Professor Sir Liam Donaldson Visits Old Oak

The Centre showcases its Community Champions Project

Sir Liam Donaldson, the former Chief Medical Officer for England and a global leader in public health, visited Old Oak Community and Children’s Centre in October to learn more about the excellent work of the Community Champions programme.

Sir Liam had a discussion with two of Old Oak’s Community Champion volunteers about their role in encouraging local residents to lead a healthier lifestyle and how they effectively signpost people to local health-based services and offer support to access these. All Community Champions undertake a nationally recognised Level 2 Award in Understanding Health Improvement which helps them to understand health inequalities, the reasons they occur and what they can do to improve their community’s health.

One of the volunteers, Noralyn, explained how they have become the ‘go-to’ people in the neighbourhood when residents have health-related queries, and Maria, who is also a local child-minder, spoke to Sir Liam about how she provides information to parents about healthy eating and keeping their children active from an early age.

Sir Liam visit 1

Old Oak’s Champions have recently completed a baseline health survey in the neighbourhood and one preliminary finding is that 26% of adults questioned admit to being smokers. Sir Liam said: “I think it helps sometimes to have one thing in the middle of what you’re doing which you really fight for – your one thing could be to make yourselves have the lowest smoking prevalence in the country”.

Old Oak Housing Association’s Director, David Leach, said of the visit: “Sir Liam’s visit was a great opportunity for Old Oak to showcase its excellent Community Champions Project and over 50s Health Pilot, and to engage with LBHF’s Clinical Health Commissioning Team”.

The Old Oak project is one of five Community Champions hubs running in the boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster. The Tri-borough Public Health Service is now looking to extend the scheme which Councillors want to see on many more estates with rapid expansion.

Councillor Marcus Ginn, Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s cabinet member for Community Care, said: “The Community Champions project is a shining example of how local people can be empowered to recognise and address some of their own particular challenges, reducing health inequalities while creating opportunities”.

For more information on the Community Champions, please visit the Community Centre’s website.


New ‘Get Connected’ Computer Training Workshops – Going Down A Storm!

Family Mosaic’s ‘Get Connected’ Computer Training Course is proving  very popular with  its users, with 9 attendees to date (with room for a few more!) There are 7 weeks left of this 8 week course with the possibility of on-going one-to-one support from digital mentors once the course has finished, so it is not too late to get involved! We are especially keen to hear from any young customers of ours who are confident in the use of computers and the internet who would like to earn a £10 voucher (along with valuable work experience and a point of reference) for helping out at each session (and also possibly at other courses and clubs.)

The course is aimed at people with various levels of computer experience, from absolute beginners (so no experience required) who would like to learn the basics around computers and how to use the internet for shopping, using email, searching for jobs, socialising and applying for and managing benefits online to those who would like to learn more advanced work focussed skills such as word processing, spread sheets and presentations.

No matter what level attendees are studying at, it is possible to gain recognised qualifications in computing, from C&G basic computing certificates to European Computer Driving License (ECDL) awards (currently up to an equivalent of GCSE standard) and both the course and the certification is free of charge to our customers.

Ben Isaac, a Family Support Worker at Old Oak has said that the feedback received has been ‘very positive which has contributed to users attending regularly.’ Peter Grace, who is the Get Connected Project Worker stated “ All those who have attended so far are progressing well – I will also be encouraging many of them who are currently learning the basics to continue their learning with the ECDL course that Family Mosaic can now provide”.

Courses  are being run every Tuesday from 12pm to 2pm and take place at Old Oak Housing Association, 43-45 Erconwald Street, London W12 0BP.  Interested? Contact Peter Grace 07852 585 042  Email: