Our engaging networking lunch event…

The first of the West area twice yearly "networking lunches" took place. The venue was again the Trust Lecture Theatre at St.Margaret's Hospital in Epping.

As ever the event began with a substantial and varied lunch followed by speakers. The event was attended by a varied group representing service users, health professionals, Church groups, charities and churches.

The first speaker was from the Loughton Food Bank. She ably described the work they do locally. Part of the Trussell Trust they provide a minimum of three days emergency food and support to local people experiencing crisis. These people have been identified as being 'in crisis' by a front line care professional who then refer them to the foodbank. As well as food a volunteer meets them and signposts them to agencies who can help resolve the longer-term problems. The groups wider vision is to " end hunger and poverty in Epping Forest and Restore Dignity and Revive Hope."

The second speaker from the Restore Centre, runs a shop and drop in centre locally. The centre describes itself as "A place of community where we value people, welcome them and are able to give support and signposting, whether for physical, mental, spiritual or emotional help."

It was noted that both practical works are addressing very real needs. Both organisations also recruit, work with and meet the needs of those experiencing short or long term mental health difficulties.

Mind and Spirit Chair Rev Walker led a time of Question and answers at the end with attendees and the two speakers.