As we roll gently into November the evenings draw in and the temperatures start to drop, which means something big here at South London Cares... Winter Wellbeing is in full swing!
Now in its 6th year, the project runs from October to March and involves reaching out to the residents of Southwark and Lambeth who are 65 years old and above to make sure they have what they need to keep warm, active and connected during the cold, isolating winter months.
We do this through a mixture of outreach activities including door-knocking, attending community events, visiting GP surgeries, pharmacies and supermarkets, and speaking with people over the phone.
Throughout last year’s project, we had 1,649 conversations with older neighbours and provided 359 of them with 549 deeper interventions. We also handed out 242 warm items of clothing and provided £2,500 in small grants to those in immediate need.
One fundamental reason for the project’s reach and success is the strong relationships we share with our community partners. Mutual signposting and referral pathways ensure that we are able to support each other’s work, and more importantly, provide neighbours with the help they need, whether that be through information, resources or activities.
In celebration of these relationships, last week we held our second-ever Winter Warmer social club at Pembroke House in Walworth, SE17.
45 neighbours met 20 partners from 13 organisations and spent the afternoon sharing information and stories about the various help and support available. To find out more about the organisations who were present and the support they can provide please see the links at the bottom of this page.
The club included short talks to the whole group mixed with time for neighbours to speak to partners on an individual basis. Goodies were given out and there was even a little game in the style of bingo (but was definitely not bingo) which led to excited levels of chat and interaction. Neighbours left filled with information, freebies, and warm hearts!
The feedback provided by those in attendance was very positive. Wendy, 73, said: 'It was so interesting. So many new things I will try and so many things I learned. Thank you!'
Regina, 75, told us: 'It was really useful going to all the tables and talking to people and learning about the different organisations, and how to keep warm with low energy. I loved it all so please do it again!'
Rosie from St Johns Ambulance said: 'It was brilliant to meet all the other organisations, find out more about what South London Cares are up to, and especially being able to meet the neighbours and gauge their interest in the programme we’re offering.'
A number of useful suggestions were also made for future events, including more detailed directions, a greater presence of Lambeth based organisations, and more time to talk! We endeavour to embrace all of this feedback when we hold the next club in the new year.
During this year’s project we can help in a number of ways:
Provide free warm items - deliver thermal clothing, blankets, flasks and other warm items direct to neighbours' door.
Keep homes warm - connect neighbours to organisations that can improve their home’s energy efficiency and help reduce their bills.
Assist with finances - arrange small grants and specialist advice for people in difficult circumstances who are struggling to afford everything they need to get through the tough winter months.
Connect to the community - introduce neighbours to brilliant social activities and events in the local area
As part of the community, we would love for you to take part in the project and there are numerous ways of doing so. If you know, or work with, neighbours who are 65 years old or above and who live in Southwark or Lambeth, then you can:
- Refer someone who could benefit from the project using this referral form on our website.
- Arrange for us to visit your workplace and speak about the project to colleagues or older neighbours in your network.
- Attend our next Winter Warmer event as a community partner or neighbour
- Volunteer, fundraise, or help to spread the word!
However you would like to help, please call us on 0207 118 0404 (option 1) or email Hannah on [email protected] and we will shortly be in touch.
We look forward to hearing from you!
The event was held at Pembroke House, 80 Tatum Street, Walworth, London, SE17 1QR. You can find out more about Pembroke House here.
If you would like to attend our next event then please contact Matt on 0207 118 04040 (option 1) or on [email protected]
Posted by Matt Scaysbrook on Wednesday 6th November 2019
Matt manages our growing volunteer network, and leads on reaching older south Londoners - introducing them to South London Cares and our programmes. Previously Matt worked as a Personal Trainer in various parts of London, and before that was an officer with the Metropolitan Police.