The artwork in our Apple Tree Cafe garden is called 'Golden Flight'. It was designed and produced by David Neita, with input from local adults and children, as a tribute to the Windrush generation.
It was unveiled at our Mixtape Family Festival on 29th June 2019.
Photo credit Nico Creates.
Poetry Lawyer, David Nieta, opening the festival, thanking the Windrush generation for their extraordinary contribution.
Between the 15th and 21st June the world celebrates Men’s Health Week. This is a time to bring awareness to health issues that affect men disproportionately and focuses on getting men to become aware of problems they may have or could develop, and gain the courage to do something about it.
Goldsmiths Community Centre is proud to host the Downham Men’s Group and have continued to work with them, in a safe socially distanced way, during the lockdown. This guest post is from Trevor Pybus, the project coordinator.
Pictured, Trevor Pybus, delivering tomatoes to Goldsmiths Community Centre
For the last few months social interaction has been limited for us all. Partaking in conversations and meeting people have been very limited. As an individual and someone who is used to chatting I know that this new norm is not good for my well-being. My physical health has also been impacted as I have not been able to deliver the walking football session.
Mentally, I am really nervous about the short and long term impact of the lockdown on the Downham Community, especially men. The Blue Ribbon Foundation will be trying to build a virtual community to try and help as I know that, going forward, there will be a greater need for programmes that support and engage us.
Before the pandemic male mental health has become a key concern for professionals, policy makers and younger members of the Royal Family. Men are much less likely to be diagnosed and treated for mental health problems but 75% of suicides are male. 1 in 4 women get treated for depression whilst only 1 in 10 men get help. Our goal is to create a place where men feel at home and can follow many differing practical interests which are good for their mental and physical well-being.
Two of the members of the Downham Men's Group, enjoying socially distanced exercise while improving the grounds of the centre.
Since May a handful of Downham Men have been meeting at Goldsmiths Community Centre, taking socially distanced exercise, while trying to clear the gardens and a space within the centre for a ‘shed’ type project. Before we could safely work within the space we produced a risk assessment. This is really important for how we deal with looking after ourselves and avoiding the risk of spreading COVID 19. But it does mean that the sessions are restricted to a team that is small enough for social distancing to happen. For the first couple of weeks we met on Mondays & Fridays, and hopefully we will continue this rota.
The first task we focused on was the clearing of the garden spaces, making sure that we put the results of our clear up into plies so that the clear up as environmental as possible. We are trying to ensure that anything that can be reused, recycled or is compostable is not put into landfill.
It took a couple of sessions before we could empty out the ‘shed’. However, clearing the garden allowed us together to have a conversation about the space and importantly how everybody could use it. Currently the space has no electricity, no heat with some quite novel walls. Good questions are raised. How do we deliver it? What should go in it? How long before we grow out of it? Who is it for? How do we make it inclusive? How quickly can we increase the sessions? Where do we get the funding from? Who delivers the internal works? What timescales are we looking at?
We have also started to clear the overgrown allotment site, which hopefully can be reinstated and used to provide fresh fruit and vegetables for the Apple Tree Café .
We have tidied up the public areas, removing weeds and rubbish. In spite of our efforts to be green the clearing has still resulted in filling three skips. The grounds are now starting to show the benefits of our work.
There are so many possible opportunities where the skills of the community can be used in a positive way. There is play equipment, and toys, that require love and care to restore them so children can enjoy them, there is an overgrown former Forest School that could be reimagined.
If you want to join us, please contact
Facebook: Downham Men’s Group
Mobile: 07821 292317
We are starting a new volunteer project called Give a Song. The idea is to use the power of music to bring a little happiness to those shielding or otherwise socially isolated at this difficult time. We’re looking for local musicians who would be interested in donating their time to perform a few songs from a safe distance outside their houses.
Here are Chloe and Martin from Peachy Beat getting the project started.
All acoustic instruments and genres welcome. DBS checks desired but not essential. Please drop us an email if your are interested.
Pilot quilt made by Liz, our Vice Chair and "modelled" by Keith, one of our longstanding centre volunteers.
Coming soon - an exciting new project making "fiddle quilts" for people with Dementia
Sadly, we've had to press pause on the roll out of this project due to the Coronavirus crisis. However, we are delighted to announce that we have received funding from Lewisham Council's Neighbourhood Community Development Partnership to take it forward.
Fiddle quilts are great for people with dementia and we will using up materials that have been donated to the Apple Tree Shop as well as training local volunteers in sewing and crafting skills.
We are working with local partners including All4Mind, Ageing Well in Lewisham and the Positive Ageing Council to promote awareness of these quilts that can help many people living with dementia.
The idea of the project has really taken off and the idea of reusing old things rather than buying new has already taken on a new life of its own, with local people donating old sewing machines as well as materials that we can use to make the quilts.
Watch this space for more information will follow soon.
Handcrank sewing machine, made in the Clydebank Singer Factory in 1897, kindly donated to the project by Des.
With Lewisham to become the London Borough of Culture in 2022, it is good to know that our local community is brimming with talent. Meet Robert, one of the Healthy Walk leaders, one of the local people who takes a group to Forster Memorial Park on Tuesday mornings. Robert is a keen music producer. You can listen to his soundcloud here.
Robert tells us why he likes being part of our Healthy Walking Group.
"I like being part of the group because it is good for my mental health and good for my physical health."
The Tuesday morning Healthy Walk to Forster Memorial Park leaves from Goldsmiths Community Centre at 10.30 am and returns to the Apple Tree Cafe for a snack and a chat. It is part of the Lewisham Healthy Walks programme, overseen by Greenwich Cooperative Development Agency (GCDA) and will resume as soon as it is safe to do so. If you are interested in joining contact the Community Development Worker for more information.
#health #music #culture #community
Posts by the Goldsmiths Community Development Worker, updating on activity in the centre and local communities.