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FiSH Scheme

Bridge FiSH Scheme 07935 966080

What is the FiSH scheme?

The FiSH scheme is a registered charity that offers support to anyone in need in Bridge, Patrixbourne, Bekesbourne and Bishopsbourne. We offer support and assistance to anyone in the village in times of need, but particularly to older adults. Sometimes families live far away from each other and it’s not possible to give the help needed, and indeed some people don’t have families or a friend to ask.

This is where we can help.

What do we do?

We offer a number of services but they can be summarised under the following headings…

1. FiSH transport

We have a list of amazing volunteer drivers ( all are DBS checked) who are able to take anyone to hospital appointments, GP appointments, dental appointments etc. or collect and deliver medication. We ask for a small donation, if you are able to give, towards the costs of the volunteer ( for petrol, insurance, tax etc.). The suggested donations range from £1.50 to go to the Bridge site of the Canterbury Medical Practice, £5.00 to go to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, and £15.00 to go to the William Harvey or QEQM.

If you, or someone else you know needs transport please call our dedicated telephone line on 07935 966080 and one of our telephone volunteers will match your request with an available driver. If no one answers the telephone please leave a message and we will get back to you.

We ask for as much notice as you can give to meet your transport request, but a minimum of 5 days, if at all possible, helps our volunteers.

2. FiSH Coffee Mornings

On the second Thursday of the month we hold a coffee morning in the village hall, 1015am to 1130am. Everyone is welcome to come along for coffee and chat. There’s no need to book, just come along, you’ll always be welcome. We charge 50p, or whatever you feel you would like to give, for coffee, or tea, and biscuits ((sometimes cake!), with free refills!

We welcome everyone. Please come along and say hello, have a coffee and a chat and meet some old and new friends.

We look forward to seeing you.

3. FiSH Winter Warmer Lunch

In the depths of winter we serve a Winter Warmer lunch where we offer a light lunch, sumptuous desserts and possibly a glass of wine, to all. We usually advertise this at our Coffee Mornings, via posters in the village, in ‘On the Nail’ and on the website. Watch out for details.

4. HiKent at the FiSH Scheme

HiKent provides sound support for deaf and hard of hearing people in Kent. The FiSH Scheme is lucky enough to have the lovely Tom from HiKent visiting our coffee mornings 4x a year. Tom can offer support for the hard of hearing and more specifically he can offer free NHS hearing aid aftercare, advice and battery supply. Tom’s dates for 2022 are 10th March, 9th June, 8th September and 8th December.

5. FiSH Spring or Summer Outing

In the spring or summer we usually have a day out with a light lunch to a place of local interest, maybe a garden or similar. Come along to a Coffee morning to find out more details, watch out for posters and articles on the website.

6. FiSH Emergency Funding

If you, or someone else you know, find yourself in an emergency, or a difficult situation, we have a small pot of money for such circumstances. Please contact us on 07935 966080 to discuss further.

And finally….

Why are we called the FiSH Scheme?

Lots of people ask this, and it’s a good question.

The original FiSH scheme came from an idea by Dr. Donald Richards and Rev. Derek Eastman in Oxfordshire. Dr. Richards particularly noticed that often GP’s directed older adults to medical appointments but there was no way for them to get there, so he came up with a scheme that matched volunteers with drivers to get them to appointments. He called it the FiSH scheme, taking the Christian FiSH as a symbol that someone needed support. FiSH neighbourly help schemes are now at many locations through the UK and the US, and Bridge FiSH scheme is one of those.

We believe that the FiSH Scheme in Bridge began in about 1985 started by Joan Warren and her friends Muriel and Ann. Rosy Green and Jean Johnson came on board in about 1988 and 1990 respectively and were at the helm of the committee and the coffee mornings for many many years. We are grateful to all our volunteers past and present.

If you have a few hours to spare, give us a call, were always looking for new volunteers to be drivers or to help at coffee mornings or events.