I have always, one way or another been involved with working with people. Whether it was through my degree – doing performing arts, theatre in the community or with art organisations. I have worked in residential homes with people with dementia and schools to bring them together, as a teaching assistant with autistic kids, volunteering in City Farms. I have always wanted to work with people, to help them play, laugh, have fun and to have better wellbeing.
I am a local resident and founder of Nice Bunch CIC, a new community interest company that focuses on intergenerational projects to improve the wellbeing of local residents. Through working with residents and local parents, I came across the work TWCP had been doing. I often engaged with them by seeking advice for my social business and attended some of their other events. Most recently, I received a call to be the Lead on their new health outreach programme funded by OHID. I said yes! It is a great opportunity to work with my neighbours and their families. To make a better place for my little one and the little ones around me and the community, in general.
The Healthy Living Club is an inclusive 8-week exercise and nutrition programme for residents in Thames View and Barking Riverside. Primarily focussed on supporting five to twelve-year-olds, the programme is structured to work with the whole family supporting participants to live healthier lifestyles with the support of familiar local community groups delivering the activities and health practitioners.
I would describe the work I currently do as a journey where we are trying to bring funders, the community and the tools that we have; knowledge and expertise, together, to be able to create a healthier community. To improve inclusion, prevention and to even start changing policies.
My vision for Thames View and Barking Riverside is for the area to be a model for change that other cities/boroughs can copy. To show that active listening in the community can bring residents what they really need and can change policy. If we work together, we can create longstanding change. On a smaller scale, I believe in just doing small acts of kindness. Even if it’s just saying good morning to a stranger in the bus stop, even if you make a person smile for a small moment, this simple act can have ripple effects that can help creating a welcoming and nurturing community.