Hope-G, voice of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) older people in East Sussex, plays a vital role in helping to ensure services are meeting the needs of the older BAME community.
Hope-G has been chaired by Julia Wells for the last ten years. We find out a bit more about the incredible achievements and work of the Chair as part of this year’s Ageing Well Festival (previously known as Older People’s Day).
Julia was born on the sunny isle of Trinidad in the West Indies. She has an impressive resumé of work within her home community including achieving Staff Sargent for the St. Johns Ambulance Brigade, training junior members, teaching at a local school, and helping local village children to improve their education in her spare time.
After seeing an urgent appeal for nurses, she settled in the UK and completed her training in Yorkshire where she started a family.
When her daughter wanted to join the Brownies but they found there was no local group, Julia stepped up and trained to become a Brownie Guider and went on to do so for 15 years, even when her family moved south. Ever embedded in her local community, she was also a PTA member of both her children’s schools.
Her nursing career continued with the NHS for 46 years, as well as volunteering as Treasurer for the local Diabetic Forum of Diabetics UK.
Julia’s passion for helping her community didn’t end when she retired. It was in her retirement that Julia became involved with the community forums, attending meetings for Hope-G which she had quickly become an integral part of.
Now chaired by Julia, Hope-G plays a vital role in being a voice for the older BAME community and helping to ensure services are meeting their needs. Issues tackled range from health, social care, economic and community issues that affect senior people from all BAME and religious backgrounds.
Hope G has 179 members and has held:
- 72 Coffee mornings.
- 30 open meetings with guest speakers.
- 9 Annual General Meetings.
Hope-G also has 145 members in their Birthday Club and Julia sends every member a birthday card every year. This is really appreciated as some of the members live on their own and do not have any relatives locally to celebrate with. To help increase digital skills and confidence with using technology to keep in contact with family, she also organised one-to-one sessions so members could learn how to use tablets, mobile phones and email.
Hope-G is supported by East Sussex County Council with an annual grant that goes towards their activities. Hope-G also generates funds from raffles and donation boxes. To show appreciation for members and volunteers, this money is used for treating the members, and sending cards, flowers and thank-you presents for those who give up their time to help and support Hope-G.
You can get in touch with Hope-G by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 07511 248 278.
Check out all the virtual events being held over September and October for this year’s Ageing Well Festival.