Social Care Awards 2017

18 | ghp Social Care Awards 2017 Best Charitable Older People Initiative - South East England SO170014 The overall mission of Skills & Care Greenwich is to improve the health and well-being of people in Greenwich by delivering the high quality services in the community. Sonia notes that the organisation’s older people services are mainly focused on tackling isolation, and that they achieve this by supporting older people with their unique, relationship-led approach to care. “We focus on empowering older people and assisting them with their independence. We reach out to the people who are isolated and lonely and bring them to a common place where they meet other people, socialise and have fun. Our bespoke, person-centred companionship services are delivered by highly-trained and profile-matched volunteers. For example, as many of our service users are Gurkha veterans, war widows and their families, many have absolutely no knowledge of the English language and western culture. We have trained Nepali speaking volunteers, who are not only able to converse in the Nepali language, but also able to contribute in the social, mental and physical well-being of the service users as they use a socio- cultural holistic approach in care. “Our projects also concentrate on community cohesion and integration. Recently, we delivered a project called ‘Together We Grow’, which was a big success. We identified 40 Gurkha war widows who were isolated due to language and cultural differences. The community gardening project brought these older women together, and helped them to create a social support network among the group, as well as with the other plot holders. The story was picked up by the BBC, and shown in BBC News as an exceptional project initiative. “We are also able to provide services in advocacy and support, befriending, training and capacity building and food redistribution. We have a unique ethos and culture at Skills & Care Greenwich, which is due in large part to our staff and volunteers, who bring their best self to work each day, and go above and beyond to support their co-workers. “Looking to the future, we are planning to expand our food redistribution project to reach lonely and isolated people who cannot come out of their houses, and who may struggle to afford things like fresh vegetables. We are currently supported by Marks & Spencer Charlton, and a newly opened store in Woolwich.” Skills & Care Greenwich (SCG) is a registered charity, predominantly working with the youth and older people within marginalised communities in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Since its inception in July 2013, SCG has successfully delivered a range of projects that have helped over 2000 service users. SCG is also a winner of Civic Award 2016. We spoke to Sonia Thapa who was keen to tell us more. Contact Details Company: Skills & Care Greenwich Name: Sonia Thapa Email: [email protected] Web Address: Address: Unit 7, The Gateway, 2A Rathmore Road, London SE7 7QW Telephone: 07878782258