Connect Hackney

Connect Hackney – October 2020 

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October newsletter


Hello all, and welcome to Connect Hackney’s October newsletter. It’s been a few months since our last newsletter and hopefully many of you have enjoyed delivering more in-person and socially distanced projects over the summer months, for the first time in many months, we certainly have.

Older People’s Committee’s socially distanced summer social

Thanks to the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden we were able to host a well-attended musical luncheon, socially distanced and temporarily closed to the public, for our Older People’s Committee.

Many were grateful for the opportunity to meet in person and the added value and nourishment that brings them, and reported feeling safe and loving the band!

Click here for a short excerpt of video of the band.

Connect Hackney’s response to Black Lives Matter

2020 has seen the Black Lives Matter movement gather global momentum (long overdue we say), and Connect Hackney like many others have been considering how best to respond.

We began by holding two Learning Network workshops, co-produced with delivery partners, looking at issues of structural bias and racism and how they are relevant to us and the projects we run.
Read our latest blog to learn more about these and hear what we’ve been doing to be part of the anti-racist movement for racial equality and change.
Read blog

Juggling participants’ needs with government guidelines and limited resources

As we transition into autumn, it feels that we are having to adapt to yet another set of Covid-19 related government guidelines, while needing to balance these with the needs of project participants.

So, in the second half of my blog this quarter I speak to one of our Connect Hackney delivery partners – City and Hackney Carers Centre. They deliver two projects for us, ‘Brocals’ and ‘Carers Collective’.
I ask them about how they are managing switching between delivery approaches and balancing that with the needs of participants. I also speak to two participants with differing views and valuable insight into their experiences.
To read more click here

Latest Connect Hackney reports

We have published our Evaluation Annual Report. This covers the first year of our evaluation with our University of East London (UEL) research team and examines what has been learned during that period.
Read the evaluation report here.

We have also been working on several new reports that are being put together by the UEL research team. These are on Community Connectors, Reach Engagement and Retention, and Digital Inclusion. When completed, reports will be uploaded to our reports page on the Connect Hackney website.

Connect Hackney short films

In partnership with a number of local providers, we have co-produced a series of informative bite-sized videos featuring diverse projects serving to celebrate and support older people at risk of or experiencing social isolation and loneliness. Please share your views and feedback with us on Twitter and Instagram

There are five themes covered:

Delivering projects for older people to tackle loneliness and isolation

Ageing Well Strategy and Covid-19: Finding solutions for older people

At Connect Hackney we have also been busy hosting a group of workshops, co-produced with Hackney Council, NHS City and Hackney CCG and Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) representatives, for the wider VCS sector in City and Hackney on building resilience, specifically focussed on finding solutions to challenges being faced by older people, in light of Covid-19.

The event was delivered over two days adopting a world café style approach, which provided a space for four workshop discussions:

  • Tackling social isolation and loneliness.
  • Supporting those most in need/at risk.
  • Addressing fears and anxieties.
  • Supporting management of additional needs.

Over 60 people from over 50 local organisations attended two half-day workshops, and learning gathered from those have fed into both the Covid-19 VCS Recovery and Resilience strategy and will inform Hackney Council’s updated Ageing Well Strategy. We will keep you informed of progress when these are published and circulated.

To take part in Hackney’s Ageing Well strategy consultation click here.

Connect Hackney Learning Event on 26 November

Save the date: 26 November, at 10am. 
We are looking forward to our next Connect Hackney learning event where we will showcase valuable learning gathered by our research team at UEL from our projects and participants.
It will be a combination of showcasing pre-Covid research and insight, bringing it up-to-date reflecting on relevant post-Covid implications (so far and moving forward), as well as there being opportunities for discussion and debate.
There will be workshops on the following topics:
  • The digital divide. 
  • Reach, engagement and the challenges of retention – especially for those not accessing online projects – both pre and post-Covid-19.  
  • Examining if Connect Hackney has impacted systems change over the 6 years and how we can build on this.
More information to follow on this event that will bring together funders, commissioners, policymakers, frontline providers and older people.
Email Sarah for details

And finally

Do you know anyone over 50 who would benefit from joining a Connect Hackney funded project?
If you or anyone you know is over 50 years old and looking to build their social network, Connect Hackney funds a host of projects that can help. You can find more information on the range of projects currently running here.
Connect Hackney projects
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