News

Stay and play sessions

We have one further ‘all day’ session running next week on Tuesday 30 June – this session is now fully booked.

However, from the following week (Monday 6 July), given the change in social distancing regulations from the government, we will be increasing our sessions to revert to our usual times (Monday am, Tuesday am, Wednesday pm) for the final two weeks of term.

Sessions will still be ticketed, but we will be increasing the number of tickets available to 8 families per session. Sessions can be booked from our Eventbrite site, and will be released one week in advance.

A ‘family group’ can be made up of one adult (including child-minders) and up to three children. We appreciate that these groups may involve some school-age children who are not yet back at school, therefore we ask all adults to take full responsibility for all the children in their care during Stay and Play.

We are asking all Centre users to use our hand sanitizer when entering the garden and periodically throughout your stay. There will be hand sanitizer dispensers outside each room and on the covered stage in the garden.

There will be cloth masks or visors that you are welcome to use while in the garden. They will be carefully and thoroughly sanitised after each use. All play equipment and materials will be thoroughly cleaned at the start of the day and at the end of each play session.

Should you be unable to attend a pre-booked Stay and Play session we ask you to call Mina to cancel as soon as possible to give some other family the opportunity.

Term will finish on Wednesday 15 July. We hope that when we return in September normal services will have resumed.

We look forward to seeing your smiling faces. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

BAMER mental health support groups by Bromley and Lewisham Mind

Engage in ME provides mental health and wellbeing support groups to adults from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) communities in Lewisham borough to:

·         learn how to manage their own mental health and wellbeing, with a specific current focus on the psychological and emotional needs raised by the current pandemic.

·        find out about and access other relevant, local online support services

·         meet, learn and share with other people experiencing mental health difficulties in a welcoming and understanding place

·         discuss their cultural needs and how services can support them better.

Engage in ME Online sessions are held weekly, for six weeks at a time, via Zoom. Each weekly session will last an hour-and-a-half. Some sessions will also include guest speakers from other local mental health and wellbeing support services. The groups are for people experiencing low to moderate mental health difficulties resident in Lewisham borough.

For more information https://blgmind.org.uk/lewisham/bamer-peer-support-groups/
To book a place or if you have an questions please contact Eleanora (Wednesdays and Thursdays) 07732 079038, Smita 07850 639811 or emailengageinme@blgmind.org.uk

ESOL lessons

We are pleased to announce that we will be gradually recommencing our ESOL lessons from next week, Monday 8 June.
Please note that these will NOT be in the usual format, but will take place in the outdoor classroom in Besson Street Community Garden, with not more than six people attending at any one time, so that we can comply with government guidance on social distancing. We will also be offering online lessons on a Monday.

Guidlines for attendance:
– This applies only to students who have signed up to our lessons prior to March 2020. Our ESOL Tutor, Helen, will contact you to advise you of the time of the sessions according to your ability.
– If we have more than 6 students wishing to attend a lesson, you may only be able to attend one lesson per week, rather than two, to ensure that everyone can access some provision.
– you will be asked to wash/sanitise your hands on arrival.
– you are welcome to wear face masks, however, we will also maintain 2m social distancing at all times and will ask you to sanitise your hands frequently while on site.
– you must not attend if you feel unwell or have any symptoms of COVID-19

New students – If you are not already register, but would like to sign up to our lessons, you should first attend an assessment session at Besson Street Community Garden, Tuesdays or Wednesdays, 3.15 to 4.15pm. Please email helen.keenan@nxgtrust.org.uk if you would like to book to attend.

Stay and play service resuming from next week

We are really pleased to be able to reopen our Stay and Play sessions at Besson Street Community Garden.

Working within the Government and WHO guidelines we are offering 5 pre-booked outdoor sessions throughout the day, all-day, every Tuesday starting 9.30 am Tuesday 9 June until Tuesday 14 July. 

Carers and parents can sign up for a 45-minute pre-booked session by booking a slot on Eventbrite via this link.

Tickets will be released each week on a Wednesday morning for the following week’s sessions.

Each 45-minute session will be shared by three other ‘family groups’ all keeping the recommended social distance. A ‘family group’ can be made up of one adult (including child-minders) and up to three children. We appreciate that these groups may involve some school-age children who are not yet back at school, therefore we ask all adults to take full responsibility for all the children in their care during Stay and Play.

We are asking all Centre users to use our hand sanitizer when entering the garden and periodically throughout your stay. There will be hand sanitizer dispensers outside each room and on the covered stage in the garden.

There will be cloth masks or visors that you are welcome to use while in the garden. They will be carefully and thoroughly sanitised after each use. All play equipment and materials will be thoroughly cleaned at the start of the day and at the end of each play session.

Should you be unable to attend a pre-booked Stay and Play session we ask you to call Mina to cancel as soon as possible to give some other family the opportunity.

We look forward to seeing your smiling faces.

GPs are still there for their patients during the Covid-19 pandemic

General practice staff have produced a video message to patients asking them not to put off contacting their GP surgery if they need to consult a doctor or nurse.https://youtu.be/z1jefywezAw

Do not to avoid contacting your surgery if you feel you need to. It is  important that parents of babies and young children get in touch with their practice to arrange for their routine immunisations, and that women who are pregnant or new mothers contact their surgery if they are worried about their own or their baby’s or child’s health. Even though we’re experiencing a unique situation, it’s important to remember that GP services, pharmacies, NHS 111, out-of-hours services and emergency departments are all still available to patients.

Although the Covid-19 pandemic means that patients are asked to contact their surgery online or by phone rather than go in person, doctors are still able to see patients via video conferencing or telephone consultation. Doctors and nurses can also still see and examine patients in person if this is necessary. This may or may not be at your regular practice because, working together, surgeries in Lewisham have made arrangements to try and ensure that they assess people with symptoms of COVID-19 separately from other patients.

All Lewisham residents are encouraged to download the free ASK NHS GP app to any mobile device. The app features an interactive symptom checker which helps you find the right healthcare at the right time, whether that’s NHS111, your GP appointment or accident and emergency, it also provides great advice on how to stay well and self-care. For more information, go to www.onehealthlewisham.co.uk/asknhsgp

This is particularly important for adults and children who are living with long-term conditions who may require repeat medication and a review by a practice, nurse GP or pharmacist. Any routine annual checks still can be arranged, for example, to check blood pressure.

Found out more about online and video consultations here.

Creative activities to do at home

Lewisham Education Arts Network (LEAN) have produced a fantastic resource booklet of creative resources “Let’s Create at Home”, listing a wide selection of resources and arts activities for children, young people and their families.
From visual arts, craft, theatre, dance and much more, there’s something in here to inspire everyone. Download the booklet here for inspiration and ideas.

Coronavirus workout

Telegraph Hill Centre have produced the attached booklet. With support and advice in relation to healthy eating, coping with stress, sanity saving tips, mindfulness, greiving, fitness, feldenkrais, massage, pilates, breathing and survival, all from the providers of usual services within the Telegraph Hill Centre, this helps us to think about how to look after ourselves at this difficult time. Click here to download.

What’s happening at The Somerville during lockdown?

“The Somerville are dedicated to providing support for users and community members throughout this time and are continuing to engage people remotely. We are keeping in contact with users via one-to-one phone sessions as well as engaging in bigger groups via Whatsapp and HouseParty. We are also holding competitions for all ages, sports challenges and workouts, storytimes for the younger users, art tutorials and much more! The staff are sharing their lockdown tips as well as what they have been up to over the last few weeks and fun TikTok videos. Follow our instagram @the_somerville to get involved!”

Some useful links they have shared in their most recent newsletter:
Young People:
www.kooth.com – free, safe and anonymous online counselling for young people. Counsellors available until 10pm every day. 
www.themix.org.uk /0808 8080 4994 – Online guide to life for 16-25 year-olds in the UK. Emotional support is available 24 hours a day. On the website, you can chat about anything you like on their moderated discussion boards and live chat room. 
Adults
Mental Health Direct Crisis Line (24 hour) 0333 555 1000
National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247 
AgeUK – 0800 678 1602 / www.ageuk.org.uk

  • Home learning links:
  • BBC Learning http://www.bbc.co.uk/learning/coursesearch/ (overall curriculum)
  • BBC Bitesize https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize (overall curriculum)
  • Mystery Science https://mysteryscience.com/school-closure-planning (science)
  • The Kids Should See This https://thekidsshouldseethis.com/ (science)
  • Scratch https://scratch.mit.edu/ (programming)
  • Red Ted Art https://www.redtedart.com/ (arts and crafts)
  • Khan Academy www.khanacademy.org (maths and computing)
  • Blue Peter Badge Challengeshttps://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/joinin/about-blue-peter-badges
  • Future Learn https://www.futurelearn.com/ (variety of courses for all ages)

Community help and mutual aid

Urgent Plea – Supplies for our NHS
https://youtube.be/RmnfD6BFQE4
food, toiletries, toilet rolls etc need for NHS staff. All donations to 401 Lewisham High Street, London SE13 6NZ
Need some Help? Are you unable to leave or concerned about leaving your home? Do you need someone to run errands, do your shopping,
cook food or pick up a prescription? Or maybe you want to someone to talk to? Please text or ring 07395 371 571 if you want to help your
neighbours or go to the tinyurl.com/HatchamJoin to join the
organising WhatsApp group. HatchamMutualAid@gmail.com
New Cross Mutual Aid Centre at The Field, 385 Queens Road, SE4 5HD – 07857 024 435 – opening hours 12 – 2pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Email: newxmutualaid@riseup.net
Can provide weekly deliveries. Donations also wanted: non-perishable foods: tinned food, pasta, rice, dried foods; cleaning products: medical supplies: Paracetamol, inhalers;Baby products: nappies, wipes, baby formula.
If you are in need of assistance whether due to isolation or you are in need of supplies, please feel free to call or email and we will do our
best to help. Volunteers are also welcome. Call in or call us.
Feed the Hill – are offering food support for families in need call Victoria on 07462 574 516. For others there is a food box delivering service.
A box for 4 people is £25. Feed the Hill are also helping with basic grocery shopping and pharmacy pick-ups for anyone self-isolating, elderly or
housebound – call 07538 437 216. This group covers Telegraph Hill, Honor Oak, Hatcham and Kender.
If you live on Honor Oak Estate Sam Dias, Peabody Rep on the Honor Oak Tenants and Residence Association, is the contact for help and
support in the area her number is 07979 247776
Lewisham Local and Rushey Green Time bank are currently leading a Lewisham wide community response to helping those in need during
the coronavirus outbreak. Please visit their website for help in accessing food, keeping healthy, looking after your mental health, finding out about volunteering, support with benefits and services, and much more.
https://www.lewishamlocal.com/category/communityresponse/

Early Years Educators – This is is child minding and nanny support group
with relevant information, empathy and even humour whenever required. We share news, updates on legislation, ideas, issues and offer helping
hands, and giggles too. We share vacancies with parents permission.We are in our fifth year of supporting our great child caring key workers. Please
contact admin on 07926 958 940 to be part of this group.
Fresh Fruit and Veg – For people struggling to get fruit and veg in the shops, or for those currently in isolation, the New Covent Garden
are now providing home delivery boxes of fruit and veg so that this does not go to waste. See attached for more details: www.newcoventgarden.com
Assistance for local people
Please find attached links to the following areas of support for people facing financial difficulties on account of the COVID-19 crisis:
Self Employment and Universal Credit:
https://www.gv.uk/self-employment-and-universal-credit
Employment and Support Allowance:
https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance
Covid-19 Small business government grant: https://smallbusiness.
co.uk/how-do-i-get-the-goverment-3000-coronavirus-grant-2549866/

Coronavirus business interruption Loan:
https://smallbusiness.co.uk/how-do-i-apply-for-a-coronavirus-
business-interruption-loan-2549863/

Beautiful things are happening too.

Congratulations to everyone with a new baby or one or two on the way. Life goes on and lovely things happen every day. Jo, a local resident, gave birth on 17 March to a beautiful baby girl.
“Our daughter arrived three days before the lockdown. We were advised to self-isolate so have pulled up the drawbridge and have been trying to make the most of this special time – that newborn smell, intense love and the feeling of a newborn asleep on your chest. While family and friends have only so far met her through Facetime, we’ve been blown away by the support of friends and neighbours – virtually and physically.
Although the last fortnight has no doubt had its challenges, it’s also made us look around and really be grateful for what we do have – our little family are safe together, the kindness of friends, the arrival of
Spring and sunshine.”
Welcome to our world!
https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/local/3100906–Supportfor-
new-moms-in-Lewisham

Aim for a couple of treasured memories

It’s tough and it might well get tougher. Being cooped up with children of any age can be difficult enough. Young children seem to have endless energy and insatiable drives.

It seems being organised and having routines are fundamental to surviving this challenge, alongside, cutting ourselves some slack and getting and staying as chilled as we can under the circumstances. Like accepting the
things we can’t control and making the most of what we can.

Being at home with children and young people with Austistic Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder can be very challenging at the best of times. Right now it’s that little bit harder for all
concerned.
Teenagers generally think they’re invincible, they naturally need to break the rules, challenge authority and question the ‘sanity’ of the world. Teeenagers with ADHD and ASD are finding the current situation very
hard but don’t assume they can’t be engaged in things they might normally avoid or refuse to do.
I know a teenage boy with ADHD and Conduct Disorder who has baked cakes, played board games and completed several art projects, in others words, he’s done stuff he’s rarely, rarely done before. It’s no miracle and
it’s not continuous but maybe now is the time to seize an opportunity or two, maybe a couple of treasured memories can be created out of this crazy and anxious ridden time. Here are some useful web links and resources which may be able to offer some ideas.
http://www.shiftyourthinkingld.com/
https://youngminds.org.uk/
https://www.ukadhd.com/support-groups.htm
http://www.addiss.co.uk/
https://www.actionforaspergers.org/
https://www.childautism.org.uk/
https://www.autism.org.uk/

Welfare advice during Covid-19

170 Community Project – For welfare advice of all kinds call 020 7732 9716
‘Drop-in” service continues by phone every Monday.
Call them and they call you back.
Advice Line Lewisham– For benefits advice and support and much more
contact Advice Line Lewisham on other days call 0808 801 0366 or 07845 683 313
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/help-if-on-alow-
income/if-youre-struggling-with-living-costs
/
Emergency Funding: https://stepchange.org/debtinfo/emergency-funding.aspx
Lewisham Carers
Provide information, advice and support for unpaid carers in Lewisham. You can refer somebody you know might be struggling with the increased burden of being a carer in the time of Coronavirus by putting them in touch
with one of the four volunteers detailed below.
For Evelyn, New Cross, Telegraph Hill and Brockley contact
Cathy on 07391405580.
For Blackheath, Ladywell, Lewisham Central and Lee
Green
contact Ulalee on 07391405579
For Rushey Green, Catford South, Grove Park, Downham
and Whitefoot
contact Elizabeth on 07389100984
For Bellingham, Sydenham, Perryvale, Forest Hill and
Crofton Park
contact Paul on 07387100983
Rushey Green Time Bank is looking for some creative content to send to their members who are in self-isolation. They are looking for creative activities and resources that they can collate for their bulletins and possible digital resilience packs. Could you help? This could be a poem, craft activity template, writing and word games, sharing an inspirational quote, useful online resources, or whatever you think would be nice to receive digitally to know you are no alone during this challenging time. Please send
publish-ready content to: info@rgtb.org.uk

Safety advice for survivors of domestic violence

We know that COVID-19 will have serious impacts on the lives of women and children. Survivors are telling us that they are feeling unsafe with the prospect of being isolated in the house with their perpetrator. We want to reassure survivors and local specialist services that we are here for you and we will be doing everything we can to support you during this challenging
time.
Try and keep a mobile phone with you at all times if possible. The police are a key service when in immediate danger. Do not be afraid to call 999 in an
emergency.
Silent Solutions.
Familiarise yourself with The Silent Solution system. This is a system for victims of domestic abuse who might be afraid of further danger and escalation of harm if they are overheard when calling 999 in an
emergency. When somebody calls 999, an operator will ask which emergency service is required. If the caller is unable to audibly signal to the operator, the call will be forwarded to an operating system.
If 55 is pressed by the caller, the system will detect this. The operator will then transfer the call to the relevant police force as an emergency.
National helplines, email, text and live chat support services, and local specialist services, are currently open for business as usual, although their delivery is likely to have to adapt over the coming weeks.