RVA have launched a new community-led programme called HourTime.  This is a scheme to encourage more people to help out in the community, designed particularly for those who may not have a huge amount of spare time, but would like to make a contribution.

HourTime is run by Ana Mesinezi at RVA, which is the professional body that drives the voluntary and community sector in Rother. Our job is to provide advice, information and support for groups and initiatives that bring social benefits to the neighbourhood.  We provide expert advice and practical support to help them access funding and operate effectively.

Ana said: “We know that there are many people in our community who would really love to do something but don’t know what they can do or how to get involved.  Often it’s because they believe that if they get involved with a particular organisation or activity they will have to commit more time than they have available – if you are juggling work, family and other commitments, there isn’t much time left in the day for helping others.

“We developed HourTime so that even if you have just an hour a month or five minutes a week to give, then we can put it to good use in the community.  No amount of time is too little as there are countless small things you can do that will make a real difference.  For example, taking out an elderly person’s wheelie bin will only take you a few minutes, but it could help your neighbour no end.”

Community champion Jackie from Bexhill was one of the first people to register with HourTime. She said: “I get a lot out of volunteering so if you have some spare time to give to the community, HourTime can help you put it to good use.”  Jackie is helping in a variety of ways, including befriending people who can’t get out and helping them with every day chores such as shopping and light housework.

Ana said: “Another reason that prevents people from helping others is that they think they need to have special skills, qualifications or experience, but this is certainly not the case.  Anyone can be involved and there is something for everyone to do in HourTime, whatever your age, circumstances or experience.  We really hope that people will be inspired to get involved in some way to help make our community that little bit better.”

HourTime is here to help local people help each other, in whatever way they can, with whatever time they have.  For example, if you like being outdoors you could spend an hour or so tidying up a garden.   If you are a dog lover you might enjoy walking someone’s pet and if you enjoy meeting people then simply popping around for a cup of tea and a chat once in a while with a housebound neighbour will make their day.

If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved in the community with HourTime please contact Ana Mesinezi on 01424 217 259 or email her at ana.mesinezi@rva.uk.com or ana.mesinezi@hour-time.today