Wheels for Wellbeing

 

I heard about ‘Wheels for Wellbeing’ from my colleague Henry, he was really enthusiastic about this project so I thought I’d give it shot. ‘Wheels for Wellbeing’ aim to make cycling accessible for everyone; they do this by providing an array of adapted cycles and intriguing contraptions! I asked a client of mine, James, whether he’d like to try it out. We were both a little unsure of what this activity would be like as James uses an electric wheelchair most of the time. When we arrived we saw that there was a wide choice of bicycles. We used a ‘Velo Plus Wheelchair bike’ the cyclist sits behind the wheelchair user, who sits securely in the front.

Click here to see a video!

This was an interesting experience for both of us and it was surprisingly easy to ride. We saw that there were people of various abilities using the bikes. One of the most interesting bikes was the ‘Handcycle’. This bike can be utilised by those who cannot use their legs. I tried it out, it’s good fun and is definitely a great arm workout! James was interested in trying out the ‘Handcycle’ in the future to build up his strength. James felt that he’d prefer to do this activity outdoors, ‘Wheels for Wellbeing’ have told us that they plan to do just that in Ladywell, Lewisham, once the weather picks up. I would strongly recommend this activity for anyone who’d like to get back into cycling or just try something a little different. It’s also a good chance to socialise and meet new people in your local area. This activity takes place each Tuesdays 12-1pm at Ladywell Day Centre.

Post by Rosa Parker

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An Event and a Half!

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The Community Connections launch aimed to increase awareness of this innovative voluntary consortia led project which aims to support Lewisham residents to increase their health and well-being using community based solutions.

The project launch was an opportunity to highlight the successes achieved so far. For example, MT had was socially isolated due to health issues that forced her to leave her job. Our facilitators who work with clients supported MT to access activities and increase her social interaction with the community.

“Your professional support is so valuable, it is allowing me to be more confident and to look forward to doing activities.”
M T – Client

With feedback like this – we had to share!

Attendees came from all over Lewisham and the surrounding areas to find out more about the project, its clients and how Community Connections could support them.
Our keynote speaker, Professor Marjorie Mayo from Goldsmiths, University of London shared her experiences of “Integration and Citizenship” projects in Lewisham and how inspired she was by the potential of Community Connections to reduce unmet needs and increase individual participation.

Jacky Bourke-White, the CEO of Age UK Lewisham and Southwark and Tom Nixon, Project Worker from Voluntary Centre Lewisham were other important speakers. We also heard from one of the organisations that has benefited from working with one of our Community Development Workers (to read more about this piece of work click here)

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A special thank you goes to our client speakers; Glory and Chris. They shared with the audience how Community Connections has allowed them to meet new people, share their interests and skills and grow in confidence. Their input was one of the highlights of the day.

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There were a number of organisations who ran stalls at the launch:
Communites that Care Lewisham which includes:
Access Lewisham
Heart n Soul
Meet me at the Albany
Rushey Green Time
Sydenham Garden
Their website is: http://lewishamctc.co.uk/index.php

There were also stalls from the Lewisham Direct Payment Team and Healthwatch Lewisham. Their website links are below:

Direct Payment Team:  http://www.lewishammylifemychoice.org.uk/
Healthwatch Lewisham:  www.healthwatchlewisham.co.uk

There were also workshops around key issues that affect the project and voluntary organisations in Lewisham. The areas covered were:

  •  How can we reach vulnerable adults in the community?
  •  How to increase volunteering and volunteering opportunities
  •  Developing sustainable community transport links for Lewisham

You can still join these discussions online by clicking here:

If you would like to find out how you or your organisation could get involved with Community Connections get in touch using the ‘Contact’ tab above.

Post by Noreen

“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)