South West locality: MyTime Active
- St Dunstan’s
Crochet and Stitch Club, Sidney Estate North, Whitechapel
The Creative Arts group, led by two resident volunteers, would meet weekly in the estate TRA room to share stories and make things together over a cup of coffee. This was supported by a small grant from Tower Hamlets Homes. Both resident volunteers are naturally artistic and have skills in sewing, crocheting and jewellery making. When the activity was first launched in June 2019 and in the subsequent weeks, between 7 to 10 residents participated with more expert residents were happy to share their skills and show the others how it is done. Both volunteers experience anxiety from time to time and wanted to seize opportunities that would both benefit the community and bring people together.
A lack of opportunities for the residents in Sidney Estate has led to further discussions with neighbours and our community co-ordinator for the possibilities of leading a walking group, fitness and fun sessions and other outdoor activities in the local green spaces.
One of the volunteers described her involvement as ‘Giving and Gaining’ where she is sharing her skills and learning new ones.
Another resident told us ‘I look forward to coming to meet with my friends every week, I enjoy being together and it helps take my mind off my worries’
Covid-19 response delivery: From classroom to Zoom!
Since June 2019 families would meet weekly for an after-school homework support club. The group is the brainchild of one of our Shadwell residents who wanted to help her family and other families in her block.
Following the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the group paused and stayed indoors following government advice. One of the Community Champions was still interested in maintaining contact with the group and wanted to re-connect online. With the help of our Local Area Co-ordinator, she was able to set up a WhatsApp coffee and chat group. With confidence growing, the residents’ asked if we could help with using Zoom for activities where the group could meet and see each other.
Following conversations with the group and sharing of photos of foods cooked and plants two residents came forward to lead a weekly Zoom cooking session. Other residents now come forward happy to lead suggestions for recipes and ideas of foods to make each week.
Outcomes and impact
- We have seen an increase in confidence and improved organisational skills
- All the participants tell us how enjoyable the sessions are and how much fun it is to take part each week
- A platform to discuss other health and wellbeing topics and signpost services details
- An opportunity and a platform to share skills (food preparation and cooking)
- The group actively encourage one another to lead for the next week
As we ease into recovery phase and can meet outside, we are having conversations with our residents about activities they may want to get involved in with their children whilst maintaining physical distancing and keeping safe.
Tel: 07471 038104