but not necessarily very fluent or confident – each child read for about 10 minutes and it was a joy to watch their progression.

The Rights of Older People

The group set itself two key objectives; to gain membership of a patient voice organisation in the county and to stay informed about policies that affected older people both nationally and locally. These were both achieved.

Membership of a patient voice organisation

Although the group had aimed to gain access to a policy making organisation it acquired membership of the East Surrey Locality group of Surrey Local Involvement Network (LINk). LINk aims to give citizens a stronger voice in how their health and social care services are delivered. The role of a LINk is to find out what people want of these services locally, monitor them, and to use their statutory powers to hold those services to account. The East Surrey Locality group was in the process of developing a project to consider the quality of care provided at EastSurreyHospital for older people.

Staying informed

The group received briefings on key issues in Surrey County Council’s strategy for older people’s services including: the restructuring of services that will support the recipients of care more effectively; and the development of a dementia strategy. These have been augmented by information from members’ own networks. As a result the group was in a position to respond, in December 2011, to the Department of Health’s (England) consultation on “Caring for our future: shared ambitions for care and support” supported by 11 other clubs from the South Eastern and Southern England regions. Given the positive response by these clubs, there was an intent to look for further opportunities for interclub working and lobbying.

The work of the group was, of necessity, focussed on the long term and it took time to make contacts and gather information. However, based on this year’s successes, the group is in a good position to develop its agenda and objectives for the next year and to continue to keep the club informed of its activities.