Chairman - Anne Macmillan
Vice Chair - Sheila Shepherd
Secretary - Patricia Robinson
Treasurer - David Hobson
Welfare Officer - Gam Gurung
Our branch encourages and supports Blesma’s fundamental principles of Rehabilitation, Advocacy, Counselling and Care and the support of its members for life.
Our branch also has a long history of helping and reaching out into the community dating back to its inception in 1944 in Croydon before evolving in 1949 and expanding its outreach across the region to Sutton and Merton. From 1951 our branch had a fantastic relationship with “Sutton and District Bowling Association” establishing the ‘BLESMA Pairs’ competition. In 1954 the “Sutton and District Ladies Bowling Association” not wishing to be out done established an annual triples competition called the ‘Frankland Moore BLESMA Triples’ with the winner being awarded a silver rose bowl. Both of these competitions ran annually each year until 2017 and 2016 respectively, which provided vital and much appreciated sponsorship of our branch. The Rose Bowl has now been donated to Sutton Library Museum.
Benefits of membership of this branch includes the opportunities of making new friends, fellowship, regular meetings, social events and regular newsletters. All of which aid peer support, the sharing and learning from personal experiences, reducing loneliness or feelings of isolation and offers emotional comfort and moral support if and where needed. All of which can help to reduce distress, depression and or anxiety. These shared experiences also offer practical advice and tips to help with coping skills to manage the ever changing challenges of living with lifelong and often complex condition(s) and so help to provide a sense of empowerment and/or control.
Our membership is from across Surrey and beyond and is a mixed bag of ages, abilities and type of membership. We have ex-service amputees who have lost limbs either ‘in service’ or in ‘civvi street’ as well as widows and honorary members. We encourage partners and carers to also attend but it is not essential. We have lively and enjoyable meetings usually over a drink and a meal with the obligatory banter. The meetings are held in a function room in the Morden Brook Pub, Lower Morden Lane, Morden Surrey SM4 4SS.
We encourage one and all to come along and join in but there is no pressure and one can do as little or as much as one wishes. So please don’t be shy as we would really like to meet you and join in our friendly and very social branch.
We meet in the function room at the back of the Morden Brook Pub, Lower Morden Lane, Morden Surrey SM4 4SS on Wednesdays.
We have a Christmas lunch early in December. Branch members will be advised of the date in the June Newsletter.
We are a most welcoming group of Blesma Members, partners and friends from across the region so please feel free to contact us with any questions, or better still, come along to one of our meetings and enjoy a chat with new friends and colleagues over a drink and a bite to eat. We don’t bite… except the sandwiches!
Please be assured that we are a regional branch and so would encourage members to join in from outside of Sutton and Merton.
We would like to thank the work of our Outreach Officer, Alida, who has been able to reach out to our communities and arrange for three new Members; Peter, Ajit and Janet to join our Branch.
At our Christmas dinner in early December we had the privilege of being joined by Sam Gallop and his wife Renee. Our membership continues to grow, and we look forward to meeting and welcoming more new Members.
We have set a date of 29 May for our 70th anniversary celebrations and continue to work with our BSO Paul Findlay and Chadwell Heath on the event. To be able to celebrate appropriately, we have ensured the event is accessible for Branch Members whether new, old or future, as well as our supporters and guests.
On 10 and 11 November 2018 our Branch represented Blesma in the march through Banstead village to the memorial. We had a stand in the WWI exhibition, and helped to educate members of the public and share some of the realities of The Great War.
We would like to thank All Saints Church Banstead for sharing the Armistice service collection between Blesma, SSAFA and the RBL. We would also like to thank Waitrose Cheam for including our Branch in their green token scheme.
Our Branch has reached out to all Rotary Clubs and U3A groups in Surrey to spread the awareness and understanding of our Branch and Blesma as a charity. We have committed to taking a stall at Ashtead and Banstead Village Fairs in June and July 2019 respectively.
We would like to remind all Blesma Members that whilst our Branch name is the Sutton, Merton and District Branch, our Branch is open to all Members. We would encourage any Member to pop along and join in with any of our meetings, which are usually held over a pie and a pint.
We feel that it is also important to reiterate the fact that we work collaboratively with our BSO Paul Findlay and Blesma Outreach Officer Alida Horne, whom we thank for their help and continued support, to ensure that Members are able to attend Branch meetings. Should accessibility or transport be a concern, please don’t let this put you off.
Should you have any questions, or if you are considering popping along to one of our meetings please don’t hesitate to contact Steve, our Branch Ambassador, on either 07917 177336 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can answer any of your questions.