We asked Collaborative members and those who work alongside for their thoughts on 2023 and/or their resolutions for 2024.
Anna-Marie Amato, Curator, SHARP Gallery
Excited about opening the gallery in its new space with the zine documenting projects at the gallery over the past few years.
Dorrel Bennett Creary, service user
In 2024 am hoping to improve my digital skills after support from Caspar at Clearcommunityweb (drop-ins at Moorlands Community Centre) https://clearcommunityweb.co.uk/ He has really helped me to solve problems that were upsetting me.
I met him via the Collaborative and have enjoyed this year’s review events having been with the original Vital Link peer support group and am looking forward to wha’appen next.
Also looking forward to my story coming out in a journal about the Garden Museum’s Sowing Roots oral history project, that I was part of as a volunteer at Loughborough Farm. (The first of its kind, which takes a journey into the history of the gardening cultures and traditions that Caribbean people carried with them when they moved to the UK after World War II).
Sarah Corlett, Chair, Healthwatch Lambeth
In 2023, Healthwatch Lambeth was very pleased to be recommissioned by Lambeth Council to continue its work in the borough and in the autumn we published our updated strategy. Our top priority is to work with others to tackle health and care inequalities. People experiencing most inequality tend to be the ones least listened to by ‘the system ’but when the experience of people at the margins is factored into service development everyone benefits. So in 2024 we have re-committed ourselves to working with groups in Lambeth who don’t get a hearing so that their voices have more influence in decisions about health & care services.
And having committed myself last year to seeing more of my friends I then got buried in house renovation so in 2024 no more bricks and mortar and more time with people!
Anna D’Agostino, Engagement Officer, Healthwatch Lambeth
It’s been an interesting year at Healthwatch Lambeth, engaging with Lambeth residents on a variety of themes, from inequalities in maternity services in SE London to running sessions on NHS awareness for the Ukrainian refugees and more. Taking part in The Collaborative review at the Open Space event was a real highlight, coming together with many people and sharing ideas, aspirations and actions to be taken to enable people with mental health needs lead a better life.
My wish for next year is to see this work develop further. Besides, in 2024 I will be leading on a new Healthwatch Lambeth mental health project for Lambeth Black African and Black Caribbean male service users and hear their views on what they need to get well, stay well and seek help when they need it, so life can be more fulfilling. I hope this work contributes to providing a more holistic support to them and all people experiencing poor mental health.
On a personal level, I would very much like to facilitate more sessions of the Mental Health First Aid course to anyone interested in learning how to spot the signs of poor mental health, give initial support to the person and signpost to professional help. So, as Muhammad Ali once said, I will make sure that I “Don’t count the days…[I] make the days count”.
Danny Danjuma, CAPSA (Culturally Appropriate Peer Support Advocacy) Team Leader & Communications, Black Thrive
Our resolution in CAPSA is for a continued commitment to systems change.
Aisling Duffy, Chief Executive, Certitude
It’s been another busy year for everyone involved in the Living Well Network working together to support people to live their best lives. The context is challenging with the cost-of-living increases having a real impact on the lives of those we support as well as on our wonderful and dedicated colleagues. It
is in such challenging times that the strength of our established alliance can make the biggest difference as we share resources, support and develop solutions in partnership with those who rely on our care and support. This takes determination, focus and strong, brave leadership, all of which we will need even more of in the year ahead as we navigate the challenges and maintain an unrelenting focus on delivering the outcomes that genuinely matter to people.
I wish everyone a happy and peaceful festive period, with some time to recharge ready to support each other to deliver the best possible outcomes for the people of Lambeth who draw on our support in 2024.
Rachel Eborall, Deputy Head of Inclusion and Lead for Peer Support, South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM)
My New Year’s resolution is to increase the number of peer workers in SLaM so that more service users can access peer support!
Lee Elliott, Coordinator – Employment, Information & Training, Mosaic Clubhouse
Spending time with members at Mosaic Clubhouse during the festive period, reflecting on the year as it drew to a close and recognising that the most impactful, memorable times are those when we genuinely connect as human beings, regardless how fragile, damaged or otherwise engaged we might be reminds me to look after others and myself more effectively by taking the time to connect first and foremost with people rather than with their difficulties.
Polly Howes, Carers Strategy Development Manager, Carers Hub.
2023 has been a tough year for many of us, especially unpaid carers. Our New Year’s Resolution at Carers’ Hub Lambeth is to continue to raise the utmost importance of increasing support for carers.
Dr Mike Kelleher, Consultant Addictions Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead for Lambeth Addictions (SLaM), Lambeth Addictions Consortium
My resolution will be to come to more living well collaborative/network meetings.
Caspar Kennerdale , Managing Director, ClearCommuntyWeb
Our resolutions for 2024 are to spend more time “in the bit” between reflection and delivery and to build in the proper time to make this happen for myself and the team.
Stopping to recognize and celebrate successes and achievements and remembering that is something hasn’t gone right it doesn’t mean it was wrong. https://clearcommunityweb.co.uk
Matthew McKenzie BEM, Carers’ champion
My 2024 wish list will focus on carers, as of 2023 I received an honour (British Empire Medal in King’s New Year’s Honour’s List) for working hard to raise awareness of the caring role. I still want to continue to raise awareness of the caring role and wrote a blog just in time for the new year. Many unpaid carers have gone through a tough time for 2023, so I wish for them to heal as 2024 does not look to get any easier. I will use all my resources, connections and carer groups to make a difference for the caring community.
Another wish list is to continue writing more books aimed at unpaid carers. Since I have started a new carer group focusing on cancer caregivers, I want to write a book urging carers to tell their story. For more information, please check out my latest blogpost.
Raj Mitre, GP Partner, Lambeth Walk Group Practice, Children’s Clinical Commissioner, Integrated Health and Care,Lambeth Council,South East London ICB
My new year’s resolution to help people experiencing mental health unwellness to attend all the activities in our communities that will help in their wellbeing including, exercise, yoga, reading, gardening, singing and dancing.
David Monk, Collaborative Chair
Well 2023 probably remains one of our most tricky times in recent years. The world seems to have become too casual when it comes to human rights, the right to life without fear. So as we move on into another year my resolution is to be gentle, reflective and ambitious for change, and with all else said connect and create a little mischief keeping our eye on what matters most to the people of Lambeth.
Joiss Munetsi, Primary Care Mental Health Development Manager, NHS South East London Integrated Care System (Lambeth)
Let’s hope 2024 is a good year for the Collaborative and all of us!
Sabrina Phillips, Alliance Director, Living Well Network Alliance / Deputy Chief Operating Officer, SLaM (Interim)
I want to say thank you to all our staff who come to work to provide care and support for the people we serve. We have seen high demand for our services which sits in a context of local and global cost of living crisis, and conflicts which have an impact on us all. As an Alliance we continue to innovate and deliver services.
Our staff are our greatest asset. My New year resolution is to ensure I support initiatives that have a beneficial impact on the well being of our staff , as without them we will be unable to provide service to those that need us.
Thank you to those of you who worked over the Christmas Bank holiday. For those that aren’t working I trust that you got some rest and spend some valuable time with your loved ones.
Have a Happy and prosperous 2024.
Lee Roach, Head Occupational Therapist and carers Lead for Lambeth (SLaM)
I want to continue to challenge myself and others to engage carers and the people using our services in improving services. I will explore new ways to recruit and retain staff to improve the experience of using services. I will support colleagues and people using our services to engage more in ecologically sustainable activities.
Sarah Strong, Peer Support Coordinator, SLaM
My resolution is two-part. For my SLaM role, it’s to develop my skills to better mentor peer support workers so they can, in turn, support their service users more effectively. On a personal note, it’s to keep pushing to do the physical activities I know that sustain my wellbeing but to have self-compassion in those moments when my motivation is low and I can’t manage to exercise.
Margherita Sweetlove, Public Health Specialist – Mental Health and Wellbeing, Public Health, Adults and Health
After a nine months hiatus from Lambeth, I am really excited to get stuck back in the world of mental health and wellbeing. In the coming months I am looking forward to engaging with communities and businesses around the borough to promote awareness of mental health and wellbeing and the support available for everyone. On a personal level, I will try my best to get some more sleep.
Guy Swindle, Deputy Director, Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance (the Alliance)
2023 proved to be a challenging year for mental health, with increased demand across the board following the pandemic and the impact of the cost-of-living crisis. Despite this, the Living Well Network Alliance has been able to maintain existing services, whilst embedding and developing new services such as: CAPSA, our Culturally Appropriate Peer Support and Advocacy service; IPS, our Individual Placement and Support service to help people with mental illness get or keep a job, and; our Primary Care Alliance Network (PCAN), which involves Alliance professionals working closely with GPs and their professional colleagues to support more people with mental health needs in their own homes and communities.
We expect to see continued high demand for support in 2024 as well as a very tight financial position. However, we will continue to develop and, where possible expand, these new services and further develop close and effective relationships with our GPs and their colleagues. We also plan to make improvements to the way our single point of access (SPA) and living well centres operate to reduce waiting times and provide more effective support.
Ben Taylor, Interim CEO, Lambeth & Southwark Mind
Mind looks forward to a new year in which our newly merged charity will deliver services across the five South East London Boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark, Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich. We resolve to staying rooted in and connected to the diverse communities in each of those Boroughs and to using the opportunities of being a larger organisation to provide more support to more people experiencing mental health problems in the year ahead.
Bill Tidnam, Chief Executive, Thames Reach
I would like to see a couple of things happening in 2024. I’d like the Alliance contract to be renewed laying the way for services to continue to change to support the ideas of early intervention and approaches that better meet the needs of the people who use services, and who might use services. Alongside this I’d like to see the Collaborative grow in it’s membership and it’s voice and for it to hold the Alliance to account on these ideas.
David Warner, service user
My New Year resolution – as a service user rather than a service provider – would be to get out more, preferably in a way that doesn’t involve sitting in pubs.
Hey maybe there is a group which can combine the two:
Beer & Theology
This is a group of liberal evangelical Anglicans who meet in The Angel pub in Rotherhithe! They have monthly speaker meetings. Twitter: @BeerandTheology
Speakers in the coming months:
19 Jan – Joshua Rey on constitutional #monarchy
15 Mar – Duncan Dormor (USPG) on #reparations in the Caribbean
19 Apr – Sarah Pawlett Jackson on #hope
Ronnie Wilson, MBE, Chief Executive, First Step Trust
It’s been a difficult year for us in Lambeth but we appreciate the support from other organisations in the Collaborative so are looking forward to the future whatever direction we go in.
Karen Hooper, special thanks to Barney Stark and Shola Shabiolegbe, Mosaic Clubhouse Engagement Workers for their website wizardry over the year.
Julie El-Bahrawy, CEO, SRA (Southside Rehabilitation Association) Ltd
2023 was a very difficult year for SRA and 2024 looks to be equally challenging. My hopes are to secure some new income streams so that we can continue to provide support and training for anyone with mental health conditions that need us. Our service supports some of the most vulnerable people in South London and we don’t want to let them down. On a positive note, our IT training is going from strength to strength, our cleaning and printing services are proving as popular as ever, and our catering service is hoping to launch a new food service for local people and businesses.
Watch this space! https://www.sra-ltd.co.uk/