Tag Archives: Advice

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 – Freddie Farmer Foundation


The Freddie Farmer Physiotherapy Centre is one of only a few independent UK therapy centres that offers special equipment and therapeutic exercises. It supports children from all over London and the South East. Their first assessment was on 20 April 2015 their doors were opened to the first children on 11 May 2015. They currently have the capacity to help up to 100 children per year.

The inspiration behind the centre is Freddie Farmer who was born early (28 weeks into the pregnancy) and with cerebral palsy; he weighed just 2Ibs 12oz.

Freddie’s family had been taking him for intensive therapy three times a year to use a piece of equipment called the “spider” (which is why there is a spider as their logo) but the centre was 100 miles away. Freddie made great progress but it became clear that a centre closer to home where he would get treatment more often would be even better.


The ‘Ready, Freddie, GO!’ campaign was set up in 2011 to fund a specialised physiotherapy centre and the driving force behind the campaign was quite simply Freddie and other children like him.

The campaign, which raised over £400,000 saw hundreds of people take to climbing mountains, walking and running marathons, cycling to Paris, jumping out of aeroplanes and generally having a ball at raising the cash!

Not only does the charity have to raise £150,000 a year to cover their costs, they’re also embarking on a drive to raise money for a “game-changing” piece of equipment. The LokoHelp gait-trainer looks like a sophisticated treadmill – the child is suspended from a harness, and their legs enclosed in robotic boots, on top of the conveyor belt. It does the work of two physiotherapists – holding the child’s legs in an upright position to enable the children to walk in the correct walking pattern, to build their muscles. The Freddie Farmer Foundation has one on loan, but they’ll have to raise £55,000 to keep it.

“I really like the fact that the Freddie Farmer therapy centre is not too clinical for the children, we feel at home and very cosy”

Providing a fun, child-friendly ‘home from home’ environment combining specialist equipment and therapeutic exercises is the approach of the Freddie Farmer Foundation and they help a wide range of children who have cerebral palsy, developmental delay, acquired brain injuries, strokes, dyskinesia: ataxia, athetosis and dystonia and other non-progressive neurological disorders and syndromes.

“Our aim is to help the children we care for to become more mobile and independent”

We provide 2-3 hours per day of intensive physiotherapy over a 2 or 4 week block session. Block session dates for 2017 will be released later this year and we anticipate the places filling very quickly due to the demand we have already experienced.

The home programmes are specially tailored for each child and are given to parents so that they can continue the important exercises at home.


The Freddie Farmer Foundation raises the fund for the Freddie Farmer Physiotherapy Centre and it can be found in Elliott Road, Bromley.

So how can you help?

If you’re a business then you may like to think about becoming a corporate sponsor. For example, Bromley Football Club recently presented a cheque to the foundation for £2,000 which came from their share of the FA Cup Pool prize money after they got through to the first round of last season’s FA cup.

As an individual you could

  • make a one-off gift or set up a regular payment
  • go along to one of the local events
  • organise your own event
  • take a collection box for your home or workplace
  • get your club, pub, employer or community group to support the foundation
  • choose Freddie Farmer Foundation as your benefiting charity
  • take part in a challenge event
  • make a gift to the Freddie Farmer Foundation in your Will
  • your time and skills can really help our work, why not consider volunteering

Freddie Farmer is an unusual charity, not because of it’s field of work but because, “All the money we raise go 100% back to fund the centre; there are no paid executives or fund-raisers, everyone, except the staff that administer treatment, are volunteers.”

You can find the Freddie Farmer Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and, of course, their website!

Charity of the Week – Living Well Bromley


Logo-001If I asked you what living well meant then perhaps you’d say that it was about eating the right things, exercising and having occasional treats but Living Well is a caring community a place where, hopefully, people feel not just accepted but also loved and valued.

Living Well supports people with different kinds of needs such as addiction, mental health problems, debt or homelessness. The work they do reflects their Christian beliefs and they welcome everyone who needs help.

Living Well provide services that leave you in awe of this small charity and it’s inspiring to see just how much they do:​

  • Foodbank – open three times each week
  • Hot lunches weekly
  • Community garden
  • Help with addiction
  • Debt advice
  • Mental health support
  • Listening and drop in
  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Christian meditation
  • Benefit clinic


“What I like most about Living Well is the meditation each Friday.  There is a great sense of equality, no labels, just being, we are all equal.”

The busiest day is Friday when they can serve up to 90 hot lunches served with plenty of conversation! After lunch there is an opportunity to join in with an art or music group and there is time for of Christian reflection and meditation. The foodbank is also open on Friday afternoon.


The food bank has 568 registered users of the foodbank and in the last two years they have given out 5,010 bags of food.

In 2014, nearly two-thirds of people used the foodbank up to five times before moving on thoughh a small group of people are much more reliant on the foodbank and other help that Living Well give them.

About one-third of the foodbank users are women and this number of women increasing slowly

Approximately one-third of users are homeless, sofa surfing or living in hostels

About 35% of users come from Penge (SE20) but people come to the foodbank from Bromley, Sydenham, Crystal Palace, Croydon, Catford and even North and West London.


The core of committed volunteers who keep Living Well running smoothly and safely help with the foodbank or in the kitchen, make tea and coffee or simply sit and chat.  Some people help by donating food regularly and others use their skills and abilities in lots of different ways; one volunteer takes her sewing machine to repair people’s clothes.  The volunteers are what keep Living Well’s services free of charge.

“Volunteering at Living Well has made such a difference to me – I’ve made new friends, learned new skills and got to know my neighbours better.”

If you’d like to find out more about Living Well or make a donation of any kind please do so and you can also follow them on Twitter!

Living Well is a registered charity with the Charity Commission no 1157385.

Charity of the Week – St John Ambulance, Orpington


We are all accustomed to seeing people from St John Ambulance (SJA) at a sporting event or a community show but how many of us know about their history or what they do now?
The long and diverse heritage they are so proud of goes all the way back to Jerusalem in the 11th century where the first Knights of St John set up a hospital so that they could care for sick pilgrims. The eight-pointed cross on volunteers’ uniform is the symbol worn by those same knights.

The St John Ambulance Brigade was formed in 1887 as a voluntary organisation which offered free medical care and has been a presence at most major public events since the jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria’s 50 anniversary on the throne to the London bombings on 7 July 2005.

SJA has a unit in Orpington which has been around since 1920 and it is thought that it could have formed as a result of the SJA presence in the area during the First World War. Since the Orpington unit was formed it has moved to many different locations and is now based at TS Whirlwind which is the Sea Cadet Hall on Park Road.

A lot of the history about the unit was destroyed in a fire in 2013 so if past members of the unit can help fill in the gaps then please tweet @SJAOrpington!

SJA Orpington attend both the Remembrance Sunday and Armed Forces Day services in addition to attending St Olaves rugby games, the Orpington Marafun, the May Queen crowning and many other events through the year.

“It is great feeling to provide care and assistance to someone whatever their concern, injury or condition. The ability to turn what is a sad or unhappy situation into a happy or positive one is special.”

As part of an adult only unit headed by John Matthews the volunteers train regularly to maintain their skills and take assessments yearly to ensure that they are competent. Volunteers from the unit provide training to local schools and members of the public and would like to expand that work but need more volunteers – could you be one of them? There are several volunteer roles and perhaps you could fill one of them?

  • First aider – be part of a team that saves lives. As a first aider, you’ll deliver care to people in need at public events in your community
  • Professional clinical roles – nurses, doctors and paramedics play a vital role for us at larger events. Clinical leaders support the professional development of our first aiders and help us keep our standards high
  • Working with young people – can you inspire the next generation of life savers? As a youth leader, you’ll encourage and inspire young people from all walks of life to develop their potential
  • Management positions – whether it’s looking after your local unit, or supporting a number of units in your area, as a volunteer manager you’ll gain experience and develop your skills, and help us deliver our life saving work
  • Support roles – we’re also looking for volunteers who can lend their expertise to roles such as safeguarding, human resources, quality assurance, fundraising and communications, and health and safety.

Pciture 2

All of this takes money and the unit (as well as other units across the country) are reliant on funding. As you can see, your donation, no matter how small, can go a long way.

£4 – The price of a meal deal lunch can give a child a 60-minute first aid lesson in school
£7 – The price of two pints of beer can run one of our ambulances for a day
£25 – The price of a takeaway for two allows us to equip someone with the first aid skills to save a life
£40 – The price of your monthly TV package can train a volunteer to give first aid at events like football matches and concerts
£60 – The price of a pair of trainers can provide a volunteer with the kit they need to save a life
£100 – The price of your family’s weekly shop can train a young person to teach other young people in essential first aid skills


You can find St John Ambulance in Orpington on Twitter as @SJAOrpington.

Charity of the Week – Bromley Women’s Aid

BWA logoWhen people think of domestic abuse it’s often as a woman with a black eye or a bruised body but, as Bromley Women’s Aid can tell us, that’s a narrow example.

Domestic abuse is when you are controlled, bullied or threatened by your partner or a family member and abuse can be mental, emotional, psychological, sexual or financial.

It doesn’t happen to one kind of person either – women and men of all classes, ages and backgrounds can suffer abuse.

There are ways of recognising abuse:

  • He/she criticises you and puts you down
  • He/she treats you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see
  • He/she ignores or puts down your opinions or accomplishments
  • He/she blames you for their own abusive behaviour
  • He/she sees you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person

So how do you get help?

If you are in imminent danger, ring the police on 999

To get help from Bromley Women’s Aid for yourself call 020 8313 9303 (Monday to Friday, 9-4.30 pm) or email info@bromleywa.co.uk

To get help outside of our office hours, ring the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

The national Women’s Aid website has fantastic pages with information about refuges, specialist refuges and help – just select the area you need information about.

If you are using the BWA website or the national Women’s Aid website you can click a button in the top right hand side of the screen to hide the visit from your browser history.

Bromley Women’s Aid focus on maintaining the independence, confidence and self-esteem of anyone that they help and are responsive to the needs of individuals in a culturally appropriate and sensitive way and will endeavour to treat their residents, clients, staff and partners with integrity, honesty and respect.

This ethos has served them and the women they help very well in the times since they began 40 years ago.

The Facts

2 women a week are killed by a partner or an ex partner yet:

  • on a single day in 2013 155 women and 103 children were turned away from refuges because there was no room;
  • since 2013 there has been a 30% drop in the number of refuges accepting emergency overnight referrals;
  • 32 refuges have closed in the last four years and many are under threat
    in 2012/13 15,404 women were living in refuges across England.

“Without more funding women will die. We need a long term funding solution and we will put the pressure on until we have one.”

So how can you help?

Community groups, churches, businesses and business groups all help with more than just money.

Many of these groups will come into contact with individuals suffering from domestic abuse so by being informed and helping support the work that BWA mean these people have vital means to access the help they need.

If your organisation is concerned about the effects of Domestic Abuse and would like to help then please consider any or all of the following:

  • Keep information about the work that BWA does available
  • Invite a BWA staff member to speak at a meeting
  • Help with in-kind donations
  • Make a financial gift
  • Organise a fundraising event
  • Nominate BWA your Charity of the Year

If you’re not a member of an organisation and you’d like to make a donation then £25 will help pay for the telephone helpline, £50 will pay for a week’s food for a mother and her children entering a Refuge with no money and no immediate access to benefits and £75 will help provide a school session reaching an average of 26 children and their teachers

You can also give by text – just text BRWA07 plus your donation (eg. BRWA07 £5) to 70070

If you feel that you’d like to give some time to help BWA then you can see how to become a volunteer or other ways of being involved here.

The Twitter account for Bromley Women’s Aid is @BromleyWA and their website is here

Once again, those all important telephone numbers:

Bromley Women’s Aid – 020 8313 9303

National Domestic Abuse Hotline – 0808 2000 247