Visit from David Calvin of the Zacchaeus Project

Zacchaeus Project header

Last week we had an enlightening talk from David Calvin. The Zacchaeus community project is based at Bethnal Green Methodist Church, at the junction of Approach Road and Bonner Road.

The short description of the project is that it supports people aged 50+ (and their carers) with advice and activities to improve the quality of their lives. One simple, but very useful thing they do is run a “Warm Space” every Friday from 10.30 to 4pm. There’s free coffee, teas, biscuits, support and space to relax and chat.

My parents, born just after WWI, inhabited a very different world to the one that I do. Gas was bought in advance by feeding shillings into a meter. There was half a ton of coal in the back garden which would supply heating through the winter even if my father lost his job. He came home every Friday with his wages in cash which he gave to my mother. Sometimes he worked Saturdays on time and a half, and Sundays on double time (pay). Getting into debt terrified them. But life was much simpler that way.

Today we all have to be our own office administrators, understanding computers, smartphones, and be half competent touch typists. But lots of pensioners left work without ever having worked in an office. Navigating life today can be very complicated.

This is where the Zacchaeus Project can really help local pensioners. They have a number of volunteers specialising in different areas. They can help you:

  • Make or reschedule medical appointments
  • Apply for benefits online
  • Make online payments
  • Shop online, including for food
  • Apply for transportation, parking permits, and blue badges

They also run computer skills workshops.

Ring 0208 983 1568 for help, or drop in on a Friday.

They also offer lots of social activities, a walking group, run art classes, exercise classes, have a knitting group, and a gardening group.

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