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8 March, 2020
News Story


This month we meet Naomi Mullings, who is on a secondment to our Your Space programme at Caritas Anchor House. She shares what services Your Space offers and why they are so important to members of the community.

Tell us a little about yourself and your role
I have always been passionate about supporting vulnerable adults, and over the past 16 years I have worked in organisations that allowed me to do just that. I have worked at Caritas Anchor House for seven years in the Personal Development Team, where I supported people experiencing homelessness to move on to independent living. I’ve been keen to work with the wider community and support people to gain access to services that encourage them to be their best self. So when Caritas Anchor House offered me the chance to work on our community-based Your Space services for a six-month secondment I jumped at the opportunity!

Why is Your Space so important for the Newham community?
Our services are a vital part of the current landscape of community services offered in Newham, and were created in response to issues with high prevalence in our community.

Your Space’s primary focuses are to reduce social isolation and promote positive wellbeing to both residents of Caritas Anchor House and the wider community. We provide safe spaces that offer community members opportunities to take part in groups, workshops and events that empower them, build resilience and improve social health and coping methods through informal support networks. The services particularly support those who experience high levels of isolation, people who face issues with their mental health and long-term physical health concerns.

What types of activities can people get involved in?
Examples of our varied services include:

  • Walk and Talk groups, which provide a safe space for women with learning disabilities to focus on their wellbeing through exercise and discussion relating to their wellness, while combating social isolation for those with long-term health conditions.
  • Social groups for over 55’s, with a focus on inclusion and reducing loneliness for those who have long-term health conditions through social interaction, activities and the sharing of food
  • Cooking classes for people living in hostel accommodation (Caritas Anchor House), to empower them to learn how to prepare healthy and affordable meals, food budgeting and health and safety in the kitchen. This supports residents to develop independent living skills, while building connections with peers.
  • Conversation clubs to support students to improve their spoken English and build confidence to use their language skills when engaging with people and services in the community.
  • We’re also developing a new upcycling group, which will provide a safe space for those who experience anxiety and depression to focus on a project and be creative through making something new or learning a new skill, and a sense of achievement.

Through these varied services, people can engage in organic dialogue and build networks of support with their peers. In working on Your Space, I have been able to truly understand the community for which I work, and in response, develop the services that are needed.

You could help support the running of these services, by making a donation here. Thank you.

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