Community Connections Reloaded!

It may have come to your attention that Community Connections have gone quiet for a while. That is because we had halted our usual service in order to support the COVID-19 Response Hub, beginning at the start of the pandemic. We have been doing our bit within the Lewisham Connections partnership and operating a phone line, giving residents throughout Lewisham access to three main lines of support – food, befriending and practical assistance.

The five resident facing organisations which came together are Lewisham Local, Voluntary Services Lewisham, Lewisham Foodbank, Age UK Lewisham and Southwark, and Lewisham Council.

As we move into the recovery phase, our commitment to Lewisham residents through this unprecedented time remains. With over 11,000 requests completed since March 16 2020, we are using all of the lessons learned to create a sustainable approach to support residents and communities going forward.

From 1st September we are becoming Community Connections Lewisham, a new service built by the partners who have been an integral part of the COVID-19 Response Hub. This service also builds on our existing Community Connections service which has been connecting residents to appropriate organisations through social prescribing for over 7 years.

We are now reshaping the service to become more resident facing to continue support for befriending, practical assistance, finding social and leisure activities and general signposting to appropriate partners.

To that end Community Connections Lewisham will continue to be a partnership of Lewisham Local, VSL, Age Southwark and Lewisham and work closely with Lewisham Foodbank.

Support with food was a key part of the hub’s service. Lewisham Foodbank will continue to provide emergency support to residents who find themselves in financial crisis and unable to afford food: https://lewisham.foodbank.org.uk/covid-19/

For general support and triaging to relevant partners and organisations call our new Community Connections Lewisham line on 0330 058 3464 Monday-Friday 9.30am – 4pm who can:

– Connect you with groups and communities, and enable access to social opportunities

– Help with staying active

– Access befriending and practical assistance

– Help to find new opportunities for employment, training and learning

– Help with volunteering and participating in local projects

For information, advice and guidance about bills, work, renting or family matters, call Advice Lewisham 0800 231 5453, Monday-Friday 9.30am -12.30pm and 1.30pm – 4pm who can offer:

· Multi-Lingual support

· Applying for Benefits or Food vouchers

· Specialist Immigration advice

· Specialist Debt advice

· Housing or Employment issues

We’re looking forward to hearing from you 🙂