In a year which has seen members of its Pathfinder Club take to the streets in a march against youth violence and gun & knife crime and it’s youth travel all the way to the continent of Africa to assist in the rebuilding of a church struck by lightning in Rwanda, the Hackney Seventh Day Adventist Church are now meeting the needs of their local community through a number of health initiatives. A nationwide increase in the number of families struggling on the poverty line and needing the support of church and community food banks has been well documented – see following link - (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jul/21/food-banks-scramble-stop-1-million-children-school-holidays).
Members from the Hackney Church Community Ministries team are meeting the needs of families in this position through their own food bank service. Open every Monday from 4:00-7:00pm, Community Ministries Leader, Vilma Williams, says the Food Bank is a lifeline to struggling families in Hackney: “There are many ordinary working families suffering in the UK who are unable to meet the basic needs of their children as well as individuals who are struggling and do not know where there next meal will come from,” says Williams. She adds: “As a church, we are called to meet the needs of people in our community and so feel it is important to offer this service to those in need while also being a listening ear to those who want to speak to someone or who just need to hear a word of hope and encouragement which lets them know that they are not alone so they shouldn’t suffer in silence.”
As well as the food bank, members of the community can participate in Hackney’s Fitness Club. On offer is the Power Blitz session on Sundays at 10am, Chair Aerobics for over 55’s on Tuesdays at 11am and a Fitness Boot Camp on Thursdays at 7:30pm. Sessions are £2 per class but half price for those on benefits and free for pensioners. Hackney Fitness Club Founder, Joan Reid, is hoping to see a healthier Hackney community through participation in the club. She said: “We want our Hackney community to be happy and healthy so we are encouraging them to come along and take part in our fitness sessions.”
Power Blitz instructor, Ross Mathieu, encourages members of the Hackney community to join his sessions which are a mixture of Combat fitness and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). He says: “Come to a Sunday morning workout which gets you energised and ready for the week ahead. Increase your fitness, lose weight and gain new friends. What more could you want?”
Chair Aerobics Instructor, Timothy George says: “Over 55’s and pensioners can join my free class where we do exercises that can also be done at home while watching TV or listening to the radio. Our stretches, full body workouts and adaptations aim to keep older people strong.”
Daniel Mathieu said that his Fitness Boot Camp is “challenging, designed to work your whole body and build a better and stronger version of yourself.”
For more information on any of these services please contact Vilma Williams (Food Bank) on 07534816799 and Joan Reid (Fitness Club) on 07947158537.