(Hartfield Action Together with Colemans Hatch)
This voluntary service offers practical help to anyone living in the parishes of Hartfield and Colemans Hatch experiencing difficulties arising from illness, infirmity, accident or hardship. It was launched by the two churches as a Millennium project in 2001. Since then it has become ever clearer that isolation and loneliness are real problems in rural areas, particularly for those who can no longer drive as they get older, and HATCH volunteers do their best to respond to that need. Most of the requests received are for transport – to hospital, surgery or other medical appointments, and occasionally for social visits. There is no age restriction: we will respond to requests to people in need of help of any age, and in 2018 a number of younger people have used the services of HATCH.
During 2018, HATCH responded positively to 139 requests for assistance (most involving some kind of transport) from 23 different residents of Coleman’s Hatch and Hartfield, more than in 2016. To satisfy those 139 requests HATCH called upon the services of 19 different local volunteers. We carry out DBS checks on all our volunteers.
Financially the scheme continues to break even. Users of the service make a donation towards costs, and many of the volunteers donate their expenses back. The main costs incurred were volunteer expenses, the telephone line (including Call Divert which enables duty officers to transfer calls to their own home telephone), and Public Liability Insurance.
The scheme is monitored by a small committee which meets about three times a year under the chairmanship of our Rector, Revd Julie Sear.
HATCH functions only because of willingly given support from its volunteers. The members of the HATCH committee would like to extend a huge thank you to all the volunteers who have made this scheme the success it is, with more than 3000 requests having been responded to since it started in 2001.
The HATCH contact telephone number for all enquiries is 01892 771331.
Volunteer Co-ordinator: HATCH
1st March 2019