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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.

Maintain a Healthy Mind and Body

A new year often signals a time for people to introduce new, different, or healthier habits into their routines. Many of us have been left feeling deflated, unmotivated and frustrated with the ongoing pandemic so we’ve put together some great tips, with the help of local Wimbledon charity Wimbledon Guild, on how to maintain a healthy mind and body in 2021.

Nourish Your Mind

Many of us will be feeling overwhelmed, low or anxious due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. There are many ways in which you or those around you, can get help in these times, to ensure you maintain a healthy mind.

Local teenage mental health charity, Stem4, who have won several awards for their specially-designed free mobile apps, have a wealth of resources available to help teenagers deal with issues of anxiety, low mood, depression, self-harm, resilience and much more. Find out more here, including their new Mood Move app which helps improve mood by encouraging teenagers to increase their motivation to carry out a variety of tasks in order to help them to move forward, take control and feel positive.

Talking Therapies

Wimbledon Guild’s Talking Therapies provides professional psychological support for adults across Merton who are experiencing difficulties. Due to the current lockdown, this service is currently offered remotely – either online or by telephone. See some great mental health tips from the Head of Talking Therapies, Adil Qureshi, and how to know when to ask for help.

Three tops tips for positive mental health during periods of stress (e.g. due to Coronavirus):

My top three tips for staying mentally health due to the stress caused by the impact of Coronavirus are: make a list, calm the body and relax your muscles. To note, these tips may work for you and that is great but one or even all of these tips won’t work for you that is totally fine too. If that is the case I encourage you to continue to look for tips or make some up for yourself that you can draw on when you are feeling stressed. The tips I have used below draw on cognitive, body and mindfulness skills that may or may not be useful to you.

  1. Make a list
    When you have relaxed out of feeling stressed I would encourage you to keep a list to better understand what causes you to get into this frame of mind. Have a column to write down the event that was happening when you felt stress, a column for what you noticed going on for you before you were stressed, during the stressful event and after it. From keeping this list and looking at it you will be able to see over time the patterns of behaviour that cause you to become more stressed and what helps alleviate this.
  2. Calm the body
    When life is getting difficult it is useful to take a moment to just pay attention to what is going on. This can be done by stopping what you are doing, which means no moving, talking, thinking and just freeze for a moment. Once you have done this, take a couple of deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth and just observe what is going on in your body and around you.
  3. Relax your muscles
    There are apps out their like headspace and calm that can help you do this tip to start with or you can look to YouTube for a free tutorial on it. With this exercise (referred to as paired muscle relaxation) you want to tense and relax parts of your body one at a time starting with your feet and moving up. Remember to also tense and relax muscles in your face and mouth. By doing this exercise you may be able to release tension that your body is holding.

How do I know when it’s time to ask for help?

Asking for help can be difficult at the best of times and you may feel with everything that is going on in the world at the moment that your issues may not be that big in the grand scheme of things. Don’t let this thinking stop you for getting help. It is best to get support when you feel that your issue is not that big and not at the point of starting not to cope with things. If you allow your issues to get worse it can become harder to seek help and the support you need may be greater than if you got it when you first started to feel overwhelmed.

For more details on Talking Therapies, contact Wimbledon Guild on 020 8296 0030.

Or see Merton Council’s webpage here, dedicated to adult mental health needs.

Feed Your Body Right

Keep your body in check with a variety of natural supplements, health foods, ayurvedic and herbal teas, plus lots more from Health Zone Wimbledon. The new Zéro waste shop in Centre Court Shopping Centre also offers a great selection of organic fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and grains, which can are all sold without packaging – simply bring your own containers and fill them to the level you want.

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Stay Fit with Virtual Exercise Classes

Exercise is a vital part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Many health clubs in Wimbledon have continued to inspire by offering online fitness classes.

Jiva Health offers online yoga and pilates classes which help with everything from letting go of stress, correcting muscular imbalances and improving posture, and reconnecting with yourself via movement. A great way to train the mind and body into a healthier state.

Or if you prefer a harder HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) then Fitness Space have a range of classes which include short bursts of intense exercise to aid fat loss, increase strength, burn calories and get your heart rate up!

Invest in your health and try out the latest fitness technology from The F.I.T Partnership, such as Cryotherapy and Vasper, designed to maximise health, wellness and longevity goals.

See the full list of health clubs in Wimbledon here.


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.