Project to help Colindale’s over-60s with health and wellbeing support

Barnet Council committee agrees to allocate more than £9,000 of developers’ cash to provide weekly social education activities, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

St Matthias Church, Colindale
St Matthias Church, Colindale
St Matthias Church, Colindale
St Matthias Church, Colindale

A scheme to help prevent loneliness, isolation and mental health issues among older people in the west of the borough has won funding from Barnet Council.

The project, aimed at residents aged 60 and over in West Hendon and Colindale South wards, will provide weekly social education activities designed to support their health and wellbeing.

Run by charity Living Way Ministries at St Matthias Church, it will provide access to health and fitness sessions and other services.

During a meeting on Monday, Barnet Council’s west area committee agreed to award £9,360 to support the scheme for a year. It comes after the church hall opened as a “warm space” during winter months and residents called for the activities held there to continue.

Speaking in support of the funding bid, committee member and West Hendon ward councillor Rishikesh Chakraborty said the church was operating on a “shoestring budget” and the warm space was “fairly popular”.

He added: “Residents who were attending felt that it wasn’t sufficient just to have a warm space in the winter months, but we could use the opportunity […] to provide support for a social space that has a run time of about twelve months, during which they can seek funding from multiple sources.”

Cllr Chakraborty said most people who attended the warm space were from Colindale South ward but that those in West Hendon would also benefit. He said the activities offered people in sheltered housing complex Vernon House “an opportunity to socialise that they would otherwise struggle to find”.

Committee chair Nagus Narenthira said that if the scheme was successful for one year, it was likely that other organisations would step in to provide funding to allow it to continue.

Members of the committee unanimously agreed to award the funding from the borough’s community infrastructure levy, which is a pot of cash raised from developers to support local improvements.

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