Our pioneering parternership wellbeing project, Positive Steps Thamesmead, helps more than 700 Thamesmead residents in its first year.
The Positive Steps Thamesmead project came about after Lakeside Medical Practice identified a high number of patients visiting their GP for non-medical issues. The scheme, run by a range of partners and led by Trust Thamesmead (part of the Peabody Group), placed 16 fully trained volunteer advisers in the medical practice to help people with issues around employment and training, health and wellbeing, debt and fuel poverty.
This has resulted in fewer people needing to see their GP because they are appropriately signposted to other support services.
One resident who has been supported by the project is Ms B who told a Positive Steps Thamesmead volunteer that her husband's disability benefit had been suspended at short notice, leaving the family in financial difficulty. Positive Steps Thamesmead gave Ms B accurate information and advice about the benefits she and her husband were entitled to, as well as help filling in the appeal forms about the decision to suspend them. This led to the benefits being reinstated and backdated, easing the financial burden the family had been facing.
Peabody Chief Executive Stephen Howlett said: “Positive Steps Thamesmead is a great example of what can be achieved by a joined-up, partnership approach to supporting people. Our volunteers tackle sensitive and often complicated issues Thamesmead residents face on a daily basis which has had a huge, positive impact on many residents lives. The fact it has also helped to cut waiting times at Lakeside Medical Practice also means residents are getting to see their GP quicker which can only have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. What our achievements have highlighted though is the level of support and the issues that residents are facing and we know there are plenty of others who we haven't yet identified. We want to let Thamesmead residents know that the support is out there.”
Dr Anand, Partner, Lakeside Medical Practice: “The Positive Steps volunteers have made a significant and useful contribution to the patients and medical staff at the Lakeside Medical Practice. They are a resource to signpost people in need to the help they require. As the patients have problems which are not always strictly medical ones, the Positive Steps Thamesmead advisors take these patients on and free up clinical time for patients with medical problems to be seen by the medical staff. They have embedded their service into the health centre now.”
Giles Piercy, Director, Locality Matters said: “It has been a privilege to have been involved in the development of Positive Steps Thamesmead from an initial concept to a service that is delivering meaningful positive impact to many local people's lives, on critical issues such as housing, debt and employment support. The emerging evidence of the impact the service is having on managing down demand for public services shows the value of connecting local people, third sector organisations and statutory providers.”
Positive Steps Thamesmead is a partnership project between Peabody, 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 others.
Originally funded by the Community Development Foundations (CDF) 2015/16 Our Place programme as part of the Department for Communities and Local Government, Positive Steps Thamesmead continues to be funded by Peabody and the City of London Corporation's charity City Bridge Trust.
Positive Steps Thamesmead is available from Lakeside Medical Practice in Southmere Village, off Yarnton Way, Thamesmead. Outreach sessions are also available from Waterways Children's Centre in Southwood Road and Emmanuel Food Bank in Yarnton Way.
The Peabody Group is working in partnership with a range of organisations across London, to help individuals make positive changes to their lives, through our employment and training, health and wellbeing, digital and volunteering programmes.
Find out more about Positive Steps Thamesmead by contacting Trust Thamesmead's Community Development Officer, Linda Delieu, T: 020 3828 4933 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org