17 April 2017
Just back from a meeting at Sotheby Mews Day Centre hearing from users of the services there about what they value most.
Friendship kindness and care for each other came up time and time again with countless examples of small actions that seem almost insignificant on their own but together add up to a support network to combat loneliness and despair.
The stories show why protecting services at Sotheby Mews is so crucial. Some of the stories I heard today are below:
"Our garden is a memorial to Jack Morris' wife, how can they destroy it?"
"We are gobsmacked that the two lunch clubs will be merged."
"Keep this place, the Roundhouse won't be my home. They didn't think about us when made decision."
"I've retired from work but not from life. I come here to be happy and share my life with people here. Cllrs represent all the community they never came here. Must think who they represent".
"The location of the roundhouse is a problem. Too far from the bus."
"Facilities. We get a two course meal here and so don't have to cook at home. Don't want sandwiches every meal. "
"Why don't they build on top of this then we can stay?"
"It's like a home to me here."
"I'm medically retired from being a teaching assistant. After a breakdown it took me s long time before I talked. I started an exercise class and liked the garden. Then I met users and found it was a haven here."
"Wonder how our music group will work in new space. It's precarious for older people if young people are moving about fast."
"Will the new kitchen have space for our proper lunch programme".
"The council are cutting lots of facilities for older people. Drovers will be demolished and merged with the Goodinge."
"I was ill with an upset stomach they took me to the toilet and took me home. They are kind."
"I teach an exercise class it's vital for well being. It happens at same time as art and music class so people can choose. They won't have space for that."
"They never came here to see what happens."
"My friend has dementia - she's lived in Highbury New Park for 60 years. She said my world is very small but this place is like a beacon I can get here."
"I'd be lost without this place. It takes an hour to walk here. I can't walk further."
"Home from home."
"Friendly Place and kindly staff."
"My world collapsed when I was diagnosed with cancer. I was in a crisis. I came back to Sotheby Mews and Nigel said "come back" and within a year I was fine again."
"Isolation in my flat is worst."
"When I came out from hospital this is where I came. My doctor noticed the change in me."
"I get help with reading here. I can't do without it."
"I come for the company and friendship and then the outings (to the theatre and the seaside)."