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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 – West Wickham Rotary Club

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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!

Charity of the Week – Freddie Farmer Foundation

freddie-farmer-foundation-logo

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.

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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.

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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 – LATCH Project

LATCH-Logo-Transparent

Bromley Churches’ Housing Action (BCHA) is a charity that was set up in 1988 to work to relieve poverty amongst the homeless of the Borough of Bromley particularly providing grants and short-term accommodation. BCHA currently devote their resources to the LATCH (Living Amicably Together in Caring Homes) Project.

Being homeless is a desperate situation to be in. You feel as though your whole world has shifted beneath your feet and, in an ideal world, it’s a rock bottom that people shouldn’t hit. When it happens to a young person the situation is more dire as they are less able to cope and the speed with which homelessness can happen is dizzying.

“Life for me got so difficult and unbearable that I didn’t know what to do any more. Sitting on a bench, no home, no clothes, no shelter, no certain future, all my dreams shattered, I remembered my grandma’s saying, ‘No matter how hard it gets for you in life, never give up on education’. I told my teacher Helen Hall about my situation and she immediately referred me to her colleague who happened to know about Latch Project.”

LATCH is a caring, nurturing charity who understand perfectly the depression and sense of worthlessness that young people feel and work with them to regain their self-confidence and self-esteem in an unusual way.

“That’s when I first met Nici, a happy big smile on her face, kindness washing from her, loving and caring person, was the first impression I got from her. She gave me a form and I filled it up and she told me to wait to hear from her if she’s got a place for me to stay for the night. My luck and my good references got me place literally the same day. It was unusual thing at Latch due to shortage of hosts. By 8 o’clock that night I was already lying on a bed for the first time in three weeks.”

LATCH matches young homeless people with hosts who welcome them into their own homes and both hosts and staff support them. Many of these young people return to education or gain employment. For some the stay is just a few months, for others it can be more than a year and some relationships between the host and the client become close and trusting.

“My new life began. I was determined, focused, and knew what I was doing. I don’t know where I would’ve been if charities like Latch didn’t exist. Not only me but hundreds of other young people that are out there, homeless, desperate and needy. It is hard. Now two years down the road and I am about to leave for University. One of the top 20 Universities in Britain.”

There is a desperate need for new hosts as there is a waiting list of clients and in winter the number of those seeking homes increases.

If you or someone you know has an interest in becoming a host then you can ring the LATCH office on 020 8460 0042 or email info@latch-project.co.uk to talk or read this page on their website to get more information. This doesn’t commit you to anything and if you choose not to go further then that’s fine. If you find yourself in a different position in the future it’s simple enough to get back in touch with the team!

“Latch gave me my lost confidence back. It showed me that there are people out there who aren’t cruel and want to destroy your life. It reminded me to stay kind.

For everyone out there who are struggling and confused, just remember there’s always a way out only if you REALLY want it. Life doesn’t become sunshine and rainbows by itself but you have to make it like that by hard work, determination, sacrifice and focus.”

You can check out LATCH on their website, follow their Twitter account or like their Facebook page.

LATCH has a number of supporters but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need more – see their website for ways to donate!

The quotes are from Isaac – please read the whole of his story.

Passionate People – Steve & Anne Brandreth

It is obvious that Steve and Anne Brandreth are committed to making their community a better place and, using their farm shop as a hub, they do a much as they can to make this happen.

SteLogove and Anne run Layhams Farm Shop as a family business and they are supporting Bromley Brighter Beginnings (BBB) as their nominated charity this year. They have collection boxes in the shop but also act as a drop off point when BBB put out an appeal for specific items.

Their annual Charity Fund Day & Easter Egg Hunt is on 26th March and there are lots of Family Fun Dayactivities for children to take part including getting up close and personal with some reptiles!

The day also sees the launch of the new toddler play area along with the revamped tea room and it is hoped that it will become a community hub. A notice board will be in place to announce local events and as a space for local groups etc. to advertise. It’s hoped that local groups will use the tea room as a venue and the Brandreths want to do all they can to support that. Holiday workshops for children and adults are already at the planning stage.

For the last two years Steve and Anne have invited all local PTAs, Church groups & local charities to be part of their Christmas Give Back scheme. It basically means that when somebody buys a Christmas tree they can give a voucher to a charity or group and Layhams Farm then donates £5 to that charity – buy a tree, give a good cause a fiver! In 2015 the scheme raised £535 for the community and more local charities and schools are being encouraged to sign up for this year! Some play centres and residents associations have had trees donated to them also which is simply a lovely thing to do.

As well as helping the human community the animal residents of Foal Farm are the grateful recipients of a weekly gift of fruit and veg from the shop!

I don’t think anybody can deny the passion for community that Steve and Anne have and it seems that they run the business as a sideline to the great work they do for the local community!

You can follow the shop on Twitter for regular updates of their brilliant input into the community.