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Aylesham’s home

                            grown charity that

                            always delivers

      BECHANGE was established 25            Council, Dover District Council and so many generous
      years ago this Spring. Then known      donations from the public - both during the crisis, and
      as the Aylesham Neighbourhood          of course over the last 25 Years.
                                              The Workshop Trust (ADCWT) stepped up with
      Project, the organisation quickly      funding at the start of the pandemic and we worked
      became a family and community          closely with Aylesham Hub and Deal Area Foodbank
      support organisation that has          A hand-up in tough times
      withstood the test of time and
      changes in the village.                 A key part of Bechange’s service is help and advice
                                             with securing entitlements to government and council
       Angela Doggett has worked at the centre for the past   help and support when it needed. Uniquely in the area,
      12 years and for 6 as manager. She believes that the past   they will work along side you and help find your way
      two years have been amongst the most challenging in   through the sometimes bewildering array of support
      the charity’s history.                 available, and stay with you on the journey until you get
                                             a decision – see page 13.
       “When Covid hit and the lockdown began two years
      ago we were faced with a choice: wind down the facility,   ASPIRE at Bechange
      apply for furlough and keep our fingers crossed that the   Bechange was selected as the location for the ASPIRE
      crisis would soon pass, or to adapt and continue to offer   project - a major programme to help and support
      crucial services to Aylesham and the villages.  people into health and employment (see page16). This
       “Our staff stayed working throughout the pandemic,   was a great fit for the continuing work of Bechange.
      sometimes from home but often in the kitchen and the   BABY CLUB
      hall organising alongside our wonderful volunteers, the
      crisis food project.                    Angela explains: “We now have a busy timetable
                                             of projects at our community hub. Some are offered
                 NECESSITIES                 and led by the ASPIRE team, and some are part of
       “More than 17,000 oven ready meals were delivered   our regular activities. New ones are coming along,
      to peoples homes who had problems getting food and   such as the Baby Club and Lite Bites Community
      personal necessities from other sources. We were able   Lunch, and new community groups are sprouting
      to take on more staff and our expert benefit advisers   up - including the popular Arts Club and Up-cycling
      helped families access help and support at a time when   sessions. And anyone who has dropped into one of the
      incomes were cut.                      popular ‘Camerados Public Living Room’ weekly social
       “But we realised early on that we had to prepare for   gatherings will appreciate the friendly atmosphere the
      the work we would need to do after the crisis, and we   centre has.
      put together a three year project to bring vital funding   “And one big change you will see if you visit the
      and resources to Aylesham.             centre is the wonderful new garden. ASPIRE has led the
                                             project to clear, plan, plant and grow on the over-grown
       “We secured funding from the National Lottery   area behind our building. It now has safe pathways,
      that would keep many of our services going, and we   storage, fencing and has been designed to allow access
      were so pleased to be chosen by the Kent Community   for all.
      Foundation as the Dover area charity to receive core-
      funding support as part of its project to celebrate their   “It is a great place to come and pick up some tips,
      twentieth anniversary.                 make friends and enjoy helping things grow. It will
                                             be a great resource left in the village once the ASPIRE
       “I should also say we have received support from the   project ends in the next year or two.”
      Swire Charitable Foundation and from Aylesham Parish
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