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Plaistow South Big Local Community E-News
The Year of the Ox, and Spring is on its way!
It has been a hard January for us all. Hopefully as we start to see some signs of the approach of Spring, it will lift our Spirits!  The Chinese New Year is also known as ‘Spring festival’ and on 12th February the Year of the Ox is welcomed.  In this edition we have included some uplifting news of what’s happening in Plaistow and beyond, and things to do as we continue in Lockdown.  For interesting facts and ideas how to celebrate Chinese New Year, go to https://chinesenewyear.net/.
Using Lockdown to build community networks and partnerships – join our fortnightly Monday Cuppa
We’ve been enjoying an inspiring Cuppa with over 25 community groups doing wonderful things during the recent Lockdown.  Useful contacts are made between the groups and there’s always a new partnership or two forged. In January, Aidan and Jean from the Newham Voices community newspaper were our special guest speakers about the wonderful newspaper and free training opportunities in journalism. As a result The Cali Candy shop are hoping to work with them on a feature about their bakery workshops funded by PSBL.
 
The meetings are fortnightly on 2nd and 4th Mondays. At our next session on 22nd Feb, the special guest is Larissa Howells on One Connect, the new befriending scheme in Newham.  This is the Zoom link. 
Plaistow Residents Group – All Welcome – Book your place Friday 12th at 6pm
The Newham Muslim Forum has been doing wonderful work helping the vulnerable in our community over many years.  With our recent £500 grant and extra funding from Near Neighbours, the Forum developed the local action group – Plaistow Residents Group.
Muhammad, representing the organisation told us they decided to use the grants to do something for the local area, to give back and do good for the local community
The Plaistow Residents Group meets fortnightly to discuss local issues, come up with action plans and learn about community organising. The group is open to all, the next meeting is this Friday so why not pop by… details on the flyer. Book a place via plaistowresidents@gmail.com. We’ll be there!
SEEDS 21 is an exciting and free creative opportunity for 13-17 year olds with Applecart Arts - bookings NOW

SEEDS 21 is a free opportunity for young people (between 13-17 years) to explore, create and grow within an inclusive and encouraging performance environment.  PSBL is delighted to be funding this.  The SEEDS 21 Introductory Session is on Wednesday 17th Feb, 6pm - 7:15pm (via Zoom).  Join Nicole and Darrel for a creative sharing session and introduction to the SEEDS 21 programme. More info here

The show will go on!
In November 2020 PSBL reached out to a number of local groups to see how we could help & work together to help our Community. The management team at Lawrence Hall (sheltered accommodation in Cumberland Road) explained that that due to the re-direction of local funding they were struggling to put on a Christmas Celebration for their residents. Along with our £500 grant, we contacted local primary school, Tollgate who were keen to help, providing activity & treat hampers including hand--made cards & drawings from the children.
 
A Steering group member put us in touch with the World Harmony Orchestra and Zoe brought cheer to the whole street on a cold December day by performing a number of Classic Christmas tunes on the pavement outside, much to the delight of the residents.
 
A wonderful example of PSBL’s motto of ‘Together anything is PoSsiBLe’.
The Tree Pit Gardens in Tunmarsh Lane celebrates two years!
Most residents of South Plaistow are familiar with the Tree Pit Gardens at the top of Tunmarsh Lane- six mini gardens situated under the birch trees, first established in January 2019 .
 
Following the recent theft of some flowers and shrubs local residents have come together this January to offer plant donations, monetary gifts and their valuable time to plant and re-populate the mini gardens- which are once more looking green and cheerful even in the middle of winter!
 
For details how to get involved please contact our Green Spaces Community Worker Milena on milena@plaistowsouthbiglocal.org.uk or text her on 07388-406-499.  It is important to add that PSBL supports the residents to follow Covid 19 rules when working at the Tree Pit gardens and so at the moment it is an individual or bubble activity only.
All About Me Journal – we love it so much we’ve had some printed
 
As we featured last month, there is an excellent 37 page journal created by HeadStart Newham for children to spend time thinking about themselves, their talents, friends, worries and enjoying puzzles and tasks.  We realise that getting this printed is not possible for many families.  So, we have printed 50 and are giving them out with a pack of coloured pencils via community groups and schools to target children who would enjoy and benefit.
 
If you are, or know of a family, that would love a booklet for your child/ren, and getting it printed is not possible, do get in touch.  We may be able to do another print run.
A beautiful podcast and other ways of supporting those who are grieving
The Drop-In Bereavement Centre in Plaistow, as its name suggests, is aimed at offering face to face support.  Things are very different since Covid-19 – a much increased need and no opportunity to meet up.  A PSBL grant gave 15 people the opportunity for bereavement counselling sessions.  The Centre continues to run a range of online support groups and counselling.
 
This very beautiful podcast is worth listening to and passing on to those who are bereaved https://infoy6k.podbean.com - this one is on the theme of water.  ‘A series of Conversations on the physical effects of grief, Water, Earth, Fire and Air. Brought to you by our wellbeing therapist Elena, for all beneficiaries and friends of The Drop-In Bereavement Centre’
Digital exclusion – we are working on it, but you can still use computers in Newham libraries
We are looking into ways to help people with Wi-Fi access because it is unaffordable for some, and also to help with developing digital skills – it’s no use having a device and WIFI if you don’t know how to do stuff, such as use WhatsApp, complete an online form or join a family Zoom meeting.

If you want to help us to develop a digital inclusion project in Plaistow South, please get in touch. 

In the meantime, there is a (limited) PC service available at all libraries including Plaistow Library.  If you want to use a library computer, you will need to ring the library to book it: 0208472 0420. More info here
Happy to be contributing to the Caribbean/West African hot food service

We know that so many people are relying on food banks and donated meals and that for black and minority ethnic families the basic foods are not always what the family cooks. We are pleased to be financially supporting an expansion of the Caribbean/West African hot food service for those vulnerable and shielding.

This initiative is organised by  Newham Wellness - 'See A Need Fill A Need' , the hot meal cooked by the fabulous Aunty Nana's restaurant in Canning Town, and supported by other local organisations.  All for a £2 donation for all that can afford to give it. To book please call Daniell on 07737446459

Get confident on a bike while cycling in safe places– a free local scheme from Bikeworks
If you can ride a bike a bit and turn a corner without falling off – you can try out the Cycling for Wellbeing Programme in Queen Elizabeth Park.

It’s a 4-week programme (lots of choices for the days/dates) which is inspired by the NHS 5 Steps to Mental Wellbeing. You will meet new people, enjoy the natural environment and focus on being in the present moment (taking your mind off things), learn new skills and feel the benefits of regular physical activity. You will be introduced to opportunities for giving to others through longer rides to nearby community organisations and outdoor places of interest.  To register, click on the link: https://www.bikeworks.org.uk/cyclingforwellbeing
Greenway Orchard Video Tour by the Green Gym volunteers
Greenway Orchard Video Tour by the Green Gym volunteers
The volunteers at Greenway Orchard have been popping in during Lockdown to maintain the Orchard, whilst also planting veg for the new growing season.

They have prepared a little video tour for you all.  Enjoy!
https://www.instagram.com/tv/CLAttZGnaKp/
Lockdown Art Walk in Newham!
Newham Lockdown Window Art is an exhibition by a group of local artists who are showcasing work in their front gardens and windows around the Borough.  It’s to give local people something fun and interesting to look at on their daily walks during the third national lockdown.  Do take a look at the interactive map with all the addresses, quite a few in Plaistow! 

The exhibition has been organised by sculptor Michael Nash, with support from local councillor and artist Rachel Tripp. For more info click here and to see the map click here: https://www.nlwa.co.uk/interactive-map
Here’s the latest Money A and E Newsletter
The latest E-News by a local and award-winning social enterprise Money A and E is really worth the read.  There’s a money management workshop on 24th February, excellent links for coronavirus advice & support and more.  Do pass it on – here’s the link
Improved family support when a loved one is in hospital
On 1st February the Royal London Hospital launched a new and improved family contact centre to offer increased support to families who have a loved one in hospital in Barts, The London, Newham General and Whipps Cross.
 
The centre can help families with booking virtual visits and sendng photos and messages to loved ones (click on this link and then on 'contacting a loved one in our hospitals). It can also raise concerns and questions with the clinical team, as well as help with practical issues including arranging end of life visits, providing language support, dropping off items and food, offering spiritual and religious support.  
Free online gardening sessions for Newham residents via Zoom! Join one or all Wednesday afternoons

'In The Potting Shed' is a 10-week programme starting in February of all things gardening including tutorials, planting, growing and sharing.  You can attend just a few or all of them.  Alison Touzout of ‘Project Green Thumb’ and Penny, East Ham Green Gym volunteer have teamed up with East Ham & Beckton Neighbourhood Team to offer residents these sessions. 

Let yourself be drawn into the green world of plants and learn some tips.  To book your free tickets and for more info, click here

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Plaistow South Big Local 
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