Caught on Camera

Here is a video of Henry and I visiting the Lewisham Speaking Up ‘Big Parliament’ a few weeks ago at The Albany. We were asked to come and talk to the members about what the Community Connections Project is about and ask people to spread the word. We prepared a presentation in which we sought to give an overview of all the many activities that community groups and organisations offer in Lewisham, but the list was so big that we only had time to mention a few.

During the presentation we talked about groups that we have got to know and all the great work they do, as well as being able to talk about clients that we have already worked with that are now able to access activities and hobbies that they enjoy. We also asked people to challenge us to find new skills or activities that they would like to learn, so that we can continue to make new links in the Lewisham community.

I was very nervous but luckily everyone was friendly and welcoming and we were able to really enjoy talking about what Community Connections does and what we hope it can do for people in Lewisham in the future. Working on the presentation even gave me a chance to realise just how much I have learnt in the short time I have been working in the team.

We hoped that we would be able to get people interested in finding out what’s going on locally to them and we were very pleased when we received referrals after the presentation. We are hoping to get the opportunity to present to as many groups and clubs as possible so we can tell everyone about the good work that’s going on in Lewisham for people to get active, socialise, volunteer, maybe even access employment or simply learn new skills.

Post by Sam Farinha

“So many organisations!”

Hello world!

After a month of getting the word out and visiting the good people of Lewisham in their homes, surgeries, offices and theatres we are advancing further into the processes of mapping services and taking referrals here at Community Connections.  Some of the most enjoyable days out we have had were at Meet Me at the Albany (http://www.thealbany.org.uk/event_detail/1048/Clubs/Meet-me-at-the-Albany), the Launch of the Over 55s Thursday Club at Honor Oak Community Centre (http://www.60up.org.uk/hocc-over-55s-thursday-club/), the “Wellvember Fayre” by Healthwatch Lewisham (http://www.healthwatchlewisham.co.uk/) in the Civic Suite in Catford, and the Health and Social Care forum run by Voluntary Action Lewisham (http://valewisham.org.uk/blog/health-and-social-care-forum-0#.UrG9jdJdW8A) in the Albany theatre, Deptford (http://www.thealbany.org.uk/) but this list barely scratches the surface of what has been a month of exciting discovery for all of us…

In fact there are so many excellent organisations – statutory and non-statutory – working with adults in the Borough that it prompted one GP to complain to us recently that there are “So many organisations offering services now that it gets quite confusing”.  And there is some truth in this.  There are all kinds of projects, groups and forums that people can get involved in in the borough and whilst this is certainly a thing to be celebrated, it can also be bewildering for everyone involved.

The task of the Community Development Workers here at Community Connections is to try to make sense of all of this and to get a real understanding of what services are available, who they are appropriate for, and how, with the input of service-users, they might be improved.  We are not just producing another directory of services; this is not simply a process of putting together a new list for a council leaflet.  Rather we are looking at the rich variety of opportunity in the borough, trying to get first-hand experience of as much of it as possible, and supporting everyone to develop services for the better.

So, if you’re an organisation operating in the borough and you’d like more involvement from service users in planning and delivery but are not sure how to go about this, then get in touch.  Likewise if you are someone who regularly accesses services in the borough and would like to have more of a say in the kinds of opportunities you are offered.

We can be contacted at:

communityconnections@ageuklands.org.uk

You can call us on: 07704 235535

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @cc_lewisham

Finally, Merry Christmas to one and all, and we’ll be back in the new year.

(Post by Henry)