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Linking community ventures with council staff in Southwark

Recently Community Catalysts organised and facilitated 2 community connect events in Southwark.  We wanted to give community enterprises and ventures an opportunity to raise awareness of their work with Council social workers and other adult social care staff.  We based ourselves at Queens Road, the base of Southwark Council’s Adult Social Care Department in a place where we could engage people coming in and out of the building. 12 community enterprises and ventures got involved each offering different opportunities and supports to people with learning and or mental  health difficulties or long term health conditions and older or disabled people in Southwark.

Ron Bell of Sporting Recovery with Alice Khursandi

Ron Bell of Sporting Recovery with Alice Khursandi

Alice Khursandi who works as a project manager in Adult Social Care at Southwark Council partnered with Community Catalysts to organise the events.

Ron Bell from community enterprise Sporting Recovery showcased his organisation at the first event. Ron feels that his Sporting Recovery Wellness Centre has a great role to play in keeping people mentally well and connecting them to non-medical sources of support. He was keen to use the event to tell health and social care staff about his venture as entry into his programmes is by referrals from them and other professionals.

Stuart Allen, Helen Raphael and Ali Kavani

Lindsay Gill of Integrated Therapies, Betty Efemini from Creative Crafts, Catriona Finlayson of Stepping Stones  and Carol Ossai-Nwosu who runs Sickle Cell and Young Stroke Survivors Services also showcased at the event.

‘It  was good opportunity to speak informally to people who you have connections with and to see the potential we have for working together; it’s been a fruitful day’  Carol Ossai-Nwosu

Kam Dhenjan the Community Catalysts Project Co-ordinator in Southwark said:

‘These events were an excellent way to share with council staff who support people in the community information about the wide range of local services and activities supporting good health and well-being that are available in Southwark. Community enterprises were able to speak to staff involved in different parts of a person’s journey from initial contact to assessment and support’

Eno Itauma with one of the smiley stress relievers she handed out at the event

Eno Itauma with one of the smiley stress relievers she handed out at the event

6 more community enterprises attended the second community connect event including Helen Raphael of Habits, Brenda Wade of London Senior Socials , Nina Feldman of Involuntary Movements Eno Itauma from ‘I Choose to Smile’ and Natasha Veerswammy of Bonded Thru Cancer

The greatest help has been today and connecting us to the health and social care teams Natasha Veerswammy

Stuart Allen of social enterprise PHASES that supports people to learn DIY and construction skills said the event had been a great opportunity for him to start working with people from diverse backgrounds.

Brenda Wade, Nina Feldman, Helen Rapael, Alice Khursandi, Kam Dhenjan, Caroline and Natasha Veeraswarmy at the end of the second event

Brenda Wade, Nina Feldman, Helen Rapael, Alice Khursandi, Kam Dhenjan, Caroline and Natasha Veeraswarmy at the end of the second event

All the community enterprises who showcased at the event they had been a great opportunity to meet new people and share information about their community enterprises. Council staff also really valued the opportunity to gain information and connect with people running community ventures.

Thank you so much for coming, this information is really useful for us

In every area that Community Catalysts works we know that social workers and other public sector staff can struggle to make time to fully understand and engage the community opportunities in their area and to value what they offer. This often means that people who need care or support to live their lives can struggle to gain information options available to them. Community Connect events like the 2 we ran in Southwark give people on both sides of this equation the opportunity to meet, chat and learn from each other. And when people connect all sorts of positive things can happen.

Kam Dhenjan
Community Catalyst Southwark

Posted in: Community Enterprise; Southwark Community enterprise project

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