Thousands of Thamesmead residents to benefit from pioneering wellbeing project.
Positive Steps Thamesmead has already made a difference to more than 500 Thamesmead residents since it launched in April, by making them aware of the full range of free sources of support available to them.
The collaborative voluntary sector partnership programme, which is managed by Trust Thamesmead, part of the Peabody Group, began after a series of conversations with professionals and community representatives, each highlighting a multitude of complex difficulties Thamesmead residents face, which often leads to poor health and mental wellbeing.
One clear measure of this came from the General Practitioners at Thamesmead-based, Lakeside Medical Practice, who anecdotally stated that around half of their patients are attending appointments with non-biomedical needs such as stress about housing, debt and fuel poverty.
Supported by a team of trained volunteers, Thamesmead residents who meet with Positive Steps Thamesmead are advised about a full range of organisations that can provide tailored advice and guidance and relieve the difficulties they are facing (e.g. debt, unemployment, immigration).
Peabody's Chief Executive, Stephen Howlett said: “There is a lot of support available to Thamesmead residents who find themselves facing difficult situations. Connecting with Positive Steps Thamesmead will enable early intervention to help identify any underlying issues residents may be facing and for action to be taken based on their needs. This not only benefits individuals by alleviating worry and stress by helping them find the right support, but also helps to reduce public spending and waiting times at GP surgeries.”
Positive Steps Thamesmead is funded by Our Place, part of the Department for Communities and Local Government, the City of London Corporation's charity City Bridge Trust, and Peabody. Working in partnership with Gallions Housing Association, Fair Finance, Bexley Citizens Advice Bureau, Thamesmead Food Bank, Recovery College Greenwich, Thamesmead Furniture Recycle, Lakeside Medical Practice, Job Centre Plus, London Borough of Bexley and more.
Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Locality, said: “By helping to join up service providers, the Our Place grant awarded by Locality has meant that people in Thamesmead now have access to holistic services which focus on their individual needs.
“Staff in organisations providing services to Thamesmead residents were concerned by how difficult it was for people to navigate different services but, by joining up these organisations, Our Place and Positive Steps have ensured that more people are now getting the help they really need.”
David Farnsworth, Director of the City Bridge Trust, said: “Positive Steps Thamesmead brings together different organisations and services and sets a clear direction for assisting those most in need, helping them gain better access to support-providers. We are delighted that this grant from City Bridge Trust will help ensure that Thamesmead residents from disadvantaged backgrounds receive advice on issues such as housing, legal advice and debt management, as well as support for mental health problems.”
Dr Anand from Lakeside Medical Practice said: “It is wonderful to work with so many volunteers and organisations including Trust Thamesmead in relation to Positive Steps Thamesmead, which gives a holistic approach to health and wellbeing in Thamesmead. It is a fantastic asset for both the community and professionals and is having a real knock-on effect, with many residents stating they no longer need to see their GP after seeing a Positive Steps Thamesmead advisor, which is not only great news for them but for the wider community as individuals aren't having to wait so long to see their doctor.”
Positive Steps Thamesmead Volunteer Advisor, William Dorgu said: “I have been volunteering for Positive Steps Thamesmead since it launched in April. During that time I have spoken to many residents who have faced a broad spectrum of issues, from eviction to immigration, debt to no furniture. It was initially overwhelming but knowing I have the support of a wonderful network of charities and organisations to sign-post residents to is a big help. The thing that stands out more than anything is the difference we are making to individuals lives. Hearing updates regarding how they have been helped makes me feel ecstatic and encourages me to do more.”
Locality, in partnership with the Community Development Foundation (CDF) and delivery partners, have been commissioned to run Our Place 2015/16 programme which offers a package of grants and support for neighbourhoods.
Positive Steps Thamesmead is currently available from Lakeside Medical Practice in Southmere Village, off Yarnton Way, Thamesmead. It is hoped the programme will be offered from a number of venues across Thamesmead in the future.
The Peabody Group is working in partnership with an array of organisations across London, to help individuals make positive changes to their lives, be it via our employment and training, health and wellbeing, digital or volunteering programmes.
Find out more about Positive Steps Thamesmead by contacting Trust Thamesmead's Community Development Officer, Linda Delieu, T: 020 8320 4476 / 07815 734080 or E: email@example.com