Reachout - Autumn 2017

Page 1



AU T UMN 2017




CLUED UP y10, 11

Love is in the air

Garden-fresh food

Holidays and parties Babies and first aid


editorial MERGER WITH PEABODY GOING WELL Welcome to this edition of Reachout magazine, bringing you the latest news from London, Essex and the south east. What a lot has happened in the last few months! I can see from the many articles sent in that lots of you have got involved with events, trips and projects in your community and with your neighbours. I hope that reading these stories inspires you to get involved or organise something near you. Our merger with Peabody is progressing and we’ll be sure to let you know of any developments when they happen. Some of you may have concerns about these changes but rest assured that Peabody is very like us and the new organisation we have formed is committed to all the work we do in care and support. The main thing to remember is that the support you get won’t change. You will still get the same service provided in the same way by the same staff. But, if you do have any questions, please speak to your support worker. MOIRA GRIFFITHS, GROUP CARE AND SUPPORT DIRECTOR


EDITORIAL PANEL ❉ Allan Winstanley ❉ Andrew Gwint ❉ Lynne Bannister ❉ Bernie Forshaw ❉ Louise Brindley


Move over World Cup and make way for East London versus South. Deniece Cox reports on a thrilling match at Hackney’s Mabley Green pitch on a hot July day, starring players plucked from our mental health services

General enquiries q01268 498 500 Visiting support services Thurrock, Basildon, Castle Point, Rochford, and Rayleigh q0800 288 8883 Southend q01702 445 870 Havering q01708 776 770 LONDON REGION General enquiries q020 7089 1000 Visiting support services Hackney, Islington q020 7241 7940 Kensington & Chelsea q020 7351 2522 SOUTH REGION General enquiries q01273 468 010




Stay well this winter is a campaign by NHS England and Public Health England to keep you safe from illness this winter. You’ll find little bits of advice on looking after yourself throughout this issue of Reachout.

The Family Mosaic Community Foundation sets aside money each year to pay for projects that will help our customers. Turn to page 11 to find out what it might pay for and who to contact if you have a good idea for a project. Many of the activities reported in this issue of Reachout were very kindly paid for by the foundation.





Dotted throughout this edition of Reachout, you will find interesting titbits about Christmas - some religious, some not - that have been written by editorial panel member Allan Winstanley.


After losing the toss, East London chose to kick off and dominated the first half.

Disciplined game

But South London’s back four and mid-fielders stayed wellorganised, with goalkeeper Michael producing some fine saves until a superb kick from East London’s Anton sent the ball straight to the corner of the net. By half-time it was 1-nil for East London. South London bolstered their attack after the break, bringing Albert into their team. Albert immediately equalised but East London scored again. Things then got a bit heated. East London took advantage of South London’s David falling to take a 3-1 lead. South London said contact had brought their player down. But referee Alex ruled in favour of East London. After a break, Becki took over as referee. Andrew turned in a

The players

low cross to the centre from Kevin, scoring again for East. Three more goals from East took the score to 7-1 before the final whistle blew. Both teams then headed to Hackney Marshes Rooftop Café for a barbecue. ‘Playing football reminds me of my childhood days, how competitive I was,’ said Bruce. ‘I should have kept the trophy and showed it to my mum.’ ‘The team that won deserved to win,’ said Folarin. ‘They played really well.’ ‘With a bit more training South will be able to avenge their defeat by East! Bring on the re-match,’ said support assistant Nick West. Support worker David Attridge, who played with East London, said: ‘East London were really organised. It was nice to see South London proudly wearing their medals the next day.’

South London: customers of our mental health services in Lewisham and Lambeth, Southwark learning disability service East London: customers of our mental health services at Marsh Hill, Bethune Road, Mount Pleasant and Hackney floating support plus one of our Prout Road support workers.

sport JUST ONE MATCH WITH FAN BILL AND SUPPORT WORKER ELLIE’S A CONVERT West Ham season ticket holder Bill has found an unlikely convert to his passion for the game in Ellie, who visits Bill at home to give him support. Bill asked Ellie to go with him to a home game and she agreed, though warned she wasn’t a fan. But by the game’s end, she was hooked.

Hammers fan Bill on the terraces

Regular seat

Bill gets the same seat at every match in West Ham’s new stadium, by the tunnel so he can see the players walk in. It also means he’s with fans he’s known for over 14 years. And as Ellie found out, there’s a real buzz, even though West Ham lost 3-2. ‘They didn’t win but who cares? I had a great time,’ said Bill. ‘I’d never been to a match before,’ said Ellie, ‘but I had a great time with Bill.’






Sue Pole has a growing group of tiny friends. She gives each one a name and a backstory. They’ve also helped her recover from a stroke Sue gets care from us at Hogshill Gardens in Crawley, where she has lived since 2016. After a stroke earlier that year, Sue had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Before moving to Hogshill she spent five months in hospital. At first Sue couldn’t even get

Love was in the air in Elephant & Castle this August, and even the rain didn’t dampen spirits Dagmar Helbig and Michael Eggleton, who both use our floating support, had a lovely wedding at Southwark registry office in August. ‘I didn’t get to see her all day until she walked into the room,’ said Michael after the wedding. ‘It gave me a big shock seeing her dress and when she put the ring on my finger.’ ‘The best part of preparing for the wedding was shopping,’ said Dagmar. ‘But I also really liked how Michael proposed.

It was a surprise. And I like getting used to my new surname.’ After tying the knot, Dagmar and Michael held a party at their Family Mosaic flat, joined by staff and other customers of our south London LD floating support service and our staff. Dagmar and Michael tell us they are very grateful to keyworker Nick West, who helped them plan the big day, and to everyone else who took part in their wedding day.

Friends and staff and celebrate with Michael and Dagmar

Christmas is celebrated on 25 December because it was once the date of the Roman Saturnalia. Christians took over the date. The Saturnalia celebrated Saturn. That god gave his name to the ringed planet and our Saturdays.

out of bed. She had also lost use of her right side – an awful blow for a seamstress who used to love making intricate gowns for weddings. Worried that she would never sew again, Sue was finding it hard to get motivated until carer Wendy invited her to a

Official: signing the register

It was a perfect day and we’ve been on our honeymoon in Portsmouth and had a great time. Really good food and we went up the tower.

Dainty: Some of Sue’s wedding mice are modelled on real people, with the vicar based on Sue’s grandfather

Dagmar & Michael

craft group she was running. Sue wasn’t sure but Wendy persisted and eventually Sue went along. It turned out to have an unexpected benefit as very slowly Sue began to use her right hand again. Sue started by making a little mouse out of fabric: that was Father Christmas. He took several weeks to complete but over the next eight months Sue worked every day on her mice.

Creativity returned

She has now made 31 mice and a beautiful wedding scene with a church, guests, food and even a photographer. ‘I can sew again, I feel mentally good, I can create,’ Sue says. ‘It’s something I’d done all my life and it’s meant so much to me.’ She admits she’d struggled after leaving hospital. ‘People like Wendy who have looked after me have been an inspiration. Wendy encourages me all the time and could tell I’d get better by carrying on.’ Sue’s next project will be a nativity scene for Christmas. Judging by her wedding scene it’ll be a stunner!


The last time Paul Stevens went on holiday, he had to use a wheelchair on long walks. Now he’s covering long distances on his own

If you have a health condition you’ve lived with for a long time, like diabetes, heart or kidney disease, or you have had a stroke, then cold weather and winter illnesses like flu, can make it far worse. Cold weather is also harmful if you are 65 or older. It weakens your immune system, makes your blood thicker and lowers your body temperature, putting you at risk of higher blood pressure, a heart attack, stroke, or chest infections. It is important to keep warm. At the first sign of a cough or a cold get help from your pharmacist.

The secret to his new skill is a pedometer. Paul was given the gadget, which counts each step he takes, and he sets out every day to walk more steps than he did the day before. On his first day he even asked staff to check his step count after going to the toilet! ‘I feel over the moon when I do my steps,’ Paul said. ‘I’m


going to go over and over and over my target!’ After a few months Paul went out walking with some of our managers and walked a long distance with ease. Paul’s holiday support plan says he can’t walk long distances. Now Paul says he no longer needs a wheelchair and wants his plan updated.



grub’s up CURRYING FAVOUR Cooking your own curry has to rate high on a list of vital skills and a huge turnout for a curry cooking day proves that lots of our Pathways residents certainly think so Pathways had gone through a fairly rough spell and residents were keeping to themselves. Bu the cooking lesson brought everyone together, chatting and laughing as they cooked.

Volunteer chef

Volunteer Michael Scullion from our STEPS service in Hastings was chef in charge and got everyone busy helping him to prepare the curry. George and Austen were our sous chefs. They did a great job of prepping veg, asked lots of smart questions, and even washed up as we went along. Tracie took over from George and lots of other residents popped in. Luckily the kitchen is huge because seven people were in it at one point. The aroma wafting through the house was amazing and

staff and residents all tucked in when it was cooked. ‘It was gorgeous,’ said George. ‘I give it nine out of 10. Mike was really nice and got me peeling onions and garlic.’ ‘It was amazing. I’d definitely cook curry again,’ said Austen. Even G approved. ‘It smelt really nice, it looked really nice, it even tasted really nice. If I was used to spicy food it would have been banging.’ ‘I’d heard a lot about the work Pathways does with young people who have suffered the trauma of a mental health episode,’ said Mike. ‘I had a lovely time and thank you for making me feel so welcome.’ Our residents really enjoyed the day. Thank you to Mike for volunteering and making this possible.

Loved it. The day was brilliant. Tracie

I give it nine out of 10. George


AVALON’S VEGGIE HARVEST Customers at Avalon House in Chadwell St Mary have reaped a crop of vegetables that they grew from seed in their own back garden this year

Over the past two years I have worked on Princess Christian’s farm in Hildenborough, near Tonbridge. I now go there on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Sometimes I work in the shop, serving customers and cleaning and tidying. In the kitchen I make cheese and egg toasties for the first tea break. The money paid for these goes to various charities. Sometimes I make a bigger meal for lunch with my group.

Michael pleased with the tomato harvest

The tasty harvest of home-grown vegetables is also being served up to them at their meals. Earlier in the year staff went with our gardening group to the garden centre to buy soil and seeds. Staff gave advice on caring for their crops and our group watered them carefully every evening. ‘It has been an absolute pleasure watching them grow their own vegetables,’ said support worker Cecilia Odebode. ‘For them to be excited about what they have grown and to taste the end product has been fantastic.’ This year’s crop were runner beans, tomatoes and potatoes. The plan is to grow different vegetables next year.

Barbara by the tomato plants

Allan at work in the farm shop, helping raise money for charity

Animal handling

Sometimes I work in the animal management unit, with small animals like ferrets, jerboas, rabbits, gerbils, and rats. There are also larger animals like alpacas, ponies, pigs, sheep, and yaks. I collect eggs from the freerange barns. They are graded for size and packed in boxes. Sometimes I go to an orchard in Hadlow to pick apples or to farmers’ markets. We sometimes have visitors. Some came from a kynophobia charity to talk to people who fear dogs. Another visitor was paralympian Simon Brown. We also had two nurses speak about washing our hands.


I enjoy doing this with my friend Barry. Alfie, Clacton on Sea, pictured with Barry

Lewis with some of the potatoes

HOMEMADE CAKES A BIG HIT AT ROWAN TUCKSHOP Two keen bakers in Colchester have added a nice but naughty touch to Rowan’s healthy tuckshop service.

Popular service

The tuckshop service started a year ago at Rowan House and is popular with other Family Mosaic customers living close by, like Barry and Alfie. The pair now run the tuckshop trolley on Thursdays and had asked us if they could sell their own cakes. Everything has been done by the book. Support workers Janet Levey and Marc Gregory

help them buy ingredients for the cakes and, together, they have bought some cakemaking books. Barry and Alfie also went on a food hygiene course and have the certificate to prove it. ‘They love baking and telling everyone which cakes they’ve baked,’ said Marc. ‘They were a bit nervous at first but soon came out of their shells.’ ‘I like doing the tuckshop and enjoy doing this with my friend Barry,’ said Alfie. Barry and Alfie are saving up money from their cake sales for this year’s Christmas party.


thumbs up



Hornsey Lane held a garden party in its own garden in early August. Manager Corinna Weber-Gray says the party is now almost a tradition, after being held yearly for 15 years

Five of our Hackney floating support customers took a break from their daily routines to travel north to the seaside town of Blackpool in August After checking in at the hotel, Debbie, Anita, Israel, Joanna and Trevor set off for the central pier for lots of fun rides and some lovely souvenirs.

Early start

The rest of the day was spent sightseeing then, after a great dinner, it was back to the hotel for an early start the next day. On day two the group visited Madam Tussauds and the Blackpool sea life aquarium and had lunch by the seaside. Day three was the scariest. After visiting the circus, they went up Blackpool Tower. ‘Everyone was a bit scared as the tower was really tall,’ said support worker Daiva Domeikaite-Amusan. ‘It had a glass floor and a massive window on one side.

‘Only three of the seven of us were brave enough to step on the glass and look 100 metres down. It was a breath-taking view but gave us goosebumps.’ ‘It was one of the best holidays ever,’ said Debbie later. ‘When can we come back?’ ‘I really like the sea, weather and fresh air,’ Israel said. Support workers Clair Breton and Daiva went with our group. ‘None of them wanted to come back to London,’ said Clair. ‘Sums it all up I think!’

arium ng in the aqu Sea life: posi

Don’t look down: Daiva and Israel put their boldest foot forward up Blackpool Tower

It was wonderful. Can we go on holidays like this more often and stay longer? Anita & Joanna

om Tower Ballro Enjoying the

STAY WELL THIS WINTER Boxing Day does not celebrate the pugilistic sport practised by Nicola Adams and Amir Khan. It remembers the tradition of giving boxes of money to tradesmen, as 26 December was once a normal working day.


Flu can be very dangerous if you are over 65, pregnant, have a long-term health condition or have had a stroke. If you are pregnant, flu could make you and your baby seriously ill. Getting vaccinated is the safest protection. Ask your GP, pharmacist or midwife about the jab. It’s free because you need it, no matter how fit you feel. The flu vaccine for children aged 2 to 8 years old is a quick nasal spray, available from your GP if your children are 3 or younger. School children will get their nasal spray through their school. Check if you qualify for the free flu vaccine at

Guests of honour at the party were, of course, the Hornsey Lane residents and two visiting guests from Bethune Road.

Room for everyone

Corinna said: ‘We invite lots of family and friends of our residents, people from other agencies that help their wellbeing and head office staff, and we always get a great turnout. ‘We also had music, played by Music for People. This year, our residents asked for Sounds of the Sixties and had a great time singing along to Motown hits and the Neil Diamond song ‘I’m a Believer’. ‘It was great to see everyone up and dancing all afternoon, including the visiting children.’ ‘It was very exciting,’ said resident Bridget O’Leary. ‘I enjoyed the music and dancing. I love all the music from the 60s and knew all the songs the band played by heart. ‘The food was fabulous – barbecued chicken and all the salads staff prepared in the morning.’ Next year’s party is already in the planning. ‘We’ll be playing Abba songs,’ said Bridget. ‘I know all the words to their songs as well!’ Hornsey Lane is a residential care home for older people with enduring mental health problems. The party was funded from the budget for residents’ rehabilitation.

Happy times: enjoying the party

There was a secret surprise in store for Ernalee Nelson, who has notched up 15 years non-stop service at Hornsey Lane. Regina Evans and Cynthia Ricketts, both long-term residents, presented Ernalee with flowers, chocolate and other gifts.


clued up

your projects

ROSIER OUTLOOK FOR YOUNG FAMILY Young parents Rosie and Connor wanted a home closer to their families in Brighton. And at 21, Rosie reckoned she didn’t need support. But their only option was Gocher Court, where support is part of the package. So how did they get on? Fast learner: Rosie with support worker Liza Hawkes

Being a parent is rarely easy. For a pair of young, first-time parents in a damp, infested flat a long way from family and friends it was even harder.

Far from home

Rosie, now 22, her partner Connor and their son Rio were living in emergency housing in Eastbourne. It was mouldy, the front door didn’t lock and the windows leaked. Rosie fretted over Rio’s poor health and Connor got a mould allergy. So when they were offered a place at Brighton’s Gocher Court, they said yes, even though Rosie reckoned she didn’t need the support. Gocher Court gives young families support and a safe place to live for up to two years. So how did Rosie find it?

‘Amazing,’ she says. ‘The staff give much more than they need to. It changes your point of view. I thought I’d be left to get on with it but the staff have been fantastic, especially my keyworker Jackie. ’

Learning curve

Adds Rosie: ‘I used to be really terrible with money. Now I budget carefully.’ She’s also working full time as a carer and hopes to qualify as a nurse in 2020. Connor is a stay-at-home dad. Despite working shifts, Rosie is always home to give Rio his evening meal and put him to bed. They’re now also ready to move on to their new home. ‘The last place really put a strain on our relationship and Rio was always ill,’ Rosie says. ‘Not every one gets this opportunity. If you do, grab it!’ Jacqueline Goldup, Rosie’s support worker, said: ‘Rosie’s progress has been amazing. I’m pleased that she found our support useful but she has done all the hard work.’

BE IN CONTROL: BABY FIRST AID COURSE FOR TEENAGE MUMS Being in charge of a tiny baby can be very scary. If they’re crying, how do you know if something is seriously wrong? What should you do if they have an accident?

LATEST ADVICE Health experts make new discoveries daily so yesterday’s remedy can quickly go out of date. One young mum on our course found that advice she’d been given by her own mum, a nurse, just eight months ago was now out of date. This is why we run the courses a lot so all our young parents get a chance to regularly update their baby first aid skills.

Better prepared

Practising life-saving on fake babies

COURSE TOPICS The courses, run by nurses and first-aid specialists in child health, cover: l l l l

They got advice on how to prevent an accident, spot signs of a serious illness in your baby and much more. They also got to practise life-saving skills on realistic fake babies. They asked lots of smart questions during the course and all say they learnt a lot.

We can help if you want support for a project that would run for more than four weeks, get people volunteering and cost £500 to £5000. These are some we’ve paid for lately:

£2200 to help

£700 to help

It pays for: activities to help them do things they find hard, like mixing with people and meeting strangers, including cooking classes, therapy dog walks, ‘themed’ dinner parties, learning DIY skills, and getting out and about.

It pays for: outdoor furniture, outdoor activities and materials, and making outside space easy to move around.

£1700 to help

It pays for: running the group, gardening tools and materials and space to socialise.

people we support in Bexhill who have poor mental health

Four teenage mums who went on our baby first aid course are now better prepared. On their course they learnt how to stop your baby choking and what to do if the baby stops breathing or its heart stops beating. Little helpers: all the mums had their own babies with them but said they’d have learnt more without the distraction


l l l l l l l l

how to deal with choking in a baby, child or adult the recovery position basic life support (CPR) on babies, children and adults preventing accidents with young children burns and scalds poisoning ingestion foreign objects head injuries convulsions and fits recognising meningitis safety in the home and garden.

young parents we support in two Brighton housing schemes

It pays for: community building activities like arts and crafts, meetings and training classes.

£970 to help

up to 45 older people who use our STEPS outreach in Hastings

It pays for: regular coffee mornings and tea dances.

What’s in a name? All these projects are funded by our community development team. We used to call them the social inclusion team. They still support and pay for your projects but now only those that will have a long life, instead of helping with your one-off events.

people getting extra care at Lanehurst Gardens in Crawley

£1,372 to help

volunteers who look after an allotment plot in Southampton

£786 to help

people getting extra care at Arthur Bliss House in Linfield

It pays for: things to build a sense of community, like raised veg and flower beds for gardening, space for outside activities, and making a safe, comfortable place to relax. If you have an idea for a long-life project you think we could help you with, please call your local community development worker: South region: Susan Embury q07507 494 351 Essex: Siobhan Burt q07944 033 380 North London: Natasha Bested q07507 761 182 South London: Becki PartridgeHayes q07507 647 610


STAY WELL THIS WINTER By tradition, the three wise men are called Gasper, Melchior, and Balthazar. As well as being a town in Palestine, Bethlehem is also a village in Wales.

❉ Pick up any medication your GP prescribes for you before things close for Christmas and New Year, as many GPs and pharmacies will be closed over the holidays. ❉ Keep warm, so heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F), if you can. You might prefer to keep the room you spend most time sitting in a little warmer. ❉ Make sure you get your flu jab ❉ If you need help when your GP surgery or pharmacy is closed, call NHS 111 or visit Visit for more advice.



Some slippery new residents at Prescott House in Burgess Hill have been given a warm welcome The decor in shared parts of the building has been given a sumptuous makeover. But, said the residents, the lounge still needed a fish tank to add a therapeutic finishing touch. ‘We now have a tank and have gradually introduced the tropical fish to their new home,’ said coordinator Gillian Howard. Among the new residents are neon tetra, guppies and a catfish called George. ‘It brings a comfortable and soothing feel to the lounge,’ said resident Bob Butterworth.

DRAWING UP PLANS FOR CUSTOMERS OF HAVERING SERVICE Customers of our floating support in Havering planned some outings while enjoying a garden party at Harold Wood Hall in September. Guests tucked into hot dogs, sandwiches, potato salad and homemade cake as they talked about holding more events. High on their list are trips to Christmas markets, coffee mornings and different types of club. We look forward to telling you about them next year.

‘I find them interesting and relaxing to watch,’ said Bob’s neighbour John Smith. ‘We have had nothing but positive feedback from the residents,’ said carer Becci Hall.

To encourage residents to spend more time mixing, the shared parts of Prescott House have been given a lovely new look. Residents picked the new colour scheme of teals, golds and silvers. There’s a sunny activity space and each corridor now has its own colour to make it easier to find your way around.

FISHERMAN’S TALE I’m Michael Wells and I live at Gainsborough Road. I love to fish, and talk about it a lot, but miss it when the weather isn’t good and it is raining.

Day by the lake

The sun was shining in June so Kerrie, my support worker, and I planned a trip to Weeley. I prepared a packed lunch and once we were there, found a spot I liked. I set up my rod by myself and put the line into the lake. While waiting, I spoke to the other people fishing.

I spent about 3½ hours fishing, but had no luck although I did catch a twig, which made me and Kerrie laugh. Kerrie untangled it for me and I started fishing again. It was getting late so I started to reel in my line and as I did I noticed some pulling. FINALLY I caught a fish, which I was very happy about. Kerrie took some pictures of me fishing and holding the fish. I really enjoyed my day and look forward to going fishing with Kerrie again.

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