06/11/18

From the President’s Sofa, sort of…

Sharon Howard- CEO of Safe in Sussex charity

In May I had the pleasure of chatting with Sharon Howard about the vital work of domestic abuse charity Safe in Sussex and the necessary role it has been playing in our local community since 1977. Sharon’s calming energy and strength is incredible. The charities’ staff and volunteers who keep countless women and children safe are incredible.

When we met, the threat of the withdrawal of government funding for “supported people” was less foreboding, but September brought the realisation that Safe could lose £100,000 in this way! We are familiar with the inevitability of cut backs, but that loss could result in the closure of one of the four Refuges. Despite such continual pressures, a highly caring, supportive and professional service is delivered 24/7, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year for those of us who are unfortunate enough to need it. Thank you for your time and crucial sense of humour Sharon!

So 5 questions…
1.What’s the best part of your job?
Making a difference to someone’s life. The “Freedom Programme” is of particular significance, as it empowers those who have experienced domestic abuse. It never fails to impress me what a difference the Programme can make to a survivor’s confidence and self-esteem. They leave feeling and looking like different people!

Also, The Great Project is an amazing initiative which we have taken into the schools at Year 5 and 6 (9 and 10 year olds). It has encouraged children to be respectful of others and promotes kind words and actions.

2.Your most memorable situation?
Opening Amber House, the Littlehampton Refuge! It is the first open Refuge in the UK, meaning that there is a sign outside telling everyone that it is a safe place and that families are working on their issues in that protective forum. The sister of the sadly late Anita Roddick (founder of The Body Shop) opened the House. The property did used to be their family home in fact-! It is a pioneering House, with the idea having come from Holland. The significance of “Amber” is that things have not escalated to crisis point necessarily (Red), and that, with all the right safeguards in place, there is hope and the possibility of the family staying together /making things better for the children particular.

3.What are you looking forward to in the next 6 months?
Much needed support from Lottery Funding and the 1st Anniversary of the opening of Amber House! It will be a time for reflection on all we have achieved and that to be achieved still.
4.Where would you live if not in Worthing?
Nowhere else! I love it here! The sea and the countryside, what more could anyone want.

5.Which song best describes you and why?
It has to be Abba “Dancing Queen”. It just makes me you smile.


Please show your support for all at Safe in Sussex by signing the Petition against a reduction in West Sussex County Council funding for their invaluable services at
https://www.change.org/p/louise-goldsmith-westsussex-gov-uk-save-our-west-sussex-domestic-violence-refuges?recruiter=898261908&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink

Many thanks.

Jacqueline Mensah
Worthing Law Society President



18/10/18

Dear WLS Members and colleagues,

Thank you so much for the superb turn out at the annual WLS Quiz on Wednesday 19th September! Emma Chatwell’s egg heads at Green Wright’s retained the Cup and so congratulations to them! WMC Legal (some of) secured the wooden spoon, that being an equally notable accolade!

We were well fed and watered by the Dome, with this becoming our rather distinguished venue of choice for the social.

Despite my questions being trickier than Christine Nestor’s, possibly (sorry all and come back Christine), an enjoyable time was had and I thank you for making it such a fun night for Denise, Gavin and myself.

I am grateful to you all for your generosity in supporting this year’s Presidential charities, Silence of Suicide and Safe in Sussex. The raffle prizes and sales were brilliant and a £169 was raised on the night, thank you! This sum has been split equally between the two charities.

I presented a cheque to Linda Puttock, Finance Officer for Safe in Sussex on Monday 24th September. Linda asked me to pass on the sincere thanks of Safe, especially at such a crucial time, when West Sussex are likely to withdraw about £100k in funding, meaning the loss, sadly, of at least one of the refuges.

Silence of Suicide was founded by Michael Mansfield QC and his partner Yvette Greenway. A cheque is winging it’s way to Silence, care of Yvette and Yvette sent me this warm message to be shared with the WLS.


That is so amazingly kind of the WLS members to support SOS once again. Please do thank them on our behalf.

SOS has been incredibly busy, although much of our work is behind the scenes right now. We are currently supporting women in crisis who've been affected by the state pension age deferral and have two other major research projects about to begin. Given that it is still just myself and Michael, there is a vast amount of work to undertake.

We are speaking at the civil rights convention in Derry next month and the following month discussing our work with the British Dental Association in Northern Ireland.

We are very keen to present more of our meetings around the UK in 2019, for corporates and groups of individuals alike. If there are venues in your area who might loan us space for a couple of hours, together with a sponsor who might cover travel/refreshment costs, then please do let us know.

The donations we get from groups such as yourselves are invaluable and really do make a staggering difference - our appreciation is endless.
Yvette and Michael

Kind regards,


Jacqueline Mensah
WLS President
18/10/18

Dear Members and Colleagues,

I write to share the following appreciative words from local charity Safe in Sussex, received on 3rd October…


Dear Jackie

Re: donation from quiz night

I am writing on behalf of everyone at Safe in Sussex to extend our sincere gratitude for the donation of £84.50 received from the Worthing Law Society Quiz Night.

As a charitable organisation, we rely on the goodwill of the community to enable us to provide vital services and your donation will help to support women and children who access our Worthing refuge provision by providing parent and child bonding activities.


Yours sincerely

Louise Gisbey
Fundraiser & Marketing Manager, Safe in Sussex


Jacqueline Mensah
WLS President
11/09/18

From the President’s Sofa, sort of...

Sharon Clarke- Worthing Town Centre Initiative Manager

As part of my year as WLS President, I thought I would “interview” local movers and shakers, perhaps mainly women, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of some women gaining the vote. So, back in April 2018 (no heat wave predicted then!), I had a very informative chat basically with the rather brilliantly effervescent Sharon Clarke, who I’m sure many of you have had the pleasure of meeting over recent years. Thank you for your time Sharon!

So 5 questions...

1. What’s the best part of your job?
The events, whether big or small. The seafront flower bed planting is something which helps make Worthing look better and encourages people to stay longer. 45 organisations and community groups have each got a bed, with their name on it. The Town Centre Initiative fund £30 for flowers and then the organisation etc have to maintain it. The urban temporary beach is another one of our ventures. It’s about “dwelling” time in the town centre. The more positive people feel, the more they spend in the businesses!

2. Your most memorable situation?
The Worthing Birdman Competition! Many will remember all of the excitement and the news worthy stories. Sadly it ended in Worthing in 2015.

3. What are you looking forward to in the next 6 months?
The Worthing Food and Drink Festival, which will be in its 6th re-incarnation this year. Having Kenny Tutt, MasterChef Champion 2018, as a guest on the weekend of 15th and 16th September, is a great boost to this year’s amazing show.

4. Where would you live if not in Worthing?
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for the sunshine! (As I said, this chat was conducted in the April chill-time.) Or, York, England, for the history.

5.Which song best describes you and why?
The Pointer Sisters “I’m so excited!”, as once I get an idea, you just can’t hold me back!

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11/09/18

From your President...

As you are aware, Safe in Sussex is one of the charities I am inviting you all to support this year and all of your generosity is much appreciated by the Safe team, their Clients and myself.

Linda Puttock, Finance Officer for Safe, has emailed to say...

Our funding has been axed from WSCC regarding the refuge service.

It’s not housing benefit being stopped, but the Supporting People element of funding direct from WSCC that's proposed to go completely from next April. It doesn't just affect us, it’s all organisations that receive Supporting People funding from WSCC. The proposal is that all of this funding is stopped. WSCC will make their final decision later this month.

To us it means the loss of almost £100k in funding for 2 of our 4 refuges, which will result in closures (13 bed spaces lost) and staff redundancies. It’s vital for us to continue to provide the refuge service that we do.

So that's the background, thank you for spreading the word.

Please could you sign the petition (BELOW) if you want to support us in fighting this.

Thank you

Linda

https://www.change.org/p/louise-goldsmith-westsussex-gov-uk-save-our-west-sussex-domestic-violence-refuges?recruiter=898261908&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink

Sign the Petition
http://www.change.org
louise.goldsmith@westsussex.gov.uk : Save Our West Sussex Domestic Violence Refuges

Linda Puttock

http://www.safeinsussex.org

Text SISW01 £1/£3/£5/£10 to 70070 to donate to Safe in Sussex and make a difference today . Thank you.
08/05/18

Dear WLS Members,

Thank you to everyone for making the WLS Annual Dinner on 9th March 2018 such an enjoyable and successful night for the local legal community, our business partners and family and friends.

I attach a photo, which I will treasure, of our Guest Speakers on the night, Michael Mansfield QC and Yvette Greenway, joint CEOs of Silence of Suicide charity. I am pleased to be able to share that the generosity of those at the Dinner raised a donation of £135.42 for Silence of Suicide. Michael and Yvette send their personal thanks.

Equally, thank you to all for the donations on the night of £267.87 to local domestic abuse support charity, Safe in Sussex. CEO Sharon Howard and the team extend their gratitude. I take this opportunity to thank Gemma Hanson, Committee Member, for her help in this particular regard on the night and on the following Saturday morning, when she kindly delivered the donations to Safe’s headquarters!

By way of an update (thank you for your enquiries), Helen Norton, Secretary and I have interviewed a number of applicants for the role of WLS Administrator and believe we are close to securing the right person to work with and support us all. In short, we have screened over 70 applicants and have made some very useful contacts along the way. Subject to Committee discussions and the necessary checks, etc, we hope to have some good news for all in the next few weeks. Many thanks for your ongoing patience and, as always, praise to David Cook for assisting us to a significant degree still, in his early retirement period.

Lastly, I do hope that as many as possible attend the Spring Lunch tomorrow, Wednesday 9th May, at the Ardington Hotel. I look forward to seeing you then. Enjoy!

Jacqueline Mensah WLS President


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