July 10, 2021
RJ4All has been fortunate to receive support from Southwark Council, the Clothworkers’ Foundation and the London Marathon Charitable Fund to provide fitness and wellbeing services to marginalised communities in South East London.
Following the pandemic, we know that many people where we are based have suffered through elevated levels of anxiety, depression and/or loneliness due to the COVID19 restrictions. We also know that the closure of many youth facilities and schools left many of our young people isolated as well as exposed to risks. We want to address the reasons that lead to depression, isolation, anger and anti-social behaviour. RJ4All has a holistic approach to addressing poverty and disadvantage, which is preventative and not reactive!
This programme aims to encourage some of our communities most marginalised groups to become more active while establishing a health plan pattern that will last beyond the limits of the funds. It aims to bring them together through RJ4All sports, to learn about each other, get active and improve their health outcomes.
South East London where RJ4All’s Community Centre is based has higher levels of deprivation and disadvantage. Since April 202p, we have also recorded higher levels of victimisation and anti-social behaviour particularly within certain SE16 areas and populations.
This project consisting of spinning classes at our centre as well as dietary and mental health counselling will have a healing effect on the mental health of our participants. We are targeting those who cannot afford joining a gym or who are prevented due to cultural barriers. Over 70% of our users and local residents are from BAME communities, with some experiencing different forms of violence, such as domestic violence.
The need for assistance within these aforementioned communities is supported by the solid evidence RJ4All has collected. Since April, RJ4All has been delivering COVID-19 emergency support services to South-East London residents, with a particular focus on mental health, and food/PPE provision. Through our helpline and e-forum we collected hundreds of statements of disadvantaged locals in need and so raised serious concerns in relation to local residents’ mental health, while also bringing up issues of basic survival. Many showed symptoms of anxiety and stress, loneliness and the fear and loss of hope generated by the uncertainty associated with lockdown and the high circulation of the virus in our area. Some even disclosed self-harming and drug abuse.
Plan of Action
Sport activities, dietary and mental health counselling sessions that we have planned at the centre can provide numerous physical and mental benefits such as the improvement of circulation and weight control. They can also help increase confidence, flexibility and make people feel more secure in their daily lives. A key mission of our organisation is also to promote intercultural awareness as well as community cohesion. By bringing a diverse group of people together and through the power of sports we know that barriers can be brought down.
Spinning classes will be held every Saturday between 12:00 and 12:45 PM. First session is on 10th of July. They will be run by our Personal Trainer Olga Ribaka and overseen by our Director Dr. Theo Gavrielides. We only have 7 spinning bikes and thus demand is high.
RJ4All Rotherhithe Community Centre
30 Plough Way
London SE16 2LJ
This free online sports events are organised by Restorative Justice for All (RJ4All) International Institute. Any donations will be greatly appreciated and put to good use through the funding of RJ4All’s charity various work.
My name is Olga Ribaka. I have been teaching fitness and dance for nearly 20 years. I am a qualified Level 2 Exercise to Music, Level 3 Personal Trainer, Level 3 Pilates Instructor as well as I have a diploma in dance and culture management. I teach in London fitness clubs Body Pump, Spin, Zumba, Zumba Toning, Pilates, LBT, Total Body Conditioning, Step, Core and Salsa dance.