Happy New Year 2021!

What a year 2020 has been…

We asked Collaborative and Living Well Network Alliance members and those who work alongside them what were their highlights or how did they get through 2020…  and/or their resolutions for 2021. 

Anna-Maria Amato, Curator, SHARP Gallery

“In 2020 I extended my skills in various areas including film making and comic/graphic novel drawing.  I’m looking forward to building on more skills and bringing projects into fruition with those from 2020.  I have many exciting projects in the pipeline for SHARP gallery, which are already in motion!” 

Sarah Corlett, Chair, Healthwatch Lambeth

”I think my new year’s resolution was achieved.  During lockdown I did indeed spend a good amount of time practising the trombone and my teacher says I have progressed, so in 2021 I want to get good enough to play in a band.

Here at Healthwatch Lambeth  we want to really build on what we have learnt from hosting Black Thrive and renew our commitment to enabling the least well heard to speak and act on their own account and influence the health and care system in Lambeth.  It’s been a tough year trying to reach out to people virtually but we aim to be as creative as possible and stay hopeful for better times, Brexit notwithstanding …”

Stephanie Correira, CEO, Southside Rehabilitation Association

”Well 2020 was trying but because we were all successful at remaining positive we all survived here. We were totally locked down between the 23/3 and the 27/7 with just phone calls and newsletters to keep us going. Since then we have all been trying to keep well away from COVID by following the rules and improving our physical and mental wellbeing. We are hoping to be free of COVID when the Spring comes, which will help us to achieve our goals one of which is to become more digitally competent so that we can cope better when or if another pandemic comes along and be more digitally included.”

Alice Glover, Patient & Public Involvement Lead – Lambeth & Southwark Mental Health Services – South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM)

“During 2020, connecting with people was the most helpful thing.  Being able to share experiences by talking (albeit in new ways) about this strange time was really helpful.”

For 2021: “Going forward, I want to include more people in our current new ways of working, and to continue to look for creative and different ways for people to contribute.”

Polly Howes, Carers Strategy Development Manager, Carers Hub Lambeth 

“2020 was an incredibly hard year for so many. Here at Carers’ Hub Lambeth, we sadly saw the huge impact that the pandemic had upon the mental health and wellbeing of many of the unpaid carers we work with. 

Looking ahead to 2021 as the fall out of the pandemic continues, this remains a pressing issue. We’re keen to continue to help support carers’ wellbeing through our activities and 1 to 1 work, and also work with partners to help address some of the challenges around carers’ mental health. 

On a personal level, I’m resolving to do more of the things that support my wellbeing, including reading more, and when the restrictions allow, escaping to the sea and countryside, and seeing dear friends in person again!” 

Ursula Joy, CEO, Ldn Dares Drama Co.

“Scared, frustrated, alone, hopeless, hopeful, unsure, determined, tired, gritty, and confident are just some of the emotions I have felt in the past day… so to sum up a year feels like climbing Mount Everest! 

But whatever is happening around me, I have a magic trick up my sleeve. Whatever comes my way, even when I don’t feel confident. In fact, especially when I don’t feel confident. I choose to Dare myself to take the next step, and so, continue on this rollercoaster journey in our world full of immeasurable beauty.  

Happy New Year and Daring wishes, Ursula.”

David Monk, Chair, Lambeth Living Well Collaborative

”I got through with a little help from my friends and through sharing the ups and downs of lockdown with my family… Next year..well time to learn something new – maybe Welsh language! Cymerwch ofal.”

Andrew Parsonage, Manager, Penrose Community Care and Support, Social Interest Group

”My resolutions are to work better and stress less (because it doesn’t help, does it)… Also to focus on the clients, and not let the financial strains of running the service curtail our care and humanity.”

Sabrina Phillips, Director (Interim) Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance

”Highlights 2020 – Our  Lambeth Living Well Centres staffing have adapted to new ways of working and have been able to stay open and give care to our community, face to face as needed using PPE and via telephone and other digital media. It’s a testament to working as an  Alliance we were able to respond and adapt to new ways of working.

Resolution for 2021 – To  continue to work with our partners and design, develop and implement a culturally appropriate peer support and advocacy offer for our African and Caribbean communities within the Living well centres .To continue to build on the work we have started working in partnership with our Voluntary Community Service ,GPs and Living well centres  to support people within the community. To continue to support and develop our staff so they can deliver the best quality care everyday.”

Beverley Randall, Programme Manager, Mosaic Clubhouse

“My New Year’s resolution is to join a walking group.” 

Meanwhile, one Mosaic member who would like to remain anonymous has started their resolution already. They have several health conditions, all of which are reversible. They have quit smoking and are cutting out sugar to get healthier. They currently take 7 tablets a day and want to reduce this number.

Another member said they struggled as they have never spent so much time at home, they are not looking forward to winter alone at home but are grateful for friendships, new ones that they have made this year on virtual platforms and reconnecting with old friends too.

Alex Robertson, Interim Manager, Solidarity in a Crisis (Certitude) 

“2020 has been an especially challenging year, both personally and professionally. We have seen a significant increase in numbers of individuals and families seeking mental health support. Anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation, attributed by service users to the economic and social impact of Covid-19 have increased significantly.

In 2021, I intend to launch a new bereavement by suicide service for young adults and parents (through Grief Encounter, the organisation I am now working for). I hope to expand the reach and remit of our Freephone national helpline to ensure all those experiencing a mental health crisis have someone to turn to.

From a personal perspective, I would like to develop knowledge through enrolment in training designed to enhance awareness of working with a range of mental health conditions.” 

Cameron Russell, Head of Service, Adults Social Care Mental Health

”Resolutions? Be smart, make sensible choices and take chances only when necessary. I’ve had to give up on my favourite coffee from time to time. Focus on the goal of coming out of this pandemic in good health (hopefully!).”

Sarah Tayleur – Fulfilling Lives Lambeth Southwark Lewisham 

 “We faced a lot of challenges in 2020 with the arrival of the pandemic, which really highlighted the strength and resilience of the people we support and of the team. It also exposed and deepened the inequalities in society. It was important to us to respond to this, and further consider how we at Fulfilling Lives LSL are contributing to the fight for equality and justice and we have an action plan moving forward. COVID-19 also showed that the system can adapt and respond flexibly in times of crisis. It has  prompted us to reflect on the 18 months left of the programme and ensure we are effectively sharing what we have learnt to help nudge the system to work better for the most disadvantaged.  

On a personal note, my healthy resolutions for 2020 all went out the window with COVID (I call it self-care!) but this year I am hoping to get back into running following a sprained ankle, with the ambitious aim of doing a marathon!” 

Bill Tidnam, CEO Thames Reach

”I said last year that 2019 had been a difficult year.  What did I know? I think that the major achievement of 2020 has been to keep going, to continue to provide services and to improvise and innovate to respond to a rapidly changing situation.  It’s been great that despite all this we’ve continued to do new things and we should be proud of that. 

2021 –   I’d like to continue to focus on how our help can focus on individuals and their broader needs and experience and how our services can respond to that.”

Ronnie Wilson MBE, Chief Executive, First Step Trust (FST)

”2020 has been a year of uncertainty for all;  as we head into 2021 we will find new ways to continue the good work that FST does in the local community. We are excited to be launching Abbevilles Fish & Chips in 2021 and a range of new training packages for those in the local Lambeth community.  We can’t wait to welcome back the Collaborative for their breakfast meetings. For now stay safe and we wish you all a Happy New Year!”

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