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 🙂

Mental Health Day Conference

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!

Volunteering Opportunity

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: volunteer@brockleymax.co.uk or call Emma: 07809 409 167

brockley max 2017

ESOL tutor meet-up

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

 

EE

“Even though my daughter put me on facebook and twitter, I didn’t know much”

Joyce had a stroke several years ago and has written a book about how it has changed her life and what helped her regain her health. She is keen to get online and promote her book online, but she had some questions about how social media could help her.

With a techy helper, Joyce learned more about facebook and twitter. She learned the difference between your twitter followers and the people you follow on twitter, and she learned more about facebook: what is a timeline, what is someone’s wall, and how to use ‘likes’ and ‘emojis’ in addition to comments. Joyce also learned how to upload photos and videos into facebook and twitter posts.

elim-pic-1

At the Techy Tea Party, Joyce commented on a friend’s photo on facebook, and she wished her brother happy birthday on his wall. Joyce said, “It’s exciting to be on facebook”. Joyce says she aims to keep going with facebook and that it was good to learn that you can use facebook for your business. She was keen to look at how various charities use social media, such as the Stroke Association and Community Connections, and she says, “If I need to learn the business aspect of facebook I will – It’s worldwide!” Joyce’s longterm aim is to use social media to promote worldwide awareness of strokes.

Techy Tea Parties going strong

conrad-court-2Community Connections continues to help coordinate pop-up Techy Tea Parties across the borough as part of the Go On Lewisham initiative. Techy Tea Parties connect older people with volunteers in a fun atmosphere to help answer questions about the digital technology that older people have in their homes. Participants bring mobile phones and tablets, and volunteers offer teas and coffees, cakes and solutions to the participants’ IT problems.

These photos show a Techy Tea Party held at Conrad Court in north Deptford, which had a wonderful turnout of people who live at Conrad Court, local residents in the surrounding area, volunteers from the Pepys Resource Centre and My Complete Focus, and even a mini-Councillor surgery with Councillor David Michael! Topics that participants sought help with included: what can the internet be used for, youtube videos, online shopping, and how to connect to wifi.

For more information including where to find the next Techy Tea Party, please contact the Community Connections team on communityconnections@ageuklands.org.uk or phone 020 8314 3244. conrad-court-big-table

Safeguarding adults from abuse and neglect

What is abuse?

Abuse is when someone does or says things to you that make you feel upset or frightened. You may be too scared to tell anyone or stop them. You may be abused on purpose or someone may not realise that they are abusing you or upsetting you.

What are the different types of abuse?

There are many different types of abuse but the most common ones are: physical, psychological, sexual, financial, domestic abuse and neglect or acts of omission.

Whose fault is it?

It is not your fault if someone abuses you. What they are doing to you is wrong.

What do I do if I experience, witness, or suspect harm?

If you believe someone is in immediate danger, call the police on 999. To help someone who you believe is being harmed please call the Lewisham Social Care Advice & Information Team (SCAIT) 020 8314 7777.

I am an adult at risk, how do I keep safe?

You have the right to live free from abuse and neglect. If you are in immediate danger, call the police or SCAIT team. Alternatively, you can speak to your doctor, social worker, health worker, carer, family or friends who can raise a safeguarding concern on your behalf.

What happens then?

Trained staff will contact the person being abused. They will work together with the adult at risk carefully and sensitively to find out what they would like to happen, understand the different risks they are facing and agree how to deal with the situation. The adult at risk will be fully involved in the process wherever possible

 

We hope this provides you with an understanding of Adult Safeguarding, what you should be aware of, and how to seek help.

 

If you require any more information about Adult Safeguarding or wish to raise a concern about an adult at risk, please contact the Social Care Advice & Information Team (SCAIT) on: 0208 314 7777.