This year, it’s been more important than ever to make sure residents have what they need to look after themselves and their family over the winter. Over the past three months we’ve awarded grants of up to £500 to 20 local community groups to run events to encourage people to stay healthy and well throughout winter.
With translated resources available in a range of community languages, the collaborative events have created opportunities for local people to talk with visiting clinicians, ask questions about local health services and access information about:
- Mental health support and crisis lines
- Using community pharmacies for quick and easy health advice
- Cost of living practical advice and emotional and wellbeing support available from the local council
- Covid-19 vaccinations
- Flu vaccinations to protect families, friends from the worst outcomes of flu
- Strep A, the common bacteria which causes some mild and some more serious infections
From half term play schemes, to music workshops and fitness sessions; community organisations curated a programme of events that engaged the diversity of Croydon to ensure people received supportive health and care advice.
Take a look at this video to see some of the event highlights.
Babyzone, a drop in play space for 0–5-year-olds, in Thornton Heath invited parents of children to not only play, but talk with GPs, seek free nutritional advice and take part in child friendly first aid sessions. Over 100 parents were presented with information on Strep A, Covid-19/Flu vaccinations, local mental health services, and given the opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences of health services with our Engagement team.
As children occupied themselves with interactive play sessions, the space provided the perfect opportunity for parents to talk with Croydon GPs, Dr Michael and Dr Sirajuddin about staying healthy and the best places to turn to should they need help.
Jess Barnaschone, Head of Babyzone Croydon said: “The event has been a brilliant opportunity to bring our parents together and offer them health advice in a comfortable space. We know that many families are facing challenges at the moment, so I’m glad we’ve been able to work together with partners to support parents where they need it.”
Bishop Nicholson of Acts Christian Church welcomed Croydon Vaccination Lead, Bernhard Krisifoe to their weekly podcast to talk all things vaccine. Shared with over 3,000 subscribers on YouTube, the episode featured an honest and open conversation about the continued importance of Covid-19 and flu vaccines and common questions that people have.
The online podcast created an informal space for Bishop Nicholson and Bernhard to have an authentic and honest conversation about public sector strains and to provide reassurance about the best ways to access care and support. Bernhard also shared how local people can to get connected to free mental health and wellbeing services such as the Croydon Health and Wellbeing Space.
“Today’s podcast has been wonderful, it’s been great working with Bernhard. We’ve been able to share some insightful information that many people can listen to at home or whilst they’re out and about.”Bishop Mark Nicholson
Pilates for older people
MHA Communities South London supports older people in the local area to reduce loneliness, isolation and encourage healthier later life through activities, trips and befriending services. Set within a cosy cabin in their wilderness garden, Local clinician Alex Kovalic was invited to speak at their chair Pilates session about keeping healthy, vaccines and mental health support. Attendees asked questions as they enjoyed a hot lunch which was followed up with tea and homemade chocolate cake.
“It’s been a fantastic morning. I always like coming to do Pilates and have a chat with the folks here, but today it was nice to find out where to go if I need help. There’s so much you hear on the news these days which can be confusing, but today’s really helped me.”Audrey, Croydon resident
Working in collaboration with local community groups for this programme of events has been invaluable as we continue to build on improving the health and wellbeing of our residents. The insights gathered from each event will also allow us to shape services and information to meet the needs of local people.