Men’s Groups

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The Downham Men’s Group

The Blue Ribbon Foundation’s Downham Men’s Group at Goldsmiths Community Centre programme

As part of our programme of ‘ground level’ support, we have developed the Downham Men’s Group and are currently holding weekly meeting to explore ideas and develop this vital project.

The men of south Lewisham are at risk of being left behind. High unemployment, poor health, age and limited prospects render it difficult to motivate them to look after their health, or to take up opportunities for the benefit and wellbeing of themselves, their families or their communities.  The Blue Ribbon Foundation has developed a men’s group in Downham in south Lewisham. The Downham Men’s Group is based at Goldsmith Community Centre in Castillon Road, Lewisham, SE6 1QD.

Statistically, Lewisham remains amongst the most deprived local authority areas in England (48 out of 326). Things are particularly bad in the local wards of Downham and Whitefoot. Downham has nine Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) in the 20% most deprived in England. Whitefoot has one LSOAs in the 10% most deprived and a further four LSOAs in the 20% most deprived. The centre is located in the 10% most deprived LSOA areas in England.

The programme often engages with people who are socially isolated, older or suffering from health related problems and includes the 10% of residents in the target wards who are over the age of 64 and the 19.8% people in the Lewisham population with common mental health problems.

Too many men are dying too young, or suffering from avoidable health problems, partly because of a lack of awareness and not seeking help soon enough.  Statistics show that 1 man in 5 dies before they reach the age of 65; because of the social class differences “Downham Men” are likely to be a major contributor to this statistic.

We hope this programme helps in some way to rebalance these issues.

Walking Football

The project started as Downham Men’s over 50’s walking football but in reality anyone over a ‘certain age’ or men who want to develop or keep a level of fitness are welcome.

For the Foundation, this project covers two of our key objectives, firstly to raise awareness of male health and wellbeing issues and secondly to encourage men to take positive action to safeguard their health and wellbeing.

The football is currently at Downham Health and Leisure Centre, 7-9 Moorside Rd, Bromley BR1 5EP

It currently takes place on a Thursday 7pm – 8pm.

For more information please contact Trevor Pybus on 07821 292317 or email trevor.pybus@blueribbonfoundation.org.uk

Downham Antidote

Downham’s Festival of Ageing Photographic Project

An Exhibition of photographs taken by members of Downham Men’s Group during very interactive workshops led by professional photographer Sarah Garrod, as part of Lewisham’s  Age Against the Machine Festival. With Sarah the group worked together to deliver a photographic project for beginners that would have learning, be fun and leave a legacy.

Session 1: A ‘Cyanotype’ Workshop where the group of men learnt the fundamentals of photography, how light reacts to create images via a sun printing workshops.

See photographs:  05,06 ,11, 20, 24 25

Session 2: Was a practical session in Hither Green Cemetery, walking around cemetery taking photos and exploring the history.

See photographs: 04, 07, 12, 27,28

Session 3: Was a walk through Downham Woodland and then some of Downham’s streets.

See photographs:  01,02,03, 09,10,13, 14,15,16,17, 18,19, 29, 30, 31.32

Session 4: Was a practical session on editing, curating, framing and writing as well as selecting photographs for exhibition and framing.

Session 5: On Saturday 28 September the exhibition was hung at Downham Leisure and Lifestyle Centre for a week.  On the Saturday the group we had over 150 interactions with local people about the display and then the exhibition went onto the Age Against the Machine Festival held at Laban centre Sunday 7 October 2019.

01  Generations
02  Downham Pride
03  So near so far
04  Spooky
05  Gangster Paradise
06  Downham Keys
07  Sandhurst War Memorial
08  Margret Beale
09  Green Women Lake Heron
10  Green Women Lake
11  Old crochet
12  Desolation
13  Pond
14  Joy
15  Tramshed
16  Shroffold Road
17  Woodland Walk
18  Downham Flower
19  Woodland Photo walk
20  Leaves
21  Days gone by
22  Days between school and play
23  Days of hope
24  Lace collar
25  Lack and Keys
26  Photos from the attic
27  New life
28  Old life
29  Life
30  Tony of Downham
31  Space to play
32  Billy

Trevor Pybus
Trevor Pybus
Trevor Pybus
Richard O’Mahoney
Richard O’Mahoney
Richard O’Mahoney
Richard O’Mahoney
Tony Cilento
Tim Oshodi
Tim Oshodi
Tim Oshodi
Billy Koch
Billy Koch
Billy Koch
Steve Turner
Steve Turner
Steve Turner
Alan Holland
Alan Holland
Alan Holland
Ron Dixon
Ron Dixon
Ron Dixon
Anon
Anon
Anon
Ian Fellingham
Ian Fellingham
Ian Fellingham
Sarah Garrod
Sarah Garrod
Sarah Garrod

The Downham Men’s Group would like to recognise the following who without their help this project would not have been able.

  • Age Against the Machine Festival for the funding and opportunity to participate.
  • Sarah Garrod, for the help, support and information.
  • Goldsmith Community Centre, our main base for the sessions and always willing to help us arrangements at short notice.
  • Bromley Library reference service for being so positive.
  • Hither Green Crematory for allowing us access to photograph the space,
  • Bellingham Bowls club the opportunity to play a game of bowls while selecting our pictures.
  • 1Life staff at Downham Leisure and Lifestyle centre, for displaying the exhibition
  • To all those who came along and commented