Good Neighbours: Volunteers stage free lunch to feed 40

Newham NDP volunteers, Nkiru Ikeh (middle)

Newham NDP volunteers, Nkiru Ikeh (middle) - Credit: Archant

Community charity, Newham NDP (New Deal Partnership), is backing the Recorder’s appeal for residents to check on and offer help and companionship to lonely older folk.

Based in Comyns Close, Canning Town, it has been running its own Good Neighbours Befriending programme for many years with volunteers providing support and a lifeline for the vulnerable.

Chief executive Jessica Wannamaker says isolation and loneliness is intensified for those elderly and disabled people living on their own over the festive period, and she has praised the Recorder’s campaign to raise awareness.

Newham NDP estimates that its volunteers are helping 358 people across the borough through a range of schemes.

It is continuing its support this winter by holding a free fish and chip lunch for 40 of Newham’s most vulnerable residents at the Hub in Star Lane, Canning Town, on Friday.

Jessica says: “We are all about ensuring that our beneficiaries – the elderly and the disabled – have a reduced sense of isolation and more than 70 per cent feel a better sense of wellbeing.”

Nkiru Ikeh, the charity’s good neighbours service manager, said her plans included increasing the number of visits to homes and making sure that people had access to adequate heating.

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Her volunteers conduct risk assessments to locate heaters in people’s houses and to make sure they are in working condition and are being used.

The charity is grant-funded with volunteers taking time out of their day to help with household tasks, shopping and to provide companionship.

Taking the Tablet, another initiative, aims to familiarise those with limited digital skills on how to use iPads and other tablets for anything from art projects to talking to relatives on Skype, and using online TV guides.

Jessica added: “We ensure that we are very person-centred and we match language skills.

“We ensure that according to the language they prefer to speak in, that the volunteer is appropriate for the person, as well as having the same interests and getting on. If they don’t get on, the relationship isn’t going to work.”

To contact or get involved with Newham NDP call 020 3150 0080 or email community development worker, Anita Blow, To reach any member of staff call 020 3150 0080.