charity, Community News, Volunteers

Brainstormz! Volunteer Sue is crowned as a Coronation Champion!

We are thrilled that one of our star volunteers, Sue Bulpin, has been selected as one of the 500 official Coronation Champions.

Sue lives with Functional Neurological Disorder but in spite of this, she runs a peer support group called Brainstormz! at the Net Community Hub on Saturday afternoons, for people with similar brain conditions and injuries. Sue supports her group with art therapies and by sharing advice, and provides a warm and welcoming space for those like herself, who tended to “hit a wall” at the weekend.

Commenting on becoming a Coronation Champion, Sue said: ”I’m amazed that I’ve got picked to go through – things like that don’t happen to me! It’s second nature what I do, I just enjoy helping people and giving back to the community, seeing people smile. I’m proud of what I’ve done and am excited to go to the celebration event. I’m proud of what the people I’ve supported have achieved, that gives me a lot of satisfaction.” 

The Coronation Champions Awards, launched by Royal Voluntary Service and supported by Her Majesty The Queen Consort, is all about celebrating the work of extraordinary volunteers across the UK. 

A total of 500 volunteers have been selected as Coronation Champions and will receive an official Coronation Champions pin badge, a signed certificate from Their Majesties, and an invite to one of the Coronation Celebrations, such as the Windsor Castle Coronation Concert or a Coronation Garden Party.

Huge congratulations to our Sue, who is off this weekend to the concert at Windsor Castle (we’ve never seen her so excited!) and will be proudly wearing her new pin badge. And quite possibly a new hat, shoes, coat … 😀

Find out more about the awards here:

Community News, Support Services, Volunteers

COVID19 Update

stay at home web

We hope everyone is staying safe and well at this difficult time.

We wished we had been able to stay open and offer a limited drop in service for our most vulnerable residents, but we quickly realised this wasn’t possible. The ongoing advice at present is still to stay at home and only leave it if absolutely necessary.

The NHS in Kent and Medway produces regular updates on the response to Covid-19 and important news you should know about is here:…/covid-19-update-02-ap…

Further advice direct from the NHS can be found here:

It’s important to filter out misinformation. If you are going to share anything regarding COVID19, please be responsible and check it via a reputable source. Many people are becoming more panicked by conspiracy theories and fake news circulating at a time when mental health is already becoming ever more fragile.

There’s a humongous effort on the part of Medway’s voluntary and charity organisations to ensure that vulnerable people are not forgotten, with volunteers out shopping and dropping essentials and prescriptions.

Medway Council has a dedicated site for residents who are vulnerable, or who want to offer help:

Stay safe everyone.

Community News, Resources, Support Services, Volunteers, walderslade together, walt

Our contingency plan for COVID19


As you are aware, we are a lifeline for the elderly and isolated residents in Walderslade.

During the current situation, we have to find a balanced way forward, whereby we try and protect our members and volunteers from the virus yet also ensure they’re not abandoned into isolation.

Regretfully, this means that our usual activity sessions will all be suspended as of now. However, we will be opening the hub for a drop in session on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 11am-1pm for those who need us. We have hygiene measures in place, with hand wipes available and surfaces cleaned before and after each session, in addition to our normal cleaning routine.

We respectfully ask that anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to the virus NOT to come to the hub but to follow the public health advice of self-isolating at home.

WALT will ensure that the members they are physically unable to bring to the hub as usual are telephoned at least once a week. They are also in the process of setting up online communications between those members, in order for them to still talk to their friends.

Also, due to the idiotic panic buying, we have vulnerable people concerned about grocery supplies. People with physical issues who can’t cook fresh food. People who can’t get out to the shops. So any donations of ready meals that we can distribute would be most welcome – thank you.

We will continue to update here and on social media with regard to our own sessions and those by partners such as Pip’n’Jim’s and Medway Youth Service.

Thank you for your support.

Jaye Nolan, Manager.

charity, Community News, Volunteers, walderslade together, walt

WALT’s amazing Christmas

walt thank you

We love our Walties!

2019 has proven to be the most fulfilling Christmas and New Year period at the hub to date.

A quick snapshot of what has been achieved by WALT would show:

  • 2 groups of at least 5 people supported in Christmas shopping.
  • 2 Christmas parties arranged and attended by over 20 people at each venue in Lords Wood and Walderslade.
  • 4 Christmas Day food hampers and gifts were provided to families in desperate need.
  • Toys/Gifts were provided to families for 20 children, whilst others were shared with local churches and preschool groups for children in need, linked to their services.
  • 100 gift bags containing handmade gifts, chocolate oranges and cards were distributed across ME5 to those who are socially isolated and / or are members of WALT.
  • A Christmas Day box filled with clothes for 1 person with very little of their own.
  • On Christmas Day, 6 members were visited, invited to lunch under the share-a-chair initiative or supported to have Christmas Dinner at Pip & Jim’s Church.
  • 20 people – who would otherwise have been alone – enjoyed a Boxing Day brunch here at the hub.

WALT also hosted a Christmas meal for their amazing volunteers and presented gifts to show how much their love and support is appreciated at Christmas, and indeed, throughout the year.

This is all possible thanks to the generosity of everyone who donated food, clothing, their craft skills and so much more.

The Net couldn’t achieve what it does without WALT, and we’re delighted that we are able to support them in their endeavours. This is thanks to the support that we get from funders, who last year included Kent Community Foundation (continuing for another two years), Magic Little Grant, the Kent Messenger, the Co-op and the National Lottery.

Here’s to 2020!

Activities, charity, Community News, Funding, fundraising, kent messenger, Volunteers, walt

An eventful year comes to a close

What a year it’s been for us, here at the Net!

With fundraising events, successful bids and an ever-strengthening partnership with Walderslade Together, we’re looking forward to consolidating our offer to the residents of Walderslade and Lords Wood as we enter 2020.

A huge part of our success is down to our fantastic Walties – the volunteers engaged by Walderslade Together who support so many local people. Whether it’s shopping, taking to hospital appointments or just chatting to them, our volunteers tirelessly give their time and energy to making peoples’ lives better.

To say thank you, we held a special Christmas dinner for them last week.

Our Arts & Crafts Club has been given a boost by volunteer Cat, and the new Brainstormz! support group is run by Sue, a dream to make happen she’s had for a long time.

If you would like to become a volunteer at the hub, and start an activity group or support session for something you’re passionate about, drop into any of our sessions, email Jaye via, or call us on 01634 319633.

To find out more about the volunteering opportunities with WALT, contact Sharon via

A huge thank you to the Coop, with their community fund netting us the awesome amount of £6,378.94, and to the KM Group for their support as Charity of the Year, for the Medway Messenger this year. And, of course, to the Kent Community Foundation for their ongoing support, which culminated in them awarding us core funding for the next three years.

We’re also indebted to The National Lottery and Magic Little Grants, whose support enables us to do so much more.

Here’s to 2020!


Volunteer Anna takes a big step forward

Anna Volunteer

The Net and WALT volunteer Anna Kelly has completed the first session in the Connect 5 ‘Train the Trainer’ programme.

The scheme is designed to help volunteers connect with people and endow them with more knowledge of the issues some may face. It also helps empower them as a route to employment.

Connect 5 is a mental health promotion training programme developed from a unique collaboration between Public Health England (PHE) & Health Education England (HEE). It is designed to increase the confidence and core skills of front line staff so that they can be more effective in having conversations about mental health and wellbeing, help people to manage mental health problems and increase their resilience and mental wellbeing through positive changes.

Congratulations Anna! (And good luck with the second session!)

Volunteers, walt

The Net and WALT volunteer Jean Judge nominated for a Pride in Medway Award

Jean Pride in Medway

It’s that time of the year again, when the people who make Medway better are recognised with nominations in the Pride in Medway awards.

We’re delighted that one of The Net and WALT’s joint volunteers, Jean Judge, has been recognised in the Volunteer of the Year category following her nomination by WALT.

An invaluable resource, Jean – seen above with many of the members – helps with shopping, home visits, taking people to medical appointments and social events, as well as bringing them to the hub to meet friends for a natter over a cuppa.

Jean says: “I feel extremely proud to get this recognition and I thoroughly enjoy doing what I do – it keeps me out of mischeif! I’m happy I can make a contribution to helping people stay socially active and not be left sitting indoors alone”.

WALT’s volunteer co-ordinator, Sharon O’Flynn, says: “Jean was our second ever volunteer and has been with us for two and a half years – now our longest serving. We love her to bits. She’s reliable and friendly and nothing is ever too much trouble. Nominating her for an award was a no-brainer, she absolutely deserves it.”

The awards are now in their 17th year and is made up of eight categories: Charity Fundraiser; Community Service; Good Carer; Green Champion; Health and Hospital; Young Heroes, Sports Coach of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.

Judges including Medway Council, Medway Messenger, Uniper, mhs Homes and Mid Kent College will meet to decide the winners, with the results due in the next couple of months.

Activities, Funding, Support Services, Volunteers

Good news! Funding support received for our Chairobics session

The Hub walderslade chairobics

We’ve been awarded the sum of £1247 by Involving Medway, via the Kent Community Foundation, to continue our Chairobics session on Monday afternoons.

This activity is funded by Involving Medway, an initiative run by Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, designed to encourage people to get involved with and help make decisions about health provision in the area. It aims to help residents lead healthier, happier lives through improved participation in community groups and activities.

Having been instigating new activities to the Hub since her appointment last year, manager Jaye says:

“Chairobics is a seated exercise session we introduced to help people maintain a certain level of movement, without it being too strenuous or too difficult for those with mobility issues. Add to that the social factor and it’s of double benefit to our local community. We’re very grateful for the support of Involving Medway in allowing us to keep this activity running for another year.” The session runs between 1.30 and 3pm.

This funding isn’t the only good news at the hub recently – the Rotary Club of Medway has also awarded us a £250 grant towards practical improvements at the space, located in Silverweed Road shops, and we’ve also partnered with Medway Time Credits, a voucher based reward system for volunteers.

Medway Time Credits are a ‘thank you’ for getting involved in your local community and giving your time in a voluntary way to help others. You can earn Time Credits for all kinds of activities, such as helping run our open cafe or assisting with the activities we organise. You might even have an idea of an activity you can run yourself, with which we can help you. Time Credits can then be spent with many different organisations, including trips to London.

Get in touch on 01634 319633 or email community@waldersladehub if you’d like to chat with Jaye about the volunteering opportunities, or to find out more about booking the space for activities.


The Net Community Hub signs up to Time Credits

We couldn’t operate without a crew of volunteers helping us out – but we always need more!

With that in mind, we’ve joined the great team at Medway Time Credits, so the lovely folk who volunteer with us are rewarded for their efforts.

A Time Credit is a ‘thank you’ for getting involved in your local community and giving your time in a voluntary way to help others. You can earn Time Credits for all kinds of activities, such as helping run our open cafe or assisting with the activities the hub organises. You might even have an idea of an activity you can run yourself, with which we can help you.

For every hour you give to your community, you can earn one Time Credit, which is worth one hour of an activity with any of the Time Credits partners across Medway, London or beyond. Gyms, museums, tourist attractions, art classes – you could access interesting and rewarding opportunities for getting involved with your community.

You can donate Time Credits to someone in your family or your neighbourhood who may benefit from them. You can also spend Time Credits as a group of volunteers or friends. Have a look at for places to spend Time Credits and follow Medway Time Credits on FB @KentMedwayTimeCredits and Twitter @MedwayTC.

You can visit our profiles on and take a look at how our earn offer and spend offers. We’d love to see you, so don’t be shy, come in and start earning today.


Our Special Winter Volunteer Open Evening

The Net Community Hub and WALT Special Volunteer Evening. L-R Winter Volunteer Jean Judge and WALT Director Trish Reilly. Photo credit Jaye Nolan
Jean, left, receives her award from WALT director, Tricia Reilly

After a busy summer and autumn, The Net Community Hub and Walderslade Together (WALT) decided to honour its most long standing volunteer, Jean Judge, making her our Special Winter Volunteer.

To celebrate, we invited our partners and supporters along to share stories of how we make a valuable contribution to our local community.

The Volunteer’s Networking evening, which takes place on the first Wednesday in the month, was the perfect opportunity for board members and partners to meet the volunteers and each other, helping ensure that socially isolated or vulnerable people are signposted to services that will benefit them.

Medway councillor for the Walderslade ward, David Brake said: “Congratulations on a splendid event. Meet the Walt Team did what it said on the tin! Lots of chatting, lots of people wanting to share their experiences and explain what they were doing for both WALT and the NET. I was encouraged with what I heard and indeed encouraged with what I saw – lots of local people involved in supporting the community.”

Carla Vanzyl, Medway Council, said: “Very impressed with the real conviction the carer told her story about what WALT did for her and her husband, how the support was just right, what they needed and how she now wants to reach out to others in the community. The relationships between all was also very evident and meaningful.”

One of the most recent additions to The Net’s support services is the advent of a Time To Talk peer support session, run by volunteer Liz. Thanks to a grant from the NHS Medway CCG through the Involving Medway project, this valuable mental health support is now guaranteed for the foreseeable future.

The Net Hub was delighted to receive additional grants from Awards For All for premises improvements and to fund more open activities, and from Kent Reliance via the Kent Community Foundation to set up a Luncheon Club once a month. With the return of the Medway Youth Service with their drop in session for young people, the Hub is on its way to providing opportunities for all sections of its local community.

If you’d like to find out more about us, or WALT, feel free to drop in during our open sessions, or contact via the details on our contact page.

We look forward to seeing you 🙂 Enjoy our gallery of this special evening:

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