Sometimes it’s hard to capture the sheer variety of work the Peabody Local Area Plan team does in Thamesmead. From supporting children and families, delivering hampers at Christmas to helping residents find jobs, everything they do is underpinned by a single mission – to work with local people to support healthier, wealthier and happier communities in the town.

To make sure they achieve that, the Local Area Plan team, which is part of the Peabody Community Foundation, spends a lot of time talking and listening to local people to create a range of activities and opportunities for everyone. All this work is designed to help reach the team’s four ultimate goals: boosting income; developing skills and aspirations, improving mental and physical health, and building engaged and active communities.

Gez Kellaghan, Peabody’s Local Area Plan Manager for Greenwich and Bexley, said: “Thamesmead is such a unique place. Lots of residents here are very entrepreneurial and want to get on in life. It’s our job to provide opportunities for them to access skills and support that will help them to fulfil their dreams.

“We all need some help and support from time to time and the Local Area Plan team is here to provide just that.”

The team can assist you in starting your own business, finding a job or apprenticeship, or improving your career prospects. If you’re interested in developing your skills the team also offers a range of training courses. Some are specifically for young people, such as the YouthBuild programme on Titmuss Avenue, but there’s something for everyone, including increasing your confidence, learning IT skills or project management. Maybe you’d like to volunteer? Are you interested in getting fit, learning how to cycle or want to get involved in team sports?

Residents can also apply for funding through the Thamesmead Community Fund to run their own projects. For example if you want to start a class, set up a tea and chat group for carers, or if you have a creative idea to bring people together, do get in touch. The team can also provide practical advice and support to tackle the sort of concerns that can trouble us all, such as managing debt, getting the right benefits, energy advice, accessing food and immigration advice.

Or perhaps you’ve been finding life a bit tough during the pandemic and need someone to talk to? Thamesmead resident Sarah, 25, found herself in need of that kind of support so the Local Area Plan Team put her in touch with Bexley Counselling Matters for 1-2-1 sessions. She said: “This programme has really made a huge impact on my life. I am working on becoming a personal trainer as I want to help people become the best version of themselves. Joining the programme was the best thing I have ever done and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

To find out more about what the Local Area Plan team can offer you, contact [email protected]