SMCP response to Covid-19

We are now a month or so into this crisis and it has drastically changed the country (and the planet) as we all know it. Our charity has had to make significant changes to the way we operate as most of our projects involved working in enclosed spaces and with groups of people.

Our regular events and projects have all been shelved for now and we have become a part of the Trafford Community Response. The main hub for the area is based at Sale West Community Centre. The Sale Moor Community Partnership is a partner to the main hub and looks to serve the community and ward of Sale Moor through and beyond this terrible period of our collective history.

We are working with local partners and agencies to ensure that the isolated, vulnerable and those experiencing poverty are catered for. We are focusing on ensuring food is available as we are now the de facto Food Bank for the community. Our team, our volunteers and volunteers from Sale Communities Junior Football Club have been working to deliver food parcels, meals, help people with shopping, medicine collection and much more.

We have moved our advice capacity to online and by phone and can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter, by email or on the phone for help. We will try our best to respond immediately but should be able get back to you within 24 hours on most issues.

It is clear that the chancers in charge of the country are surreptitiously relying on “herd immunity” to get us back to some semblance of normality even though this will result in the deaths of 100,000’s of people over the next year or so. It is up to us as a community to ensure that we do not make the same mistake and protect our whole community, so please observe social distancing, stay home where possible and have patience that one day we will look back at this with all our relatives and friends still with us.

Places for the People

Public spaces play a vital role in the social and economic life of communities. New kinds of public spaces and meeting places are now being created in towns and cities, which can be an important social resource. Too often we take for granted and neglect our libraries, parks, markets, schools, playgrounds, gardens and communal spaces, but decades of research now shows that these places can have an extraordinary effect on our health and wellbeing and that of society as a whole. Why? Because wherever people cross paths and linger, wherever we gather informally, strike up a conversation and get to know one another, relationships blossom and communities emerge – and where communities are strong, people are safer and healthier, crime drops and business thrives, and peace, tolerance and stability take root.

Why, therefore, does there appear to be a reduction in public space and civic buildings? All over Trafford public buildings have closed, libraries in nearby places, which not only provided information and access to books, but often were places where children and adults met and were told stories. Public buildings are now often seen as commodities owned by Local Authorities to be rented by the square foot. I tend to think the Public Servants and elected members forget who paid for them in the first place and in their clamour to become efficient and sustainable they may be putting lives at risk and seriously impacting on health, crime and commerce in the areas they claim to serve. Sale Moor Community Partnership has been a place where many people have met and crossed paths over the years and children who attended arts projects 15 years ago are now volunteering and developing projects of their own to help the local community. Sale Moor Estate has less public space and civic buildings than most areas of Trafford and within the next 12 months we will have one less. The shop on Norris Road, home to SMCP for many years will close and be replaced by a development of apartments and retail units.

The future, however, may not be as gloomy as it first appears. As part of the transitional planning the board at SMCP has appointed a Volunteer and Partnership development worker, who has been looking at various options including working with local businesses and members of the community to undertake self build projects that will provide Sale Moor with bigger and better facilities than their more affluent neighbours. To do this, it will require the help and support of local residents to build a group of community activators. There are community connector clubs due to start on Thursday 8th November. We would love your input and ideas about how Sale Moor might get better and we can build on the strengths we have.

On Tuesday the 6th we will start a Sale Moor You Tube Chanel which will provide opportunities to make and present media and report on local activities and events. If there are any gifted filmmakers out there, pop in and let’s see what we can do together. If you have any great stories to tell about Sale Moor, we would like to hear them and maybe make a film. Sale Moor is full of brilliantly talented people and people who have more practical strengths such as cooking and DIY. Imagine if Sale Moor TV had it’s own version of Master Chef or Bake Off, or even DIY SOS. The first project might be to help build a new office for SMCP and for the Sale Moor Community. If you have practical skills and would like to help pop in and let us know or call  0161 962 3636 and ask about getting involved.

Post by John Hopkins 04/11/2018

Social Isolation Kills

Public Health England have identified that too much fat will kill you, they have said sugar will kill you, smoking, drinking, lack of exercise and social isolation will significantly reduce your life expectancy. Those particularly at risk are young people and older people, although people in certain wards of Sale Moor have a lower life expectancy than neighbors who live less than two miles away. In some cases people may live 20 years longer on average than residents from Sale Moor.

Social isolation has become a much more significant problem with younger people and has been linked to the increased use of social media and the dependence on transitory false relationships. Several mental health charities have made links with the increase in self harming behaviour and young peoples use of social media and lack of real social relationships. Social isolation of adults is becoming almost as much of a problem as diet or exercise.

Sale Moor Community Partnership are currently recruiting community volunteers who may be able to help reduce the real risks posed by loneliness and social isolation.

Public Health England commissioned UCL Institute of Health Inequalities to undertake a study, one of their finding was that:

Social relationships affect physiological and psychological functioning and health behaviours, as well as risk of morbidity and mortality. A recent meta-analysis of nine longitudinal studies found that social isolation and loneliness are associated with 50% excess risk of coronary heart disease, which is broadly similar to the excess risk associated with work-related stress. The cost of social isolation to local government and the NHS is difficult to determine. However, as this report will illustrate, when effective interventions are in place, the return on the investment can be substantial. One of the intervention examples cited in this report, the Family Action Well Family Service, reduced the number of GP consultations, demonstrating a social return on investment of £5.96 for every £1 invested.

If you are interested in becoming a community activator, pop into the shop on Norris Road and see how we can provide you with the opportunities to help.

Post by John Hopkins 25/10/2018

Local action on health inequalities Reducing social isolation across the lifecourse Practice resource: September 2015