In January, Lambeth Council worked with Norwood Forum to award grants to 13 local service providers – including start-ups – providing additional support to the services provided at the Hub. Hubs bring local organisations together to improve health and wellbeing where COVID-19 has had a serious impact.
Ways to wellbeing
From growing vegetables at school, to gardening with the family or with the South London Botanical Institute, through forest school sessions and parks helping mental health, to homework and boxing clubs for young people and community technology drop-ins and exercise classes to overcome isolation, there’s a range of ways on offer that get people feeling better without having to be labelled ‘health’.
Word from the Cabinet
Cllr Jim Dickson, Lambeth Cabinet Member for Healthier Communities, said: “Lambeth Council is delighted to see the success of projects run by local community, voluntary and faith organisations contributing to improving the health and wellbeing in Gipsy Hill. These projects complement the support available at our Gipsy Hill Health and Wellbeing Hub. We look forward to sharing great new ways of supporting people that will benefit other communities in future.”
First and second round
The second round of grant funding goes live in early October. Three of the first grant-funded projects have already reported successes:
- Community Kitchen, run by New Covenant Church, provided marginalised communities with healthy meals and food bank support, and distributed a ‘Care Pack’ of packed and canned foods, hygiene, sanitary and well-being materials. Of those who visited the kitchen, 67% said they were ‘feeling more optimistic about the future’ and ‘able to deal with problems well’, and 60% ‘feel close to other people now’.
- Paxton Parklet on Gipsy Road, run by Friends of Gipsy Hill – a free and accessible community space, supported by
businesses and maintained by local volunteers to promote connectedness, has already made a “real difference to business and the local community”.
- Box on the Hill, run by Community Sparks, report: “Our aim was to give each child a chance to feel more confident. Sessions not only helped each child venture into the world of boxing, but also created a safe space to meet and make new friends. Fitness sessions brought huge interest from social media and the public. In an evaluation from the 8-12 year-olds taking part each week, the most popular words were Fun, Exciting, Challenging and Valuable. Over 50% circled ‘Fun’.”
- For information on all 13 projects, which are FREE to access, and the organisations running them, please see Norwood Forum webpage
- Gipsy Hill is one of three pilot sites in the hub programme (alongside Stockwell and North Lambeth). The area had high rates of respiratory disease; hospital admissions, long-term illness and under-75 death; plus poor mental health – with a variety of triggers including isolation and insecure work.
- Find more information about local Forums working to improve their neighbourhoods.