This strategic priority has been the most successful in terms of sustainability and achievements. Despite the pandemic we continued to develop our work in providing funding and activities which reduce isolation and loneliness experienced by older people in our area.
- We worked with Community Champions and Westminster City Council to part fund walking football which now has three teams and is still growing.
- Pimlico Free Radio was set to start end of March 2020 but resulted in a delay due to COVID. There was anticipation that it would go live in October, but then we had further restrictions of Tier’s implemented and another lockdown which has led to a much later start.
- In addition, we grant funded chair exercise, gardening, healthy eating, a food bank and art and craft workshops.
- Yoga started in February 2020 with funding for the first 12 weeks and was schedule to become sustainable through charging residents for the sessions.
- We worked closely with Open Age and other organisations to offer new activities and build on ones that already exist. We saw an increase in older people attending activities in the area and they had been vocal on what they feel is needed for their health and wellbeing. In addition our work with the new Residents Associations helped us to identify isolated and lonely people and encourage them to attend activities being offered and sign post them to other agencies.
We funded Knit and Natter which was hosted by Open Age’s South Westminster project. The Phone Group was put in place during the Covid Pandemic. The group was started to try and engage some of our more vulnerable members who did not have means to access the internet. Isolated and unable to attend their favourite group activity (sewing and crafts), the group found it useful to discuss all different topics of crafts as well has just general chit chat about their life during lock down. The phone group also worked as positive group encouragement for members to share some of their worries regarding life during the pandemic, but also some of their optimism going forward into 2021. The main topic of conversation during the Knit and Natter phone session was actually just friends catching up with each other, and also talks about preparing some homemade items while isolating in order to hold a little sale back at St Margaret’s to help raise funds for Open Age after lockdown. The phone group participants have made a number of plans, with some of them hard at work at home on their homemade goods.
In April 2021, the Walking Football began again!
Encouragement Through the Arts and Talking (ETAT) delivered 52 food/ festive hampers to residents who were isolated and lonely. This project brought huge joy to the most vulnerable people in our community. The hampers were made up of food which would be seen as a luxury, such as chocolates, cakes, fruit and a small bottle of wine or juice. Jane Buttigieg set a time and date for people to open the drink and raise a glass to everyone in the group, to try and make them feel that they are part of a wider community, and not on their own.
Over 500 older people directly benefited from funding by engaging in the different projects
More than 100 Isolated residents reached
Rosemary (63), said “Love this little weekly catch up – it’s great to hear from people in the outside world. Since this lockdown I have been feeling extremely isolated, I live on my own with no family nearby. The phone group call in thingy was suggested to me by Hannah and now both me and my friend Liz try to ring in each week. It is a bit of sunshine, the chat is hilarious, and everyone is in high spirits. Just what is needed at this time.”Open Age’s South Westminster project
'Can't tell you enough how this walking football has brought us back to life. To sum up: "I feel like I've been dug up, given a ball and told you can live again. Everyone that attends feels similar to myself; the highlight of our week is the Thursday session". (Post-lockdown, April 2021)The Pimlico Burgundians Walking Football Club