The Bridge Fish Scheme
WHAT?The Fish Scheme consists of a small number of local volunteers who give neighbourly assistance in time of need or emergency. It has been operational in Bridge, Patrixbourne, Bekesbourne and Bishopsbourne since 1980.
WHO?The Fish Scheme volunteers assist anyone in need [this has tended to be the elderly].
WHY?Many families live far away from each other these days and it is not always possible to give the help needed, and indeed some people do not have families to call upon.
SO WHAT GOES ON?
TRANSPORTA small group of volunteer drivers give some time each month to take people to appointments. These may be to hospitals within the East Kent Trust, doctor's surgeries, opticians, dentists, or chiropodists. A mileage allowance is paid.
COFFEE POP-INOn the second Wednesday of each month at 10am there is a coffee morning in Bridge Village Hall, open to anybody who wishes to pop in for a coffee and a chat. There is a lending library of paperback books and magazines. There is a supply of knitting materials available for anyone who would like to knit garments which are then distributed through the Health Centre in Canterbury.
LIBRARY SERVICEThere is a library book exchange service for those unable to get out easily, organized in conjunction with Canterbury Library Service.
OUTINGS AND SOCIAL EVENTSOnce a year there is a coach outing to enjoy a tour of the countryside and spring blossoms , tea, and a visit to a garden centre. Other outings such as a visit to the theatre may be arranged during the year. A winter lunch in the Village Hall may be arranged.
ANNUAL FUND RAISING MORNINGA Saturday morning is set aside for the only fund raising event of the year - a Bring and Buy Coffee Morning with plant stall, cakes, raffle etc.
Transport for all these is provided when required.
Many volunteers give generously of their time and this support is much appreciated. However we would very much welcome new volunteers.
Now you know what the Fish Scheme is, if you have a small amount of time to spare each month for driving, visiting or volunteering in some small way, please phone co-ordinator Jean Johnson on 01227 766182
If you require transport please phone 07935 966080 [And leave a message if necessary]
If you have a friend, relative, or neighbour, or indeed yourself, who may require assistance regularly or in an emergency, please contact either of the above numbers.
We also have a small amount of money that is available in an unusual or emergency situation. If you would like the committee to consider a suggestion please contact one of the above numbers.
ORIGIN OF THE FISH SCHEME
The Fish Scheme originated in Oxford and was the idea of the late Dr. Donald Richards together with Rev. Derek Eastman. They took the Christian fish as its symbol as a practical sign that someone who was ill or lonely needed help from a neighbour. This simple, imaginative scheme developed to offer neighbourly help and was widely introduced elsewhere in the country, and also in the United States, where several thousand Fish Schemes are now established.
Dr Donald Richards, MBE, [12/3/1920 - 25/2/1994], studied medicine at Cambridge, and St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, qualifying in 1947. He then worked as a general practitioner in Oxford for 35 years, becoming well known for his commitment to community care. An imaginative and energetic innovator, he was involved in studies for the World Health Organisation, and initiated the operational policy for The Michael Sobell House, the now famous NHS hospice. Of all that he gave in his life to other people, the Fish Scheme may be his best and longest lasting memorial.