The Sylvan Post pub in Forest Hill, part of the Antic pub chain, provided a wonderful community Christmas lunch this week for Community Connections, Age Uk. A couple of weeks ago I contacted the pub to ask whether they’d like me to invite people on their behalf. Kaethe, the manager was glad for us to work together on this.
I went ahead and invited people from some of the groups I’ve been working with recently. I invited people from Aging Well in Lewisham who meet at the Grove Centre Sydenham, I invited some regulars from Sydenham Library and also from Seniors, some lovely gentlemen from the Being Alongside Peer Support group also attended. A few people came independently too, to join in the festive cheer.
On arrival we were met by the friendly staff at the Sylvan Post. They served wine and cups of tea and everyone felt very welcome. The Christmas decorations were beautiful and they were playing some great soul songs, which everyone knew. The food was exceptional and everyone commented on delicious everything was, the chef and kitchen staff were applauded for their efforts.
There were some lovely volunteers there keen to get to know everyone and help out. Lucy Hancock and Poppy Parry, two volunteers, were busy chatting and entertaining everyone, they really helped to warm the atmosphere and everyone was glad to have met them.
We were surprised and amazed, that some of the local businesses in Forest Hill had donated gifts for the occasion. Christmas had surely come early! One of the volunteers, Pietro Herrera (who does the quiz and DJ’s at the pub), gave out gifts to everyone in attendance. We were overjoyed by such generosity! I’d like to thank The Archie Parker café for their mince pies and presents, Jo Elvin (Editor, Glamour Magazine) for her presents as well as Bunka (local boutique) and The Palmerston (pub in East Dulwich) for the gifts they gave.
This Christmas lunch was an excellent opportunity to get people together; different community groups met one another and were able to celebrate in a wonderful atmosphere. Thank you for a fun and festive afternoon Sylvan Post!
Sam is a 40 year old man who self-referred himself via a Lewisham Speaking Up event which Henry had attended.
When I went to meet Sam at his supported housing accommodation, he revealed that he is registered blind and has some learning difficulties.
Sam explained to me that although he leads an active life, he would like to find a job and work. I offered to accompany Sam to the Toucan Employment agency – an organization that helps people with learning difficulties to find work. Sam accepted my offer and we made arrangements to visit the Toucan office in Deptford.
A few weeks later at the Toucan office, Sam was asked a number of questions including what past work he has done and what work he may like to consider in the future. At the end of the meeting, I escorted Sam home and he was very thankful for my help and voiced his thanks.
A few months later I received a call from Sam who excitedly informed me that he was to start training for work at the Meeting Place in Catford where he would be working in the kitchen. I congratulated Sam and promised to visit him the next week.
So the following week, my colleague and I went to visit Sam at the Meeting Place. Sam proudly surfaced from the kitchen to talk to us and tell us about the food he had been preparing. He was extremely happy and seemed to have fit in very well with the other staff.
This is the third in our seRies of posts about the 5 Ways to Wellbeing. Did you notice the deliberate mistake in the first sentence? If you did then well done! If not, go back and have another look and this time be extra careful to Take notice. OK, this is a silly example, and spotting a capital R in the wrong place is not likely to improve your wellbeing significantly. But taking notice is really all about being present in the moment and not worrying too much about what else is going on that day or that week. It is about freeing yourself, even if just momentarily, from the multiple distractions that seem to be everywhere now days. From the phone buzzing in your pocket to adverts that scream out from TV sets sometimes it feels like we are being permanently bombarded with so much information that it might be easy to forget the simple pleasures that life brings.
Take a moment to look around you and really take in your environment, try to pick out something you’ve not noticed before and think about it for a few seconds. Take some deep breaths, feel yourself grounded in your surroundings. Feels good doesn’t it?
It is important to take notice, to be mindful, in the moment and meditate occasionally. Taking time like this will help to put things in perspective, come up with new solutions to the tasks that life throws at us, and to de-stress. Why not take an hour or two to go on a healthy walk? or take in some culture at the Horniman Museum? I’ll bet you will feel better for it! If you’d like some more ideas, get in touch!