Way back in 2014 and 2015 Loughborough Junction Action Group (LJAG) ran a series of community health events in various venues in Loughborough Junction: Sunshine International Arts; Loughborough Centre; and Harry Caddick Centre.
This style of community engagement proved successful because it reached out to people who may not have seen a GP for some time (more than 20 years for some) and a space where both residents and local organisations could talk and attempt to join the dots on what was available for their health and well-being. The icing on the cake, a hot ‘free’ lunch.
These spaces pathed the way for events that have grown through the Health and Wellbeing group of Vassall & Coldharbour Covid-19 Response Consortium (V&CCRC). This consortium of six community groups (Myatt’s Fields Park Project, MLCE (Marcus Lipton), IRMO, CHIPS Peace, Repowering London and LJAG, has now shaped into the Thrivings Coldharbour & Vassal (Fiveways) group working with Fiveways Primary Care Network (PCN).
The event in January (the final with funding from the London Community Foundation /Lambeth Wellbeing Fund) was a huge success and heralded by Councillor Jim Dickson, Cabinet Member for Healthier Communities (job share) who was there on the day.
“What a brilliant health and wellbeing day with great food, music, advice on mental and physical health, blood pressure checks, stop smoking and more! Grassroots events and programmes like this will help us reach our whole Lambeth community with vital health advice and support,” he said.
It was a “ fantastic turn out” says Surjit Power, Project Manager for Ecosystem Coldharbour/Marcus Lipton Community Enterprise, of the event at St John’s Church , Angell Town; “– 160+ people turned up for free massages and yoga/dance (Carer4Carers), blood pressure checks (PCN) and free fresh food from City Harvest. There were Arts workshops by Black Thrive (pictured top centre) and Early Help, Advice sessions and many more organisations.
The last part of the day, “with the Met Police E- Sports, that is video games tournaments with young people”, was well received.
And there was a chance for new organisations, such as the Palace for Life Foundation (pictured bottom right) to kick off on what they had to offer: https://www.palaceforlife.org/
“We want to thank all the organisations that turned up and made the event successful,” says Surjit, one of the main organisers along with Kamika Nathan, Brixton Project Lead, CHIPS Peace and Anthea Masey (LJAG).
How was it for you?
The Evaluation findings from the January 12 event make interesting reading.
81 % (per cent) thought the keep fit activities were excellent, very good or good.
83% said the information and advice was excellent, very good or good.
91% said the event made them feel part of the community
91% said the event achieved its aim of supporting people with their health and wellbeing
Interestingly 28% said they prefer to consult an alternative therapist. This was half the number of people who answered the question.
21% rated their mental health as either poor or average.
42% rated their physical health as either poor or average.
16% rated their post-covid health as either poor or average.
The part of the survey which looked at community safety found:
63% were concerned about their personal safety
34% rated their neighbourhood as high crime
53% rated their neighbourhood as medium crime.
Resident Ibtisam Ahmed really enjoyed the activities. “ I’ve done: dancing , percussion on the drums, body massage also delicious dinner; finally the workshop in the meeting room (the immersive Net Zero Strategy Room) with about 10 participants to discuss the climate change and solar energy, they gave all of us small iPads to put in it our opinion.”
Jeanne Nguyen, from the Wellbeing Ambassador programme, which ends this month (March) thanked the organisers for an
“inspiring and friendly event.
“We were so happy to be part of this and got some great feedback from The Wellbeing Bus Team as well as from Age UK Lambeth. What a fantastic turn out and such great activities for everyone to take part in. We all left with a smile.”
Anna D’Agostina, Engagement Officer, Mental Health Lead with Healthwatch Lambeth found the event, “so varied, lively and interesting. We were able to share information about Healthwatch Lambeth and network with other organisations. So, thank you to the organisers! I look forward to attending more events in the future.”
“Myself and my clients enjoyed the event so many people attended, and the environment was fabulous. I was able to promote my Somali project and Lambeth funded IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) as well,” says Ali Awes, Somali Engagement Officer with Certitude London who also highlighted its Solidarity in a Crisis phone line and peer support work.
Certitude and other organisations, like Mosaic Clubhouse have been involved from the onset as part of Lambeth Living Well Collaborative – which from it has grown Lambeth Together, the Living Well Network Alliance, Black Thrive and those that work alongside such as Carers Hub Lambeth.
“Carers’ Hub was thrilled to be invited to join the Angell Town Health and Wellbeing Day,” says James Holdcroft, Adult Carers Team Leader (pictured top left). “We were excited to meet with everyone who attended to speak about the lives of carers and the support available to them. We loved listening to the drum circle and making a painting on a mini canvas.
“Bringing awareness to professionals working in and residents living in Angell Town is a large part of our work at Carers’ Hub. By identifying carers earlier in their caring journey we can provide support and reduce isolation. If you are a carer and would like to hear more about the support we can provide, please visit our website: www.carershub.org.uk, call us: 020 7501 8970 or email: email@example.com”
Together, they are showing how community networking is crucial to joining the dots in the mental health wellbeing and social care system.
Caspar Kennerdale whose organisation ClearCommunityWeb runs drop ins and courses providing a lifeline to those who feel digitally excluded said: “It was a great opportunity to connect with other organisations and residents in the community. Building these relationships informally means that when we need to pull together it works.”
Those sentiments are echoed by Fiveways PCN Social Prescribing Linkworker Simon Baker, who attended with new worker Eleanor (pictured top right at the Loughborough Farm stall with Emily and Mohammed, bottom left). “It was lovely to meet everyone,” said Simon, thanking organisers for their hard work.
“Great to see so many community groups represented at the event, and an amazing turnout of visitors. We got to eat some great food, get our blood pressure taken, chat to service leaders and a huge bag of fruit and veg from the amazing Loughborough Farm. These events always lift my spirits and remind me that there are a huge amount of dedicated people working hard to make the area better for the community.”
May 2022 and April events
The May event at Marcus Lipton Community Enterprise and followed a successful, smaller young people’s event at the centre in April.
86 per cent of those attending and stall holders rated the event as having achieved its aim of helping people lead healthier and longer lives as very good or excellent.
Some responses to the question: “I have learnt something today I will use to improve my wellbeing” included: “Thinking positive, being helpful.” “Learning to acknowledge that everything I do for my wellbeing, however small, is making a positive difference.” “Yes, learn what I need to eat to lower blood pressure and blood sugar.” “Self-care, accepting help from others.”
“Congrats on your health day. I have received incredibly positive feedback from the bus crew and ambassadors about the event – very glad the bus was able to be the to support!
“Our Citizen’s Advice (CAML) advisor reported being kept very busy, so it would be good to have further discussions about the possibility of advisors being there more regularly in the future (either with bus or otherwise).”
“Amazing event and very well received!
Thanks for all your hard work and looking forward to more!” said Dr Sharon Raymond GP
DIRECTOR CRISIS RESCUE FOUNDATION
Charlotte O’Connor, Manager Platform Cafe and Loughborough Farm summed the day up thus: “The event was really fun! Good vibe, nice food and lots of chatting and connecting.”
Youth Wellbeing Day April 6 2022
The successful Youth Wellbeing Day, at Marcus Lipton centre with LJAG and Ecosystem Coldharbour was held a day before World Health Day
Those taking part included Child Friendly Lambeth, The Well Centre, discussing sexual and mental heath. Carers4Carers, who provide, yoga, boxing and fitness sessions, Marcus Lipton CE Staff provided 1:1 support for young people, art therapy sessions and encouraged young people to write ‘who their go to person was if they had concerns’ and ‘what made them get up each day’. the Grove Adventure Playground brought in some young people, Fabrice from Myatts Field Park was available for any questions young people had about gardening, Caspian Dumisani Moyo from Brunch Brothers – Making and Sharing food as an incentive for young people to gather and discuss pertinent issues.
The health events highlighted, along with input into a wellbeing day at Moorlands Community Centre in July 2022 illustrate well the ‘keep learning’ and ‘connect’ aspects of the healthy living tool Wheel of Wellbeing, which projects are asked to measure their work by under the London Community Foundation funding.