august/september 2020

Covid-19 help, volunteering and resources – our updated information page is here

Forum Focus

Community Showcase, Saturday 26 September

We had positive feedback from five organisations, but with relatively low demand and challenges in providing sanitary facilities for stallholders, we have decided not to proceed, and will try again for next spring.

We’ll meet again

The Forum officers have been discussing how to hold an Annual General Meeting when it’s still difficult to get together in person.  Some of our past meeting venues are not yet available to us.  We intend to issue the annual report and accounts soon, with a decent interval for members to respond (by e-mail or post) to adopt them.  Existing officers are willing to continue, but we will be looking for others to join the team so that we can be more active in the year ahead.  Meanwhile, we are looking at how other groups and forums are coping with this – ideas welcome.

News Round-up

Lambeth Hospital site, Landor Road

Following the consultation earlier this year, the South London & Maudsley NHS Trust has decided to proceed with moving in-patient services from the Landor Road site to new accommodation adjacent to the Maudsley Hospital in Camberwell.  It is now consulting on plans for new housing development on Landor Road.  They propose a total of 570 new homes on the site, of which 258 are intended to be affordable flats  More details should be on the website, www.slam.nhs.uk/about-us/get-involved/consultations-and-engagement

Traffic Changes – reminder

Two Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are now in place on the fringes of Brixton’s Town Centre, around Railton Road and Ferndale Road.  Although there are active petitions both for and against each package, it would be more constructive to use the Commonplace consultation websites to feed back on what works and what does not.  If you want us to lobby on your behalf, you need to tell us!
See https://fdstreets.commonplace.is/ for the area between Acre Lane and Landor Road, 
and https://rtstreets.commonplace.is/ for the Railton Road area.

Remember also that Atlantic Road north of Coldharbour Lane is closed to all vehicles until at least January, while Network Rail repairs the railway station platform.  A diversion of the 322 bus route is expected to continue until March.

Finally, Vauxhall Bridge is now closed to vehicle traffic until late November, for repairs.  It remains open for pedestrians, cyclists, and south-bound buses only.

Re-opening Brixton

The Brixton BID reports that footfall in Brixton Town Centre has been increasing again, but over the 12 months to 1st August, it was 26.5% less than the previous year.  The total number of visitors logged during the week to 1st August was 280,641, showing an increase from the previous week’s total of 252,401 visitors. The busiest day was Saturday 1st August, with 52,981 visitors.

This is consistent with a report from the Franco Manca group that post-lockdown trade across all their outlets is already 72% of the previous year’s volume.

A new series of banners are appearing on lamp-posts in the Town Centre, reflecting the two themes of Black Lives Matter and safe re-openings.

The Impact Hub has re-opened, with additional health precautions in place.   A range of meeting rooms can now be hired for consultations, coaching or training sessions – see https://impacthubbrixton.spaces.nexudus.com/en/bookings/
The programme of virtual training sessions has paused until September – when live sessions may also restart.  Meanwhile, you can see previous lunch & learn sessions at https://impactbrixton.com/resources/

Black Cultural Archives plan to re-open on Thursday 20 August, though hours will be limited.  The courtyard and gallery will be open to drop-in visitors, 11-30 to 5 pm Thursday to Saturday, but Library access will be by appointment only, 12 noon to 3-30 pm on the same days.  More details at www.bcaheritage.org.uk

Pop Brixton: Since 4th July, opening hours are noon to 11-30 pm on Thursday to Saturday, noon to 10 pm on Sunday to Wednesday.
10 of their catering outlets have already signed up to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme – look for the distinctive signs. Sadly the lockdown has created a few gaps among retail spaces, but that could be an opportunity to start or grow your own business.  Standard retail units are 124 sq.ft. and cost £1500 a month (+ VAT) to rent, or a 15% share of your revenue.  As of last week, there was also a supported unit available at a discounted rent of 35-50% of the market price.  Enquiries to info@popbrixton.org

Funding, Training & Support

Virtual Training dates from the FSI

The Foundation for Social Improvement is continuing its programme of subsidised training on-line until January 2021.  The next package arrives over 8 and 9 September, with a choice of 9 half-day or full-day webinar training courses.  More information on their re-vamped website at   www.thefsi.org 

Training for Advice Workers

Integrate have organised access to training for VCS workers leading to the NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Information, Advice or Guidance.  The course is free for those earning up to £20,572 pa or £10.55 per hour, or above this threshold the employer must contribute. Enquiries to IAG@newchallenge.org or phone the lead tutor, Guy Guneri on 07 749 053 883.

London Plus

This is a useful source of information if you want to tap into London-wide funding sources, or to find out about events and training offered across Greater London.  London Plus aims to champion London’s civil society in the recovery from the Coronavirus outbreak, and is a brand name of Greater London Volunteering.  Enquiries to info@londonplus.org

Arts Grants and Fellowships

These may be for the limited field of studies in British Art, but all sources are worth a look these days!  The Autumn round of funding from the Paul Mellon Centre has just opened, and closing date is Wednesday 30 September.  Grants and fellowships are available for relevant events, publications, digital projects and research.  Events can include on-line events and educational programmes  Research funding can include previous projects delayed or disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak and lock-down.  For more details see https://www.paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk/fellowships-and-grants/

Help with policies and procedures

A number of queries recently from groups – even from other neighbourhood forums – trying to update or create policy statements to support their various applications to potential funders.  We noticed a very comprehensive set from the Directory of Social Change, though you would have to pay for the download.  Ideally you would create each document afresh to suit your group and its way of working, but seeing somebody else’s is always a helpful starting point. 

Health & Social Care

Stop the Spread!

We can supply a summary of current restrictions and advice, as a Word file – just remember to check for frequent changes in Government guidance.  Healthwise, advice from WHO is more reliable. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public  Contact admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org or see our resources page here

As mentioned before, if you know anyone who is exempt from wearing a face-mask on medical grounds, we can forward a PNG file of printable label designs which can be used as lapel badges or with ID badges.  Contact the Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com

Support for Older People and Carers

Lambeth’s emergency helpline was replaced a month ago by the MyCommunity Gateway service.  Although Age UK Lambeth is one of the partners providing the service, it’s open to any Lambeth resident over 18.  The phone line is 0333 360 3700, staffed 10 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday, but messages can be left out of hours.  The website is https://www.connectlambeth.org
A more general directory of support can also be found at https://mycommunity.directory/
If your group provides social care or community activities, there is scope to be added to the directory.

Mental Health

Art4Space are hosting another Mental Health First Aid Course, at their studio at 31 Jeffreys Road, SW4 (near Stockwell Tube Station).
The 2-day course will be on 1 & 2 October, with a repeat on 3 & 4 December. Courses are conducted by It’s a Playground and certified by MHFA. Course fee is £300.  Bookings to info@itsaplayground.org or see the website www.art4space.co.uk

Green issues

Lambeth Council has finally launched its Climate Action Hub, to share ideas for reducing carbon emissions and making the whole Lambeth community more resilient.  This is based around an interactive website, powered by Commonplace, which enables you to input your own ideas and to see a cross-section of other people’s comments.  More can be seen at https://lambethclimateaction.commonplace.is/

Supporting Cycling is an important part of the Council’s Climate Action Strategy.  Lambeth was installing 20 new cycle hangars last month, with another 25 to be installed around the borough by the end of 2020.  To find and rent a space in a local hangar, see https://www.cyclehoop.rentals/

There are still a few more free bike servicing and repairs sessions taking place this month, provided by Dr Bike – see www.lambeth.gov.uk/drbike
For other enquiries about cycling facilities in Lambeth, contact cycling@email.lambeth.gov.uk

Green Homes Grants
News is beginning to trickle out from Government sources about how the proposed grants will work, but we don’t have anything like the whole story yet.  I hope we can give you a fuller picture in our next bulletin.

Keep in touch!

Making Connections

One way that the Forum can help you is by putting different organisations in touch with each other.  Recently we referred a summer youth training project to Friends of Windmill Gardens, who are now hosting National Citizen Service sessions for Groundwork.
That sort of thing is easier if we know a bit more about you than just an e-mail address.  We are keen to highlight local groups – especially grass-roots groups that we have not heard from lately – in these bulletins, so please get in touch (see below).

We try to provide contact details to other agencies in these bulletins, but sadly occasional typos do creep in – and on odd occasions they forget to give us a link at all!

Share your news

To include your news or a coming event in the Forum e-bulletin, please e-mail to the Forum Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com
We expect now to continue issuing them monthly, unless we have some urgent news to share with you. 

Is our mailing list correct?
We have 500-plus mailing list contacts, mostly among local organisations, but also including other Forums nearby and our local Councillors.  We are happy to include individuals active in the community, though we have not tried to be a Brixton-wide residents’ association. 

We want to be sure of reaching our key audiences, so please notify us, at admin@brixtoneighbourhoodforum.org
– If you want to add a colleague or neighbour to our mailing list;
– If you are changing your e-mail or other contact details;
– If you have moved away or are no longer interested.

The forum for community groups and individuals around Brixton