Category Archives: Events

January 2021

Things to come

A slightly shorter bulletin this time, mainly to remind you about events and support on offer within the next few weeks.  We are working on some recent suggestions and hope to have more news for you soon, including our next on-line meetings.  

More Tower Blocks Proposed

News has arrived of two more high-rise housing developments.  In both cases the deadline for comments or objections is Saturday 6 February.  Both of these applications include Environmental Statements and lots of other documents:

Lambeth Hospital site, 108 Landor Road SW9

Replacement of mental hospital buildings by 9 new residential blocks including an 18-storey tower, total 558 dwellings.  The separate “cottage hospital” accessed from Pulross Road would remain.  Probably the most useful document is the Design & Access Statement, particularly pages 129-153 for views from the wider area.  Application ref. is 20/04194.

Waste Transfer Station, Shakespeare Road SE24

Replacement by 3 residential blocks rising from 5 to 11 storeys, total 217 dwellings.  This is linked to relocating the existing business to Windsor Grove in the Norwood Industrial Area (ref. 20/01066/FUL).  The Shakespeare Road application ref. is 20/01822. The Environmental Statement covers both proposals.

Holocaust Memorial Day

Lambeth’s Holocaust Memorial Day event will be on-line on Sunday 24 January at 3 pm, around the theme of “Be the light in the darkness”.  Book a place via Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/holocaust-memorial-day-2021-in-lambeth-tickets-136492134649

Census Briefing

The National Census comes round every 10 years, and the next is only 2 months away, on 21 March.  Statistics gathered from the Census can be useful ammunition to show local needs in support of your grant applications.  However, this will be the first on-line census, so people are likely to need support and encouragement to complete the forms, either on-line or by more traditional methods.  An on-line briefing for community groups has been set up by Integrate for Thursday 28 January, at 10 am on Zoom. Please book via eoin.heffernan@integrateagency.co.uk  or contact  david.gwyther38@field.census.gov.uk

Lockdown 3

The latest restrictions and health precautions mean that many events have been postponed, modified or moved on-line.  For events that we have already announced, please refer to organisers’ websites for the latest position, or contact them directly.  We hear that many local organisations are trying to keep some form of activity going, rather than just lie dormant.

Lambeth Libraries & Archives:

 Public libraries closed from 11 January, but hope to reopen once infection rates come down to a reasonable level. In the meantime, Lambeth Archives are re-starting their series of on-line talks, Local History in Lockdown, from Thursday 21 January at 7 pm with a repeat of a talk from early in the last series, “Where is Lambeth?” by Len Reilly.  A full list is expected soon – enquiries to archives@lambeth.gov.uk 
Most of the talks provided during Lockdown 1 can be found on-line at https://www.lambethlocalhistoryforum.org.uk/talks/

Big Garden Birdwatch

During lockdown, you may have been taking more notice of your surroundings, and birds are probably the most visible form of wildlife for Londoners.  Registration is now open for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, which takes place over the weekend 29/31 January.
For a free pack, including bird identification chart, visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch

Funding, Training and Support

Grant Deadlines approaching

Most of these were previously announced via the Integrate Agency, otherwise contact the source quoted:

The Walcot Foundation is taking verbal expressions of interest until 5 pm on Friday 22 January, with decisions on grants to be made by 25 May.  They are offering revenue grants of up to £25,000 a year for up to 3 years.  The Foundation’s priorities this time are supporting the academic achievement of school pupils, supporting young people under 30 into employment, and improving access to independent advice on debt, housing and employment.  School-based projects for the academic year 2021/22 should be submitted in this round.  Partnership bids between a school and community organisation are welcome, but grants will be limited to one per school. https://www.walcotfoundation.org.uk

The Local Connections Fund offers micro-grants of £300 to £2500 so that smaller local organisations can bring people together in safer ways. Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, deadline for applications Tuesday 26 January. https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/local-connections-fund

Fridge & Freezer Fund invites bids for up to £1500 to help smaller voluntary organisations equip themselves for responding to food poverty issues.  Funded by Lambeth Council, Phase 2 of the scheme closes at 8 pm on Sunday 24 January. https://love.lambeth.gov.uk/fridge-freezer-fund/

The London Community Response Fund is a joint effort by major London funders, Wave 5 is open until midday on Monday 15 February for its Renewal Grants.  These are up to £50,000 a time to help you deliver work to support the 3 missions of:
– Building stronger communities;
– A new deal for young people;
– Ensuring a robust safety net.
They can be for a specific project, or a partnership, or the core costs of running and growing your organisation. See https://www.londoncommunityresponsefund.org.uk

Access to the Kickstart Scheme Age UK Lambeth and Integrate have partnered to provide VCS groups with access to the Government’s Kickstart scheme.  It is set up to provide 6-month job placements for young people (16-24) who are on Universal Credit.  The Government funds 100% of every placement including National Insurance and pension contributions, so the scheme should be cost neutral to employers.  It also offers grants of £1,500 per job to cover training and support costs.  The scheme is run by the DWP and JobCentre, who will help place candidates for Kickstarter jobs.Enquiries to eoin.heffernan@integrateagency.co.uk

Training opportunities

Survey Design in the Charity Sector – Wednesday 27 January, an on-line briefing via Zoom, 11 am to 12 noon.  Includes survey methods and tips on survey design, addressing the challenges faced by charities.  Enquiries to eoin.heffernan@integrateagency.co.uk

Funds Online Live is a half-day online event on Thursday 18 March.  It includes the latest practices in fund-raising, current trends in public funding, and demonstrations of the Funds Online Portal from the Directory of Social Change.  For details of this and other on-line DSC training, see www.dsc.org.uk

Lambeth Wellbeing Fund

We hear via Project Smith that two more development workshop sessions are being held on-line to help you apply for grants of up to £5,000 for individuals or small organisations to try out their ideas for local community projects or health and well-being activities:  Book as below, or for more information contact Emma Corker at emma@rbeassociates.com

Tuesday 26 January, 12 noon to 2 pm, book via Eventbrite:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lambeth-wellbeing-fund-2021-session-2-tickets-133331561289

Monday 15 February, 7 pm to 9 pm, book via Eventbrite:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lambeth-wellbeing-fund-2021-session-3-tickets-133334887237

Making Connections

Successive lockdowns have heightened the importance of Information Technology to keep in touch when direct personal contact is restricted.

Recycling: 

If you have upgraded, how about donating your old laptop or mobile to a good cause? In a time when access to the Internet has become so vital, Lambeth TechAid has been collecting surplus devices to wipe and pass on to those in need, through schools and community groups.  There is a simple on-line donation form on their website at https://lambeth-techaid.ju.ma

Alternatively, Age UK Lambeth is also asking for “Digital Donations” of phones, tablets and laptops.  These will be refurbished and used to help their clients to connect to on-line services and social groups.  Please send donations to them at 336 Brixton Road, SW9 7AA, or contact Kellie at kellie@ageuklambeth.org

Making better use of what you have: If lack of skills is holding you back, Clear Community Webcan provide short courses, on-line or doorstep help with computers, tablets and mobile phones, to pensioners, carers and people on Universal Credit.  See their website, www.communitytechsupport.co.uk

Upgrading on a Budget: If you need better software for your laptop or PC, a reminder that Tekgiaoffer a range of Microsoft programs at discounted prices for charities, churches, schools and their employees.  More information at: https://www.tekgia.com/discounts-for-churches-charities-etc/

Sustainable City Awards

Do you see yourself as a Green Champion or sustainability trailblazer?  The Sustainable City Awards are open for nominations until 10 February.  Anyone can nominate organisations, schools and individuals from within the London area who have shown ambition, taken action and delivered impact to promote sustainable ways of living for Londoners.  For details see the website www.globalactionplan.org.uk/SCA

Health and Social Care

Tiers roll on

During December, London moved rapidly from Tier 2 beyond Tier 4 to lockdown, with Christmas festivities sharply curtailed.  A return to live events looks unlikely before April.  Trade sources suggest that pubs and restaurants may not re-open until the early May Bank Holiday. We must remind you that the Coronavirus health risks are real – we were saddened to hear that one of our Council support workers for the Lambeth Forum Network lost her husband to the virus before Christmas.  To stop the spread of infection, the key health messages remain:

– No socialising except within your household or “support bubble”.- Work from home as far as possible.

– Keep travel to a minimum, for work, essential shopping, health purposes or education.

– Observe social distancing, wear a mask if near other people, and wash your hands regularly.

Working Safely

For safe working practice during the pandemic, in a wide range of settings, indoor, outdoor and on the road, see  https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-taxon/businesses-and-self-employed-people

Vaccination programme briefing

An on-line briefing for voluntary sector organisations within SE London is being offered by the Clinical Commissioning Group on Monday 25 January, 3 pm to 4 pm.  To reserve a place, contact selccg.engagement@nhs.net

Test and Trace in Brixton

If you experience symptoms, phone 119 to book a test, or use the website www.nhs,uk/coronavirus which can also be used to book home testing kits.It’s less likely now that you will be sent to some distant place for a test.  Just before Christmas, a drive-through Mobile Testing Unit was operating on the old dustcart site in Somerleyton Road, and also dealing with some cases on foot.

If you have no obvious symptoms, but need a test for work purposes, book an appointment online for one of 3 local sites – the Town Hall, Brixton Windmill and Brockwell Park (between the Lido and the BMX track):https://beta.lambeth.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19

Other Health issues

King’s College Hospital have pointed out that their emergency departments remain very busy.  If it’s not an emergency, call your GP practice or the NHS 111 service for quick health advice, or see www.111.nhs.uk

A drama project to overcome depression and stress

Tony Cealy is about to launch a 12-week drama therapy project for men from Black and other ethnic minorities.  The group is meeting via Zoom on Monday evenings, 6 pm to 9 pm, leading up to 2 drama performances in April – on Wednesday 7th for World Health Day, and Friday 9th for Stress Awareness Month.  For programme details, see https://voice4change-england.com/covid-19-grants-programme/
Please contact Tony Cealy on 07 956 877 358 or tctonycealy@gmail.com if you want to refer people to join in, or to discuss collaborative arts projects.

Keeping in Touch

Was this useful? Are these bulletins useful to you or your organisation?  Are there other issues you would prefer to see featured in future bulletins?Do remember that we are keen to include announcements and short reports from our member groups.  Please send any news for the next bulletin to arrive by 5th February, to the Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com

Support your Forum – We aim to supplement our limited Council funding with membership subscriptions from local organisations.  To keep things simple, we encourage you to use the PayPal facility on our website at www.brixtonneighbourhoodforumIf you prefer to subscribe another way, please e-mail to admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org

Is our mailing list up-to-date? We want to reach all local groups and interests, so please notify us, at 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.
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december 2020

S E A S O N S   G R E E T I N G S


We would like to extend our heartfelt warmth and thanks to all members who have supported this cause and engaged their voluntary time and thoughts throughout the years. Wishing you safety and cheer.

Image “From Where I’m Standing”

Events before Christmas

Remember that some may be affected by rapidly changing Covid-19 restrictions – check with organisers first.

Healthy affordable food from Southwyck Pantry


In our last bulletin we mentioned this project based at the Southwyck House Community Hall (below the Barrier Block).  They have one more session before Christmas, on Saturday 19 December between 11 am and 3 pm.  Visitors can pick up 20 items of healthy affordable food for £5.  If you sign up and become a member, you can do this every Saturday.  The Healthy Living Platform is already partnering with Lambeth Council to pack and deliver food parcels to shielded and isolating residents.  They are also making deliveries to people living locally who need help accessing food, mothers who have recently has a baby, and youngsters who normally receive free school meals.  Website: www.healthylivingplatform.org/ or e-mail to healthylivingplatform.org/southwyck-pantry

Loughborough Farm Well-being workshop series


Free but please book by e-mail to ljag.events@gmail.com or in person at The Platform Cafe in Wyck Gardens (Loughborough Road end of Ridgway Road, SW9 7AH). Live events may be affected by Tier 3 restrictions.
– Saturday 19 December from 2 pm to 5 pm, Kimchi making at the Platform Cafe.
– Sunday 20 December from 11 am to 1 pm, Invisible Food Walk at the Loughborough Farm site, opposite Wyck Gardens.
– Tuesday 22 December from 1 pm to 3 pm, Upcycling Christmas Gift making at the Platform Cafe.


From Where I’m Standing


The Empathy Museum have launched both a web gallery and a physical exhibition (on Dalberg Road SW2) which runs until 10 January. The project celebrates a group of 34 extraordinary people, ranging from a midwife and a supermarket worker to an undertaker and an anaesthetist, forming a collective portrait of life during the pandemic.  Each storyteller was invited to choose an object that has been important to them during lockdown, and these objects and the individual portraits now appear in the format of For Sale signs outside each individual’s home. Empathy Museum will tour the show to other streets in 2021 – if you want the show to come to your road, e-mail to  hello@empathymuseum.com More about this and other projects at www.empathymuseum.com  

Lots more going on…


In the interest of social distancing, the Christmas Tree provided by Brixton BID has been sited in Windrush Square this year.  Back in the days of real live meetings, we often used the Vida Walsh Centre, but it’s currently being used a hub for Age UK Lambeth to assemble Christmas food parcels for elderly members of the community.  Congratulations to Friends of Windmill Gardens for mounting their Winter Fair successfully last Sunday, despite complex restrictions, complete with Santa’s grotto created within the windmill by Glynnis.  We also picked up some hints from WeRise about their forthcoming film project…

Events in the New Year


Remember that some may be affected by rapidly changing Covid-19 restrictions – check with organisers first.

Brockwell Community Greenhouses
A series of on-line talks, Women on Nature & Wildlife, Tuesdays at 7 pm:
– 12 January: Carolyn Steel on her book, Sitopia;
– 9 February: Sue Stuart Smith on her book, The Well-Gardened Mind;
– 9 March: Jo Ferguson on Urban Bat Ecology and Conservation. https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/

Loughborough Farm Well-being Workshops
Free sessions, booking as for pre-Christmas events (see above):
Wednesday 6 January, 2 pm to 3 pm, Managing Sleep and Stress, on Zoom.
Sunday 10 January, 2 pm to 3-30 pm, Singing and Drumming, at the Platform Cafe.
Wednesdays 13 & 25 January, 6-30 to 8 pm, Yoga Sessions at Arch 504.
Wednesday 20 January, 11 am to 12 noon, Happy Drumming Workshop at The Remakery, Lilford Road.
Sunday 24 January, 2 pm to 3 pm, Breath awareness and explorations at the Platform Cafe. https://loughboroughjunction.org/projects/loughborough-farm-a-patchwork-of-community-growing-spaces

Art4Space at Stockwell
Lots of courses and events coming up at their studio in Jeffreys Road, SW4 6QU, see also www.art4space.co.uk
Hand sewing workshops on Wednesdays, 2 pm to 3-30 pm from 20 January, free but limited spaces so book with Fran at franforcolini@hotmail.com 
Evening Mosaic classes restart on 12 January, Tuesdays 6-30 to 9 pm.
Community Champions Course, free for under 30s, a 10-week course at the Art4Space studio, either Tuesdays 10 am to 12 noon with Julie from 19 January, or Wednesdays 4-30 to 6-30 pm with Ellie from 13 January. 
Enquiries to jewels@art4space.co.uk

Longfield Hall
Building works are nearly complete and projects and events are being planned for the New Year.  These include new Acts of Empowerment drama workshops for adults and young people, and continuing the Youth Mentoring program.  If restrictions allow, there will be regular Jazz Drill sessions on Friday nights.  There will be more details on their website soon – see www.longfieldhall.org.uk

Walk + Talk (on-line)
A 10-week group exercise and health discussion course, designed to improve both physical and mental health of older adults.
On-line (via Zoom) and free, starting from 25 January (various times available).  See www.walkandtalkcic.com or enquiries to 07 562 475 706 or nick@walkandtalkcic.com



Purple Plaques campaign


2021 will be a Census Year, so look out for more information in the New Year about the census arrangements, and even some job opportunities in helping people complete their forms. In the meantime, the Census team are running a Purple Plaques campaign to identify local heroes and honour the work that they do for their local communities. You can nominate anyone that you feel has made a positive contribution locally.  The winners will receive a purple plaque which can be installed on a local building which best represents the endeavours of the individual.  Nominations can be made at https://census-2021-heroes.censuseducation.org.uk/
The deadline is 31 December and you must get permission from the person you are nominating, because their name and details may be published if they win.

Planning & Regeneration

Planning 101 – back to basics


After the scandal of the Hondo Tower plans, Forum members have asked us for more support with Planning matters generally.  There will certainly be other contentious planning applications in the pipeline. We are working with Brixton Society members to set up an on-line briefing on how the system works, and how to intervene to best effect – more details after the Christmas break.

Conservation Areas under review


Lambeth Council is currently consulting on changes to several Conservation Areas, including these around Brixton:
– Brixton Town Centre;
– Brockwell Park;
– Ferndale Road;
– Loughborough Park.
Changes may include adding or removing buildings from a Conservation Area.  In most cases, this is also an opportunity to bring information up to date. 
Simultaneously, Lambeth is consulting on a draft policy guide on Views from selected points within the borough.
Closing date for comments on all of these is 10 January.  Find more details via the Consultations page on the Lambeth Council website, https://beta.lambeth.gov.uk/consultations and also see related items on the Brixton Society website, www.brixtonsociety.org.uk

Health and Social Care News

Moving to Tier 4 – what it means
The latest restrictions were announced while we were putting this bulletin together.  To remind you,
– No mixing of households indoors;
– Only single households or one person from two different households may meet outdoors
– Restaurants and pubs will be closed except for takeaway or delivery services.
– No audiences for entertainment or sports events, indoor or outdoor.
– Work from home wherever possible.
– Avoid travelling outside your home area, except for work, education or health purposes.

Warm & Well service from Age UK Lambeth

Age UK Lambeth is taking referrals now for home energy checks by members of their Handyfix Team.  The service is only available until the end of March.  It is aimed at older people, or those on benefits, who find it difficult to keep their home warm during the winter.  The handyperson can provide useful tips on how to save energy, and can install practical equipment to make the home more energy efficient. 
They can also refer clients to eon for their new scheme offering discounted boilers, free loft insulation and cavity wall insulation.
You can make a referral via e-mail to kellie@ageuklambeth.org with the client’s name, address and phone number, and the reason for referral.  Or you can pass on the phone number for clients to follow up themselves – 03 333 603 990.

Funding, Training and Support

We will be back with a new round-up of suggestions and sources next month.

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 at least monthly, so for the next issue please send in before 4th January. We would love to hear from a wider range of groups.

Invite comments
Whether you are a grassroots group or a government agency, we encourage you to use the Neighbourhood Forum as a channel to consult with a range of residents.  You are welcome to present your project to a Forum meeting – on-line for the time being, but hopefully in person within a few more months.  We can also include a short description and key contact details in one of our e-bulletins, reaching 500+ people, most of whom are involved in at least one local organisation.

Is our mailing list up to date?
We want to be sure of reaching all local groups and interests, so please notify us, at 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

December 2020

Local News and Events

Brixton Windmill – Winter Market on Sunday 13 December

Subject to current Covid precautions, the Friends of Windmill Gardens are planning this event around the old windmill, running between 12 noon and 3-30 pm.  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.  Access to Windmill Gardens is via Blenheim Gardens, off Brixton Hill SW2.

Winter Market in Wyck Gardens – Saturday 5 December

Around the Platform Cafe at the Loughborough Road end of Wyck Gardens, open from 11 am to 3 pm.  Organised by Loughborough Farm with market stalls selling handmade gifts, plants, planters and locally-made food products.  Also hot food, cakes and drinks from the cafe, as well as activities such as wreath-making and bulb-planting. 

Longfield Hall – Festive Events

The Hall has announced a couple of seasonal events, intended to be Covid-secure.  On Saturday 12 December, the Brixton Chamber Orchestra are presenting a Christmas Concert in the nearby Myatt’s Fields Park, starting at 3 pm.

On Sunday 13 December there is a return visit by the String Theatre.  They are presenting two performances of The Insect Circus, at 3 pm and 4-30 pm.  Tickets for these family-friendly shows are £8 each and can be booked in households of up to 6.  More details of these and other activities on their website at www.longfieldhall.org.uk

Hondo Tower – the fight continues

Campaigners against the 20-storey office tower proposed by Hondo issued a press release last week – see https://we.tl/t-sODdDW2SHy
The controversy centres on the 18 floors of old-fashioned office space above an extension to the Brixton Village arcade, defying local planning policies and spoiling the character of the conservation area.  A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to explore the scope for a call-in or judicial review, and has already reached half of its initial target.  Supporters can donate to the campaign at https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/NoHondoTower and more information can be found at https://twitter.com/NoHondoTower 

Overnight work on the railway – 6/7 December

Repair work is being carried out on the railway line from Herne Hill through Brixton as far as Wandsworth Road, between 1-30 am on Sunday 6th and 3-15 am on Monday 7th.  Most work will take place overnight, including grinding down the surface of the railway lines, a particularly noisy operation. Enquiries to the National Rail Helpline on 03 457 114 141, or see www.networkrail.co.uk

On-line events at the Black Cultural Archives

With limited relief from Lockdown, BCA is continuing to host events on-line.  Forthcoming highlights include:
– Twenty in 2020: Black Writers, British Voices, an online book festival on Saturday 5 December, 2 pm to 7 pm, Tickets £10 (broadcast only) or £20 with book voucher.
– A Night in with author Alex Wheatle and poet Benjamin Zephaniah, Friday 11 December, 6-30 pm, Tickets £10 (broadcast only) or £22 with both books.
Enquiries to marketing@bcaheritage.org.uk

Lambeth Archives re-opens

Lambeth Archives at the Minet Library will re-open from Thursday 3 December.  This will be by appointment only – contact archives@lambeth.gov.uk or phone 020 7926 6076.  Face masks to be worn on the premises and social distancing to be maintained.  Payments can only be made by card.

Town Centre Footfall

Central London may have been unusually quiet since Spring, but the latest figures reported by the Brixton BID suggest Brixton footfall has held up relatively well.  Since the country first went into Lockdown on 16 March, Brixton has been as much as 10% better off in footfall trends than Greater London generally.  The peak came with “Eat out to help out” in August, with the lowest drop in footfall compared to 2019.  Since 16 March, Brixton’s average footfall between 9 am and 5 pm has been consistently higher than counterparts across the country.
At the same time, restrictions on late-night bar and club uses have allowed Town Centre residents to sleep at night!

Forum meetings on-line

We must do this again!
We had a healthy turn-out for our first two on-line Forum meetings last month, and our only regret is not trying this approach much sooner. Minutes of both our November meetings will be available on our website soon.

We have taken several ideas and suggestions away from these meetings to follow-up.  We expect to hold another on-line meeting in mid-January, and to have shorter gaps between meetings.  Please contact us (see foot of this bulletin) if you want to make a presentation at a future Forum meeting, or want a topic included in the agenda for discussion.

Networking with other Forums

Meanwhile, members of the various Neighbourhood Forums in and around Lambeth will be meeting (on-line) on Thursday 17 December to exchange ideas and agree some common aims for the year ahead.  This replaces the usual “awayday” session normally held on a Saturday in the summer.

Lockdown 2 ends in Tiers
 

The New Tier 2
From Wednesday 2 December, “non-essential” shops, gyms and personal care services can re-open.
Hospitality venues can re-open for table service, but alcohol can only be served with “substantial” meals.  The curfew is eased a little, with last orders at 10 pm and closure at 11 pm
Meetings out-of-doors are allowed again, subject to the “rule of six”, but no mixing of households allowed indoors.
Outdoor sports can resume, and spectator sports are permitted, subject to social distancing and limits on overall crowd capacity.  Otherwise large events are allowed but with reduced audiences, so may not prove profitable for promoters.
You should avoid travel to Tier 3 areas (e.g. Kent).

Restrictions will be reviewed at 2 or 3 week intervals, which may mean some tweaking of the restrictions or even some areas moving up or down a Tier.
NB – The contacts we provided last month for advice and support are still valid.

A Christmas Truce?

The usual seasonal get-togethers are rather scarce this year, but the Government has allowed a brief respite in current restrictions for the period 23 to 27 December.  Up to three household “bubbles” may join together, though they cannot jointly visit pubs or restaurants.  Travel restrictions will also be eased during this time.

Local Contact Tracing and Testing

A Lambeth-based Covid-19 Contact Tracing Service has been running for the past 4 weeks, to pick up on cases that the struggling National Test and Trace cannot find.  The local service calls residents who have tested positive to tell them to self-isolate at home to stop the spread of the virus.  Local contact tracers also collect contact details of close contacts from the residents they call, and refer them back to the National Test and Trace service.

We now have a drive-through Mobile Testing Unit in Brixton, in Somerleyton Road.  Lambeth also has walk-through Local Testing Sites in Vauxhall and Streatham.  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.

Other Health and Social Care News
 

Make a difference this Christmas

This year Age UK Lambeth are particularly keen to spread a little cheer among those who will be spending Christmas alone.  They are looking for volunteers to simply cook an extra meal for Christmas this year and deliver it to someone in the local community who would otherwise be alone for Christmas Day.  Age UK Lambeth will match you with someone within walking distance and supply a seasonal bag of goodies for them, dropped off to you in advance.  If you are interested in helping, please e-mail to volunteer@ageuklambeth.org  or phone 0333 360 3990 and mention MyHoHoHo/ Christmas Day Meal Volunteering.

Sharing Good Practice

The Coronavirus crisis has underlined the value of different agencies and organisations linking up to work more effectively and fill gaps in provision. It has also highlighted the stress from working under pressure or outside the usual context, such as working from home.
South London and Maudsley (SLaM) have been running weekly broadcasts on the theme of community psychological resilience.  They recognise that the majority of work in preventing mental health problems and supporting people actually takes place outside formal mental health settings.  Their broadcasts so far have profiled a range of partners, including large charities and small mutual aid groups.  The aim is to encourage joint working and good practice, so you are welcome to sign up to the entire series at www.slam.nhs.uk/media/live-broadcast-series/

Thriving Stockwell was the topic for the session on 25 November, with presentations from Dr Vik Sharma (Brixton & Clapham Park PCN) and Will Nicholson (Thriving Stockwell), also touching on the trend to Social Prescribing, supported by Community Link workers employed by Age UK Lambeth. 

Green Issues

Lambeth Climate Action – consultation closes Friday 4 December
A reminder that comments need to be sent in this week – see the website https://lambethclimateaction.commonplace.is

On-line Tour of Recycling Facility – Wednesday 9 December
A chance to see what happens to the contents of your green wheely-bin, on-line at 1 pm on Thursday 3 December, or 6 pm on Wednesday 9 December.  To see what happens at the Smugglers Way Recycling Facility, reserve a place by e-mail to education@wrwa.gov.uk and say which date you want to join.
On-line tours and workshops can also be provided for Lambeth schools.

Down the Garden Path – Saturday 19 December
Escape the winter blues by taking a virtual stroll down the garden path with Sam MacDonald, a young Brixton allotment holder.  He will be sharing an afternoon reflection and discussing his book Down the Garden Path – snippets from the Cottage Gardener. This on-line event will include a Q&A with a small panel of enthusiastic local gardeners.  Organised by Friends of Tate Library Brixton, to register e-mail to foftlbrixton@gmail.com

Reduced access to Brockwell Park next summer?
Our green spaces have been especially valuable during recent periods of lock-down and social restrictions, but Lambeth is under pressure to allow more commercial events in its parks.

Information received via Brockwell Park Community Partners is that once again, major commercial events are being planned in Brockwell Park next summer, totalling 13 major event days which will take up parts of the park for a total of 46 days.  

Events would peak during a 10 day period in June.  This period alone will include 6 major event days with up to 25,000 attending each day.  Much of the park will be occupied, either by these events or by setting up and taking down, for 26 days in all.  We are now at Stage 2a of the application process, and any responses should be sent to Lambeth Events Team by Tuesday 8 December, at events@lambeth.gov.uk
Please also copy your representations to brockwellparkcommunitypartners@gmail.com 

Green Homes Grant – deadline extended
We have mentioned before the Government’s grant scheme to encourage people to install energy-saving measures in their homes.  It was due to close at the end of March, before either householders or installers had really got their act together.  It has recently been extended for another year, to the end of March 2022, which should boost take-up.

Other ways of reducing your energy bills
To help local organisations advise residents on fuel tariffs, warm home discounts, vouchers etc, Brixton-based Repowering London offer a choice of 2 workshop dates this month, Fridays 4 or 18 December, 10 am to 11 am with another half hour for extra questions.  Join via Zoom but it helps if you can tell Charlotte at communitysupport@repowering.org.uk which date you want to attend.  The Zoom link is https://zoom.us/j/93100653213

Funding, Training and Support
 

So You want Volunteers?
A follow-up to one of last month’s items: To tap into the pool of volunteers who have offered their services, the contact is now Gerry Evans,  gevans2@lambeth.gov.uk  Better still, if you can provide some kind of job description for the role you want filled, it can be advertised in the weekly bulletin circulated to all the volunteers.  Send in the standard form by the end of a Wednesday to appear in the next issue: https://web.microsoftstream.com/video/152305cd-ed89-4179-abc5-059bbdac578a

Funding sources
Integrate recently circulated details of the MOPAC grassroots fund for reducing Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).  Enquiries to 020 3982 8803 or e-mail to VAWGGrassrootsFund@londoncf.org.uk  The closing date for applications is 11 January.

If you need to pursue several sources of funding, it’s worth considering the Funds Online database service run by the Directory of Social Change.  They host occasional free half-hour webinars to explain how it works, giving access to 8,000 funders.  More details at www.dsc.org.uk

Helping Feed the Community
Family Food Schemes:

Lambeth Larder shared information last month on two food voucher schemes.  More info about help from Lambeth Larder at www.lambethlarder.org/save-money-on-food.html

Healthy Start Vouchers are available for women who are pregnant or have children under the age of 4.  More details on the Healthy Start website at www.healthystart.nhs.uk or ask your doctor, midwife or health visitor.

Rose Vouchers help families on low incomes buy fresh fruit and vegetables at local street markets and stores.  They are widely accepted in Brixton Market.  If you are receiving benefits, ask at your local Children’s Centre.  More information at www.alexandrarose.org.uk

Norwood & Brixton Foodbank is still active – more information on their website at www.norwoodbrixton.foodbank.org.uk/

If you are in or near the Barrier Block:
Southwyck House Community Hall is offering help with hot meals, food parcels and support for families with children under the age of 4.  Contact Safiya on 07 572 662 093 or at safiya@healthylivingplatform.org 

Training Offers
There is usually less activity in the run-up to Christmas, but we ought to mention:

Business Property Advice, Friday 4 December
London Business Hub recognise that smaller firms and micro-business owners need access to specialist advice when dealing with commercial landlords over property issues.  They have launched a programme to provide free support to London-based enterprises.  It will cover issues like signing a new lease or licence, renewing an existing lease, rent disputes and avoiding eviction, as well as business rates.

There are a series of masterclass sessions, of which the next is on Friday 4 December, between 10-30 am and 12-30 pm.  If that’s too soon, the next is on 12 January.  This service is delivered by London Business Partnership Ltd in conjunction with Gerald Eve Property Consultants.
To register or to find out more, see the webpage,
 https://www.businesshub.london/resource/property-advice-and-business-rates-service/

Cyber Security 101, Monday 7 December
Integrate recently circulated details of an on-line training session in the basics of data protection and on computer security and how to protect your organisation.  It’s at 10 am next Monday, enquiries to cyberservices@integrateagency.co.uk 

Courses at High Trees for Lambeth Tenants
The former St. Martin’s Library at the crossroads of Tule Hill and Upper Tulse Hill is now the High Trees Training Centre. They are running free specialist courses for tenants of Lambeth Housing, namely:
– Education and Training accreditation (level 3);
– Housing Practice accreditation (level 3);
– Food and Hygiene (one day, level 2).
You will need proof of address to take part.  If you require childcare, High Trees will cover the costs while you are on the course.  To find out more, please contact courses@high-trees.org or phone 020 8671 3132 or 07 377 232 347.

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 at least monthly, so for the January issue, please send in before the end of December.  We try to adapt to last-minute changes but it still takes a while to compile and circulate these bulletins, even digitally.

Is our mailing list up-to-date?
We want to be sure of reaching all local groups and interests.  We are not fussy about your location – if you think you are in Brixton, you are welcome!
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.


 

november 2020

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 toRentsTeam@lambeth.gov.uk
Choice-based lettings: 
tel. 020 7926 6151 or e-mail toDHS-AMPT@lambeth.gov.uk

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

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

Parking, Transport and Streets Team: tel. 020 7926 9000 or e-mail toenvironment@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 tomycommunity@ageuklambeth.orgor 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 orinfo@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.comWe 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

October 2020

On-line Meetings coming soon

With the recent resurgence of Coronavirus cases and the “Rule of Six”, traditional meetings are not safe or practical right now, so we are moving to set up some on-line meetings.  Forum officers have full diaries through September, but we will fix dates as soon as we can.  We would normally have had our Annual General Meeting about now, so we will circulate the Annual Report and Accounts shortly.Remember to tell us if there are topics that you want discussed in the next meeting or two.


Planning changes too

After a couple of hours discussion at last month’s meeting of Lambeth’s Planning Applications Committee, councillors hesitated to approve the HondoTowers proposal for the Sports Direct site in Popes Road.  Time ran out so it has been deferred to another meeting.  In the meantime, the developers and Lambeth planners are desperately trying to amend the plans so that their last-minute changes fit together.  Such a massive office development looks less realistic by the week, as the Coronavirus bug refuses to go away and Central London offices remain very underused, with most staff still working from home.
The Government has chosen this time to launch major changes to the whole process of making Local Plans and dealing with planning applications.  They are largely about making it easier for housing developers to overcome neighbours’ objections, but the changes could also make it more difficult to provide or protect basic amenities to serve rebuilt neighbourhoods.  The closing date for comments on the main Planning White Paper is 29 October. Our friends at the Brixton Society are working on this, so if you have a particular concern, an early e-mail to planning@brixtonsociety.org.uk could be worthwhile.


News Round-up

Brixton Windmill re-opens

Great to see the Windmill open for tours again this past weekend.  Completion of the community building alongside has provided more space for handling visitors, but capacity for tours of the mill itself is reduced, so prior booking is essential.  Remember too that you will need to bring your face-mask to wear inside the buildings.  This will be a short season, with further openings on 19/20 September and 10/11 October only. For bookings and details, see the website www.brixtonwindmill.org
Friends of Windmill Gardens (FoWG) are operating a pop-up cafe from the new building, serving tea, coffee and cakes out-of-doors.  This will open on weekdays, between 2 and 4 pm.  FoWG volunteers have already put the new kitchen to the test, cooking 30 meals a day over a week in August for a summer holidays camp in the park for children and teenagers, organised by Community Education Foundation & Lyncx.
Finally, FoWG are looking for 2 new Trustees, ideally with specialist skills or experience in marketing, social enterprise, business or human relations.Please e-mail direct to secretary@brixtonwindmill.org for full details.  Closing date for applications is Friday 2nd October.

We Rise

We Rise is an award-winning community business with a mission to empower young people to create successful futures.  They create life-changing experiences for young people aged 13-21, building confidence, professional skills and knowledge of the world of work.  Work experience projects for over 16s create real value for clients.They are currently looking for an experienced Training Manager to develop and deliver an impactful youth mentoring programme for young people in Lambeth.  They already have funding to support 200 disadvantaged teenagers through:- Careers-focused mentoring for young people from BAME or low income backgrounds, and- Personal support mentoring for young people with low confidence, anxiety or depression.
To apply for the role, see https://apply.workable.com/we-rise/j/CBF8C7D2DA/ For more about We Rise, including volunteer roles as Mentors, see https://www.werise.org.uk/work-with-us

Digging up Brixton Road

Northbound traffic is currently affected by the renewal of gas mains in Brixton Road. From this week, it’s the section between Brighton Terrace and the corner of Acre Lane.  This will also limit eastbound traffic at this end of Acre Lane to one lane. Some bus stops may be suspended or relocated during the works, expected to last until 10 October.  To avoid disrupting Christmas shopping, the final phase will not restart until January. (Information received via Brixton Business Improvement District.)

Library of Things reaches Brixton

Over the past few years of providing affordable access to quality tools in West Norwood and Crystal Palace, there have been lots of requests to extend the service to include Brixton residents.  Recent funding support from Lambeth Council means this is now happening!  They are still looking for a permanent community hub home in Brixton (any suggestions?) but in the meantime, they have started a home delivery trial.This means you can borrow quality power tools, sewing machines, projectors, carpet cleaners and more, for just a few pounds per day. You can now reserve over 20 different items, delivered to your door and collected afterwards. See their website https://libraryofthings.co.uk and follow the links for a catalogue and updates.

Libraries and Heritage

Minet Library is now open again, but as for most Lambeth Libraries, by appointment only.  For all libraries, there is no browsing yet, but library users can reserve up to 20 items online for free, or phone during opening hours to reserve items.  Currently they have a “select and collect” book service, and limited computer access by appointment.  No appointment is needed to return books.  If you are not sure about arrangements, contact libraries@lambeth.gov.uk for help.

Lambeth Heritage Festival continues through September – to sign-up for on-line events, see bit.ly/Festival2020Pro  Lambeth Libraries will then be hosting a series of (on-line) events through October for Black History Month.  The programme is now available at www.lambeth.gov.uk/bhm

Health & Social Care 

Community Connectors Course

Community Connectors are local people who link others in their local community with organisations and activities that can help improve their quality of life.  You might already be doing this informally, either as a good neighbour or as a volunteer in a local community organisation or faith group.  Project Smith offers training and support so you can do this better, with more up-to-date knowledge of the services available.
The next course will be run in a Covid-safe venue with limited numbers, a total of 4 days, from 9-30 am to 4 pm each day.  The programme will include visits to a sample of local health or wellbeing organisations. Training dates are 13, 20, 21 and 27 October.No charge, but to join, please contact Emma Corker, tel. 07 734 670 300 or e-mail to emma@rbeassociates.com

Volunteers wanted to help with meals service

Josh Friend contacted our Chair from a charity called Feast With Us, who provide healthy and nutritious meals to vulnerable adults.  They are keen to expand their work in South London.  Right now, they are looking for volunteers – either cyclists or drivers – to deliver meals from the Marcus Lipton Youth Centre in Minet Road to individuals around the area.  Meals are delivered every weekday at 2-30 pm. There are also opportunities to help out in the kitchen with cooking meals, though these shifts are less frequent.If you are interested in helping, contact Josh at josh@feastwithus.org.uk or volunteer@feastwithus.org.uk

Mental Health Focus

Personal resilience can be the antidote to uncertainty and chaos.  Embrace Resilience offer a number of free interactive titles from their library of on-line mental health resources, thanks to Big Lottery funding.  More information at https://embraceresilience.com/

Boris MacKey, community outreach manager at Rehab 4 Addiction, recently highlighted their guidelines on coping with the extra stress of lockdown.  With renewed calls for people to self-isolate, it’s worth having a look – see   https://www.rehab4addiction.co.uk/coronavirus/mental-health-coronavirus

Art4Space are hosting two more Mental Health First Aid courses at their studios in Stockwell, run by It’s a Playground.  The dates are 8 & 9 October and 3 & 4 December.  See their main website for booking details: www.art4space.co.uk

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

Organisations trying to support vulnerable adults should be aware of the risk of abuse from carers, neighbours or family members.  Individuals may be at risk due to physical impairment, ongoing health problems or declining mental capacity.  Connect Lambeth have told us about a Q & A session with the Chair of Lambeth’s Safeguarding Adults Board.  This will now be on Thursday 1st October between 2-30 and 3-30 pm – enquiries to LSABAdmin@lambeth.gov.uk

Green issues

Green Homes Grants

This Government scheme is aimed at home-owners, to help make existing housing more energy-efficient and comfortable with affordable utility bills.  It will be available from the end of September, normally as vouchers for up to £5,000 (£10,000 for the poorest) to meet two-thirds of the cost.  However, it is restricted to a limited range of improvements, which must be carried out by certified tradespeople.Works are classed as “primary” measures, or “secondary” measures which will only be supported if they accompany primary works. Primary measures include insulating walls, floors and roofs, or installing low-carbon heating.  Secondary measures include draught-proofing, double-glazing, and better heating controls.  Note that the scheme will not cover installing a more-efficient gas boiler.This funding scheme is only running until next March, so start with the Simple Energy Advice service at https://simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/energy-efficiency/reduce-bills

Running costs of community buildings

If that last paragraph has set you thinking about the utility bills for running your community building, help may be available from other sources.  We recommend exploring information from the Carbon Trust for non-residential buildings.  There are also consultants who can help with reducing the routine bills by investigating alternative suppliers and tariffs – one we heard from recently was Utility Aid – see their website at www.utility-aid.co.uk

Lambeth Climate Action website – don’t be late!

A reminder that the Council’s Climate Action webpage is only live until the end of October, so don’t leave it too late to feed in ideas, comments or questions.  The advantage of the Commonplace format is that you can see what others have already fed into the process. Go to:  https://lambethclimateaction.commonplace.is/

Funding, training and support

At last, the section you were really looking for! Who speaks for voluntary agencies and community groups? For nearly a decade, we have lacked a collective voice for the voluntary and community sector. First Community Southwark, and now Integrate, have been active in channelling news of funding sources and offering training, but nobody has been representing the problems of local groups to the Council or to other public bodies, like the Health sector. Some of the larger voluntary groups have come together as the Lambeth Voluntary and Community Sector Participation Group to commission a study on how best to organise a collective voice, how the board should be organised, what sort of ongoing secretariat it needs, and how the whole thing should be funded.  We will be watching developments.

The Kickstart Scheme

That lack of a collective body could prevent Lambeth organisations making use of this new Government scheme.  It funds 6-month work placements for 16-24 year-olds on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.  The Government will pay 100% of wages at the National Minimum Wage for up to 25 hours a week (including NI and pension contributions).  Host employers will also receive £1500 per placement for set-up costs, support and training.  These must be new jobs and not replacing existing employees.However, the downside is that employers must offer a minimum of 30 placements.  This rules out most community organisations, unless they can band together in some way.  In that case, they would need to agree on one organisation to apply on their behalf. This information came to us via Locality.

Funding SourcesIntegrate have recently highlighted several new or special funding sources, including:

On-line Training opportunities

The next two training courses from the Foundation for Social Improvement were due to take place in Newcastle and Birmingham, but will now be on-line – see their website www.thefsi.org/training  Each course costs only £20.

On 7th October, the choice of full-day courses is:- Developing your earned income;- Supporting and managing volunteers;- Major donors fund-raising.


Robert Douglas of Signature Pictures Academy CIC has been in touch to tell us about a couple of training projects for young people.  The aim is to tackle youth unemployment by bridging the gap between the diverse young talent they work with, their partner organisations and the creative industries.  They will be training young people in video and film production, showing them pathways into creative careers, and creating great community content. Their first project pairs young people with industry mentors to create high quality marketing videos for small businesses in the area.  Workshops will be run over a 4-day period.Their second project will work with a group of young people to create impactful films around around issues that matter to them and their community. https://www.signaturepicturesacademy.co.uk Enquiries to Robert at  robert@signaturepicturesacademy.co.uk

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 continue publishing monthly, so for the October issue, please send in before the end of September.

Is our mailing list up-to-date? We want to be sure of reaching all local groups and interests, so please notify us, at  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.
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September 2020

Changing Plans 

Community Showcase Cancelled

We have had to cancel our proposed event on Windrush Square on Saturday 27 September.  Even before the latest restrictions, we found that groups were reluctant to commit to a face-to-face event, and only half the expected number had signed up by the deadline.  At the same time, extra on-site precautions meant that costs would exceed our original budget. 

On-line Meetings coming soon

With the recent resurgence of Coronavirus cases and the “Rule of Six”, traditional meetings are not safe or practical right now, so we are moving to set up some on-line meetings.  Forum officers have full diaries through September, but we will fix dates as soon as we can.  We would normally have had our Annual General Meeting about now, so we will circulate the Annual Report and Accounts shortly.Remember to tell us if there are topics that you want discussed in the next meeting or two.


Planning changes too

After a couple of hours discussion at last month’s meeting of Lambeth’s Planning Applications Committee, councillors hesitated to approve the HondoTowers proposal for the Sports Direct site in Popes Road.  Time ran out so it has been deferred to another meeting.  In the meantime, the developers and Lambeth planners are desperately trying to amend the plans so that their last-minute changes fit together.  Such a massive office development looks less realistic by the week, as the Coronavirus bug refuses to go away and Central London offices remain very underused, with most staff still working from home.
The Government has chosen this time to launch major changes to the whole process of making Local Plans and dealing with planning applications.  They are largely about making it easier for housing developers to overcome neighbours’ objections, but the changes could also make it more difficult to provide or protect basic amenities to serve rebuilt neighbourhoods.  The closing date for comments on the main Planning White Paper is 29 October. Our friends at the Brixton Society are working on this, so if you have a particular concern, an early e-mail to planning@brixtonsociety.org.uk could be worthwhile.


News Round-up

Brixton Windmill re-opens

Great to see the Windmill open for tours again this past weekend.  Completion of the community building alongside has provided more space for handling visitors, but capacity for tours of the mill itself is reduced, so prior booking is essential.  Remember too that you will need to bring your face-mask to wear inside the buildings.  This will be a short season, with further openings on 19/20 September and 10/11 October only. For bookings and details, see the website www.brixtonwindmill.org
Friends of Windmill Gardens (FoWG) are operating a pop-up cafe from the new building, serving tea, coffee and cakes out-of-doors.  This will open on weekdays, between 2 and 4 pm.  FoWG volunteers have already put the new kitchen to the test, cooking 30 meals a day over a week in August for a summer holidays camp in the park for children and teenagers, organised by Community Education Foundation & Lyncx.
Finally, FoWG are looking for 2 new Trustees, ideally with specialist skills or experience in marketing, social enterprise, business or human relations.Please e-mail direct to secretary@brixtonwindmill.org for full details.  Closing date for applications is Friday 2nd October.

We Rise

We Rise is an award-winning community business with a mission to empower young people to create successful futures.  They create life-changing experiences for young people aged 13-21, building confidence, professional skills and knowledge of the world of work.  Work experience projects for over 16s create real value for clients.They are currently looking for an experienced Training Manager to develop and deliver an impactful youth mentoring programme for young people in Lambeth.  They already have funding to support 200 disadvantaged teenagers through:- Careers-focused mentoring for young people from BAME or low income backgrounds, and- Personal support mentoring for young people with low confidence, anxiety or depression.
To apply for the role, see https://apply.workable.com/we-rise/j/CBF8C7D2DA/ For more about We Rise, including volunteer roles as Mentors, see https://www.werise.org.uk/work-with-us

Digging up Brixton Road

Northbound traffic is currently affected by the renewal of gas mains in Brixton Road. From this week, it’s the section between Brighton Terrace and the corner of Acre Lane.  This will also limit eastbound traffic at this end of Acre Lane to one lane. Some bus stops may be suspended or relocated during the works, expected to last until 10 October.  To avoid disrupting Christmas shopping, the final phase will not restart until January. (Information received via Brixton Business Improvement District.)

Library of Things reaches Brixton

Over the past few years of providing affordable access to quality tools in West Norwood and Crystal Palace, there have been lots of requests to extend the service to include Brixton residents.  Recent funding support from Lambeth Council means this is now happening!  They are still looking for a permanent community hub home in Brixton (any suggestions?) but in the meantime, they have started a home delivery trial.This means you can borrow quality power tools, sewing machines, projectors, carpet cleaners and more, for just a few pounds per day. You can now reserve over 20 different items, delivered to your door and collected afterwards. See their website https://libraryofthings.co.uk and follow the links for a catalogue and updates.

Libraries and Heritage

Minet Library is now open again, but as for most Lambeth Libraries, by appointment only.  For all libraries, there is no browsing yet, but library users can reserve up to 20 items online for free, or phone during opening hours to reserve items.  Currently they have a “select and collect” book service, and limited computer access by appointment.  No appointment is needed to return books.  If you are not sure about arrangements, contact libraries@lambeth.gov.uk for help.

Lambeth Heritage Festival continues through September – to sign-up for on-line events, see bit.ly/Festival2020Pro  Lambeth Libraries will then be hosting a series of (on-line) events through October for Black History Month.  The programme is now available at www.lambeth.gov.uk/bhm

Health & Social Care 

Community Connectors Course

Community Connectors are local people who link others in their local community with organisations and activities that can help improve their quality of life.  You might already be doing this informally, either as a good neighbour or as a volunteer in a local community organisation or faith group.  Project Smith offers training and support so you can do this better, with more up-to-date knowledge of the services available.
The next course will be run in a Covid-safe venue with limited numbers, a total of 4 days, from 9-30 am to 4 pm each day.  The programme will include visits to a sample of local health or wellbeing organisations. Training dates are 13, 20, 21 and 27 October.No charge, but to join, please contact Emma Corker, tel. 07 734 670 300 or e-mail to emma@rbeassociates.com

Volunteers wanted to help with meals service

Josh Friend contacted our Chair from a charity called Feast With Us, who provide healthy and nutritious meals to vulnerable adults.  They are keen to expand their work in South London.  Right now, they are looking for volunteers – either cyclists or drivers – to deliver meals from the Marcus Lipton Youth Centre in Minet Road to individuals around the area.  Meals are delivered every weekday at 2-30 pm. There are also opportunities to help out in the kitchen with cooking meals, though these shifts are less frequent.If you are interested in helping, contact Josh at josh@feastwithus.org.uk or volunteer@feastwithus.org.uk

Mental Health Focus

Personal resilience can be the antidote to uncertainty and chaos.  Embrace Resilience offer a number of free interactive titles from their library of on-line mental health resources, thanks to Big Lottery funding.  More information at https://embraceresilience.com/

Boris MacKey, community outreach manager at Rehab 4 Addiction, recently highlighted their guidelines on coping with the extra stress of lockdown.  With renewed calls for people to self-isolate, it’s worth having a look – see   https://www.rehab4addiction.co.uk/coronavirus/mental-health-coronavirus

Art4Space are hosting two more Mental Health First Aid courses at their studios in Stockwell, run by It’s a Playground.  The dates are 8 & 9 October and 3 & 4 December.  See their main website for booking details: www.art4space.co.uk

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

Organisations trying to support vulnerable adults should be aware of the risk of abuse from carers, neighbours or family members.  Individuals may be at risk due to physical impairment, ongoing health problems or declining mental capacity.  Connect Lambeth have told us about a Q & A session with the Chair of Lambeth’s Safeguarding Adults Board.  This will now be on Thursday 1st October between 2-30 and 3-30 pm – enquiries to LSABAdmin@lambeth.gov.uk

Green issues

Green Homes Grants

This Government scheme is aimed at home-owners, to help make existing housing more energy-efficient and comfortable with affordable utility bills.  It will be available from the end of September, normally as vouchers for up to £5,000 (£10,000 for the poorest) to meet two-thirds of the cost.  However, it is restricted to a limited range of improvements, which must be carried out by certified tradespeople.Works are classed as “primary” measures, or “secondary” measures which will only be supported if they accompany primary works. Primary measures include insulating walls, floors and roofs, or installing low-carbon heating.  Secondary measures include draught-proofing, double-glazing, and better heating controls.  Note that the scheme will not cover installing a more-efficient gas boiler.This funding scheme is only running until next March, so start with the Simple Energy Advice service at https://simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/energy-efficiency/reduce-bills

Running costs of community buildings

If that last paragraph has set you thinking about the utility bills for running your community building, help may be available from other sources.  We recommend exploring information from the Carbon Trust for non-residential buildings.  There are also consultants who can help with reducing the routine bills by investigating alternative suppliers and tariffs – one we heard from recently was Utility Aid – see their website at www.utility-aid.co.uk

Lambeth Climate Action website – don’t be late!

A reminder that the Council’s Climate Action webpage is only live until the end of October, so don’t leave it too late to feed in ideas, comments or questions.  The advantage of the Commonplace format is that you can see what others have already fed into the process. Go to:  https://lambethclimateaction.commonplace.is/

Funding, training and support

At last, the section you were really looking for! Who speaks for voluntary agencies and community groups? For nearly a decade, we have lacked a collective voice for the voluntary and community sector. First Community Southwark, and now Integrate, have been active in channelling news of funding sources and offering training, but nobody has been representing the problems of local groups to the Council or to other public bodies, like the Health sector. Some of the larger voluntary groups have come together as the Lambeth Voluntary and Community Sector Participation Group to commission a study on how best to organise a collective voice, how the board should be organised, what sort of ongoing secretariat it needs, and how the whole thing should be funded.  We will be watching developments.

The Kickstart Scheme

That lack of a collective body could prevent Lambeth organisations making use of this new Government scheme.  It funds 6-month work placements for 16-24 year-olds on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.  The Government will pay 100% of wages at the National Minimum Wage for up to 25 hours a week (including NI and pension contributions).  Host employers will also receive £1500 per placement for set-up costs, support and training.  These must be new jobs and not replacing existing employees.However, the downside is that employers must offer a minimum of 30 placements.  This rules out most community organisations, unless they can band together in some way.  In that case, they would need to agree on one organisation to apply on their behalf. This information came to us via Locality.

Funding SourcesIntegrate have recently highlighted several new or special funding sources, including:

On-line Training opportunities

The next two training courses from the Foundation for Social Improvement were due to take place in Newcastle and Birmingham, but will now be on-line – see their website www.thefsi.org/training  Each course costs only £20.

On 7th October, the choice of full-day courses is:- Developing your earned income;- Supporting and managing volunteers;- Major donors fund-raising.


Robert Douglas of Signature Pictures Academy CIC has been in touch to tell us about a couple of training projects for young people.  The aim is to tackle youth unemployment by bridging the gap between the diverse young talent they work with, their partner organisations and the creative industries.  They will be training young people in video and film production, showing them pathways into creative careers, and creating great community content. Their first project pairs young people with industry mentors to create high quality marketing videos for small businesses in the area.  Workshops will be run over a 4-day period.Their second project will work with a group of young people to create impactful films around around issues that matter to them and their community. https://www.signaturepicturesacademy.co.uk Enquiries to Robert at  robert@signaturepicturesacademy.co.uk

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 continue publishing monthly, so for the October issue, please send in before the end of September.

Is our mailing list up-to-date? We want to be sure of reaching all local groups and interests, so please notify us, at  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.

august 2020

Forum Focus

Community Showcase, Saturday 26 September

We have agreed to go ahead with this event on Windrush Square which will run from 11 am to 4 pm.  Further details are following shortly, but meanwhile, if your organisation wants to have a pitch, please tell us by Thursday 20 August, to apiperbrix@aol.com

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.

ADP, 8.8.20

July/august 2020

Forum Focus

Meeting and Networking

There will not be a Forum Meeting on 23 July as originally planned – apart from theongoing restrictions, Age UK Lambeth are currently using the Vida Walsh Centre as a hub for their own activities, and external hires are suspended in the meantime.

So, what do you feel about some on-line meetings or webinars? Or have you had too many of them recently in the rest of your life?  The Norwood Forum have had two useful Community Conversations on-line, so this approach can work in picking up local issues and finding solutions.

Over the next couple of weeks, the Forum’s elected officers are trying to draft a budget to ensure continued funding and activities into 2021, so if you have a bright idea, now is the time to share it with us.

Community Showcase, Saturday 26 September

With restrictions gradually being relaxed, we plan to go ahead with our event on Windrush Square, despite a delay of 3 months.  To remind you, the aim is to offer local organisations a pitch to show off what they do, or raise funds, or make new contacts.  Social distancing has not gone away, so the number of pitches is limited.  If you want to reserve a spot, please e-mail promptly to the Forum Secretary, apiperbrix@aol.com

More details of arrangements will be circulated to all of you soon.

Moving around Brixton

Town Centre Traffic Trouble

In case you have been avoiding Brixton Town Centre lately, life has been complicated by the closure of Atlantic Road between Brixton Road and Coldharbour Lane.  This is likely to continue until January, to enable Network Rail to rebuild the railway platform above, which has already been propped up with scaffolding for months.

In the meantime, bus 322 has been diverted.  Southbound buses now leave Brixton Road via Gresham Road, Moorland Road, Loughborough Park and Somerleyton Road, to rejoin Atlantic Road at the Coldharbour Lane crossroads.  Similarly, northbound buses will turn right from Atlantic Road into Coldharbour Lane, incidentally providing some overlap with the P5 bus route. For the time being, single-decker buses are limited to a maximum of 11 to 14 passengers, depending on the bus type.

Brixton Playground – or just playing with traffic?

The Brixton Business Improvement District last week launched a “vision document”, Brixton Playground, proposing to pedestrianise most streets in the Town Centre.  It came with some glossy pictures showing the design concept applied to Atlantic and Brixton Station Roads, and the western arm of Coldharbour Lane.  Clearly closing off Coldharbour Lane would interfere with the P5 bus route, but even for Atlantic Road the fancy planters would prevent delivery vehicles serving the shops and arcades.  We know from previous work done on the Atlantic Road scheme that servicing the shops and markets is fundamental to keeping Brixton’s heart beating.  There may be ways of timetabling access so that cafes can expand into the roads at certain times, but permanent obstructions in the roadway are unworkable.  Time to go back to the drawing board?

Ferndale and Railton Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods

Traffic restrictions around Railton Road have been in place for about a month now, and penalties are about to come into effect for infringements. In addition to the official Commonplace website (see below), Railton area residents have launched their own survey to pick up local concerns. For example, residents in the northern half of Shakespeare Road were left out of the original consultation, so they are feeling aggrieved at their reduced access to the south. The survey link is https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/H2PKG7 

Now the Ferndale low traffic neighbourhood is also coming into effect, covering the side streets between Acre Lane and Landor Road to the north.  There are obstructions to motor traffic at 6 points, though cyclists, buses and emergency vehicles are exempt. With schemes like this, the devil is in the detail, so please feed in comments – and tell us too!

The present measures are temporary, and formal consultation will be needed to make them permanent.  More information at  https://fdstreets.commonplace.is/ or enquiries to lowtrafficneighbourhoods@lambeth.gov.uk

Funding, Training and Support

Support from Integrate

Have you signed up to receive regular e-mail bulletins from the Integrate Agency?  The situation with grant funding is very fluid, with some grant offers only being open for very limited times.  Our impression is that major funders are trying to give priority to keeping existing organisations afloat, and helping them adapt their services to the “new normal”.  

Integrate are also offering a number of Zoom-based training sessions and workshops, including:

  • Price It! Pricing your services, Thursday 6 August at 10 am.
  • Count It! Accounting and financial management for charities, Monday 10 August at 12 noon.
  • Found it! A CIC’s journey, Navedia Young of Neurodiversity Learning talks about how she set up and developed her community interest company, Tuesday 11 August at 10 am.

Enquiries to eoin.heffernan@integrateagency.co.uk

Lunch and Learn sessions at Impact Brixton

To sign up for future Lunch & Learn events, go to https://impactbrixton.com/events/ 
To check out previous training sessions, go to https://impactbrixton.com/resources

Space at Pop Brixton

Pop Brixton have advised us that they have some units available to suit growing businesses – they would particularly like to take on local people and businesses.  There are a number of retail and office units on offer.  There is also some supported space, offered at a reduced rent of 30 to 35% of market value.  Enquiries to Bayo Obasaju at bayo@popbrixton.org

Self-employed? Agency worker?

Connect Lambeth have passed us details of a tax advice service for agency workers and self-employed people whose work has been affected by the lockdown.  Contact Tax Aid on 0345 120 3779 or see www.txaid.org.uk

Health and Social Care 

Problems with face-masks?

If you have a medical condition that makes wearing a face-mask impractical, our friends at Project Smith have told us about some printable labels which can be worn to inform others of your exemption.  Originally devised in Scotland for the Disability Travel Alliance, there are different versions for those with breathing problems, autism, learning disability, other disabilities or health conditions, as well as for those reliant on lip-reading.  We can forward a png file of all the labels on request, to apiperbrix@aol.com

Help-line Changes

The MyCommunity Gateway service has now replaced the Lambeth Council emergency helpline, enabling council staff to return to their normal duties. The service allows any Lambeth resident who is over 18 to ask for help, for themselves or somebody they know.  The service aims to provide help and support, and especially to connect you with local services that can help you.  The phone number is 0333 360 3700, staffed 10 am to 4 pm Monday-Friday, with voicemail facility outside these times. Also see the Connect Lambeth website for a range of support services: https://connectlambeth.org

How are you doing?

Has your life changed since the Coronavirus pandemic? Have your health, feelings or mood changed?  RAMP (Repeated Assessment of Mental Health in Pandemics) is a study based at King’s College to monitor health and wellbeing, particularly how it changes as lockdown restrictions are modified. They are keen to enrol people in their study, initially for a 30-minutes questionnaire, and then shorter versions (10 minutes) fortnightly.  Anyone over 16 with internet access can take part, and they are seeking a wider cross-section of the local population.  So far they have a lot of white middle-class women signed up, so they prefer to enrol anyone else!  To join, or find out more, visit their website, https://rampstudy.co.uk

Advocacy Hub

The Advocacy Hub at Connect Lambeth provides a range of advocacy services to Lambeth residents aged 16 and over.  They can help with cases of mental capacity or mental health, the Care Act, and health service complaints generally.  More details at  www.connectlambeth.org/advocacy or phone (020) 3143 9000 (office hours) or e-mail advocacy@connectlambeth.org

News Round-up 

 Hondo Towers update

If you missed the chance to comment or object to the original application for the 20-storey tower on the Sports Direct site in Popes Road, you have another chance.  Lambeth Planning Department is consulting again because the design has been amended.  This has already been flagged up on the Brixton Blog website.  As far as we can see, the main change is that the whole tower is moved back 2.5m from the Popes Road frontage.  At the last count there were 313 objections.  The application reference is still 20/01347/FUL, accessible from this page

Reviving Brixton Station Road

Lambeth Council have appointed MUF to lead on a package of improvements around the Recreation Centre, comprising workspace off Beehive Place, enhancing the approach to the Rec and smartening-up Brixton Station Road including upgrading some shopfronts below the Rec. Various consultation events are being set up, with the first workshop on the afternoon of Tuesday 28 July at the Rec, with the option of joining on-line via Zoom.  Enquiries to caitlin@muf.co.uk

Libraries are re-opening

Seven of Lambeth’s libraries re-opened on 20 July, including Tate Brixton, Tate South Lambeth and Carnegie.  Opening hours are 11 am to 4 pm for the time being, when you can return items and make appointments to use on-site services such as using a computer or photocopier. 


Book selection has almost returned to the pattern of a century ago, so instead of browsing the shelves it’s a Select & Collect service.  This allows you to choose up to 20 books, audiobooks or DVDs from the online catalogue, then phone or e-mail your preferred library with your preferences and to agree a date/time for collecting them.  Returned books will be quarantined for 72 hours before being available for re-issue.

Library computers can be booked for a session of up to 2 hours per day.  To avoid cash handling, please bring exact money for photocopying charges. Computer print-out charges can be added to your membership record for future payment. Minet library should also re-open soon, and Lambeth Archives will be offering an appointment-only service for researchers.

Lambeth Libraries will continue to host events on-line, and the full range of on-line resources is still available. Contacts for appointments are:
Brixton – 020 7926 1058, brixtonlendinglibrary@lambeth.gov.uk
Carnegie – 020 7926 6050, carnegielibrary@lambeth.gov.uk
South Lambeth – 020 7926 0710, southlambethlibrary@lambeth.gov.uk 
Lambeth Archives – archives@lambeth.gov.uk

Blooming Lambeth Awards

Have you been practising your gardening skills during lockdown?  Incredible Edible Lambeth are co-ordinating this year’s Blooming Lambeth Awards.  There are 7 categories, from simple containers to school gardens, but closing date for entries is 31 August. More details are on their website at www.incredibleediblelambeth.org – look under BLA2020.

Volunteers return to Brixton Orchard

Urban Growth have re-started volunteer gardening sessions at the Orchard site at the foot of Brixton Hill.  To find out the new arrangements and register for sessions, see www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brixton-orchard-volunteer-session-tickets-113515118776

81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance

Work continues among local groups to compile a programme of events for next summer to reflect the 40th anniversary of the original Brixton riots of 1981.  To encourage interest, a series of think-pieces will be appearing on the website each month until April 2021, when the “live” events should begin to happen.
See www.81actsofexuberantdefiance.com or send your enquiries or ideas to connect@81actsofexuberantdefiance.com

Council Ward boundaries review

Not the most interesting topic, but Lambeth is divided into 21 wards, each represented by 3 councillors.  Wards are meant to be roughly equal in numbers of voters, which means blocks of streets or estates often being tacked onto a ward to even up the numbers, so that boundaries can divide natural neighbourhoods or cut across community ties.  This can be a problem when the Council attempts to plan services based on ward units.

While most of Lambeth’s neighbourhood forums started out as clusters of council wards, several have preferred to follow more community-based boundaries. A review of the present boundaries has just got underway, so this is a chance to lobby for changes if you don’t really feel part of Coldharbour or Tulse Hill.  Deadline for comments is 21 September, with draft changes to appear in January, and the final revisions in June 2021.  The new boundaries would apply from the Council elections in May 2022.  See the consultation portal at https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk or see more information at www.lgbce.org.uk or send your views to reviews@lgbce.org.uk 

Keep in touch!

Share your news

To include your news or a coming event in our next bulletin, please send material to the Forum Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com
We expect the next bulletin to appear in the first week of August.

Brixton Neighbourhood Forum is now using Twitter. We post time sensitive information on this account between bulletins. Do have a look.
 

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If you only received this bulletin via somebody else, or late, why not supply your current e-mail and get the information directly next time?
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June 2020

Forum Focus

We’ll Meet Again – Somehow

The Neighbourhood Forum is not just about providing information for local organisations and residents.  Normally we would also be involved with public consultations and hosting our own meetings to bring different local interests together.  The old form of public meetings is not possible right now, but maybe there is scope for virtual Community Conversations such as being tried out by the Norwood Forum?  Their first such event, via Zoom, was limited to 20 guests, so people would need to book in advance in order to join in.  We know lots of other groups have been making use of Zoom, Teams, Skype and Facebook to link up their members, so maybe you could give us some advice?  And there’s still the issue of residents with limited or no internet access…

Depending on the progress with easing the present “lockdown”, it’s looking likely that our Community Showcase event can go ahead in Windrush Square on Saturday 26 September, even with some social distancing. Please keep the date clear, and we will be in touch about arrangements when the position gets a little clearer.

Before you scroll down…

Are you making the most of your Neighbourhood Forum, to share news, network with other local groups, or lobby for a better deal for your corner of Brixton? A quick sort through the pending tray before compiling this issue revealed 19 items from local organisations of various kinds, 13 from official bodies, including the Council and different parts of the NHS, and 34 from London-wide or National bodies, from charities to trade associations. Granted that some were updates of earlier messages, or just not very relevant to us, we are getting a healthy flow of information.  Even so, we would still like to hear from more of our local organisations and activists, to get a better picture of what’s happening around our area and what your concerns are. 

News and (Virtual) Events

Transport Changes on the Move

Following the report in the last bulletin, changes are beginning to appear.  Transport for London (TfL) has already widened the busiest stretch of pavement in Brixton, between the Tube station and the Prince of Wales corner, by re-purposing the bus lane.

Lambeth is now proposing a Low Traffic Neighbourhood around Railton Road.  Their priority is to stop motor vehicles cutting through the area, while enabling pedestrians to maintain social distance.  Access for buses and cyclists will be maintained, probably to the benefit of the latter.  There will be other parts of Lambeth receiving a similar package of measures, some temporary, some permanent.  Further details are at www.lambeth.gov.uk/covidLT

TfL and all the London boroughs are currently sharing good practice on managing streets during Lockdown, through a series of videos and on-line briefings organised by Urban Design London. So you may see similar features popping up even if you travel beyond Lambeth’s boundaries. Sustrans have created a map to show the latest street changes across the UK.  You can search for your area by postcode and add your comments – go to www.sustrans.org.uk/space-to-move/

Windrush Day Celebration, Monday 22 June

The Brixton Project  and Lambeth Council are organising a literally all-singing, all-dancing celebration of the Windrush Generation on 22 June. Working with local musicians and community groups, the plan is to record the voices of Brixton in a universally-loved song, to go out at 10.27 am on the 22nd, in a musical tribute to the Windrush Generation’s contribution to to the NHS and all those working across our public services.  Residents across Brixton will be invited to download or tune-in to use the musical backing track and lyrics as a guide for the big sing-song at 10-27 am.

https://www.thebrixtonproject.com

The project will also be working with local artist Carolyne Hill to create a celebratory Windrush Day Art Pack, to be distributed across local websites for everyone to download.  Draw, paint or make with your family to help make your street a colourful celebration of the day.  For more information, e-mail to  getinvolved@thebrixtonproject.com 

…and another Windrush performance project

492 Korna Klub is an interactive community radio drama series on Galaxy FM 102.5, originally conceived by Tony Cealy.  Tony has recently got funding for an on-line performance project that explores Windrush stories, called Mapping Lives.  The aim is to celebrate and commemorate the contribution of the Windrush Generation and their descendants to the life and culture of the UK.  Tony is keen that these people form part of the creative team that delivers the performances.  There will be a series of on-line weekly performance workshops and other activities, leading towards performances later this year.  Weekly sessions will start on Wednesday 1st July, continuing every Wednesday at 11 am to 1-30 pm.  No experience needed and no charge – for further information contact Tony on 07 956 877 358, tctonycealy@gmail.com
See also www.492kornaklub.com  and www.81actsofexuberantdefiance.com

Life, Music & Lockdown

This is a new project designed to support young adults affected by the Coronavirus lockdown, running from 15 June to 31 July, 11 am to 4 pm.  Taking part will give you the opportunity to connect and network with others, all while learning new skills in photography, graphic design, pod-casting and music production.  There will be three programmes to choose from.

Photofusion will be showing the use of video, photography and recordings of music conversations, to help you create a piece of music album cover artwork.198 Contemporary Arts and Learning will show how to use mixed media materials to create a collage, resulting in a design suitable for either a t-shirt or an album cover.

The Factory Production House will run the music programme, using Logic Pro X and free software to explore the wider world of music and sound. To sign up or find out more, e-mail to  thefactoryproductionhouse@photofusion.org or phone 07 440 496 483.

https://www.photofusion.org

Time to get creative!

With schools closed and everyone in lockdown, WeRise have been adapting their programmes to support young people from home.  Right now they are looking for young people aged 15-19 to get involved in a film on Youth Empowerment.  WeRise have been commissioned by ft’work on behalf of the London Festival of Architecture to make a film about what young people think.  Young people can get involved to varying extents, being recorded talking about empowerment for the voice-over, filming themselves at home or on the street, or learning the technical skills needed to create short films. To find out more, e-mail to polly@werise.org.uk or phone 07 800 714 807. http://www.werise.org

Longfield Hall on-line events

Although the Hall is still closed, they are busy planning on-line events, keeping in touch with class tutors and co-ordinating on-line classes.  Progress is also being made with access improvements.

The summer season kicks off with Best of our Lives on 11 June, showcasing performers who have been creating their own shows during lockdown.  On Friday 26 June, Pride is celebrated with an LGBTQ+ cabaret of fabulous artists, Love is Live.  Going into July, there will be Movers and Shakers, on 16 July, celebrating dance, and finally (Un)Scene on 30 July reverts to the original drama methods of Shakespeare’s actors.
More details of all these events are on the website,  www.longfieldhall.org.uk

Last call for Film Africa 2020

A last reminder that the deadline for submitting films is 30 June.  The Royal African Society’s biennial festival celebrates the best cinema from Africa and the African diaspora. with showings between Friday 30 October and Sunday 8 November.  For details, see the website  www.filmafrica.org

Coronavirus and Recovery Moves to re-open Libraries

Friends of Tate Library Brixton have been making enquiries.  The Council’s intention is to re-open 4 to 6 libraries from the middle of July, depending on progress with relaxation of the lockdown, and the practical limitations of each library’s layout.  Initially book loans will be on a click-and-collect basis, with titles ordered by phone or on-line, with only the librarians having access to the books.  Internet access via the library computers will be by prior appointment only, with priority for those needing them for work purposes.  Events in libraries are unlikely before September at the earliest, so the Wake up to Tai Chi sessions on Saturday mornings continue on a Zoom basis for the present.

Meanwhile there are lots of services and events available from Lambeth libraries on-line.  If you are not already a Library member, you can join on-line at www.lambeth.gov.uk/jointhelibrary  then once registered, e-maillibraries@lambeth.gov.uk or phone 020 7926 0750 to complete your membership. See the amazing array of what’s available on this month’s bulletin here: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKLAMBETH/bulletins/28ce356

Household Waste and Recycling

With so many people spending most of their lives at home in the past few months, they have been clearing out lots of junk, but the usual waste disposal sites have been closed.  The Smugglers Way Household Waste & Recycling Centre in SW18 is shared between Lambeth, Wandsworth and a couple of other boroughs.  It re-opened in late May, but due to heavy demand, and the need for social distancing, access is still restricted, for example, the day you can get in depends on whether your car registration number is odd or even.  If you arrive by bike or on foot, there is a pedestrian one-way system in operation. If you are coming by van, you should register in advance and bring ID to show at the weighbridge office.  More details at  https://wrwa.gov.uk/reopening-of-the-smugglers-way-hwrc-faqs/
You can even check their webcam to see how long the queues are, at https://www.wrwa.co.uk/
If you are still not sure, contact them on 020 8871 2788 or e-mail to info@wrwa.gov.uk 

VCS Impact Survey

A reminder that Integrate is conducting a simple on-line survey to assess the impact of Coronavirus across voluntary and community organisations in Lambeth.  The aim is to provide an overview for the Council to consider what support it can best provide, and the deadline for responses is Thursday 25 June. https://integrateagency.co.uk

Learning from the Past?

Back in 2018 the Museum for London mounted an exhibition to mark the centenary of the 1918 “Spanish Flu” epidemic, featuring other epidemics and plagues that have afflicted London in the past. It also speculated about the next epidemic, hence the title “Disease X – London’s next epidemic?” It has now been re-launched as a digital exhibition – go to the Museum website,  www.museumoflondon.org.uk  and follow the links.

Funding, Training and Support Grant funding update

Although the Government promised £750 million to support voluntary and community organisations, only £200m has been committed so far, now being distributed by the Big Lottery Fund as the Coronavirus Community Support Fund.  The priorities will be increasing support to vulnerable people in the face of the epidemic, and staving off the closure of charities and social enterprises whose finances have been undermined by the lockdown.  Details have already been circulated by Integrate. https://integrateagency.co.uk

Ecclesiastical Insurance are funding small grants to community organisations through their Movement for Good awards. After a first phase during May, a second phase will happen later this summer.  See https://t.co/dL0qvRbYKD

Lambeth recently opened another round of its CLIPS Fund (Year 2 Open Date 3) financed from a levy on new building projects in the borough. Again details have recently been circulated by Integrate.  Applications close at noon on 6 July.

Resources for Community Organisations

For a long time the Forum has been a member of Locality, originally an umbrella group for settlements and social action centres, but now embracing a wider range of community centres and projects.  For a good round-up of resources and advice on typical issues, see their website, but particularly:  https://locality.org.uk/services-tools/resources/

Training and Events at Impact Brixton

A list of upcoming events at Impact Brixton can be found at https://impactbrixton.com/events/ Registration for all lunch-and-learn events will now be via Eventbrite, at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/impact-brixton-6127982695

Recruiting Volunteers through Sparehand

News of another source of volunteers reached us after the last bulletin went out.  Sparehand was established in March, in the light of the Coronavirus outbreak, to help charities source, match and schedule volunteers.  It aims to make it easier for people to volunteer where and when they want.  The dedicated app matches volunteers to a regular supply of tasks such as deliveries, packaging and meal preparation.  They report that since March, 1300 Sparehand volunteers have carried out tasks for over 50 community organisations and schools.

For more details or to sign up as a volunteer, see www.spare-hand.org

Small Charity Week

Various events (mostly on-line and free) are being offered during Small Charity Week, 15-20 June.  Among the events:

  • Tuesday 16 June sees a series of Zoom-based workshops, repeated hourly. 
  • Wednesday 17 June is Policy Day, with NCVO hosting a free webinar. 
  • Thursday 18th is Fund-raising Day, with the Virtual Fund-raising Conference hosted on-line by FSI, free for organisations with annual income below £100,000. 


More details at https://smallcharityweek.com and booking enquiries to info@smallcharitywee.com or call 020 7324 4777.  It may also be a way of raising your profile or making new contacts.

More Training opportunities

The Foundation for Social Improvement are offering two more dates for subsidised virtual training for charities. Four topics are offered on Wednesday 1st July, and another three topics in 90-minute webinars on Tuesday 14 July.  As before, see their website for details and prices, at www.thefsi.org 

The Council’s Tenant and Homeowner Involvement Team have recently extended the range of free on-line courses available to Council estate residents. For full details see  www.freecoursesinsouthwarkandlambeth.co.uk/

In the north of the borough, Morley College now offer several free on-line courses, mainly aimed at taking the strain out of lockdown.  Each runs weekly for 4-6 weeks.  Enquiries to  community@morleycollege.ac.uk

Summer Placement scheme for Council Estate residents

Homes for Lambeth are running a paid internships summer placement scheme, for either 6 or 12 weeks. This is for young people not currently in paid work elsewhere, with priority to those living on estates that Homes for Lambeth is due to rebuild.  They are looking for those with an interest in 4 specialisms, communications, information technology, human resources, or resident engagement.  Deadline for applications is 5 pm on Friday 19 June.
For full details, see  https://www.homesforlambeth.co.uk/summer_internship  or phone 020 7926 9506.

Business Support

Since our last e-bulletin, we have also shared with you a recent bulletin from the Brixton BID which outlined the various grants available through Lambeth Council, as well as some of the other services provided through the BID.  Here are a few more ideas for local businesses and start-ups:

Speak up for Black Businesses – 11 June – A webinar aimed at linking black businesses with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Thursday 11 June at 5 pm. Minister Nadhim Zahawi MP will speak for BEIS and report on current business support options.  Organised by WinTrade Global Talks and The Voice newspaper – enquiries to yvonne.thompson@wintradeweek.com

Lambeth Business Growth programme – starts 18 June -Foundervine have been commissioned by Lambeth Council to run a series of virtual learning experiences for young people wanting to start their business.  Register now for one of two learning programmes:
– Lambeth Business Growth Program, aimed at those already running a business, held on line every Thursday evening for 4 weeks from 18 June.
– Startup 54: Have a business idea? Build a start-up from scratch in 54 hours, form teams, build prototypes and launch new businesses over 3 days. A choice of two cohorts, running 19/21 June or 24/26 July.

Applications open only until 16 June – more details are at  https://www.foundervine.com/lambeth

Fabric Floor at International House  – Users are gradually returning to International House this month, but access arrangements have been modified to maintain social distancing. The entrance is currently via reception (now staffed from 9-30 to 5 pm weekdays), but exit is via the goods yard stairwell and back through the events space to the entrance lobby.  This means the ground floor events space is not available for meetings at present.  Visitors are discouraged for the time being, but we will update you as arrangements develop.

The 8th floor is dedicated to enterprises working with textiles and fashion products, and for local people wanting to start their own business in this field, there are now opportunities to use the space and specialist equipment. This floor is managed by Assemble, so enquiries to Ikesha Patrick on 020 7237 0000 or ikesha@assemblestudio.co.uk 
For more details and pricing, see  https://assemblestudio.co.uk/projects/the-fabric-floor

Health & Social Care

For Young Women at Risk of Violence

Respond is a charity that supports adults and children with learning disabilities or autism, who have experienced abuse or trauma.  They are now offering a one-to-one advice/ counselling service to young women between 13 and 25 who have experienced any form of gender-based violence.  Sessions are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between 2 pm and 4 pm.  Call on 020 7383 0700 or e-mail to referrals@respond.org.uk to make a referral.

For Families with Young Children

LEAP (Lambeth Early years Action Partnership) is hosting weekly on-line sessions for families with young children. These include interactive singing and music, LEAP food ambassadors sharing recipe ideas, and chat with other parents to share ideas for coping with the lockdown.  Sessions are via Zoom, every Thursday morning from 11 to 12 noon.  To register and get sign-in details, contact Clare on 07956 025 272 or e-mail Clare on  clare@leapintovassallandcoldharbour.org

Positive Ageing in London – PAiL aims to be a voice for older Londoners and ensure that their concerns are relayed to the GLA, boroughs and Central Government. They now have a new webmaster so their website is being expanded and adapted – see www.pailondon.org.uk

Meanwhile, Age UK Lambeth has made major changes to its local services in response to the Coronavirus epidemic, but its more traditional activities are also returning, some in adapted formats.  MYSocial is back, with an on-line (and on-phone) programme of events attracting 50 participants every week. Across the borough, there are now over 500 volunteers helping make calls, do shopping, and provide support to some of the borough’s most vulnerable people.

Help with Weight Loss, and keeping your weight under control– Now that people are being encouraged make use of all NHS services again, it’s timely to mention the Adult Weight Management Service run by the Guy’s and St. Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust.  This has normally been a mix of face-to-face advice sessions and group-based physical activity sessions, over a 12-week programme, so expect some changes to arrangements.  Contact the Local Early Intervention Prevention Service (LEIPS) helpline on 020 3049 5242 for further details.  You will need to be referred by your GP to join the programme.

Greenspaces and Green issues

30 Days Wild

A reminder from the London Wildlife Trust that their annual nature challenge runs through the month of June.  While their events may be only on-line right now, the format also encourages you to do something wild this month.  Get out and do things to give wild life and nature a helping hand, and then post on your preferred social media – more info at www.wildlifetrusts.org/30dayswild

Great North Wood

A major effort by the Trust in South London is the ongoing Great North Wood Volunteering Project, which aims to maintain surviving fragments of the former Great North Wood, across a swathe of sites from the top of Streatham Common, via Dulwich Woods to railway cuttings in New Cross. Enquiries to greatnorthwood@wildlondon.org.uk website at https://www.wildlondon.org.uk/great-north-wood

Street Trees in Lambeth and beyond

A virtual tour conducted online by Paul Wood, on Monday 15 June at 7 pm.  Paul is the author of London’s Street Trees, of which the 2nd edition has just been published.  Organised by the Friends of Durning Library, so for log-in details and meeting ID, please contact Liz beforehand at durninglibrary@lambeth.gov.uk

Keep in touchShare your News

To include your news or a coming event in the next e-bulletin, be sure to send it before 20 June for the late June edition, or 30 June for the main July edition – to the Forum Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com

We are currently publishing twice a month to minimise the delay in sharing information.  We are also adding to the website more often, at www.brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org

Keep our mailing list up-to-date Please notify us, at admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org
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May 2020 Extra

Latest on the Epidemic – and exit strategies

Take it seriously – it could be you!

Lots of numbers have flashed across the headlines during the current Coronavirus epidemic, but it can all seem rather abstract until something happens close to home.  Our mailing list is modest compared to other Neighbourhood Forums around the borough, partly due to being late starters, but mainly because we have aimed to enlist local organisations rather than residents in general.  Our 500-plus mailing list has now had its first deletion due to Coronavirus, following the recent death of Chin Ong, who represented Lambeth Pensioners’ Action Group.  He was also involved with Coldharbour Ward Labour Party and Mayall TRA.  I last saw him at a Health networking event at West Norwood Library in December.

So, despite mixed messages from the Government about going back to work or to school, we need to maintain social distance for the time being and avoid unnecessary risks.  I have been very impressed by how well local people have respected the rules so far, though right in the centre of Brixton, space is too tight at peak periods – but more about that below under Consultations. 

Helplines and Advice

Lambeth Council

The general helpline number for most coronavirus-related issues is 020 7926 2999.
For business-related queries, use the business helpline, 020 7926 2344 or e-mail to enterprise@lambeth.gov.uk 

Domestic Abuse

In life-threatening emergency, dial 999 and press 55, then the police can assist without you having to speak.  Freephone calls can be made to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247

Within Lambeth, the Gaia Centre provides support in any cases of gender-based violence, call 020 7733 8724 or e-mail lambethvawg@refuge.org.u  or for more details see their website, www.refuge.org.uk/gaia

Limited Mobility? Or if you are self-isolating

Connect Lambeth can help you with a food/ medication pick-up service and food bank vouchers. E-mail to  mycommunity@ageuklambeth.org  or phone 020 7346 6800 (option 6)

Scams? 

If you are offered testing kits, protective kit, cures, or delivery/collection services, other than from trusted sources, you can get advice from the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.

Re-opening? 

A number of umbrella bodies are issuing guidance on how to adapt workplaces to resume business.  We have mentioned a couple in earlier bulletins and on our website.  Last week’s e-bulletin from Brixton BID set out 3 tests proposed by CIPD before bringing employees back to work. In addition, the British Chambers of Commerce have published some basic guidelines, mainly for office-based businesses.  For retail and other public-facing operations, the Directory of Social Change told us about the Re-opening pack issued by the Charity Retail Association.  Our Secretary is willing to forward both these last 2 documents, but the CRA guide is already being revised as Government advice changes. 

We hear that staff of Lambeth Libraries are actively exploring ways in which libraries could re-open, though the range of services may be limited. A key issue is that many people depend on libraries for access to the Internet, but are left deprived at a time when so much has become available only on-line.

Consultations

Competing for Pavement Space

You may already have seen temporary barriers at a few pinch points like Brixton Water Lane, to widen the pavement space.  Most of our Victorian streets were laid out with pavements barely 2m wide, so pedestrians have to step into the road, even without the complication of bus stops.  Lambeth Council is inviting suggestions for more places where pavements should be widened or other measures be put in place, on a temporary or permanent basis.  They are using the same Commonplace software as for the Brixton Livable Neighbourhood Consultation in February, and again ideas for reducing car traffic or supporting cycling can also be included.  This site enables you to see what others have already suggested, by location, and support them or make your own comment.  No clear deadline but sooner is better – see https://lambethtransportcovidresponsemap.commonplace.is/

Another Brixton Plan?

We have no idea of the timescales yet, but Lambeth planners are gearing up for a review of their Supplementary Planning Document (or SPD) for Brixton Town Centre.  Don’t get too excited, because experience tells us that, however worthy the plan, the Council tends to ignore it when it suits them!  As a preliminary move, the Independent Film Trust have been commissioned to produce a video to assist with local consultations, and have already been enrolling local people to contribute to production.  Enquiries to Charlotte Knowles or Michelle Scarlett at  michelle@independentfilmtrust.org

Last chance to comment on Lambeth Hospital changes

We flagged this up in our April and May bulletins, so a final reminder that the closing dates for comments is Sunday 31 May.
In essence this is about moving mental health services to the Maudsley campus in Denmark Hill and other clinic sites, but there’s also the issue of whether the site is simply sold for residential development, or whether some housing for NHS workers is included within the site.  Responses to lamccg.hospitalconsultation@nhs.net or via the website: https://lambethtogether.net/lambethhospital/

Funding, Training and Support

The Funding Crisis

Lambeth Council’s offer of one-off grants to VCS organisations closed very quickly after it opened.  The Council was overwhelmed by the demand, but fortunately other funders have been changing their priorities so that charities and community projects can keep going through the crisis.  The greatest challenge is for groups who had been largely self-reliant through income from events, user charges and premises hire.  They now find themselves with big holes in their budgets while “live” activities are suspended.  Several funders are now giving priority to meeting the costs of adapting to new ways of delivering services, such as “on-line” sessions and webinars, as well as basic adaptations to meeting places to allow social distance to be observed.
Do keep an eye on the e-bulletins from Integrate and the Directory of Social Change – see www.dsc.org.uk

On-line Training

We hear about lots of on-line training sessions or webinars, but too often with barely a day’s notice, so it’s difficult to share details with you all.

Impact Brixton is now hosting regular training sessions on Zoom.  Highlights include 7 things every funder will want to know, on Friday 22 May and a Legal Health Check on Friday 5 June.  Previous sessions can be found on the Resources page of their website.
If you want to offer a 30-45 minute workshop/ talk to the Impact Hub community, contact marketing@impactbrixton.com

Awesome Tech Training are offering an on-line version of their Build a Website in One Day with WordPress course for £50 inc. VAT if booked before 31 May.  See www.awesometechtraining.com or enquiries to Rachel on 07 950 247 966 or rachel@awesometechtraining.com

The FSI is holding a Virtual Fund-Raising Conference on 18 June, during Small Charity Week (17/22 June). Charge £30 but free if your group’s income is under £100k a year.  Enquiries to admin@thefsi.org.uk or to info@smallcharityweek.com

Volunteers wanted?

Link UP London offers flash support from virtual pro-bono consultants. Their team of skilled volunteers have the perfect blend of senior experience and industry-specific knowledge to help you through your organisation’s next steps.  This is an opportunity to work through issues such as HR, Law, business strategy, IT or marketing to realise your potential.  Link UP will do the co-ordination, all you have to do is explain your needs, and then have 1 hour free to talk through issues with members of their Skilled Volunteer pool.  Phone calls will be 1-hour long and at a time which is agreed and convenient for both parties.  More on their website at www.linkuplondon.org or contact them at hello@linkuplondon.org

Volunteers Week takes place over 1-7 June each year and offers a chance to publicise your needs and pick up ideas – see https://volunteersweek.org

Opportunities to be a volunteer are more limited at present because some projects have shut down, but there are others who are desperate for more helpers.  You can still sign up to volunteer with Lambeth Council at www.lambeth.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/how-you-can-help

Age UK Lambeth have multiple volunteering opportunities.  In particular, they have re-launched their befriending scheme, as MYNeighbour. More details at www.ageuk.org.uk/lambeth/get-involved/together/
If you have specific needs for volunteers, we will be happy to feature them in future bulletins.

Other News and Events

Brixton Windmill still producing flour

The team of volunteer millers at Brixton Windmill have continued to produce flour despite the lockdown, observing strict Government guidelines.  They are now inviting donations to help them continue supplying Brixton Flour to two local food banks:- The Floating Food Bank, based in the Community Hub on the nearby Blenheim Gardens Estate;
– The Norwood and Brixton Food Bank, which we have mentioned before, part of the Trussell Trust. 
The campaign for donations has been successful and production for the foodbanks has been secured for the foreseeable future. See www.brixtonwindmill.org

Windmill guided tours and community events are on hold during present restrictions, but the plans are to train more tour guides during August ready for a soft launch in September.

Businesses re-inventing themselves

Brixton Local is an amazing new website that connects you to local services still working during the current outbreak.  There were 61 enterprises listed last month, but expect more to come on stream as the Government encourages more businesses to re-open – see https://www.brixtonlocal.life/

Food businesses have been undergoing a massive shake-up, with cafes and restaurants shifting to take-away and home delivery services to keep the cash coming in.  Some have used their usual supply networks to support a retail grocery service for the same reason.  Even so, the core “eating-out” market in the UK is expected to be reduced to a third of last year’s turnover.
Nationally, some chains are lobbying to be allowed to use more pavement space for customer seating and tables outside cafes.  Is this something to resist, given the lack of pavement space in much of Brixton already? 

Learning from our neighbours

Many organisations are looking at how they can put more events on-line.  At the other end of Coldharbour Lane, the Camberwell Arts Festiva next month will be wholly on-line. It will run from 13-21 June at  www.camberwellarts.org.uk  but in the meantime you will find an A-Z of Camberwell taking shape on the same site. Worth a look to see what works and what does not!

Greenspaces and Green issues

Make Room for Others!

It’s all very well the Government removing restrictions on how much time we spend outside, but most of our public open spaces are small, and even Brockwell Park has been closed once because it was too busy.  Myatt’s Fields Park Project  have asked people to limit themselves to one hour a day in this small park, to make room for other people to take a turn at using it too.  Their tennis courts have re-opened, subject to limitations, but must be booked in advance – contact  enquiries@myattsfieldspark.info

Playground seeks funds

PAPA’s Park in Pulross Road is a pocket playground that survives on donations and hire fees.  Volunteers have done a great job in raising money for the new play equipment, and for work to start on a new multi-sports pitch in September.  Sadly the current cafe and hall are past their best, and PAPA needs their revenue stream to keep running. The aim now is to build an eco-friendly community space for everyone to use, for classes, events and gatherings.  The first step is to raise £7,000 to put in a planning application and apply for the next round of funding.  See their website,  www.papaspark.co.uk or contact:  papasparkltd@gmail.com

Sustainability Fund

Do you have a green idea that could turn into a sustainable business? Ground Control, a leading supplier of landscaping and maintenance services, has launched its Evergreen Fund, to invest 5% of annual profits in providing seed funding to social enterprises and entrepreneurs keen to deliver environmental impact.  Over the next 5 years, the fund will invest £5 million in early-stage environmental ventures, and set aside £100k a year towards the planting of new native trees, to create protected areas of biodiversity.   

More on Health & Social Care

The NHS is still open for business

Doctors are asking residents not to put off contacting the NHS if they need to consult a doctor or nurse during the present pandemic.  If you are already a patient at (say) Guy’s or St. Thomas’s Hospitals, you should continue to access the care that you need, and keep in touch with your clinical team.  Emergency departments (A&E) at St. Thomas’s and King’s College remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The urgent care centre at Guy’s can provide help with minor injuries and urgent medical problems.

Keep Fit – Keep Calm

Myatts Fields Park have shared details of an on-line Boxercise fitness class open to Lambeth residents, 10 to 11 am on Wednesdays.  E-mail to boxercise@yahoo.com with Register 10am in the subject line to receive joining instructions.

Lambeth Connect and DASL are offering a number of on-line exercise classes to help you keep fit during lock-down.  All are accessed via Zoom.  More information at www,disabilitylambeth.org.uk or contact Nara Zaman on 07 512 566 875 or at intosport@disabilitylambeth.org.uk

Lambeth Fostering Fortnight

Could you be a fostering hero?  During Fostering Fortnight, Lambeth Council are appealing to the community for more foster-carers.  Now more than ever they need new people to come forwards and apply to become foster-carers.  Fostering during lock-down comes with unique challenges, and the example of Alex is featured on the website as somebody willing to welcome vulnerable children into their home – see www.lambeth.gov.uk/foster-hero

Keep in Touch

How was it for you? How are you coping, as a household, community group or enterprise?  Is your organisation just lying dormant until it’s safe to come out again, or are you trying to respond and adapt to the current situation?
It’s that time again when we prepare a budget for what the Neighbourhood Forum expects to do over the next 12 months.  We need to hear NOW if there are issues that the Forum should be helping you with, or taking up on your behalf. It’s not easy to plan ahead at the present time, but do tell us if you want us to do something new, or even the same things differently.

Share your news

3Space at International House is gearing up for most users to return from 1st June onwards, but we are not rushing to return to our hot-desk space.  For the time being, we would still prefer e-mails, virtual meetings or even old-fashioned phone calls to face-to-face meetings.

We are continuing to circulate these bulletins twice a month, so if you want your news included in the next issue, please send it before 8th June to the Secretary, Alan Piper, at apiperbrix@aol.com or for enquiries, phone (020) 7207 0347

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