I was introduced to Sian by Community Southwark to work together on developing social prescribing and community support in Nunhead. We have been working with them to promote the support they give and share the benefits with our community.
I went down to Nunhead Green with Geoff and Sarah on a Thursday morning to the Ivy House. We arrived to see a group of older, mainly women, wearing masks, sitting outside and talking away before their chair exercise class.
I had time to sit down with a lot of the ladies for a chat and they came from all areas, some from other parts of London, others from the Caribbean, Nigeria, Jamaica, Ireland and Greece. It had a great community vibe and the spirit of friendship that we all need a bit of right now.
In this podcast episode we talk to Ian who co-manages Nunhead Green Community Centre with Sian. I loved chatting with Ian, he had such an obvious passion and interest in his community. As he says in the podcast, during lockdown he and Sian took it on themselves to visit every one of their Ivy House guests to bring them some cheer, a crossword, some tea and a chat to their door.
It is difficult in these COVID times to maintain the support and connection older, vulnerable people need. We need a connected approach to support people who can go weeks without seeing anybody - in a time of high stress and vulnerability going weeks with out seeing anyone can make you feel pretty alone.
Ian and I talk on the podcast about our idea of linking up community resources, and creating a network of support. So if Mary at The Ivy House needs another touch point in the week, someone like Ian or Sian could point them in the direction of an activity that takes place on a Tuesday.
At the moment community resources are not very linked up and supporters/carers do not know where to go for the support they need, despite it being available locally.
That is where Community Bridges can help, if you would like to join our network of community groups then email email@example.com and we can start referring you to the right people.