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Wimbledon’s First Breathe Café

Do you ever find yourself seeking a place where you can retreat and take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Somewhere you can take a deep breath, eat nourishing food and find some support?

Local healthy eating café Lu-Ma have collaborated with mental health charity, Shawmind, to open the first ‘Breathe Café’ in Wimbledon Town Centre.

The concept of a Breathe Café, was created by mental health charity Shawmind, and is a safe space where the public can go and read books in the wellbeing library, connect with a volunteer and find resources to help support them. Breathe Cafés are not clinics or therapy sessions, and volunteers provide signposting and active listening support only – it does not replace the advice of a mental health professional. The idea stems from the notion that early intervention in this way, can help head off more serious mental health challenges in individuals in the future.

Maria Jessiman, co-owner of the family-run café added:

“We look forward to opening a space where people can feel seen, heard and valued without judgement. All our food is created with the purpose to help keep the mind and body in balance. We are proud to be creating a hub in the heart of Wimbledon to help support our community in other ways. We know how much mental health and wellbeing matters, especially after the past year.”

The plant-based healthy food café Lu-Ma, was born out of a desire to provide a hub in the heart of Wimbledon to help support the physical and mental wellbeing of the community. Mental health has always been something close to Maria and her family’s heart. This new initiative adds another dimension to the café which has previously held wellbeing events, meditations and courses, and looks to continue to do more in the future.

You can find a well-being library, resources and a volunteer trained in active listening, all within the café – located at 43 Worple Road, Wimbledon, SW19 4JZ. Simply scan the QR code which is visible throughout the venue. To find out more click here.

Wimbledon Guild Continues Community Support Through Covid

Local charity Wimbledon Guild is continuing to support the community through the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns by moving existing services online and introducing new Covid-safe services.

Wimbledon Guild is a local charity that provides people in Merton with help and support in times of need. Under normal circumstances the charity operates from its base at Guild House on Worple Road, Wimbledon. It aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness, help people who are experiencing difficulties and enable older people to be active and healthy.

For many of their services, making sure that they are COVID-safe has meant moving online using platforms such as Zoom. Other services, such as befriending, have moved to garden gate visits or telephone calls, and the HomeFood Café is now delivering delicious and nutritious meals to people’s doors.

Wimbledon Guild’s Communications Manager, Phil McPherson added:

Wimbledon Guild is more than just a building; it is a community. And though our door on Worple Road is closed for now this does not change the support we’re able to offer. Please let any family, friends or colleagues know they can contact Wimbledon Guild for help.

Here are some of the different ways in which Wimbledon Guild can help you:

  • Wellbeing Support: practical and emotional support to help you, or a loved one, live an independent life for as long as possible.
  • Online Activities: free online clubs, classes and talks for people aged 50+ are a great way to socialise and stay healthy.
  • Talking Therapies: at a time where it’s never been more important for us to look after our mental health and wellbeing, this service provides affordable counselling and support groups online and in person.
  • Befriending Service: weekly phone calls or social visits for people who are isolated or unable to leave the house. Befrienders and clients are matched based on shared interests, and many go on to develop genuine, long-lasting friendships.
  • Financial Assistance: eligible Merton residents struggling as a result of COVID-19, can receive help to pay for items such as food, warm clothing, utility bills, essential furniture and household appliances.
  • Grief Support: available to adult residents in Merton, or patients registered with a Merton GP, and provides free confidential advice and practical support.
  • Meal Delivery Service: with the charity’s HomeFood Café currently closed, you can now get nutritious meals to reheat at home, that cost £3.70 (including delivery) and are freshly cooked and then frozen.

To find out more, contact Wimbledon Guild on 0208 946 0735 or email info@wimbledonguild.co.uk.

#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

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.