A new senior citizens group that offers friendship, activities and health checks opens its doors this week, writes David Child.
The Positive Steps and Patmos Area Community Association (PACCA) Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) joint inaugural event was held at their centre on Lothian Road SW9. Syreeta Anderson, founder of the group, welcomed members from across the local community as they came together to share food, refreshments and company. Her hope is for the group to enable elderly residents of the area to socialise and reconnect with fellow citizens who lack support and friendship. Supported by Tesco’s supermarket in Brixton, those who attended were also given food packages to take away and enjoy.
PACCA TMO will meet weekly, every Thursday from 12-2pm. Future ambitions include plans for senior citizen bingo competitions, the provision of regular health checks provided by the community pharmacy next door and a trip away later in the year for members.
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to get involved with other projects run by PACCA TMO. Founded in 1999, it provides after school and breakfast clubs, back to work training sessions, evening language classes, and counselling. The organisation, which doesn’t receive money from Lambeth council, relies on the contribution of volunteers and funding donations.
Speaking at the launch, Richard Butler, Chair of PACCA TMO, said “The more we interact with the local community, the more we get a sense of the services they need. We have our ear to the ground, and provide a much needed local resource for local people.”
Syreeta Anderson said: “Our work helps to build a cohesive local community by closing the gap for those amongst us who feel they have been left behind or left out”.
Working in one of the 20 most deprived wards within the UK, PACCA TMO are seeking a right to transfer control of the social housing stock in their area from the council to them. The group say they are sympathetic to the financial situation facing Lambeth council and are not seeking conflict but simply the chance to take responsibility for their area and further enhance the lives of local people.
For PACCA TMO members such as June Thompson, who has helped to cook, educate and care for children in the community every day since 1981, the transfer would signal recognition of their work and the organisation’s capacity to do more.
More details on PACCA TMO and how to become involved here.