Are you committed to improving the lives of vulnerable adults? Lewisham Connections has a brilliant and rewarding opportunity for an enthusiastic and committed individual to make a real difference as a Community Development Worker in the Community Connections project.
In this role you will work with a highly effective team of Community Facilitators and Community Development Workers to respond to the needs of vulnerable adults living in Lewisham. You will work as an integral part of the local multidisciplinary Neighbourhood Health and Social Care teams and plan and develop, with key stakeholders, appropriate action to respond to the identified community needs.
The ideal candidate will have excellent interpersonal skills and good working knowledge of community development work with a wide range of agencies working across different sectors. You will demonstrate highly-developed organisational and administrative skills, and a thorough understanding of project development, implementation and management.
Lewisham Connections partners are equal opportunities employers and positively encourage applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.
Applications should be returned to us by 9:00 am on Tuesday, 8th May 2018. Applications received after that time will not normally be considered for short listing. Interviews will be held the week commencing 14th May. Completed electronic applications must be sent to: Jennifer.Okore@lewisham.gov.uk
For the full recruitment pack, please click here.
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 Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8314 3244.
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
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.
18% 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.
Food and Meals
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. If you need vouchers to access the food banks, please ring Community Connections at 020 8314 3244 or email email@example.com
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
World Mental Health Day is an annual day of recognition for mental health issues and the people whose lives are impacted by them. This year Trevor, a Community Development Worker, set about arranging a conference bringing together statutory mental health services, community sector support, and local residents to celebrate mental health services around the borough and to recognise the work done by people with mental health issues to manage their health.
The event was supported by Cllr Jonathan Slater and organised by partners of Lewisham Mental Health Connection including: Community Connections, Hexagon, Apax, QVT, Metropolitan Police, Bromley and Lewisham Mind, Lewisham Council, Certitude and the Lewisham Pensioners Forum.
Trevor brought together information stalls and workshops on topics ranging from Employment, Laughter Yoga, Mindfulness, Art Therapy and Self-Management. There were over 100 people in attendance, and the day was a great success for all!
Jay is a 38 year-old man who developed epilepsy as an adult. He has a hard time controlling his seizures, and as a result he was afraid to leave his house for fear of having a seizure and not having help available.
A Community Facilitator (CF) met with Jay in his home to talk about his situation – his likes and dislikes, his interests and what holds him back from engaging in community life.
Jay said that he would like to get back into work again, but the first step for him would be to build confidence in leaving the house. The CF helped Jay to get an epilepsy card through Epilepsy Action, which Jay can carry in case someone finds him having a seizure.
The CF also suggested a nearby befriending group and helped Jay work out a safety plan with them: he will call the group to let them know he is coming, and if he does not arrive within an hour they group knows to notify the authorities that he has had difficulty along the way.
Having a safety plan helped Jay feel more confident in leaving the house. He asked about community gardening groups, and is now talking to Voluntary Services Lewisham about volunteering with them as well. Often the first step is the hardest, as Jay found.
“David is Homosexual” is a film shot in Lewisham and Greenwich over 40 years ago by the local branch of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE). It will be shown at the Lewisham ArtsCafé in Manor Park at 6.00pm on Sunday 30 July.
“David Is Homosexual” tells the story of one young man’s coming out to his family, friends and workmates at a time when homophobia was still rife. All those involved in making the film were members of the Lewisham Branch of CHE. The aim was to encourage local lesbian and gay people of all ages to join the group and to lose the sense of isolation and fear which so many felt at that time.
For over 30 years the film was preserved by its cameraman, David Belton, and following a revival of interest it is now in the British Film Institute archive. The film includes footage of the 1976 London Gay Pride March and might be a unique record of that event.
The film was directed by Wilfred Avery, an artist who had a retrospective exhibition at the Woodlands Gallery Greenwich the year after the film was made and died in 2016 aged 90. His partner of 50 years, Ray Crossley, who survives him, was one of the group members appearing in the film. Peter Scott-Presland, the author of “Amiable Warriors”, the official history of CHE, has described the film as ‘brave and touching’ and its return to Lewisham after so many years and in the different social attitudes it helped to achieve
will be an historic event.
Anyone involved in making the film is asked to contact David.firstname.lastname@example.org
Brockley Max Festival is looking for volunteers. Can you spare a couple of hours to help the local community, meet new people and have a bit of fun?
Brockley Max 2017, is a nine-day arts festival celebrating Lewisham’s local talent, taking place between Friday 2 and Saturday 10 June in Brockley, Crofton Park, Ladywell and Honor Oak Park.
We want to invite older volunteers to be part of Brockley Max 2017. Come on your own or with friends, while contributing your time to help make the festival run smoothly, for example, by handing out programmes, setting up events, being a festival ambassador or raising funds. You’ll be an essential part of Brockley Max, helping create a special atmosphere.
You can volunteer as much or as little of your time as you like; there’s plenty of variety and flexibility. If you have a spare few hours in May and June and can help out with, email: email@example.com or call Emma: 07809 409 167
Community Connections is putting on a meet-up is for people tutoring ESOL or people involved in running ESOL groups or projects in Lewisham. There is so much knowledge across the borough, so this meet-up is a chance to share what’s working as well as an opportunity to talk through some issues or difficulties you might be experiencing with your group.
We will also be using this event to build comprehensive information on ESOL provision in the borough to share with students or prospective students – please come put your group on the map! There will be the opportunity to learn about other resources in the borough that might be particularly useful to your students, like mental health support services, help accessing primary care, places to get benefits advice, and links to further learning.
In addition, it’s a good chance to meet other like-minded people who are working to help support the community, and we have a small token of our appreciation to thank you for all of your work!
For more information, please see our eventbrite listing: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/esol-tutor-meet-up-tickets-31411944973