29 September 2022 – VAI Health & Wellbeing Network Meeting Outcome


After a summer break, the Health & Wellbeing Network reconvened this week to discuss a variety of topics related to our community. As usual, here is your monthly round up complete with agenda items, summaries and presentations for anyone who couldn’t make it on the day. If you would like to watch a recording of the meeting, you can access it here:

1. Hyperlocal Vaccination Programme & Public Health update (Navinder Kaur, VAI –

Navinder began by describing the current general health climate as described by Public Health; mentioning the increase in flu patients due to a lack of relative immunity in the population from the last couple of years. At present, the covid-19 vaccinations are still being delivered across 8 pharmacies in Islington and Holloway Neighbourhood Group are holding a pop-up clinic today to increase uptake. St. Luke’s Community Centre is also holding booster clinics all throughout October and are open to walk-ins from anyone in the area. In addition to this, there is a Government campaign to increase childhood immunisations for the MMR vaccine. The plan is to take a whole-family approach, engaging parents with their children to get them immunised. The news recently describes a sad resurgence of polio in our water systems and so the 5 London boroughs of the North Central London group have now made this a priority. GPs will be calling and writing to parents to explain the risk but also the process of immunising children in an attempt to interrupt community transmission. More information can be found on the public health website, available here:


2. Health & Wellbeing Activities at Arsenal in the Community (Rhys Ratcliffe, Arsenal in the Community –

Newly appointed Health & Wellbeing Coordinator at Arsenal, Rhys, spoke to the network around Arsenal’s local community priorities and the areas of work they are currently exploring. These include cancer, Cardiovascular disease & Respiratory diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure and significant mental illnesses. These have been identified as Islington’s most pressing health determiners and as such, the team at Arsenal are tailoring their services around them and their common sufferers. Rhys delivered an excellent presentation on the range of projects Arsenal are either currently offering or looking to propose in the future and described three main focus areas: 1. Enabling people to be more physically active and maintain a healthy weight. 2. Increase awareness of Mental Health challenges and provide effective interventions, 3. Maintain and improve quality of life for the elderly or those with long term conditions. You can view the entire presentation, complete with a two-year action plan and current service schedule here: Arsenal in the community- Health Strategy (Shortened)


3. Maytree Suicide Respite Centre – Finding Hope (Pritty Rana, Maytree –

Pritty Rana of Maytree Suicide Respite Centre came to talk to us about her service, though national, based in Islington and how this vitally important charity can play a defining role in saving someone’s life in crisis. Maytree was set up in 2002 after the founders identified a gap in service provision for those needing more than one-off telephone support, but less than hospitalisation or psychiatric care. Their organisational aims are to reduce the number of lives lost to suicide, provide a non-medical, holistic respite for people in suicidal distress through providing listening and emotional support, support individuals to re-connect or connect with new people or services and finally reduce isolation and build trust. To do this, they offer a unique residential stay at their property in Finsbury Park where guests have the opportunity to talk through their troubles through a holistic practice of compassionate, active and non-judgemental listening. For a deeper look into what this service is like, watch their video here: You can see Pritty’s presentation and Maytree’s full service offer here: Maytree Service Presentation 2022 – Inspiring Hope


4. Cost of Living Campaign (Christine Seaton-Smith & Louise Bays, Islington Council –

At an important time for everyone in the borough, Louise and Christine of Islington Council came to describe the work our local authority are doing on the cost of living crisis. Their campaign launched on 6th September in an attempt to support residents and businesses and promote the help and advice to them. This involves the following objectives: Signpost and demystify financial support, help residents claim benefits they’re entitled to, increase awareness of other related support, promote the importance of seeking help early and influence national policy change. Christine went on to describe the approach the council are taking, including clear and simple signposting and a variety of media sources such as leaflets, posters, social media posts and physical letter posting. The pair described upcoming events including the distribution of 20,000 leaflets to the VCS, a debut cost of living e-bulletin and a cost of living summit, starting 3 Oct. You can find all details and the full presentation here: Cost of living campaign update -29 Sept. You can also access the online council pages and campaign toolkit here: the Cost of living support | Islington Council page and the Campaign toolkit | Islington Council.



Cliff Joseph, VAI:

Hello, my name is Cliff, and I am the Young Islington Development Officer at Voluntary Action Islington. My role is funded by Islington Council.

My focus is to identify, target and reach groups/individuals working with young people (11-25 years) that are underrepresented, vulnerable or, not engaged with the Islington Youth Work Offer.

I am particularly interested to meet with and support, to access and develop a stronger voice in the Young Islington Networks, anyone working with young people from the Somali, Turkish and Bangladeshi communities, as well as disabled, Girls, LGBTQ+ young people, and others vulnerable to poorer outcomes or, living in more deprived wards or households

It is essential that the voices of these groups are heard and understood by everyone working with young people in the borough. So, if this is you or you know of any groups who would gain from the benefits on offer, please share this info with them and/or get in touch to let me know.

T: 020 7832 5801
M: 07354 460 061


Please join us for October’s Health & Wellbeing Network meeting, taking place on Thursday 20th October, 10:30 – 12:00. Details and registration here:


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