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!
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 Good Neighbours
Entelechy Arts and Voluntary Services Lewisham
We Women and Co-Pepys
Manor Park Friends
Francis Drake Bowls Club
Asian Elders Wellbeing Club
St Mauritius House
Hilton Health and Wellbeing
The Mothers’ Springboard Programme
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 email@example.com.
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
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.
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.
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.
“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
I’ve been volunteering with Community Connections for half a year now. I’m enjoying it, because it breaks up my week and gets me away from my desk job. It feels good to give a little bit of my time and attention to somebody who really appreciates it – it may be a small thing, but it can make a big difference.
I enjoy meeting people, and through volunteering I have got to know some lovely and inspiring people I would otherwise not have met. I love a good conversation, and I’ve had so many interesting and entertaining conversations with the people I met.
I’m used to working in a target-driven job. It feels good to balance that and support someone, just being there for them, from one person to another.
The Community Connections team look after us volunteers and are there to guide and advise, which is really helpful.
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!