Project Smith is one of Lambeth’s best loved community organisations. Dave Gosslyn, our brand new Tuesday morning host, is Project Smith’s new manager. Dave talked with Hub Storyteller Ann Storr about the new round of funding, and the difference that the community is making to the lives of Lambeth’s residents through the Wellbeing Fund.
The Lambeth Wellbeing Fund is part of Project Smith’s community work. It is a grant programme that welcoms local, individual citizens and small community organisations to apply for small grants (between £1,000 and £5,000) to lift their community health and wellbeing projects. Individuals know what their communities need and have the skills to make it happen – they just need the money to pay for their time and resources. That is where the Lambeth Wellbeing fund steps in.
Everyone has the potential to make a difference, but often we have to fit into a huge, pre-existing framework. That can feel overwhelming and limiting. Sometimes it’s small projects that can make a huge difference. Lots of us can see problems that can be solved easily, but we don’t have the time or the money. But now, you can! Think: how can I have an impact and potentially solve that problem? Still not sure? Any project that can apply for this funding needs to achieve one of the ‘Three I Statements’:
- I feel able to manage my health and wellbeing
- I feel able to avoid a crisis
- I feel part of a community
For example, maybe you know that there’s a group of older men in your Lambeth neighbourhood who are a bit isolated, and you think that a lunch club would help to solve that problem. To run the club you would need to pay for food, the rent for a church hall, printing some fliers and your time. That’s going to cost you £3,000, say. Okay, that’s the perfect type of project for Lambeth Well-being Funding.
Project Smith is interested in projects that will help wellbeing based on the 5 ways of wellbeing. There is a focus on projects that are looking to help men, people coping with dementia and carers. They are really interested in what local people in their communities can do, which is why people can apply for their own labour time – this isn’t about people volunteering and (potentially) being out-of-pocket, this is about enabling people to do good work.
Laughter Yoga in Coldharbour Ward is a brilliant example of a Lambeth Wellbeing project. Zeenat, the organiser, started these workshops because of her own mental health and family struggles. She’d learnt about Laughter Yoga and it made such a huge difference to her that she knew it would be wonderful for her community.
What is laughter yoga? Okay, you’re reading this bog post. Maybe it’s grey outside, maybe your bus is late, your invoices aren’t being paid and you’ve just had a row with your SO. Try to laugh. Just a little. Go on! Squash up your diaphragm, as though you’re watching your favourite stand up. Or just try to smile. Your brain just kinda runs with it, if you let it. Maybe just a hint of a smile is creeping up? Your brain doesn’t care where that smile comes from, really – let that happiness keep coming. Cue serotonin and all that loveliness and bam! You’ve tricked yourself into being in a better mood and now you are in a better mood. Mix that up with stretching out those muscles and learning to relax a little better, and you have laughter yoga. That is just a small example of what laughter yoga can achieve.
Zeenat’s laughter yoga classes brought the community together in a way that wasn’t happening before, getting people moving and laughing and stretching. One mum told told Zeenat that she “re-learnt how to laugh after not being able to for a long time because of the stresses of life”. Community focus, community skills and just a little funding to make it happen.
Project Smith are hosting three funding workshops, all in the evening and all catered. Come along if you’ve got an idea that’s bubbling in your brain, or even if you’re just interested.
“Local people are the best solution to solving problems in their communities because they are the best people to drive projects in their area. That’s what Project Smith is all about. If you have an idea in your mind for a while or just want to get involved and help people’s health and wellbeing, come along to a workshop and learn more about the Lambeth Wellbeing Fund.”
Workshops – dinner is provided!
Tuesday 4 September, 6.30-8.30pm – West Norwood Health & Leisure Centre, 25 Devane Way, SE27 0DF
Thursday 6 September, 6.30-8.30pm – One O’clock Club, Agnes Riley Gardens, Clapham Park, SW12 0AH
Thursday 20 September, 6.30-8.30pm – Streatham Baptist Church, 20-22 Lewin Road, SW16 6JR
5pm on 26 October 2018