More than £30,000 has been awarded to community projects in Lewisham.   

Approved at a private meeting via conference call between mayor and cabinet on Wednesday, March 25, the grants will go to helping fight social isolation and improving public health locally.  

See more: Lewisham Council makes decisions behind closed doors

The Somerville, a community centre, adventure playground and youth club service, was awarded £11,000 for its Happier Days project.  

The project aims to reduce social isolation by pro-actively finding young and older adults to join in community-based activities with proven therapeutic outcomes, including cooking, mosaic art and upcycling. 

Lee Green Lives and Manor Park Friends were awarded £10,264. 

Manor Park Friends will use the fund to create a gardening club, while The Living Well in and around Lee Green project aims to reduce social isolation by putting on sessions to get people active.  

According to Lee Green Lives: “The project is targeted specifically at socially excluded groups in our community, including those living in the concentrated areas of social housing and temporary accommodation in Neighbourhood 2 with whom already work closely. 

“One day a week for 48 weeks there will be blended sessions including walking and exercise classes, as well group discussions on how to get and keep healthy.   

“The overall aim of the activities is to increase social inclusion and general health and wellbeing, including general exercise such as befriending, walking and gardening, exercise focused on older people from BAME communities, arts and crafts sessions to support general wellbeing, a Men’s Group led by Blue Ribbon, and promotion of volunteering by encouraging local residents to support all the activities in a voluntary capacity,” according to the report.  

The Diamond Club was awarded £11,500 for its project ‘Come Fly with Me’, which consists of an inter-faith partnership providing coordinated activities in Catford South, Downham, Grove Park and Whitefoot for people aged 60 and over and their carers and families. 

It will provide alternative activities locally to people unable to take a traditional family holiday. 

Activities will include a ‘virtual airline’, giving people who can’t go away a holiday experience, which would include volunteers being airline crew. 

Family fun days in the park will be arranged, as well as art and craft workshops.   

The aim is to address isolation, promote health and mental wellbeing, address holiday poverty, and support those living with dementia.  

“The project will aim to deliver Holiday at Home events throughout the year, including a full week in the summer holidays,” according to the report. 

The grants, awarded to voluntary and community organisations, were organised through the borough’s Neighbourhood Community Development Partnerships (NCDPs), which bring together relevant partners from three ‘neighbourhoods’ in Lewisham.  

The first neighbourhood includes New Cross, Evelyn, Telegraph Hill and Brockley wards, the second Blackheath, Ladywell, Lee Green, Lewisham Central, Rushey Green wards, and the third Catford South, Downham, Grove Park and Whitefoot wards.