november 2020

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

Forum AGM on-line, Monday 23 November

Remember to reserve a space – Our next Forum meeting will take place on-line (via Zoom) at 7 pm on Monday 23 November.  As advised last month, this will be the delayed Annual General Meeting, so we will shortly circulate the Annual Report and the Accounts for the year ended 31 March.  We also want to look a year ahead and enlarge the committee, to steer the Forum into the future. We hope you will want to join in the meeting, but please e-mail to apiperbrix@aol.com in advance, so we can send you the log-in details the day before.

Lockdown 2 – key contacts and support Council and other contacts

The new Civic Centre was already closed for alterations, but these contacts may be useful during the latest lockdown:

Council Tax, Benefits and council tax support: tel. 0345 302 2312,
e-mail as appropriate to benefitsinfo@lambeth.gov.uk
or 
counciltax@lambeth.gov.uk

Council Housing – repairs, rents, estate parking: tel. 020 7926 6000 or e-mail to RentsTeam@lambeth.gov.uk
Choice-based lettings: 
tel. 020 7926 6151 or e-mail to DHS-AMPT@lambeth.gov.uk

Housing advice and homelessness: tel. 020 7926 4200 or e-mail to housingadvice@lambeth.gov.uk

Council temporary accommodation: tel. 020 7926 9109 or e-mail to dhsplacement@lambeth.gov.uk

Adult Social Care: tel. 020 7926 5555.
Children’s Social Care: 
tel. 020 7926 5555.
School admissions: tel.
020 7926 9503 or e-mail to schooladmissions@lambeth.gov.uk

Parking, Transport and Streets Team: tel. 020 7926 9000 or e-mail to environment@lambeth.gov.uk

Accessible transport: tel. 020 7926 7777 or  accessibletransport@lambeth.gov.uk

Lambeth Larder is a good resource for food and support.  For web enquiries, go to www.lambeth.gov.uk and follow the relevant links.

Also, the MyCommunity gateway service, powered by Age UK Lambeth, can provide advice and help connect you to local services of many kinds – e-mail to mycommunity@ageuklambeth.org or phone 0333 360 3700.

Lockdown Guidance

For details of the restrictions which began on 5th November, visit  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-November
These are due to end on 2nd December but it is possible that lesser restrictions may continue after this date.
Further guidance on face coverings in public or work settings can be found at https://bit.ly/CV19BusinessTT

A Lambeth-based Covid-19 Contact Tracing Service launched on 5 November, to pick up on cases that the struggling National Test and Trace cannot find.  The local service will call residents who have tested positive for Covid-19 and tell them that they must self-isolate at home to stop the spread of the virus.  Local contact tracers will also collect contact details of close contacts from the residents they call, and refer them back to the National Test and Trace system to follow up
Covid-19 testing in the borough is now bolstered by two walk-through Local Testing Sites in Vauxhall and Streatham, and a drive-through Mobile Testing Unit in Brixton.  If you experience symptoms, call 119 or use the website www.nhs,uk/coronavirus Lambeth residents with symptoms can also book home testing kits through this website.

Closed or Open?

“Essential” shops including food shops, supermarkets, dentists and garden centres remain open.  Many businesses continue to handle orders on-line – see https://www.brixtonlocal.life/
Pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed except for takeaway/ delivery services. Schools, nurseries and colleges remain open this time (though colleges and universities are doing much on-line).

Brixton Rec
and other centres operated by Better or GLL are closed.
Lambeth Parks are generally open, but some facilities within them are closed.  For example, at Myatt’s Fields Park, the tennis courts and football pitch are closed, though the toilets, playground and cafe will remain open. 

Lambeth Libraries are generally remaining open, but on the same basis as last month, so the “select and collect” approach still operates.  To reserve books or use of a PC at Brixton Tate Library, phone (020) 7926 1056 05 1058.  Lambeth Archives are now closed to visitors, but will try to help with enquiries remotely – phone (020) 7926 6076 or e-mail to archives@lambeth.gov.uk

Black Cultural Archives has returned to remote working, though they will continue to put material online through their digital showcase and Google Arts & Culture Platform.  Windrush compensation advice surgeries are suspended but if you want to be advised of when they restart, e-mail to info@bcaheritage.org.uk  For research enquiries, contact archives@bcaheritage.org.uk  All telephone enquiries to (020) 3757 8500 (voicemail).

Longfield Hall
has suspended on-site classes and events until 2nd December.  Several regular classes are continuing on-line.  Only the Nest pre-school and private hires for dance or theatre rehearsal are continuing.  They hope to offer some live performances again over the weekend 11/13 December.  See their website for latest timetable: www.longfieldhall.org.uk

Art4Space
in Stockwell are continuing with their training courses and mental health training, following strict Covid-secure measures, but for the latest position, contact jewels@art4space.co.uk

Further afield, most museums and galleries are closed, though many are offering on-line access again.  National Trust houses and shops are closed, while their parks and gardens require prior booking in order to limit numbers at busy times.  Their coast and countryside sites remain open.

Forum Meetings


We tried our first on-line Forum meeting on 2nd November and it seemed to go well, with a better turn-out than last year’s “normal” meetings. Thanks for your comments and suggestions so far, and there will be a number of changes and developments coming soon.

A major concern at that meeting and more widely in the community has been the proposed Hondo Tower in Popes Road.  It was narrowly approved by Lambeth’s Planning Applications Committee on 3rd November.  The big risk is that the 19 floors of outdated office space will eventually be turned into second-rate flats, evading Lambeth’s usual housing standards.  This story is only just beginning…  

Funding, Training and Support

Planning your Community Project

Last year there were a number of events to mark 200 years since the birth of John Ruskin, particularly among our neighbours in Herne Hill, where he lived much of his life.  Among many interests, Ruskin set up the Guild of St. George in 1871 as an educational charity to promote arts, crafts, nature, education, and meaningful work as an alternative to repetitive industrial work.  The Guild has just published Paradise is Here as a handbook to help people engage with their local community and and make positive changes where they live.  Far from being a rural fantasy, it’s based on 6 years of activities in Sheffield, delivering 76 events across the city.  It’s written by Ruth Nutter, the Guild’s creative producer, drawing on her experience of running the programme from 2014 onwards. Paradise is Here is an 80-page paperback, ISBN 978-1-9162882-4-9, and can be ordered via  https://www.guildofstgeorge.org.uk/projects-places/ruskin-in-sheffield/paradise-is-here
Cover price is £8 but quote the code Civic 10 for a 10% discount.

Volunteers wanted?

Team Lambeth was set up at the onset of the first Coronavirus lockdown, to co-ordinate the registration of volunteers.  Over 1500 people signed up to volunteer within the community, from a range of skills and backgrounds.  Basic identity checks have been carried out, though you might have to organise further checks for some roles.  Any community organisation in Lambeth is able to advertise opportunities to this pool of volunteers – enquiries to Ellie Munari, Volunteer Co-ordinator at Healthwatch Lambeth on 07 729 624 229 or e-mail to  ellie.munari@healthwatchlambeth.org.uk

Creative Pathways Course – A quick reminder about this free course for Black, Asian or other ethnic minority young people aged between 14 and 19 years.  It runs from Wednesday 18 November for 5 weeks, from 4-30 to 6-30 pm, funded by Lambeth Council’s Elevate programme.  To find out more or to book, contact Eli at Art4Space, e-mail: eli@art4space.co.uk

Arts fellowships and research grants – Applications are about to open for another funding round at the Paul Mellon Centre – closing date is 31 January.  More details on their website at https://paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk/fellowships-and-grants

Other Health and Social Care News.

Supporting Carers
Carers Hub Lambeth and MYsocial have teamed up with Carers UK to launch the Lambeth Carers Card.  This will help unpaid carers plan for emergencies and provides useful resources for their caring role.
If something happens to the carer, the card gives emergency contact details so that the person cared for can be looked after, and not overlooked. It will also provide an access code to the Lambeth version of the Carers UK digital platform, and access to Carers UK’s Jointly App for free. Regular updates will be provided via newsletters and online events.
Enquiries to 020 7501 8973 or info@lambethcarerscard.org

Safeguarding Adults Week
Two online events are being held in Lambeth as part of National Safeguarding Adults Week:
– Tuesday 17 November from 10 am to 11-30 am, a Q&A session with the independent Chair of the Lambeth Safeguarding Adults Board;
– Thursday 19 November from 2 pm to 4 pm, webinar on safeguarding adults in our community.
Register atwww.eventbrite.org.uk (search safeguarding adults in Lambeth).  Enquiries to LSABAdmin@lambeth.org.uk

Connecting Green Spaces : Discover somewhere new just around the corner – During Lockdown 1 the benefits of spending time outside became very apparent, with many more people walking and getting on their bike, but what about the winter months? A key difference this time is that public toilets remain open, so we have put together a map of all Lambeth’s parks and green spaces to help plan walking or cycling to somewhere that may be new, but still within easy reach. It includes a selection of suggested routes between them, through mainly quieter back streets. The information panel on the map page gives links to all of the places as catalogued on the GoParks website, including histories and descriptions. The information also has links to other parks and nature resources.

More News and Events

Brixton Windmill Winter Market on Sunday 13 December (subject to prevailing public health measures) – The Friends of Windmill Gardens are pressing ahead with plans for one more event around the Windmill this year – a Winter Market on Sunday 13 December.  A dozen stalls are lined up to offer seasonal gifts and food, supported by seasonal refreshments from the pop-up cafe in the community building, and Santa in his grotto on the ground floor of the mill.  Opening times from 12 noon to 3-30 pm, Windmill Gardens, entry via Blenheim Gardens, off Brixton Hill SW2.

Space at Brixton Community Base – In April, the St. Vincent de Paul Society took back management of the Brixton Community Base in Talma Road SW2.  They aim to host local projects and to support services for the community in Brixton.  There are two halls on offer within a Covid-19 secure space.  Hire rates are the same as before lockdown, set to be affordable to smaller groups.  If your organisation is looking for space, please get in touch – call 020 7703 3030 or e-mail to JaneDR@svp.org.uk

New plaque in Railton Road – We hear that there are several ideas being developed for events in and around Railton Road to mark the 40th anniversary of the original Brixton Riots in April next year – more news soon.

Meanwhile, the latest memorial plaque from the Nubian Jak Foundation turns the clock back another 25 years, to mark the site of Brixton’s first dedicated hairdressing salon catering for black women.  It was opened in 1956 by Winifred Atwell, then at the height of her fame as a popular pianist, and the first Black British artist to have a record at No.1 in the hit parade.  Sadly the salon closed in 1961 and the building later became a showroom for bathroom fittings, eventually being destroyed in the riot on 11 April 1981. 

Keep in Touch – 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 aim to publish monthly, so for the December issue, please send in before the end of November – but we will try to adapt to last-minute changes of event dates or details.

Is our mailing list correct?
We want to be sure of reaching all local groups and interests, so please notify admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.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.

   ADP, correct at 9.11.20

The forum for community groups and individuals around Brixton