Would you like to be the voice of Life in Bromley for a week?!

Why are you letting people take over Life in Bromley for a week?

We think it’s a great idea to have a curated account and to let people share their lives!

So what is a curated account?

Quite simply it’s an account that can be shared between lots of people so that they can give their unique view on the place where they live and/or work.

The first curated account was @Sweden which was launched in December 2011 and it’s still going strong. They are all over the world and people really enjoy taking part in them.

If you want to see what a curated account looks like when it’s in action then click on some of these names! PeopleOfUk  Sweden  Cheltenham

Will I have to tweet all day if I decide to do a week?

Not at all – we quite understand that people have commitments that have to come first! It’s what you tweet that’s important not what time of the day it is!

What can I tweet about?

Tweet about your day, post some photos, tell us who you meet and just generally what goes on in your daily life!

Is there anything I shouldn’t be tweeting about?

Politics are a definite no! Strong opinions divide communities and we like to think we unite ours a little at least!

There shouldn’t be any hate tweets or swearing. We all swear a little at times but kids can see the timeline and we’re a family friendly account!

If you’re a business account then please don’t just use your week to promote your business. The odd cheeky plug is great but people want to know about YOU not what you do for a living!

Are there any tips you can give me?

There’s a few good ones –

  • don’t respond to hate tweets, tell us and we’ll deal with them appropriately;
  • if someone disagrees with you then accept it and move on, if you feel uncomfortable with what they’re saying then tell us so we can deal with them;
  • share photos, tell us where you’re going and what you’re doing;
  • if you feel you can’t complete your week then just let us know, it’s not compulsory;
  • this is a community account and anything you tweet about reflects upon the Bromley community – keep it safe and friendly for all!

Anything else I should know?

We’ll put your Twitter handle on the account bio so people know who you are and if they’d like to keep up with your tweets then they can follow you after your week has finished!

HAVE FUN!!

Fill in this form if you’d like to share your Life in Bromley and we’ll get back to you soon!

We Are Bromley Week – Compassion Project

If you’ve read our previous post then you have a good idea of what We Are Bromley Week is about and if you’d like to read more then you can visit the We Are Bromley Website.

We were keen to find out about the Compassion Project that is running this week at Bromley Drug & Alcohol Service (BDAS) which is based on London Road in Bromley.

Open Access RoomI talked to Michael Reid who was doing some decorating in an open access room and was preparing the hallway and stairs ready for decoration. He talked to me in a very enthusiastic and passionate way about the plans to cheer up as  many rooms as possible so that the people who use the service have decent surroundings in which to spend their time there.

While I was talking to Michael one of the people who use the service came in to help with the decorating which came across as a really positive thing. If people using BDAS want to invest their time to improve things for everybody who uses the building then it’s doing something very right! Hive of activity

I spoke at some length with Helene who is a clinical administrator at BDAS and she described how BDAS promotes healthy lifestyles during recovery and also from the after effects that occur through the recovery process.

Helene told me that BDAS looks after in excess of 150 people at any given time so there is a great need for the service and it really does need your support.

The most positive thing about working at BDAS for Helene is the people who are from all walks of life. The things that make her laugh are her fellow workers and the positive community events – last Christmas the people who use the service put on a production of A Christmas Carol in a lighthearted way to reflect the serious subject of recovery!

What upsets her is the stigma around addiction. There are myths abounding about alcoholics and addicts and these show on the faces of people when they realise that they’re talking to an alcoholic or addict. There is a general lack of trust and an assumption that they must be up to no good and there is a great deal of misunderstanding about what addiction actually is.

Put simply, it’s not about what you drink or use, it’s about where it is in your life and your attitude towards it. If drink or drugs are central to your life in whatever quantities then the chances are that you could have a problem.

Bromley Drug & Alcohol Service is a vital service in the community and the compassion project is much needed to help remove the stigma and presumptions that can surround addiction.

I was uplifted when I left to get on with my day and felt privileged to be allowed to see just how positive the approach of BDAS was.

Charity of the Week – We Are Bromley

use this in tweetsWe Are Bromley starts on Monday 22nd of August and ends on Sunday 28th August but what is it?

We Are Bromley week is seven days of celebrating community in Bromley and is co-ordinated by Citygate Food+ who are a charitable initiative that helps the most vulnerable people in Bromley.

Citygate Food+ provides fresh food for those in food poverty and practical assistance to those who are in most need.

intuBromley has named Citygate Food+ as their charity partner for 2016 and together they have launched the first We Are Bromley week.

The aims of We Are Bromley week are –

  • to celebrate local organisations, charities and community groups that already build communities in Bromley,
  • encourage both businesses and individuals across Bromley to identify themselves as part of the community and do their bit in supporting and growing it and,
  • by undertaking a “compassion project”, e.g., a regeneration of a community space or encouraging others to join in the project and do their own during the week.

We Are Bromley underlines the idea that everybody is part of the community and everybody can make a positive impact.

There are a number of events throughout the week and they demonstrate that it’s possible to be aware of and help your community and still have fun!

There is a “Ring A Bottle” stand (with some fab prizes!) at the community hub outside M&S all through We Are Bromley week and outside the Disney store on Saturdays until the end of August. Don’t forget – whether you win or not tell us what is good in Bromley in your eyes!

If you call into the Sainsbury’s on Beckenham High Street and declare “We are Bromley” to the people behind the Customer Services counter you may just be rewarded with a cookie or some chocolate coins! All you have to do to get the goodies is be one of the first 50 each day of We Are Bromley week to say the magic words! While you’re there please leave a message to say what you think is good about Bromley!

On Monday there is a fun event with a wide range of arts, crafts and sports activities for kids and parents of all ages at the Blenheim Children and Family Centre on Blenheim Road in Orpington. If it’s your first time at the centre please register when you arrive. Any questions about this? Sarahjane Hawkes-Rossi is the person to call – 01689 831193.

On Friday 26th August why not dress in style and get along to the jazz, cocktails and canapes evening? Let’s face it, that’s an unbeatable combination! If you can’t resist the temptation and are burning to go then click here and book your spot!

The biggest single project of the week is sprucing up the building that is used by Bromley Drug and Alcohol Service. The aim is to redecorate as many of the rooms as possible. Many people are working together to do this – people from church, NCS Bromley, people who have benefited from the Food Bank in the past and a volunteer pool from the people who us BDAS will also be helping.

YOUR COMMUNITY NEEDS YOU!!

Your help is needed on this project! If you have any skills that can help speed this project to a wonderful finish then please ring 020 8662 6850 and have a chat about when and how you can help. It’s not about working a full day, an hour helping would be an hour well spent and you’d be a very welcome sight!

Find out more about We Are Bromley week on their website and follow Citygate food+ and intuBromley on Twitter for all the news of what’s happening and how you can join in on the fun, games and love!

We are Bromlely front piece

Margot Rohan – Passionate Person

Margot Rohan The Orpington Community website was started in July 2011 by Margot Rohan who wanted to provide information about the area. She’s an Orpington girl who’s been living in Green Street Green since 1979 and it’s that she has a pride in the area in which she lives.

There’s a number of interesting things about Orpington on the site – Eleanor Marx Aveling, who’s father was Karl Marx lived there as did David Nobbs who is best known for his writing on the comedy show The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. You can also read about the famous Orpington black chicken and the Orpington car!

The events page carries details of a wide range of events over a wide area – everything from flying lessons to a pop choir!

Orpington Community

A local information page has a wealth of information via various links to local websites etc. It’s all there waiting for the click of a mouse!

Margot told me that there is no financial gain to the website she does it purely from community spirit and it’s there to inform residents. She encourages people to come forward with the kind of information that they’d like to see on there and would like to see more people get involved with the maintenance of the site! Any takers contact her here.

Tweet up“Tweet-ups” are held every three to four months in the Greenwood Community Centre in Green Street Green and the next one is July 11th. The meetings promote local events and also good internet safety and there are speakers. Sounds pretty good when it’s all free! More information can be found on this page. You can book for this tweet up on Eventbrite.

Margot is also secretary of the Green Street Green Society and the Police Ward Panel and also is a Save Orpington Priory Campaigner. She keenly promotes democracy and encourages local residents to voice their concerns.

Orpington Priory

There is a wealth of information on the website and it is supplemented by a Twitter account and a Facebook page.

 

Phil Price – update

Phil PriceHearing about what Phil Price was aiming to do really knocked us off our feet here at Life in Bromley and since we first featured him I’ve spoken to him several times. The initial enthusiasm and dedication to both his training and the Maypole Project has not diminished in the slightest.

Since we last spoke Phil had been upping his training and distance in preparation for a 100 mile run. He told me that training was really good (though there had been a slight concern with his shin) and coupled with a great quiz night that raised £1,500 towards his £25,00 target everything was very positive.

Endurance runs aren’t continuous and this was something I didn’t know until I met Phil. There are regular stopping points for water and snacks and the participants spend time walking as well as running particularly when going uphill. This all makes a lot of sense when it’s explained to you!

The first 50k of the run (which happened on 28th May) was uneventful but then around the 70k mark the small niggle in his shin began to become a problem. He kept on running as he was meeting his physiotherapist (Tim) at the 80k mark but by the time he had reached the 78k mark he was hobbling. He told me that at this point he wasn’t just suffering physically but his focus had waned and he was struggling mentally with the challenge. He decided not to continue with the 100 mile target and call it a day at 100k.

This quote from his website shows how hard he found the run –

” I told Tim that I was calling the 100 miles that my head had gone, but I was going to finish the 100k at the point I actually voiced this out loud, I could of cried I thought about all those people who had wished me luck, supported me all this way and I was giving up Tim who had come straight from work to support me and I was giving up this was a new feeling I had never done this. Tim looked at me and then said quite simply not to worry, this was a training run the very fact that a 100k run was a training run for me was astonishing, whilst all the other people around me were using this as their actual goal, their dream. I was using it for training there was no expectation of me and I had not let anyone down. With this I got up and after taking a picture was on my way. Seeing Tim had spurred me on and the shouts of encouragement were still ringing in my ears when I encountered the latest hill.”

Phil is currently injured and his training is restricted to swimming and light strengthening conditioning so he’s currently concentrating on fundraising and learning more about where his strengths lie in order to be able to complete the run – the equivalent of SEVEN marathons over a couple of days isn’t a small aspiration! Getting publicity and raising funds is as hard work as training and this is where he needs your support. He is doing all this to support the Maypole Project and to raise awareness of their work in the wider community. Any amount, no matter how small, will be gratefully received and details of how to give are on his website!

Please follow Phil and his progress on Twitter – the more followers he has, the higher profile the Maypole Project has! His mammoth task begins at the crack of dawn in Cirencester on the 16th of September so if you feel like cheering him on at the start then don’t let us stop you!

Charity of the Week – Mission Care

MissionCafe_LogoMission Care was founded by Dr Selina Fox in 1904 and it has a history that’s worth reading about. The first homes for the elderly in Bromley were opened in the 40s and 50s and now they have over 200 residents in five care homes in South East London.

Mission care commit themselves to not just providing a high standard of care but also in a loving, comfortable environment. The residents are encouraged to exercise their freedom of choice and their dignity and individuality is a priority.

Four of the care homes provided nursing care for older people including people living with dementia and the fifth is a residential home which provides care for younger adults who live with physical disabilities. They can also provide respite care.

To help raise money to run the homes Mission Care have a charity shop called Brix on Chatterton Road and it is open Monday to Saturday from 9.00 – 4.00 – pop in and have a browse! The don’t just sell the usual range of charity shop items, they also have a craft department so those of you who are arty and crafty may well find something to your liking!
If you’d like to make a donation of goods to the shop please do so during opening hours.

The charity have recently opened a dementia friendly café at Unit 8A in The Mall, Bromley. It’s a safe and comfortable environment for those living with dementia and also for their friends, families and carers and is, of course, open to any member of the public who wants to pop in for lunch or a hot drink!

Cafe

They serve a selection of panini, soups and cakes as well as a selection of hot drinks. If you’d like to see what the café is like before you visit then check out their Flickr page!

You can find Mission Care on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and, of course, their website.

Charity of the Week – Bromley Y

Bromley Y iiAs teenagers we make the transition from child to adult and it can be confusing to say the least. There will be few people who breeze through their adolescence without problems of some kind or another. For some people those years will be much harder and, without the right kind of guidance and help, they may carry problems associated with growing up into their adulthood.

When you’re young facing problems can be difficult. Sometimes you don’t want parents or teachers to know that you’re having a tough time and sometimes the friends you do confide in are as stumped as you are as to what to do next. So what do you do?

If you are living, studying or working in Bromley then Bromley Y strives to offer a safe and friendly environment to enable young people to explore what is happening in their lives and to help them find ways forward.

What kind of problems can Bromley Y help with?

  • bereavement;
  • being bullied;
  • feeling suicidal;
  • feeling isolated;
  • eating problems;
  • family problems;
  • feeling angry or violent;
  • self-harming;
  • sexual or emotional abuse;
  • feeling unhappy or depressed;
  • sexual or emotional relationship difficulties;
  • difficulties at school, college or work.

No young person should feel as though they need to wait until a problem is getting on top of them before they get in touch with Bromley Y. It can be easier to resolve a difficulty early on than leaving it to get worse.

The important thing to know is that a young person doesn’t have to wait to be referred to Bromley Y or be taken there by a family member, they can approach them themselves and ask to see somebody.

“I always feel relaxed and open when being at Bromley Y because all of the counsellors are generally warm-hearted. They always listen and are very polite.”

To help young people deal with these problems Bromley Y offers two kinds of one-to-one support – Counselling and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).

Counselling isn’t about handing out advice or telling you what to do to tackle the difficulties you’re going through. A therapist helps you to understand the issues that worry you so that you can make the best decision in how to deal with them. In your sessions you can talk about whatever you need to without being judged, and in the knowledge that what you say will remain confidential. The therapists at Bromley Y respect the values and lifestyles of the people they see.

“I felt like I wasn’t judged and I could speak about my issues without anything I said directly affecting my life.”

CBT is talking therapy which helps set clear goals and work towards solutions. Working with you a therapist can help identify problem areas of your life that you want to focus on and, using structured techniques, can help you to understand how you are thinking, how this may cause problematic feelings or behaviours and how you can challenge the way you are thinking.

Both counselling and CBT sessions take place in a comfortable and private place.

Apart from one-to-one support Bromley Y offers school support (currently with twelve schools in the area), group work, family therapy, parent support, mentoring and also professional consultations.

You can call Bromley Y on 020 3770 8848 but please don’t be put off if you need to leave a message, they will get back to you!

You can email them at info@bromleyy.org or by snail mail at 17 Ethelbert Road, Bromley BR1 1JA.

You can find Bromley Y on Twitter and Facebook as well as their website where there is a page of very useful links and contact information young people, their families, carers and friends may find helpful. If you’d like to make a donation to help Bromley Y with their work there is a link on their home page!

Bromley Y

Charity of the Week – Sreepur Village

sreepur-village-logo[1]It seems a bit odd for us to cover a story about a village in Bangladesh but the charity Sreepur Village is based in Beckenham!

We’ve all heard of Bangladesh but where is it? It was originally Eastern Pakistan but became the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in 1971 and became a democracy in 1990. It has a population of 161.3 million and has widespread poverty and overcrowding.

The Sreepur Village charity is firmly non-political and oversees Shishu Polli Plus (SPP) which translated means Childrens Village Plus. They work with destitute mothers and children and endeavour to give them knowledge, skills, and the standard of health they need to function in society. Over 150 mothers and 540 children are supported by SPP.

The charity is responsive to local needs and help support vulnerable children who may have been abandoned or trafficked. The environment they provide is safe and loving with food, clothing, and education so that the children and their mothers can look forward to having independent lives and not backwards at their former lives. They have recently set up a support centre in the Krurigram/Chilmari region of northern Bangladesh as women and children living on sand banks known as chars are having their lives threatened by climate change.

On arrival at Sreepur Village there are checks made to ensure that women with children seeking help fulfil the criteria to stay in the village and then spend a week in their clinic so that any illnesses can be spotted and treated.

The women hold regular meetings to talk about life, any problems that they may have and how to improve life at Shishu Polli. Whilst living there the women are paid an allowance and they join a compulsory savings scheme so that when they are ready to join society again they have funds for when they leave.

SPP ensure that the children who arrive without mothers have a good quality life. They feel that it is important to give them the skills and knowledge to take their place in society when the time is right. Boys over 11 are fostered with families in local villages which is beneficial for both the boys and the families.

The children are considered to be in the care of SPP until (in the case of boys) they have been successfully employed for six months in a permanent job or, for the girls, have been married successfully for two years.

Whilst Sreepur Village obviously needs support successful businesses are run from there. They make paper and greetings cards and both lines are very popular. The Guardian has said that their Christmas cards are the best! They also do a small range of other goods which you can see here.

If you’d like to see the village then take a photo tour!

SPP is a small charity that needs your support! You can see more about what Sreepur Village do on their website, follow them on Twitter or check out their Facebook page.

Our first networking event!

On Thursday 12 May we’re networking with Bromley Business Club (@BromleyBizClub) at Henry’s Wine Bar (@Henrysbromley). We’ve invited all the charities and community groups that we’ve featured since the launch of our website in September. Both Life in Bromley (@lifeinbromley) and Bromley Business Club firmly believe that we all have experience and expertise that can be shared and that the wonderful charities and community groups of Bromley should be (and will be) encouraged to network with the businesses that are associated with Bromley Business Club!

Charity of the Week – West Wickham Rotary Club

Logo

Almost everybody has heard about Rotary Clubs but how many of us know what they’re about?

Rotary International has more than 34,000 clubs worldwide and one of them is based in West Wickham. In the spirit of Rotary across the world the club provides service to others, promotes integrity and aspires to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace.

West Wickham Rotary sees itself as a friendly club with men and women as members. They are a range of ages with a variety of careers and interests. Their motivation for being part of Rotary may vary but they are like-minded people who enjoy fundraising for communities both close to home and internationally.fJ67R1Lq_400x400

It’s not all serious at West Wickham Rotary as they enjoy social events and they visit their sister club in Sedan, France every other year and act as hosts to them in the alternate years.

Their annual firework display, which is one of their major fundraising events, attracts up to 3,000 people and the Christmas collections with Father Christmas are well know but they do respond quickly if they hear of a natural disaster. They support several charities including Juvenile Diabetes, Demelza, End Polio Now, MSF and St Christopher’s Hospice.

West Wickham Rotary Club was formed in 1934 and to celebrate their 50th anniversary in 1984 they raised over £5,000 for local charities and £2,000 for the Polio Plus Campaign.

There have been many notable achievements over the years including raising funds to build a games room in Cheyne Hospital in 1972, promoting a four day careers exhibition at the Arnham Gallery in Croydon and in both 1979 and 1984 they staged a four day Leisure for Pleasure exhibition promoting arts and crafts. For over 40 years the club has contributed to supporting pupils at the Starchi School in Kenya.

The club promoted and formed a Rotaract Club in 1974, a Probus Club in 1977 and an Exact Club in 1983.

With overall membership of West Wickham Rotary Club both ageing and dropping in numbers it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to carry out the projects that they’d like to but they are able to make significant contributions to local charities with the revenue from the Bonfire Night and Christmas collections.

If you’d like to become a member of West Wickham Rotary or would like to find out more about them then visit their website or tweet them!