St Mary’s Secret Garden

St. Mary’s Secret Garden is a beautiful and accessible community garden with a difference in Hackney, London.

For over 25 years it has offered a safe space where people with support needs and the local community can get hands-on experience of gardening, gain a sense of inclusion and receive the benefits of horticulture and other ecotherapy activities.

This helps those in need combat isolation, develop valuable employment skills, gain qualifications and contribute to a greener, healthier, happier community.

Visit St Mary’s Secret Garden

Understanding Dementia

Free online course for people who need a better understanding of dementia

Rick’s Hackney Dementia Week idea

I discovered this while I was searching for useful dementia resources on the web. It’s listed by Class Central in its Top 50 list, with 1415 favourable reviews. So I looked carefully at the course description and signed myself up.

The course is delivered by the University of Tasmania, and seems to be less demanding than a normal University course. It’s obviously aimed at a wider community, but people who do it get a certificate.

Community learning

It’s a relatively advanced course, but there are many drop-in contacts who could do it if they were able to commit three hours each week for seven weeks. People who are new to online learning might need support to navigate the system — but that is what we are here for. The IT Room desktops would be ideal for a small group of people willing to accept the challenge — community learning in practice — in my opinion, what the IT Room should be used for.

The course starts 10 July, so you don’t have to make a decision immediately. If your family is affected by dementia, this is worth looking at — even if only for a glimpse of the real Internet.

Click on the button below to visit the course web site. If you are not sure how to follow the enrolment procedure, please grab a helper.

Understanding Dementia course

The You and Me Principle

… putting forward a practical vision of a place where “meaningful relationships are the central operating principle” and setting out a route map for reaching it.

This is a transcript of a discussion led 12 March 2018 by social innovator David Robinson. He discusses nearly everything that seems to be going wrong in the world we live in — and then offers a credible way forward — how to make it right again. The relationships are not just between people. They are relationships between people and business, people and government, people and organisations, people and institutions — the weak and failing relationships that result in isolation and loneliness — the phone calls that never get answered.

It’s all on one web page. Click on the button below …

Visit The You and Me Principle

Take part in the BBC Loneliness Experiment

An invitation from BBC All in the Mind presenter, Claudia Hammond …

We all feel lonely at certain points in our lives, but for some people that loneliness becomes chronic.

To help us discover who feels lonely and what can be done to help them feel more connected, we’d like as many people as possible to take part in the BBC Loneliness Experiment.

Whether or not you feel lonely at the moment, we’d love to hear from you.

If you can spare the time, we’d be very grateful, because the more people who take part, the better picture we can get of loneliness in society today and how to tackle it in the future.

Visit the BBC Loneliness Experiment

A Hackney Autobiography

‘A Hackney autobiography’ is a project by On the Record, that recorded the history of a unique cultural institution called Centerprise (1971-2012), and created learning resources inspired by the place and its people. On this website you can discover more about Hackney’s history as told by Centerprise on our app, encounter the people we interviewed, read some of the books Centerprise published and find out about the book we published: The Lime Green Mystery: An Oral History of the Centerprise Co-operative.

It’s a series of audiotours around Hackney — a website you listen to, so you should plug in your headphones first (please ask a helper if you are not sure how to do it). If you are using a phone or tablet, you can download the special app – Android Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

Visit: A Hackney Autobiography

Men’s Sheds Association

Men’s Sheds are similar to garden sheds – a place to pursue practical interests at leisure, to practice skills and enjoy making and mending. The difference is that garden sheds and their activities are often solitary in nature while Men’s Sheds are the opposite. They’re about social connections and friendship building, sharing skills and knowledge, and of course a lot of laughter.

Visit Men’s Sheds Association

Bags of Taste

Hands-on cooking classes that are also great fun

We teach people who are struggling with food costs to eat better, for less.

Our delicious recipes are sourced from around the world and are all designed to cost less than £1.00 per head.

At the end of every lesson you can buy bags of ingredients at a cost of £3.00 each, with enough food included for four meals, so you can try cooking it again (and again) at home.

Visit Bags of Taste

AcTo Dementia — Accessible Touchscreen Apps for Dementia

Supports people to find and use dementia-friendly touchscreen apps

AcTo Dementia provides recommendations and guidance on accessible touchscreen apps for people living with dementia. This website is an ideal resource for anyone with a diagnosis of dementia, or anyone looking to support a person with a diagnosis, to find and use apps on a tablet computer for entertainment. We are a group of university researchers unaffiliated with any app developers and all of our recommendations have been through an evidence-based review process.

Visit AcTo Dementia

Citizens Advice can help you get a better energy deal

Getting extra support from your energy supplier

Citizens Advice (logo)If you find it hard to deal with your energy supply, you might be able to sign up to the Priority Services Register (PSR). This gets you extra support from your energy supplier.

You’ll need to contact your energy network and fill in a signup form. Your energy network is the company that manages the electricity meters in your area, not the company you get bills from.

You can register for priority services if your energy network considers you ‘vulnerable’. This can apply to lots of different situations – for example if you:

  • are disabled or seriously ill
  • are recovering from an injury
  • have mental health problems
  • don’t speak or read English well
  • have children under 5 or are pregnant
  • have reached your State Pension age

The Citizens Advice page has more information and a form to help you understand what extra support is available.

Visit Citizens Advice energy help form