Newsletter No.3

6th July 2020

Website launch, Swanage and Purbeck Development Trust, Summer resource packs and looking to the future!


We would like to announce the launch of our website! This can be found at We intend this to be a platform upon which we can draw together information relevant to the pandemic, and make it available to people not on our mailing list or Facebook. We also hope that it will be a springboard for helping to ensure that Swanage is resilient to future emergencies – be that through promoting projects and services to help those in our community or having a “stand by” network ready and waiting to respond to whatever may come our way! Many thanks to Olly Christmas and Helen ffitch for their hard work on this!


Whilst the network continues to provide vital support to people with day to day necessities the Admin Team has been working on getting funding for a project to provide all primary age free school meals pupils in Swanage and Langton with an arts and crafts resource pack to take home with them over the summer holidays. The education gap due to the prolonged school closures is of real concern, with financial pressures making the provision of resources a challenge to many families. We hope these packs, provided with generous grants from the Swanage and Purbeck Rotary and the Dorset Community Foundation, will be of help as well as providing some creative fun over the long holidays!


We are pleased to announce that Swanage Neighbours is now under the umbrella of the Swanage and Purbeck Development Trust (SPDT). This allows us to benefit from the insights and expertise provided by their Trustees and has already helped us to more quickly process grant applications. Many thanks to Kim Gallagher and Bob Foster for their support in this.


We are entering a period of change for the network as lockdown gradually eases and whilst we know we want to keep on providing support to those who need it with the daily logistics of getting food etc the rest is less certain. At the very least we want to be able to place the network in a state of hibernation so that if we are to experience another wave of coronavirus, or if another emergency were to befall our community, we can respond with all haste.

The other potential direction to take things in is that those who wish to remain quite active within the network can be part of a broader attempt to tackle some of the issues that coronavirus has brought about – just like we are attempting to do with the summer resource bag project. To do that however we need to add more members to the Admin Team! If you have the capacity to take on a little extra or you have a burning idea for a project that can help our community regenerate from this tough time we would love to hear from you!


We would like to take a moment to publicly thank our amazing team of District Coordinators, who stepped up right at the beginning of the network and have been working tirelessly ever since to help make sure everyone on their patch has the help they need and the support they need as volunteers on the ground. In case you don’t know them all they are –

Sarah Shepherd and Sarah Silverton for Central Swanage, Penny Payne and Lynda Johns for Herston, Clare Byford and Alan Dominy for Durlston, Niccie Wright for Ulwell and Gary Phillips providing back up support to all Districts.

They are all community minded stars! They deserve a well earned socially distanced pint and a virtual pat on the back!

And as a personal aside I would like to extend my very heartfelt thanks to the rest of the Admin Team. When I first started this project I cannot tell you the relief and delight there was in finding Emily Gadd, Lynn Neads and Helen ffitch who lent their talents, time and camaraderie to make this possible.

As always thank you to everyone who continues to support their neighbours through this tricky time.

Please do forward this newsletter on to any community members or groups who may wish to read it.

Laura Rowan (Chair – Swanage Neighbours)

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