Businesses Building Strong Bonds to the Community

If there was ever a time to demonstrate the strength of a community, that time would be now. 

 

We’ve seen a tremendous effort from businesses supporting local and wider initiatives, recognising the importance of their role in the community. Their resilience and ability to quickly transform in the face of uncertainty has contributed to building stronger bonds to Wimbledon Town Centre.

We know there are many heroes and we’ve highlighted just a few examples of Wimbledon-based businesses doing incredible work to make a difference in our community and beyond.

 

Repurposing Facilities to Combat Covid-19

With a global shortage of hand sanitiser, Coty, one of the largest global beauty companies, repurposed their factories in the UK, USA and Monaco to produce hand sanitising gel, distributing products free of charge to medical and emergency staff. Donations are expected to reach tens of thousands each week.

Firecracker Works, an event production company, adapted their facilities to manufacture PPE for the NHS, Healthcare and Frontline workers, with a target of producing 30,000 face visors.

Leading food packaging manufacturer, RAP, turned over its production line to manufacture disposable face shields, with an ambitious goal of delivering between seven and ten million a week.

 

Supporting the NHS and Other Organisations

Domestic & General partnered with Salute the NHS, a group of leading businesses including Tesco, Yodel, Absolute Taste, Leeways and British Army, Team Rubicon UK, to serve 1 million nutritious meals to key frontline NHS workers over the next three months.

Icon Solutions, a payment and enterprise solutions provider in the finance sector, generously contributed to Wimbledon Guild’s Covid-19 fund to enable them to continue to support the most vulnerable people in our community.

The Alexandra Pub alone has made over 4,000 meals for the NHS, whilst Lush donated bath bombs to NHS staff working on the frontline,  Elys supplied Easter Eggs to NHS workers and textiles to Ricards Lodge to be made into kit washing bags whilst Wilko donated toiletries and cleaning products to the Dons Local Action Group.

Feeding the Community

There’s been an overwhelming response to help feed the community. From donations to the Wimbledon Foodbank to feeding frontline healthcare workers and residents in need, we’ve seen stellar collaborations between businesses and organisations like the Dons Local Action GroupThe Old Rutlishians’ and The Old Wimbledonians’ Associations, The Little Community That Could (created by Centre Court) and the Wimbledon Guild.

Although culture may be on hold, Polka Theatre and the New Wimbledon Theatre have a presence through community outreach and establishments like The Antoinette Hotel, The Old Frizzle, Wibbas Down, Wahaca and Leon have each contributed through various initiatives, like providing food for meals at Merton’s Winter Night Shelter,  Wimbledon Foodbank and Merton Covid Mutual Aid and other organisations.

A big thank you to the Town Centre’s supermarkets, Morrisons, Tesco, Little Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s who have all made significant contributions and the countless cafes, restaurants and food shops who have provided discounts or priority shopping hours to NHS staff and vulnerable people.

 

 

All of these efforts signify hope and community spirit and a testament that together we will weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side.

#StrongerTogether

 

 

Recipe Roundup

We’re sharing our favourite seasonal recipes from Wimbledon businesses for you to try your hand at baking or cooking a tasty treat at home.

For Cookie Lovers

If you like to indulge in a cookie (or two!) Elys tastemaker, Sisley White, has created a decadent Raspberry White Chocolate Cookie Traybake, made from simple pantry ingredients.  Sisley suggests eating while still warm and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Or, if you’re after a different type of tropical treat, check out Sisley’s Passion Fruit Fizz Cocktail, especially created for Elys.

Get the recipe

For Lazy-Day Brunches

If you’re missing the depth of flavours from 601 Queen’s Rd you’re in luck – parent company Darwin & Wallace have released a recipe for Ricotta Rhubarb Pancakes, complete with Orange Créme Fraîche and Lavender Caramel. Enjoy lounging and luxury from home!

Get the recipe

For the Comfort Creature

Nothing says ‘comfort’ like warm Banana Bread. This easy Livelyhood recipe comes to us from The Old Frizzle and thankfully enjoyed year-round. Top with fruit or savour solo.

Get the recipe

 

Happy cooking!

High Street Survey

Thank you to everyone who took part in the recent High Street Survey conducted by City Dressing. Not surprisingly, most respondents said the factors missed most were social activities, including going to a restaurant, meeting friends for coffee or meeting up for a drink at a pub/bar. There is more of an affinity to support local as well as an increased pride for our local community and where we live.

You can read a copy of the preliminary results for Wimbledon Town Centre below.

High Street Survey Report

 

 

#AtHome with Lu-Ma Café

During this time of social distancing, staying connected to our local community is stronger than ever. We’re counting down the days until the re-opening of many shops, restaurants and cafés in Wimbledon Town Centre and recently caught up with Lu-Ma to see what they’ve been cooking, how to stay healthy #AtHome and what we can look forward to when they re-open.

1. Tell us about Lu-Ma Café.

Lu-Ma is a whole food café in Wimbledon specialising in delicious, nutritious homemade vegan and vegetarian food without the use of dairy, refined sugar and many gluten-free options. Founded by mother and daughter Lucy and Maria in 2014 who both ventured out to change their diets after experiencing their own health and wellbeing issues (check out www.lu-ma.co.uk for their bios). With their vision of offering an educational social hub that people can enjoy good food and good company, Lu-Ma now also offers its very popular cooking classes held by our very own Executive Chef Angela Agrati Prange, and nutritional talks and advice from nutritionist and naturopath Kenneth Prange. Angela and Ken both share our vision of wellbeing and are always keen to support.

 

2. How have you been spending your time during lockdown?

Lockdown has certainly been a different experience. We were beginning to prepare Lu-Ma for opening every Friday and Saturday evening, suddenly it was the least of our priorities. To keep everyone safe and our business viable, we put things into action immediately as advised by the Government. This was a sad time, we felt quite emotional, not to be seeing each other and our customers for the foreseeable future felt unreal. However, it has given us an opportunity to work on new dishes, chatting with each other through emails, Zoom etc.

 

3. What are you cooking?

Angela has looked to create dishes that will be supportive of building immunity, cleansing and detoxing for specials when were back. Its been a treat for our families to try out new dishes. Lucy has recreated a Lu-Ma favourite, the smoked tofu salad, and has been using the extra time to experiment with breakfast dishes such as baked cinnamon pineapple and vegan buckwheat waffles. My son loves the açai berry bowl with homemade granola and my husband is enjoying cooking some of the recipes from Angela’s cookbook. Snacks have also been a must during the day, I’ve been experimenting with tamari chickpeas (not everyone’s favourite, but I love them).

Açai Berry Bowl – Baked Cinnamon Pineapple – Smoked Tofu

 

4. Lu-Ma and Angela share their healthy eating tips:

It is essential to keep immunity strong and ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need in your diet.
    • Spring is a great time for cleansing and detoxing, this will also support your body during the Covid-19 pandemic. Fresh spring greens are very good for cleansing the liver. The bitter greens like rocket, chard, watercress, spring greens support digestion and strengthen the heart.
    • Eat fresh, organic produce, light salads and bean sprouts are a good source of protein, vitamin C and folic acid. They are also high in fibre and a great addition to a salad. (Home sprouting is very easy and enjoyable for children to watch them grow. There’s lots of info on the internet).
    • Try not to overuse oils and fats, this will support the liver cleanse.
    • Daily ginger shots support your immunity. Ginger helps fight toxins and free radicals, a great antioxidant.

 

5. What can we look forward to from Lu-Ma?

We’re full of excitement for reopening, with so many things lined up, we’ll be launching our new summer menu with lots of delicious new dishes, setting dates for more cookery classes with Angela, free nutrition talks with Kenneth Prange, meditation evenings and our late-night events. We will be going full steam ahead to continue offering our services with love and dedication as soon as we can.

 

Sending love and best wishes until we see each other again
Lu-Ma Team

Wimbledon Guild Overwhelmed by Support from Local Community

Wimbledon Guild has praised Merton’s community spirit in helping them to support the most vulnerable in our community.

The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on our community is unprecedented. Wimbledon Guild is providing practical and emotional support to the most vulnerable in Merton. The charity has seen a huge increase in people needing help and it is currently supporting more people than ever before.

Wimbledon Guild is a local charity with the aims of reducing social isolation and loneliness, helping people through difficult times and enabling older people to be active and healthy. During the coronavirus pandemic the charity is supporting over 600 existing customers as well as providing assistance to over 400 vulnerable people in Merton who have been referred to the charity through the Covid-19 Community Response Helpline.

Wimbledon Guild has required additional volunteers to deal with the increase in demand. The charity has issued several asks for support from the local community and have received an outpouring of help in return. It now wants to say thank you to the people of Merton for their support.

Wendy Pridmore, CEO at Wimbledon Guild comments; “We have needed additional volunteers and funds to cope with the extra demand the outbreak has put on our services. The response has been greater than we could ever have hoped for and we are hugely grateful to local people for their support and generosity.

Every time we’ve put out a request for help, we’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response from our community. We wanted to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has volunteered, donated, raised money for us or got involved in other ways.”

So far, over £30,000 has been donated to the Wimbledon Guild Covid-19 Relief Fund Appeal. The money is going towards delivering food, medicine and other essential supplies to those unable to leave their home and giving supermarket vouchers to those with no other source of funds.

The charity’s corporate partners have made financial donations and supplied volunteers to help support its work. Waitrose Wimbledon and Marks and Spencer have provided fresh produce for Wimbledon Guild to distribute to families most in need.

 

“During this time when our customers are unable to visit us, we’re taking Wimbledon Guild to them. By partnering with a local catering business, we’re able to cook nutritious meals for us to deliver to our HomeFood Café customers. Our army of dedicated staff and volunteers have been contacting every customer, many of whom have been advised by the Government not to leave the house, to make sure they have what they need and give them a connection to life outside their homes. Every day we’re inspired by our volunteers sharing their time and talents with us, and by the positivity and resilience of our customers.”

Wendy Pridmore, CEO at Wimbledon Guild

 

Volunteers have been telling Wimbledon Guild how good it feels to be making a difference and doing something useful during the outbreak. Directly seeing the impact of their acts of kindness on the lives of others is very rewarding.

Volunteers like Mark from Wimbledon, who helps Wimbledon Guild alongside his day job:

“I really enjoy volunteering. It’s a great chance to meet interesting people in the local community and hear some of their stories as well as making a real difference to their lives. During the current situation

I feel it’s even more important to help out, and the work gives me a fantastic sense of doing something worthwhile.”

The charity has also been hearing from its customers on how they are keeping their spirits up.

Wimbledon Guild regulars Helen (89) and Laurie (91) shared their story in the hope of inspiring others during lockdown.

They are both regulars at Wimbledon Guild, with Helen usually visiting every day to take part in one of many scheduled activities.

During lockdown they’re making sure they keep physically fit thanks to activities set by one of the charity’s class instructors. “We both do weights and then incorporate some of Chris’ exercises from the usual Wednesday morning class!”

They’re also keeping mentally active with Brain Games sent to them from another of Wimbledon Guild’s instructors; “Thanks for the great Brain Games – up till now we have been doing online word games and Sudoku”.

Most importantly, the couple are staying positive and looking forward to better days ahead; “We’ll see you back at Wimbledon Guild when we’re able to!”

Wimbledon Guild wouldn’t be able to achieve what it has, and will continue to in future, without the kindness and generous help of local people. The charity says it’s heartening that in this time of crisis our community spirit is shining through.

Wendy Pridmore, CEO, leaves us with the comment that; “Life will return to normal, but a new normal – one where our sense of community and togetherness is stronger. Through it all Wimbledon Guild will continue to be here for Merton, as we have been for the past 111 years. Thank you.”

For more information about how Wimbledon Guild are supporting the people of Merton during the coronavirus pandemic visit www.wimbledonguild.co.uk.

 

#RaiseTheBar to Save Our High Streets

Your favourite pub, restaurant, cafe and shop need your help!

Thousands of businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector lie above the current rateable value threshold to access the £25,000 grant.

Love Wimbledon is supporting a national campaign, #RaiseTheBar, which believes access to the £25,000 grant is the difference between survival and bankruptcy for businesses on High Streets across the country. The grant will enable businesses to mitigate significant challenges relating to stock losses, cashflow and rent. Many businesses are not in a position to take on further debt or have serious misgivings about being able to survive the recovery and service loans. Other cash pressures include suppliers, service charges and the cost of re-opening to repurchase stock and ongoing running costs.

By increasing the threshold from £51,00 to £150,000 an additional 180 businesses in Wimbledon would be supported, representing 5,600 jobs and around 30% of the employment in the town.

You can help the businesses in Wimbledon Town Centre.

Please SIGN THE PETITION and share widely.

 

“Teokath of London has built up a reputation as one of the best bridal retail shops in the UK. We are about delivering on the dreams of our brides and feel a massive responsibility to making sure they have their once in a lifetime dress. It means everything. Our business is our family, we all live, work and breath it – it’s our passion. With no income, we need access to a grant to pay suppliers and give us the breathing space we need to survive – without it we face the daunting prospect of folding.”

Steve Sotiriou, Teokath of London (Wimbledon)

A Movement Break for Wellbeing

Health and wellbeing are at the forefront of many minds and staying active is essential for your physical and mental health.
Jiva Health are offering interactive live classes in Yoga and Pilates providing three classes a day online for alignment and posture, restorative practices for stress and flow yoga for energy. You can join a class from your home where you are guided by the teacher to get the most effective practice for your needs. And they have specialist teachers for back pain, stress, pregnancy and postnatal needs. Tips and videos are also sent weekly to support you during this unusual time. You can see a short 12-minute video here to help you let go of frustrations from your day, and stress that may be building, using EFT (emotional freedom technique) and yoga.
Movement Break Tip 
 
If you are reading this and need a movement break, lift your phone or put your hands together and lift them above your head.  Bend at the elbows and take your hands or phone behind you.  If you have been looking down a lot also look up. Take a deep breath expanding your ribcage as you do. Can you breathe through your nose with your lips closed and tongue resting upwards?  Is the breath even on both sides? Can you even it out.  If you have pushed your ribs forward now bring them back above your hips.  Keep lifting the elbows upwards but now feel the abdominal muscles getting involved and supporting your back. Release after a few breaths and be well.


A treat for our readers! Use promo code ‘LoveWimbledon’ for 10% off the discounted online 10 or 5 class passes or drop-in classes. See the timetable and get your discount here  If you are new to Yoga or Pilates get 10% off an initial private session (usually £45) to help you feel comfortable and benefit from online classes at this time. Email Jiva Health for more information.