South Essex African Caribbean Association (SEACA), working with Label Free Creativity (CIC), presents Stepping Out, a Covid-19 recovery project, using story-telling, digital tools and mediated support to encourage BAME elders and others feeling vulnerable in Southend, to ‘step outside again’ and start resuming routines, renewing friendships and returning to favourite places. 

Stepping Out is designed for people in Southend who are experiencing social isolation, affecting their mental wellbeing, during and post the COVID-19 lockdown:

  1. Elders from the BAME African Caribbean communities, who are being severely affected by the pandemic and reporting great anxiety, loneliness and isolation due to shielding or being separated from usual activities and networks.

  2. People who self-identify with loneliness or social isolation, whose networks, routines and interactions have been disrupted or disappeared

We aim to bring people out again safely and with confidence through

  • sharing of experiences of isolation during the lockdown and

  • capturing their stories & conversations through recordings via zoom, telephone/mobile and online social media platforms.

  • Sharing individual stories amongst the elderly BAME Afro Caribbean communities in Southend to highlight the issues, experiences, impact and the effect on mental wellbeing (for example not able to meet family members or go out of their houses).

  • Through these stories we can raise the need for further support for these communities with other agencies including Age UK, MIND, Social Services, NHS.

We look forward to welcoming our participants as we learn how to Step Out again with confidence and anticipation!

Jo Melville and Sarah Bedell, Stepping Out.  

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