Redbridge charity Asnet shares it’s business tips
Arthritis Self Help Network (http://www.arthritis-selfhelp.org) was started by Diane Wynne Fitzgerald whom along with Dr Guy Dabrera are two of the co-founders of the charity.
The Charity was originally a self help group and is comprised entirely of volunteers who are not paid. The aim of the group is to empower and provide support to those in need of help with one of over two hundred types of arthritis.
We bring a lot of experience and influence to the health sector in our area. We run a range of projects and are always looking for new ways of promoting the health, wellbeing and engagement of people with arthritis.
Our business tips
Our tip i#1 is build partnerships, tip #2 use volunteers as plenty of people do want to get involved and make a difference, tip #3 keep networking/ get out there, tip #4 hold fundraising events .
- Last year we built a partnership with East London Radio, Redbridge Music Lounge and Valentines Park. We had found an unused bowling green in Valentines Park (due to our networks) which needed a new owner. We now run the Cranbrook Centre and the rent is a fraction of our previous office.
- This year we built a partnership with Kenneth More Theatre to bring people in and use their computers. The Bee Connected project ran for the whole year, overseen by volunteer IT experts with a wide range of skills. One success story was a 90 year old lady who had a lap top she had never used and she learned to navigate the internet, to email and to skype with her family
- We have partnerships with Barts Health and Medicine in Society to join the training of doctors on arthritis, the CCG to host Doctor let patients meetings at our Centre, Royal College of Arts and the Helen Hamlin Project on aids for people with disabilities and we are extending our Joint 200 project with Team Up London working with young people with arthritis
We also raise our our own funds through events such as The Dragon Boat Race at Fairlop Waters, and through the The Music Hall event at Chigwell Police Club.
A bit more about us
- We have provide Tai Chi classes, Alexander Technique among other things to help others in dealing with the challenges they face with arthritis.
- We want to extend our work using technology in supporting socially isolated people by getting access to the Internet. We joined the Redbridge Hack Day and hope that our Bee Connected project and experience will be acknowledged and used.
- We are ran an internet security workshop at the recent Redbridge Timebank skills swap and will join the Timebank as another way of building partnerships and accessing support for our work.
Our final thoughts
We are community based and we are there as part of the of the community. We believe threads of many colours make up the fabric of society and we embrace diversity in the many volunteers of different faiths who come to us and those who seek to reach out to us. We are proud of our role in Redbridge community life and put our longevity down to being self sufficient and raising our own funds.
Dee Datta and Diane Wynne Fitzgerald
As part of our Enterprising Redbridge project we want to encourage and give practical help to Redbridge community groups in developing business skills and resilience. This is a new blog series enabling Redbridge groups to share their tips. Please get in touch if you want to give or receive help, and look at all the resources on the Enterprising Redbridge website.