Getting Involved in the Community with Linda
For the past few months, Linda has been working on the Wellone project to develop its strategy and direction. We spoke to her about what the project means to her, what health and fitness are to her, and why she gets so involved in the community around her.
Before moving to Poplar, Linda was a registered Occupational Therapist in Australia. She loved working in the community, she says helping people to regain their independence after a hospital stay. After getting involved in the setting up and improvement of community health services, she was inspired to do more and went on to study a Masters in Public Health. Now, in England, she volunteers on the Wellone project and looks after her 18 month old son, Jake.
Using her skills and experience, she works to help develop the strategy and direction that Wellone takes. By looking into evaluation frameworks, social prescribing and much more, her work is a great help to removing barriers to health and wellbeing in Poplar. She says she was keen to volunteer for a chance to build up her experience after staying at home to look after her son but, being very community minded, she found that Wellone was a great opportunity to help people, to give back to the community and utilise her skills. She loves that it is a community project, one with a great ethos behind it. She loves working with people and wanted to do so on an even larger scale, so she and the project were an excellent fit for each other.
Who is Linda?
Linda practices what we preach at Wellone in her personal life. She believes that green spaces are super important to your health, so she and her son try to make the most out of what East London has to offer. She enjoys exploring to find things to do with her son, Jake, and luckily the local area has it all. Her favourite place to go is Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, but she and Jake also cycle all around the area; through Mile End park, all over the winding canals and down the Thames to Mudchute Farm, and all the way up to the playgrounds in Victoria Park.
Social connections are hugely important to her, too. This has seen her get heavily involved in the community, starting with becoming a regular at Toddler Yoga. As a combination of yoga, story-telling and songs, she says that it’s a great way to introduce yoga to kids and good for parents to get a stretch too! And Jake certainly loves it, meeting and befriending the other children and learning all the moves. Linda enjoys the chance to meet other local parents at the session and the social coffee and chat afterwards is a highlight. It was through this that she learnt more about Poplar HARCA and got involved with the Wellone project. Since then she’s started unleashing her creativity by attending Sew Thrifty at Poplar Union, a class that tackles monthly projects from cushions to laptop sleeves. Upon learning that toddlers need three hours of active play a day (!), she is also starting a walking group for parents and children in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park!
At home, she likes to live as sustainably as possible. As the environment impacts on everyone’s health and wellbeing, making changes to help the environment is important to her. For example, she and her family have an electric car club membership, allowing them to rent out electric cars for weekend trips, reducing their use of fossil fuels that contribute to air pollution in London. They have a worm farm on their balcony, which helps to reduce their food waste and they also use modern cloth nappies with her son, Jake, to reduce their plastic waste.
Above all, she wants to help people and give back to her community – be it through the Wellone project, taking steps to reduce her family’s impact on the environment, or even just getting involved in the activities the area has to offer.
Tower Hamlets Council currently offer £5 wormfarms and compost bins. Find out more here.
E car club is in a number of convenient locations around Poplar and Bow and Poplar HARCA has an exclusive discount offer. Find out more here.
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