NCDPs shortlisted for LGC award

Great news: the Neighbourhood Community Development Partnerships (NCDPs) have been shortlisted for an LGC award for great work in Community Integration!

We will learn the outcome of the final judging in March 2019. The shortlisting is particularly to celebrate how the LBL Council has devolved power to local communities to help to improve health and wellbeing. This community-driven approach has provided a new pathway for community groups to feed upwards to council and for council to feed directly to community.

The success of the NCDPs networks is evidenced especially in Neighbourhood 2 (Central Lewisham) where 47 new groups supporting ‘hard to reach’ populations are now linked through NCDP to statutory services in a way they have not previously been. Further examples include how social care access teams are now linked to community groups which has improved knowledge and understanding of social services criteria. Statutory services have also developed links with community spaces leading to increased accessibility for example the hospital pain management group is also located in a supported housing scheme.

Congratulations to all involved in this excellent project!

Free Christmas meals

Lewisham has a vibrant community which provides meals on Christmas day across the borough, so no one need be alone. Some meals do need to be booked in advance, and some transportation options are available but places may be limited. Please contact the organisations listed directly for more information.

Please click here to open the Christmas meals list 2018.

There is one correction: the meal listed at Perry Rise Baptist Church is instead taking place at St Philip Neri, 208 Sydenham Road, Sydenham SE26 5SE. The contact details are correct as listed.

 

Supporting Community Voice in Public Health Funding

Community Connections community development workers have been facilitating the Neighbourhood Community Development Partnerships in conjunction with the LB Lewisham ward assembly team and LB Lewisham Public Health.

This month, community groups used the NCDPs as a platform to allocate £100,000 in funding from Lewisham Public Health. Community groups came together to vote on what bids they would like to see funded in their neighbouhoods, basing this decision on earlier community workshops to identify local priorities and assets.

The funded projects are:

North Lewisham:
North Lewisham Good Neighbours
Entelechy Arts and Voluntary Services Lewisham
We Women and Co-Pepys

Central Lewisham:
Manor Park Friends
Francis Drake Bowls Club
Asian Elders Wellbeing Club
St Mauritius House

Southeastern Lewisham:
Hilton Health and Wellbeing
Diamond Club
Carers Lewisham
The Mothers’ Springboard Programme

Southwestern Lewisham:
Men Talk Mental Health Film Club
Stanstead Lodge Seniors Club
Lewisham Wellbeing Map: Bellingham Community Project

Congratulations to all groups involved and we look forward to the next NCDP meetings in the new year!  If you would like to get involved in the NCDP in your area, please email communityconnections@ageuklands.org.uk.

Free Food and Meals Update

Please click here for the latest Food and Meals leaflet

Many people in Lewisham have a difficult time accessing healthy meals, and they may be worried about having enough food at home. This could be for a variety of reasons, and is more common than one might expect. Community Connections have put together a leaflet that may help you or someone you know who may want more options for free or low-cost food and hot meals, as well as a clothing bank. If you need vouchers to access the food banks, please ring Community Connections at 020 8314 3244 or email communityconnections@ageuklands.org.uk

food-healthy-vegetables-potatoes

There are several partnerships in the area which could always use volunteers if you are interested in helping people access nutritious food whilst also reducing food waste in the borough. For more information, please see their websites:

FoodCycle Lewisham and Rushey Green Time Bank cook and serve a meal on Saturdays
FareShare London support local groups and activities to deliver free food and meals
Lewisham Food Banks have four locations across the borough

 

Neighbourhood Community Development Partnerships

Community Connections community development workers coordinate Neighbourhood Development Community Partnerships (NCDPs) in each quadrant of Lewisham. The NCDPs all meet the same structural aims: bringing community and statutory resources together, sharing views on areas of need and collaboratively using the NCDP forums to address them

In 2017-2018, the NCDPs brought together 170 community groups, with 296 different individuals participating in meetings.

2017.05.16 attendance view cropped

Each neighbourhood developed its own plan through identifying local priorities and mapping community assets. Local voluntary-sector groups bid for LBL Public Health funding, and NCDPs used a participatory budgeting approach to communally allocate the funds, strengthening local assets to better address local priorities. Because the neighbourhoods are unique each NCDP grew in very different ways.

In the north of the borough, previous council-led programmes had already built a strong community sector in two of the wards. Community groups used the NCDP as a platform to share this knowledge and skill set with groups in the two wards who had not previously benefited from these initiatives. Community groups in all four wards came together to create a partnership of seven projects built on individual expertise of each group.

In the central area, the NCDP was used to bring in small voluntary-sector groups who have not been reached by the council’s traditional methods of outreach. Membership in the NCDP grew largely by word of mouth to include 47 new community groups over the course of the year, primarily those focused on supporting BME and other minority communities.

The southwest of the borough historically has fewer community sector organisations, which find themselves stretched and unable to invest time or resources into growing to support the increasing need of the area. The NCDP members used the LBL Public Health funding as an opportunity to create a volunteer coordinator post, shared across the neighbourhood’s voluntary sector, to increase capacity in the community sector.

The southeast of the borough had a similarly collaborative approach, in which a local leisure centre used its transportation resources to increase access to six locally-based exercise groups. These groups had not previously worked together, and the joined-up approach increased membership and accessibility to all six groups. The NCDP members allocated LBL Public Health funding to the leisure centre to increase staff hours and minibus use, enabling this growth.

workshopping 2018.05.08 cropped.jpg

Volunteering Opportunities

VOLUNTEER COMMUNITY CONNECTOR

Helping isolated people rediscover their interests and gain confidence.
Are you looking for a rewarding voluntary role in your community?

The Community Connections project supports adults in Lewisham who are isolated or lonely. We do this by connecting them to community groups and activities. We are looking for volunteers who can help us in our mission to reduce isolation.

WHAT WOULD THIS INVOLVE?
Each client will receive your support for a limited period of time. Types of support that you can offer include:

  • Escorting to social groups
  • Confidence building
  • Help with building skills such as IT / use of gadgets
  • Assisting with new transport services
  • Help with form filling

Community Connectors are not long term befrienders. The goal is to support the client in practical ways so as to empower them and enable them to continue doing these things independently in the future. We take a keen interest in enabling our volunteers to fulfil their potential and offer opportununities for personal development. You will receive regular supervision and training. 

HOW TO APPLY:
If you are interested in joining our team, or would like more information, please email communityconnections@ageuklands.org.uk or call 020 8314 3244.

New Community Connections leaflets

As Community Connections has developed over the past five years, we’ve realised addressing social isolation can look very different for different people’s needs. When we describe ourselves as a project addressing social isolation, people may imagine a more limited project, say a service that only connects to befrienders. In reality, Community Facilitators and Community Development Workers do so much more to build a stronger community support for vulnerable or isolated adults.

This leaflet shows how Community Facilitators support clients socially and practically

This leaflet describes Community Development Workers’ impact on building stronger communities

 

What brings people to Community Connections?

Community Facilitators work one-to-one with vulnerable adults in Lewisham to access community groups and services. Clients are referred to Community Connections in a number of ways, including GPs, social care services, community groups and self-referrals.

We surveyed 421 clients from April to September 2017, and found the following:

  • 61% of clients had multiple health issues
  • 36% of clients were experiencing mental health difficulties
  • 29% of clients had a long-term health condition
  • 58% of clients had mobility impairments or limitations

In terms of the work Community Facilitators did with clients, 94% requested support accessing social groups, which covers a broad array of activities and supports for the general population as well as specific groups (eg LGBT, older people). This was the most common way Facilitators addressed social isolation.

old-ladies.jpeg18% of clients requested befriending and 24% needed accessible transportation to access the community. These are two of the most over-subscribed services across the borough. 16% wanted help in their home, such as domestic help or a Social Care assessment of their house, and 27% needed further practical support in their daily lives. 22% of clients were linked to health services such as drug/ alcohol support, counselling or hand/ foot care. 21% of clients were in need of economic support services, such as food banks or debt advice.

 

Free Food and Meals

Click here for the Food and Meals offer

Many people in Lewisham have a difficult time accessing healthy meals, and they may be worried about having enough food at home. This could be for a variety of reasons, and is more common than one might expect. Community Connections have put together a leaflet that may help you or someone you know who may want more options for free or low-cost food and hot meals, as well as a clothing bank. If you need vouchers to access the food banks, please ring Community Connections at 020 8314 3244 or email communityconnections@ageuklands.org.uk

food-healthy-vegetables-potatoes

There are several partnerships in the area which could always use volunteers if you are interested in helping people access nutritious food whilst also reducing food waste in the borough. For more information, please see their websites:

FoodCycle Lewisham and Rushey Green Time Bank cook and serve a meal on Saturdays
FareShare London support local groups and activities to deliver free food and meals
Lewisham Food Banks have four locations across the borough