Jean Seagrim
Jean Seagrim with husband Christopher at Buckingham Palace having received her MBE from the Queen in 2007

In the early 60s our two founders, Rev. Desmond Bending and Jean Seagrim, were both involved with several voluntary activities in the village. The Darby and Joan Club, a social club for the elderly, used to meet in what was then the Working Men’s Club. There was also an Old People’s Welfare Association and Jean had started a “Meals on Wheels” service in 1962. In 1966, wishing to co-ordinate these activities, they drew up a constitution and registered their activities as a charity under the name of Pulborough and District Community Care Association.

Then as now, transport was a problem for those without a car. The village churches had a Good Neighbours’ Scheme and through this a car transport scheme was organised for Pulborough during the 1970s. This ran alongside the hospital car service operated by the Red Cross, which was more extensive as it also covered adjacent villages. Eventually these schemes amalgamated and about 6 years ago our Community Car Transport Scheme was launched.

Meanwhile P&DCCA heard that a Minibus had been introduced in Selsey and a visit was arranged to find out exactly what was entailed. The Minibus scheme was so impressive that a fundraising scheme quickly started in Pulborough and many a delicious cake was baked and sold, resulting after 3 years in the arrival of the Pulborough Minibus in 1976. Minibuses became so popular that very soon the West Sussex Community Minibus Association was formed. Responsibility for our Minibus passed to this new voluntary group, thus relieving us of a lot of work and responsibility.

In 1977 a weekly Lunch Club began and 5 years later a social afternoon was added and this became our Wednesday Club. For many years Jean Seagrim and some of her friends had an informal arrangement for visiting the housebound in Pulborough. In 1998 the Volunteer Visiting Scheme was set up to expand this work and to train the volunteers involved.

Age Concern in the late 70s, suggested a Day Centre for Pulborough but it received little support at the time. Jean Seagrim then proposed a weekly “pop-in” for all ages and thus in 1981 Pop into Pulborough (PiP) was born. At that time it was common for people to bring young children along to PiP and from this another scheme developed to provide a holiday club for children age 5-11. This was so successful that it was taken over by the statutory bodies. In 2003 PiP began to host a once monthly meeting for anyone with visual impairment and this has proved very useful.

Our Toenail Cutting Service now has over 40 regular clients and it is several years since Jean first established it.

So, like Topsy, P&DCCA just grew and we hope that as long as the soil of Pulborough can support us we shall continue to flourish, and indeed spread other useful schemes around whenever the opportunity arises.

Jean Seagrim became our Honorary President as part of our 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2016