Copyright © 2021 Community Living Well

Self-Care: The ClementJames Centre

The Clement James Centre gardens

Having started life over 40 years ago as a humble homework club, The ClementJames Centre now offers employment support, adult learning, children and young people’s education and wellbeing support for members of the local community, and beyond. Through a range of 1-to-1 sessions, group activities and classes, ClementJames offers wrap-around support for the adults, young people and families they work with.

Wellbeing Activities

When it comes to wellbeing activities, ClementJames offers an array of groups, courses and one-off events throughout the year. Both the Speaking Group and Reader Group run weekly, ordinarily taking place at the centre itself, but remotely via Zoom for the time being.

Through activities and games, members of the Speaking Group get to practice their spoken English in a relaxed and friendly environment. Those that attend the Reader Group come together to share in the magic of reading, by discussing the set novel extract, short story or poem.

The Women’s Confidence Programme

The Women’s Confidence Programme (WCP) is made up of a course, two conference-style days and a trip. The WCP course brings a group of women together for one morning a week for six weeks, to work on developing skills, such as communication, active listening, confidence, self-compassion and boundaries.

Through creative activities, independent reflective practice and discussion, the group not only develop these important skills, but share experiences and form friendships. The fourth online format of the course will be running April-May, with the hope that the course can return to in-person at the centre in the autumn.

Celebrating creativity

Celebrating and using creativity – in its varied forms – is a central part of many ClementJames wellbeing activities. ‘CJ Creates – This is Me’ is an annual spring showcase of creative worked, produced by adults, young people and children alike, around a particular theme. Last year’s online exhibition focused on ‘Belonging’, and saw a variety of submissions, including paintings, sculptures, recipes and photographs.

The annual ‘CJ Creates – Express Yourself’ is all about celebrating and developing young people’s creativity. Over the course of four days last July, the group explored the relationship between creativity and social justice, taking part in workshops with organisations, such as SPID theatre, and creating their own works, such as miniature statues and lino-printed tote bags.

Nutrition and Gardening

Getting outside as an effective way to boost wellbeing is also promoted through monthly gardening sessions and the Nutrition and Gardening course. During the monthly sessions, attendees work together with the professional gardener, developing gardening skills whilst making connections with other local people.

Taking place a morning a week for four weeks in early summer, the Nutrition and Gardening course takes advantage of the produce growing in the garden, by promoting an interest in nourishing our minds and bodies. Gardening sessions have been on hold whilst the Centre has been closed, but hope to be able to re-start with small groups by mid-spring.

Employment Support

Clients who take part in ClementJames’ Employment Support Programme reported an increase in wellbeing. The 1-to-1 sessions are tailored to the needs of the individual, but focus on employment and training-related skills such as CV building, interview practice, online job searches and goal setting (to name a few). Clients who engage with this programme also report an increase in key wellbeing indicators, such as confidence and independence. At the moment the sessions are happening via telephone and video call, but come summer term, ClementJames hopes to be able to restart in-person sessions at the Centre too.

How to refer to Community Living Well Self-Care

The ClementJames Centre is part of the Community Living Well Self-Care programme. Other services include emotional and practical support in your language, Well Read play-reading group, massage therapy, My Recipe, My Story, and volunteering opportunities.

To find out more, or to refer yourself to the service, call us on 020 3317 4200 or complete this online form.

This article was originally published in the Spring/Summer 2021 edition of Community Living Well magazine. To subscribe to receive the magazine, complete this form

Author: Stewart Gillespie
Posted on: 23rd June 2021

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