Category Archives: Community

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

Keep our mailing list up-to-date
Please notify us at admin@brixtonneighbourhooodforum.org
– If you are changing your e-mail or other contact details;
– If you want to add a colleague or neighbour;
– If you have moved away or no longer wish to receive these bulletins.

Bulletin may 2020

Latest info about coping with the Coronavirus epidemic

Precautions for Volunteers

Lambeth Council has updated its health precautions guidance notes for volunteers working in various different roles.  This includes those assisting vulnerable people, those involved in food distribution, either at food banks/ hubs or actually delivering to people’s homes, and those working on community gardening projects. These notes and other information can be found at www.lambeth.gov.uk/coronavirus

Lambeth Food Hub

This has been a joint effort between Lambeth Food Partnership, Incredible Edible Lambeth and the Healthy Living Platform, led by Sue Sheehan. Using the bowling green in the basement of the Brixton Rec., volunteers have been sorting donated groceries and packing lots of food boxes to send out to vulnerable households, mostly delivered by bike. 7000 boxes had gone out as of a week ago.For a good summary of the various food and food-growing initiatives in and around Lambeth, see the website www.lambethfoodpartnership.org.uk and follow the links to Covid 19-related services.  Enquiries to lambethfood@gmail.com The Healthy Living Platform is about to put out a call for more volunteers – see their website, www.healthylivingplatform.org  or e-mail to incredibleedibleleap@gmail.com or phone 07 701 365 551.

Mutual Aid and WhatsApp groups – update

We listed 16 groups around the wider Brixton area in the previous e-bulletin, based on information from the Brixton Buzz website, www.brixtonbuzz.com There is a generic phone number for contacting the Mutual Aid groups, 0800  009 6504 (but not for the WhatsApp groups). We have also been told about another WhatsApp group, this one covering streets on the east side of Brixton Hill, including Beechdale and Fairmount Roads, Raleigh Gardens and Cherry Laurel and Virginia Walks:  https://chat.whatsapp.com/L65godsbvBIArau6PwJLF5

Delivering Services Equally

Black Thrive are collecting information on how the pandemic and the lockdown are affecting people’s lives, with the aim of improving services now and in the future.  They would also like to hear if you have any ideas or suggestions for how public bodies and voluntary organisations can deliver their services equally and equitably.  They would particularly like to hear voices from Lambeth’s Black communities.  There’s a short questionnaire which should take no more than 10 minutes, at https://lse.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2ulnR5ZFMEnP8Xz

Support for Portuguese speakers

A new Portuguese-language helpline has been set up by the Lambeth Portuguese Wellbeing Partnership.  They can be contacted on (020) 3143 4060. They are also looking for more Portuguese speaking volunteers to help run the helpline.    

Life after Lockdown

There’s a lot of speculation at present about how and when the present restrictions will be eased.  We are all trying to plan ahead, despite much uncertainty, though some activities and businesses will be affected more than others.  Several umbrella organisations are organising webinars or “virtual briefings” to help their members make the best of the present situation and prepare for recovery. We still have Saturday 26 September in the Forum diary for our Community Showcase event on Windrush Square, but cannot make firmer plans yet.  If there are other things your Forum should be doing as well, or instead, let’s hear from you.

Funding, Training and other support

Lambeth Fund for VCS organisations

In case you haven’t heard, Lambeth Council are providing one-off payments of up to £10k to help voluntary and community organisations.  This is being funded from part of the Community Infrastructure Levy collected on new building developments.  The aim is to make communities more resilient both during the crisis and in the recovery period that should follow.  The one exclusion is for food-related projects, where the Council is making a separate funding contribution. Organisations must be Lambeth-based with an existing bank account and a written constitution.If you have not already received a notice with a link to the simple application form, contact eoin.heffernan@integrateagency.co.uk

Other Coronavirus-related Grants

Our friends at Age UK Lambeth recommend this web-page for a wide range of sources for community organisations, regularly updated: https://www.grantsonline.org.uk/coronavirus.html If you are in business, you ought to be checking the regular bulletins from the Brixton BID, but there’s a guide to applying for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan at www.knowyourmoney.co.uk  DSC advise us that charities are also eligible for this.

Support for Art studies

Another example of an established funder switching its priorities to respond to changing needs, the Paul Mellon Centre has made £200k available to fund both individuals and institutions, to sustain research and writing on British art and architecture. There are Research Continuity Grants of £10k for institutions such as galleries or museums, and Research Continuity Fellowships of £5k to enable individuals to continue research projects when other means of support may no longer be available.  Deadline for applications is noon on 19 May – apply online at grants.paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk

Directory of Social Change

Their books warehouse is operating again, so you can order grants directories and management handbooks with confidence they will arrive.Some of the most popular training courses have been adapted for delivery on-line as a selection of one-hour sessions.  These will be on fixed dates from 11 May onwards at £20 a time for small non-profit organisations.  There are still some free sessions via their Training Online Platform. More information at www.dsc.org.uk

Virtual College open for Council Tenants

Selected on-line courses are free to residents of Lambeth Council estates. We reported this last time but did not have a local link for enquiries – e-mail to engagement@homesforlambeth.co.uk more information at https://www.homesforlambeth.co.uk/virtual_college_launch

Helping the left-behind

With so much of normal life having moved on-line, we need to remember that many people and organisations don’t have the skills or resources to keep up.  We were pleased to hear about one of the organisations trying to get devices to people who don’t have them.  Naturally the first step is encouraging people to donate spare kit (or the funds to buy it) and then to distribute it to people in need.  The DevicesDotNow campaign is asking businesses to donate tablets, laptops and smartphones, as well as connectivity in the form of sims, dongles, and access to mobile hotspots. It’s supported by the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport.  See the website for more information and FAQs: https://futuredotnow.uk/

And if your group needs expert advice to help you keep up, can we remind you about access to skilled virtual volunteers through Link Up London, website link www.linkuplondon.org/flash-support-virtual-volunteers-org-info/ or e-mail your needs to hello@linkuplondon.org

Health and Social Care

The Future of Lambeth Hospital, Landor Road

A reminder that the closing date for comments on the service changes is 31 May.  Public consultation events are not possible but there are still a few ways in.  First, check out the proposals on-line at https://lambethtogether.net/lambethhospital/ You can complete a hard copy of the survey available on the website, or on-line at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/lambethhospitalconsultation Or you can e-mail to lamccg.hospitalconsultation@nhs.net or phone 0800 307 7650.

GPs still open for business

It’s been a close-run thing at times, but the NHS has not been swamped by the Coronavirus epidemic, and capacity to deal with other health problems is gradually returning.  In particular, GPs are still operating, though they would prefer that you phone or contact them on-line first, rather than just turn up.  Their concern is that people have been staying away for fear that it was unsafe to visit, but health problems are easier to treat if picked up early.  Don’t get so fixated on Coronavirus that you get seriously ill from something else because you delayed seeking medical advice.

NHS Volunteer Responders

For those who are vulnerable but not currently being supported, the NHS recently launched a Volunteer Responder Scheme.  It offers help with shopping, prescription collection or a friendly chat to stave off loneliness, targeting these categories:

  • People over 70 with underlying health conditions
  • Pregnant women
  • People who are registered as disabled
  • People with severe obesity
  • People with high-risk medical conditions, weakened immune systems, diabetes, dementia, renal failure or liver disease.

 If you, or someone you know, meets these criteria, call 0808 196 3646 between 8 am and 8 pm.

Dance for the Brain

Free weekly creative dance classes for adults with early symptoms of dementia, to engage the body and brain through movement and co-created choreography. Hosted by Siobhan Davies Studios via Zoom, led by a professional dance artist, sessions are on Tuesdays at 2-15 pm, from 5th May to 23 June. Enquiries to Veronica on 07 713 636 381, e-mail to veronica@arts4dementia.org.uk

Green spaces and green fingers

Finding a future for Brockwell Hall

Work continues on developing a bid to renovate Brockwell Hall in the centre of the park.  Key to this is being able to host a programme of activities which generate income to maintain the building, and are likely to be supported by the surrounding communities.  Do you have any bright ideas (or pet hates)? Would your group want to hold any activities in or around the building?  We are awaiting news of another round of consultations on this, due to start at the end of this month, so look out for more details in the next couple of bulletins.

Facelift for Loughborough Park

For some time we have been encouraging an emerging Friends group for this pocket park.  We had been looking forward to a consultation event this summer to canvass more ideas from the wider community, but for the time being, initial ideas have been posted at www.lambeth.gov.uk/loughboroughpark Lambeth Parks officers are willing to upgrade the children’s playground, but the biggest challenge is a disused adventure playground enclosure in the centre of the park, and one suggestion is to reclaim most of this site to extend the usable greenspace.

Grow Food at Home

Myatt’s Fields Park Project is offering to residents of Coldharbour and Vassall Wards, with priority to lower income households

  • Seedlings to grow outside (garden, balcony or community space): tomatoes, kale, pumpkins, chillies and spring onions, from this week onwards.
  • Seedlings to grow indoors, from 18th May onwards: chillies, lettuce and herb plants.

Plants will come with instructions and compost if you need it, and even a video demo on how to grow each plant type. To apply, go to: www.myattsfieldspark.info/free-seedlings.html

Other News and Events

Hondo Plans for Popes Road

Despite the current crisis, the business of property development in Brixton still rolls onward.  Hondo Enterprises, owners of the two main arcades, have put in a planning application for building two towers on the site now used by Sports Direct in Popes Road.  The design closely follows that exhibited at the end of January.  One of the towers will be 19 storeys high, with a 9-storey block at the Valentia Place end of the site between the railway viaducts. All the space would be in commercial use, though early ideas for a hotel use have been dropped. Details can be seen on the Planning Applications Database section of the main Lambeth Council website, under reference 20/01347/FUL. The deadline for comments is 12 May – e-mail to MCassidy@lambeth.gov.uk or comment directly in the application link.

Lambeth History Talks on-line

Weekly topics have now been announced up to the end of May. Capacity has been upgraded to cope with audiences of over 100 people.  The talks are also being recorded so they will be viewable on Instagram if you miss them.  To book a place for the live version for a session, e-mail archives@lambeth.gov.uk to receive the Zoom log-in details.

For other Lambeth Library services available on-line, see the Council’s website, www.lambeth.gov.uk/LibraryServicesOnline and this link for the latest news https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKLAMBETH/bulletins/2896e95Inboxx If you don’t have a library membership, to access the full range, you can sign up on-line at www.lambeth.gov.uk/jointhelibrary

News from Art4Space

Art4Space has been busy adapting to the new situation, in the hope of opening the Centre soon in a new safer format.  They have also become a Trinity Champion Centre, in recognition of their achievement in putting more than 100 children through their Arts Award certification. Art in a Box has been delivered to 6 local primary schools.  It provides children and teachers with creative resources and lesson plans to support schools and children during these difficult times.  Thanks to the Arts Council for supporting this initiative. They are also contributing to the BBC’s Get Creative at Home.  And do have a look at Louise’s video demonstrations, refreshed every 2 weeks. See the website for more – www.art4space.co.uk

Keep in Touch 

 Share your news

Let’s hear something from your group or your corner of Brixton for our next issue.  For the time being, we are issuing these bulletins twice a month. To include your news or event in the next one, please send it before 14 May, or for the June issue, 28 May, to Alan Piper, Forum Secretary, at apiperbrix@aol.com

Faulty link? Failed to download?

We cannot always check whether web-links supplied to us actually work, and it’s easy for typos to creep in.  Do contact our Secretary if you could not get through and we will try to check the original message, or forward the attachment, as required – e-mail to apiperbrix@aol.com.  We prefer not to send out attached files to all our members – I guess most would disappear into spam filters anyway. We have also been putting more information on our website in the past few months, so you can also try the links from that – and please let us know if those don’t work! www.brixtoneighbourhoodforum.org

Keep our mailing list up-to-date

Please notify us at admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org

  • If you are changing your e-mail or other contact details
  • If you want to add a colleague or neighbour
  • If you have moved away or no longer want to receive these bulletins.

coronavirus / covid-19 support update

11 May 2020: Confused by the rule changes and reporting of them? See exactly what applies in full detail here

On this page

Updated 10 May 2020

  • Local advice and resources from Lambeth, Brixton BID and links to local self-help groups
  • Regional advice and resources from the mayor of London and Metropolitan Police
  • National advice from the government, NHS and Public Health England
  • Volunteering: Advice on staying safe
  • Food growing and community gardens
  • Health, wellbeing, faith and culture at home and outside
  • Shopping in Brixton
  • Crime resources: Domestic abuse and scams
  • Pandemic statistics: International national and local

Local – Lambeth

Lambeth helpline for access to food and medicines: 020 7926 2999

Lambeth’s Get Support site (Assistance – Financial help, benefits, employment and housing advice – mental health, domestic violence and emotional support – children and families)

Lambeth Food Hub This has been a joint effort between Lambeth Food Partnership, Incredible Edible Lambeth and the Healthy Living Platform, led by Sue Sheehan. Using the bowling green in the basement of the Brixton Rec., volunteers have been sorting donated groceries and packing lots of food boxes to send out to vulnerable households, mostly delivered by bike. 7000 boxes had gone out as of a week ago.For a good summary of the various food and food-growing initiatives in and around Lambeth, see the website www.lambethfoodpartnership.org.uk and follow the links to Covid 19-related services.  Enquiries to lambethfood@gmail.com The Healthy Living Platform is about to put out a call for more volunteers – see their website, www.healthylivingplatform.org  or e-mail to incredibleedibleleap@gmail.com or phone 07 701 365 551.

A new Portuguese language helpline to support Portuguese speakers has been set up by the Lambeth Portuguese Wellbeing Partnership with Age UK:  020 3143 4060 – open seven days a week 10am-4pm They are also looking for more Portuguese speaking volunteers to help run the helpline. Full information is here http://www.lambethlife.com/lambeth-talk-covid-19-support-available-for-portuguese-readers/

Lambeth’s main information page is here https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19

Lambeth’s downloadable guide covering a wide variety of topics is here http://www.brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Community-organisation-external-FINAL-9-April.pdf

Local Business Support from Brixton Business Improvement Disctrict https://www.brixtonbid.co.uk/covid-19/

Lambeth Mutual Aid – a growing group of volunteers committed to providing and facilitating mutual support in our community http://a growing group of volunteers committed to providing and facilitating mutual support in our community.

Local and street level self help groups as compiled by Brixton Buzz http://www.brixtonbuzz.com/2020/03/lambeth-coronavirus-full-listing-of-local-whatsapp-support-groups/

Regional – Mayor of London / GLA

Mayor of London resources and advice https://www.london.gov.uk/coronavirus

Thrive London – a citywide movement to improve the mental health and wellbeing of all Londoners. It is supported by the Mayor of London and led by the London Health Board partners https://thriveldn.co.uk

Metropolitan Police – Be clear about the restrictions, and other advice https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/c19/coronavirus-covid-19/

National

UK Government

Leaflet on protecting yourself and others https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/877678/coronavirus-leaflet.pdf

NHS

Concerns about symptoms – NHS 111

Public Health England

PHE publishes free campaign material that can be used for posters and on websites https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/

Latest advice on distancing for young people (updated 9 May) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others-guidance-for-young-people/covid-19-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others-social-distancing-guidance-for-young-people

All public advice (updated 1 May) https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance

Health & Safety Executive

The HSE has not featured prominently in the public consciousness to date, but points out that businesses should stay open as much as possible, except for some non-essential shops and public venues that were ordered by the government to close.  Some construction sites and other businesses are beginning to re-open, having taken time to reassess working practices against the distancing requirements. The prospect of no early end to distancing will mean that more businesses that can, are likely to reopen and adapt rather than wait indefinitely.   This page has specific advice on distancing in the workplace, which is also relevant for volunteers engaged in key services (see also volunteer section below) https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/social-distancing-coronavirus.htm

There is wider advice covering a variety of topics, including workplace PPE here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/coronavirus.htm?utm_source=hse.gov.uk&utm_medium=refferal&utm_campaign=coronavirus&utm_term=covid-landing&utm_content=home-page-popular

Volunteering

The National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has published easy to understand advice on maintaining safety and distancing while volunteering here: https://www.ncvo.org.uk/ncvo-volunteering/i-want-to-volunteer/volunteering-coronavirus

and have produced a useful PDF download for briefing organisations

Lambeth has produced this PDF download on volunteering

Register with Lambeth for volunteering donating food, money, and keeping safe here: https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/forms/volunteer-to-help-your-community

Advice on volunteering at the Lambeth Food Hub is here

NHS Volunteer Responders

  • delivering medicines from pharmacies;
  • driving patients to appointments;
  • bringing them home from hospital;
  • or making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.

– Due to the level of interest, new applications have been paused, but check the website for updates: https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHS

Other local organisations offering volunteering opportunities

Lambeth Forum Network https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/elections-and-council/lambeth-forum-network-lfn

AGE UK https://www.ageuk.org.uk/lambeth/get-involved/together/

Lambeth Mutual Aid https://www.lambethmutualaid.co.uk

Next Door https://nextdoor.co.uk/

Communities Together https://together.madeopen.co.uk/

List of local WhatsApp suport groups compiled by Brixton Buzz http://www.brixtonbuzz.com/2020/03/lambeth-coronavirus-full-listing-of-local-whatsapp-support-groups/

Brixton Soup Kitchen https://brixtonsoupkitchen.org/

Donate food

Lambeth Larder http://www.lambethlarder.org/

Norwood & Brixton Foodbank https://norwoodbrixton.foodbank.org.uk/

Lambeth Food Bank Fund https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-lambeth-food-bank-fund

Funding for organisations

Locality has regularly updated information on local and national funding sources https://locality.org.uk/services-tools/resources/coronavirus-covid-19-information-and-support/covid-19-funding/

Lambeth Fund for VCS Organisations

Lambeth Council are providing one-off payments of up to £10k to help voluntary and community organisations.  This is being funded from part of the Community Infrastructure Levy collected on new building developments.  The aim is to make communities more resilient both during the crisis and in the recovery period that should follow.  The one exclusion is for food-related projects, where the Council is making a separate funding contribution. Organisations must be Lambeth-based with an existing bank account and a written constitution.If you have not already received a notice with a link to the simple application form, contact eoin.heffernan@integrateagency.co.uk

Other Coronavirus-related Grants

Our friends at Age UK Lambeth recommend this web-page for a wide range of sources for community organisations, regularly updated: https://www.grantsonline.org.uk/coronavirus.html If you are in business, you ought to be checking the regular bulletins from the Brixton BID, but there’s a guide to applying for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan at www.knowyourmoney.co.uk  DSC advise us that charities are also eligible for this.

Staying at home

Summary of information and tips from Lamtheth Talk PDF

News – get facts from the government website http://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Stress – take sufficient rest, eat properly, do some physical activity and keep in touch with family and friends http://nhs.uk/oneyou/ every-mind-matters/coronaviruscovid-19-anxiety-tips

Routine – follow usual routine as much as possible and don’t overwork https://www.good-thinking.uk/

Keep active – Build in physical activity into your day, remembering that dancing, cleaning your home, and seated exercises also count https://www.sportengland.org/news-and-blogs

Being alone – do things to boost your mood if things are too quiet for your liking https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

Church and Mosque at home

Information for staying connected and online services:

Church of England – Southwark Diocese list of local churches with online offer https://southwark.anglican.org/churchonline/

Catholic Diocese of Southwark – http://www.rcsouthwark.co.uk

New Testament – https://ntcgbrixton.org

Ramadan At Home – Advice from the Muslim Council https://mcb.org.uk/general/ramadan2020_guidance/

Art, Culture and History at Home

Lambeth Library services available on-line, see the website, www.lambeth.gov.uk/LibraryServicesOnline for general information. See this here for updates and links for online events. If you don’t have a library membership, to access the full range, you can sign up on-line at www.lambeth.gov.uk/jointhelibrary

Lambeth Local History talks online – Weekly topics have now been announced up to the end of May. Capacity has been upgraded to cope with audiences of over 100 people.  The talks are also being recorded so they will be viewable on Instagram if you miss them.  To book a place for the live version for a session, e-mail archives@lambeth.gov.uk to receive the Zoom log-in details

Get your art at home – our guide to what the galleries (local and around the world) are offering online: http://www.brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org/?p=338

London history in cinema – This link has old documentaries about London in iPlayer https://londonist.com/london/film/iplayer

Art4Space has been busy adapting to the new situation, in the hope of opening the Centre soon in a new safer format. They are also contributing to the BBC’s Get Creative at Home.  And do have a look at Louise’s video demonstrations, refreshed every 2 weeks. See the website for more – www.art4space.co.uk

Living History – We are unwittingly living through a key time in the course of world events. Lambeth Archives would like to capture the moment by getting help with collecting items that shows life in Lambeth during the lockdown period – full details at: https://www.lambethlocalhistoryforum.org.uk

Theatre – This page has links to a variety of online theatre performances https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2020/mar/17/hottest-front-room-seats-the-best-theatre-and-dance-to-watch-online

Greenspaces – and green fingers

Social distance in parks – jog responsibly!

Friends of Brockwell Park are encouraging park users to follow these guidelines to maintain social distance within the Park , which has been very busy on recent occasions. These apply across walkers, pram pushers, wheelchair users, runners and cyclists.

  • Move around the park on the left-hand side of the path, keeping 2m behind the person in front. Most paths are wide enough for you to stay 2m clear of people approaching from the other direction.
  • Overtake to your left, on the grass, keeping 2m clear of others.
  • If there is no space to the left, only use the opposite lane if this is clear of other users.  Do not walk, run or cycle between the two lanes, to maintain that 2m clearance.  That may mean joggers running on the spot until a safe space opens up, or cyclists dismounting, but please keep a safe distance.

Discover other green spaces

Why not ring the changes and explore some other open spaces on our patch?  I have just heard from a Town Centre resident who has discovered Myatt’s Fields Park for the first time.  Far fewer people know about the Loughborough Park open space – there is far more to it than a disused adventure playground.  You might think that Trinity Gardens, Blenheim Gardens and Wyck Gardens are too small to bother with, but at least the walk there will vary your exercise routine.  And with less traffic on the roads, a woodland walk through Brixton Orchard and Rush Common finally becomes worth tackling.

Grow at Home

Community gardening efforts are rather limited right now, but have not stopped completely. Advice on volunteering on food growing projects is here

Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses are running some “remote” sessions including Gardeners Question Time, Fermentation classes, Story Stompers and a Singing Group. They also have some young soft fruit bushes, grown from cuttings, for sale at £5 each.  For details of all these, see their website,  wwwbrockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/events/

Myatt’s Fields Park has a free seedlings scheme to help local people grow their own food at home.  This applies to residents of Coldharbour and Vassall wards  More details at www.myattsfieldspark.info/free-seedlings.html They have also highlighted the Lambeth Larder website for great tips on food growing, recipes and saving money.  See  www.lambethlarder.org

If you are an experienced grower, Incredible Edible Lambeth are looking for people to start vegetable seedlings at home and then share with the community.  See https://www.incedibleediblelambeth.org/news/growing-veg-for-your-community/

Shopping

One of the positive things is that we seem to be falling back in love with our corner shops. Brixton Local is website that list details of local independent shops that remain open for business, including food outlets with takeaway service https://www.brixtonlocal.life/

Brixton Blog has a roundup of food and drink outlets here: https://brixtonblog.com/2020/05/take-it-away-brixton/

The big stores currently operate revised opening times with special times for vulnerable and key workers – please check their websites for all details, as they vary over bank holiday weekends. The general pattern for Tesco Acre Lane and Sainsbury’s Tulse Hill is:

  • NHS / Social care workers: Mon-Sat 7.30-8am at Sainsbury’s, Sun/Tue/Thu 9-10am at Tesco
  • Elderly, vulnerable and carers: Mon/Wed/Fri 8-9am at Sainsbury’s and Mon/Wed/Fri 9-10am at Tesco

Finally, Brixton Market is the one street market in Lambeth that remains open, for food stalls only, with a more spacious layout. Mon-Sat 8am-6pm (Weds ’til 3pm)

Remember to keep 2m away from other people when shopping

Crime Resources

Domestic Abuse – links and advice

If in danger, call the national helpline 0800 2000 247  https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/  (In severe / immediately life threatening situations only: call 999 followed by a cough or tapping 55 to activate a tracing service)

Metropolitan Police advice – https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/c19/coronavirus-covid-19/domestic-abuse/

The Gaia Centre gives Lambeth residents free, confidential, practical and emotional support by phone or email – whatever’s safest – 020 7733 8724 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) email lambethvawg@refuge.org.uk

Scams and cybercrime

The National Cyber Security Centre has recently removed thousands of online scams and hundreds of fake shops selling Covid related items. They have set up a national service for reporting online scams: email to report@phishing.gov.uk

Further advice on avoiding cybercrime

https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/news/public-urged-to-flag-covid-19-threats-new-campaign

https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/personal-fraud/

Coronavirus Statistics

World Health Organization Situation Reports https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports

Worldometer counts – This site tracks population statistics from governments around the world, including of the pandemic https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

UK Government data, with regional and local authority area statistics – https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

volunteering – food growing and community gardens

Advice from Lambeth Together / Printable PDF version

Coronavirus Advice April 2020
Food Growing and Gardening Activities

We know that outdoor activities such as food growing and/or gardening activities can help us feel good and be beneficial for health and wellbeing. This activity can be used as the one form of exercise for the day.

Now more than ever it is important to support people to feel safe and comfortable to grow food and to practice safe measures when doing so. This guidance for community gardens during Covid-19 has been sourced and compiled from trusted sources including Public Health England, Sustain and the NHS.

Guidance for access and travel to community gardens

  • Community gardens should be accessible only to members who live close by and not open to the public.
  • Anyone considered medically vulnerable/ subject to government shielding advice should not visit the community garden.
  • Rotas should be set up where there are a lot of members to limit to single households going into the community garden at any one time.
  • During Covid-19 outbreak growers should wherever possible travel to gardens by bike or foot. At no time should public transport be used.
  • Those who are deemed vulnerable and classified as in the “shielded” group should stay at home
  • Anyone displaying a fever or dry cough or has someone in their household with these symptoms should stay at home and comply with national guidance
  • www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-athome-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
  • Garden leaders should publicise visitor restrictions on any communications and on external signage. This should include reference to government guidance on social distancing.

Social distancing and sanitation

  • At all times, social distance (minimum 2m) must be maintained between growers.
  • Hand washing should be followed according to government guidance. Wash your hands when you arrive at the garden, wear gloves while working in the garden and ensure you only use your own gloves and take those home with you in a disposable bag
  • Have hand sanitiser available and use before opening and closing any gate locks.
  • Ensure any visitor to the site washes their hands with soap and water if available, or with hand sanitiser before they engage in growing activities even if they are going to wear gloves.
  • Growers should only use tools if wearing (own) gloves, otherwise no tools to be shared
  • Do not offer guest gloves to garden visitors or volunteers during this period.
  • If children are onsite, ensure that they stay within its confines and do not run around on communal paths and spaces.
  • All associated communal facilities should be closed. e.g. tea making facilities

Please check current information on websites and social media of local organisations with volunteer gardening and food growing projects, as conditions are constantly changing. Please let us know if you are a project that would like to be listed.

Lambeth Larder http://www.lambethlarder.org/food-growing.html

Incredible Edible Lambeth https://www.incredibleediblelambeth.org/

Brockwell Community Greenhouses https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/

Friends of Windmill Gardens https://www.brixtonwindmill.org/

Great North Wood https://www.wildlondon.org.uk/great-north-wood

Myatts Filed Park Project https://www.myattsfieldspark.info/

volunteering – lambeth food hub

Lambeth has set up a food hub in Brixton to focus collection and distribution of rood to people in need. To volunteer, please follow this link

We have heard that potential volunteers are not hearing back from Lambeth soon after applying. Please be assured that Lambeth are working through hundreds of ID checks and will respond.

For those already volunteering, or thinking of doing so, please follow this advice from Lambeth Together / Printable PDF version

Guidance for access and travel

  • Anyone considered medically vulnerable/ subject to government shielding advice should not visit or volunteer in a food hub. Those who are deemed vulnerable and classified as in the “shielded” group should stay at home
  • During Covid-19 outbreak growers should wherever possible travel by bike or foot. At no time should public transport be used.
  • Anyone displaying a fever or dry cough or has someone in their household with these symptoms should stay at home and comply with national guidance
  • www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-athome-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
  • Food Hub leaders/managers should publicise restrictions on any communications and on external signage. This should include reference to government guidance on social distancing.

Social distancing and sanitation

  • It is very unlikely that you can catch coronavirus from food. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. It is not known to be transmitted by exposure to food or food packaging. See https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-food-businesses/guidance-for-food-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19
  • Although it is very unlikely that coronavirus is transmitted through food, as a matter of good hygiene practice anyone handling food should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This should be done as a matter of routine, before and after handling food, and especially after being in a public place, blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using your standard cleaning products
  • Take steps to avoid crowding and minimise opportunities for the virus to spread by maintaining a distance of 2 metres between individuals, wherever possible.
  • –  No goods or food should be physically handed over to the customer. There should instead be a set drop-off point agreed in advance.
  • If you decide the work should go ahead, you should advise staff to wash their hands frequently using soap and water for 20 seconds, and especially after blowing their nose, sneezing or coughing, on arrival at work, before and after eating, after using public transport, and when they arrive home. Where facilities to wash hands are not available, hand sanitiser should be used.
  • If you decide the work should continue, staff should work side by side or facing away from each other rather than face-to-face if possible.
  • You should increase the frequency of cleaning procedures, pausing production in the day if necessary for cleaning staff to wipe down workstations with disinfectant.
  • You should assign staff to the same shift teams to limit social interaction.
  • You should not allow staff to congregate in break times; you should consider arrangements such as staggered break times so that staff can continue to practice social distancing when taking breaks.
  • Consider adding additional pop-up handwashing stations or facilities, providing soap, water and/or hand sanitiser.

March 2020

Forum Meetings update

Based on public health advice on avoiding face-to-face contact, the Forum meeting on 23 April is cancelled.  The next Forum meeting would be on Thursday 23 July but we will see how the situation develops. 

In the meantime, we will continue to share information by e-mail – please also use this channel to reach out to other local organisations.

Community Showcase Event

We originally set the date for our event on Windrush Square as Saturday 27 June to allow for Lambeth’s ponderous application process.  It now looks as if that may need to be pushed back even further on public health grounds.  

To recap, the idea was for member groups to set up stalls on Windrush Square to show off what they do, and maybe do a bit of fund-raising too.  Although we cannot be precise about the timing yet, it will help our planning if you can tell us if your group would be interested in taking part in this sort of event – please respond to apiperbrix@aol.com

Don’t call at the office!

No sooner had we got settled into our new office base on the 6th floor of International House, than the Coronavirus epidemic hit, and the Forum team have mostly reverted to working from home.  Most other occupants of International House are doing the same, so the building is only ticking over with a skeleton staff.  The front reception desk is not staffed for the time being, so access is via the loading bay and only by prior arrangement.

Not far away, Impact Brixton’s new hub at 17a Electric Lane is also quiet, though not quite dormant.  The official re-launch event on 26 March has been cancelled, but their pre-launch discount offer on space has been extended to 6th April.  Regular events like the Open Project Night are suspended.  Enquiries to team@impactbrixton.com

Health Precautions and Social Care

Current Health Advice

The best source is the NHS itself, at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

If you or a family member appears to have symptoms, see www.nhs.uk/coronavirus for advice on how to isolate the household.

For an overview of how all Lambeth Council services are affected, see www.lambeth.gov.uk/coronavirus

Self-isolating – but not alone!

Around Lambeth, local residents are getting together to help out their community – contact the Lambeth Covid 19 mutual aid group on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/214918153220011/?ref=share

This links to lots of locally-based WhatsApp groups, e.g. for the Poets Corner/ Railton Road group call 07 787 511 201 or 07 311 865 874.

Get in touch if you are self-isolating and need someone to run errands, or if you can offer help in some way.

Sainsburys early opening for pensioners and NHS staff

Sainsbury’s has reset its opening hours across all stores to 8 am to 8 pm Monday to Saturday (Sundays unchanged) to allow more time for staff to re-stock the shelves.  Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the first hour (up to 9 am) will be reserved for elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers. 

A separate time-slot is now being set up for NHS staff and care workers.

Tesco has since announced it will be prioritising the elderly and vulnerable for one hour, between 9 am and 10 am, again on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (except at its Express stores).  Check the websites of the major supermarkets for latest updates.

By the way, the Brixton Buzz website suggests the smaller supermarket branches without car parking are less likely to be picked clean by car-borne shoppers.

Getting some fresh air

Parks and Countryside

Parks are a vital breathing space at this time, but to avoid their early closure, please be considerate and keep your distance.  Joggers in particular should steer clear of other people on the paths, as your huffing and puffing increases the risk of aerosol transmission to other people nearby.

Lambeth Parks are remaining open for the time being but toilets, children’s playgrounds, sports facilities and cafes will be closed.  Group events and activities within parks may be curtailed – please check with organisers or refer to the relevant Friends group website.  In Windmill Gardens, Tai Chi sessions were continuing because there’s room to spread out.  In Myatt’s Fields Park, Stay & Play sessions at the Mulberry Centre, LEAP events and Lambeth Tigers football training are all suspended.

The National Trust has closed its parks and gardens (e.g. Morden Park) though its countryside and coastline areas remain accessible – but it’s prudent to avoid the popular spots.


Coronavirus (Covid – 19) and volunteering events in parks   All remain open at the present time; Lambeth are currently following advice issued by Central Government. Lambeth Council has also set up a dedicated page on its website which can be viewed here.

Lambeth have also made the decision to cancel council-led volunteering activities, including community and corporate workdays – we will review this on a regular basis. 

Lambeth genuinely appreciates everything that stakeholder groups and volunteers do in our parks and open spaces to make them safe, green and welcoming for everybody but your safety and well-being should come first at all times. With a potentially reduced workforce if you need to contact us please email your normal point of contact copying in parks@lambeth.gov.uk and we’ll aim to deliver with enquiries as promptly as we can.  Dr Iain Boulton Environmental Compliance Officer, Parks Development Team Lambeth Parks and Open Spaces Environment and Streetscene Residents’ Services London Borough of Lambeth. 



Practical Gardening

Gardening sessions were continuing normally in Windmill Gardens and at Loughborough Farm, but have ceased at Pop Brixton (fully closed), at Myatt’s Fields Park, and at the Great North Wood Project run by London Wildlife Trust.

Walking round the neighbourhood

A busy programme of guided walks was due to kick off next month, but demands for social distancing mean that organised walks generally are in abeyance for at least the next month or two.  Some of the local groups have published heritage trails or walk routes so maybe you can still get out and explore solo?  See www.lambethlocalhistoryforum.org.uk 

Funding, Training and Support

Keeping community organisations active

Lambeth Council has come together with several other funders to offer a more flexible, friendly and financially understanding approach to the voluntary and community organisations that it currently funds.  This should allow for activities and outcomes to be adapted to suit changing circumstances. If reporting deadlines or spending patterns need to change, the advice is to consult funders early so that changes can be agreed.  London Funders are aware that there may also be impacts on projected income streams for projects.

To see the full list of funders who have committed to a more flexible approach, see https://londonfunders.org.uk/about/covid-19

The Greater London Authority and the City Bridge Trust have set aside £1 million each to launch a fund to support London’s voluntary sector at this uncertain time.  The emergency scheme will be co-ordinated by London Funders (as above).

A special section of the London.gov.uk website will shortly be set up to help link organisations in need of volunteers with individuals willing to help.

Also look out for further e-bulletins from the Integrate Agency, including funding leads.

Challenges for social enterprises and small businesses

The Government have introduced measures to help businesses through this difficult time, though some will be more exposed than others.

First check out: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

A good source of free independent advice is the smallbusiness.co.uk website.

And of course, don’t forget our own Brixton BID as a source of advice – although staff are now working remotely, you can still reach them via admin@brixtonbid.co.uk

Training goes on-line

The Directory of Social Change have reminded us that, even if the normal training courses are suspended, they already offer several on-line courses.  There is also an extensive On-line Funding advice service (on a subscription basis).  For updates, see www.dsc.org.uk

We expect to hear about more on-line training offers, webinars etc in the next couple of weeks.

News (but hardly any events!)

Brixton’s Nightlife curtailed

Brixton’s bars and restaurants are a major attraction for people from a wide area, but this also increases the risk of Coronavirus transmission, so it may be for the best that the Government has closed them across the country.  We should commend the local enterprises which saw the danger and closed before the Government ban, including the PoW, Pop Brixton, Market House, Canteen, Laundry, Cafe Cairo, Phonox, Ritzy (and Upstairs), Whirled Cinema and the Effra Hall Tavern.

Public transport reduced

A key driver of Brixton’s weekend night-life is the Night Tube, which is being curtailed for the time being.  Public Transport generally is being scaled down in frequency, in response to the reduced number of commuters, with more people working from home or in quarantine.  Some intermediate Tube stations without interchange are being closed to conserve resources – on the Victoria Line, that’s only Pimlico and Blackhorse Road, but check the TfL website before you travel.  TfL advice is that you should only take public transport when essential.

National Rail services are also being reduced – see www.nationalrail.co.uk

Lambeth Libraries closed

After first curtailing library-based events and activities, Lambeth has now closed all its libraries.  Lambeth Archives is closed to visitors but staff will try to assist with e-mail or telephone enquiries.  However, if you have a library card, digital books, magazines etc are still available for free at http://lambeth.rbdigitalglobal.com/

The Brixton Rec and other leisure centres run by Better/GLL are also now closed.

The Black Cultural Archives is also closed to the public, but staff will be working from home on ongoing projects, and can be contacted via info@bcaheritage.org.uk or phone (020) 3757 8500.

Events cancelled or postponed?

Lots of messages received this past week about proposed events no longer happening.  Some have already been re-arranged for various dates between July and October, though July is now beginning to look a bit early, based on recent Government comments.  We can only remind you to check the websites of local organisations whose events you usually attend – I hear many are trying to update them more frequently as the situation develops.

Contact us 

News and comments welcome

We welcome hearing from you at any time, but if you want something included in our e-bulletins, please send it to apiperbrix@aol.com – by 29 March if you want it to appear in our April issue.

Keep our mailing list up-to-date

Now more than ever, we want to ensure that information and useful contacts are being shared with local groups and Forum members. Help keep our mailing list current by notifying admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org

– if you want to add a colleague or neighbour to our contact list;

– if you prefer us to send to a different e-mail address, or other details have changed;

– if you have moved away or are no longer interested.

Stay safe – keep your distance!

March 2020 – What was going to be

This page is included as ‘historic documentation’ of events and activities that were in train just as the coronavirus pandemic was beginning to affect public life and overtaking the ability of our editorial to keep up

Forum Events

Our Next Forum Meeting – 23 April

The next Forum meeting scheduled for Thursday 23 April has been cancelled

Changing Plans

The situation with the Corona virus outbreak is changing from day to day, so for all events listed in this bulletin, we suggest you check with the organisers whether they are still happening as announced.  Already the annual get-together of leading members of all 14 Neighbourhood Forums in Lambeth has been postponed until late summer/ autumn. Please tell us if something your group has announced in these bulletins has been cancelled, postponed or otherwise altered.

Community Showcase Event – 27 June

We have been working on an opportunity for local organisations to set up their stalls and shelters in Windrush Square on Saturday 27 June.

This sounds a long way off, and the Corona virus situation makes it very uncertain, but we had to apply early to secure the site.  Sadly Lambeth’s application process is the same for small community events as if we wanted to book the whole of Brockwell Park for a 50,000 people weekender!  Detailed arrangements may change during negotiations with Lambeth Events staff, but we intend the event to be open to the public between 11 am and 5 pm (set up from 9-30 am, clear away by 6-30 pm).

We will be issuing more information shortly, but it would be good to hear from you soon if you want to reserve a pitch, since space is limited. Brixton community organisations and local charities will have priority.  

Health and Social Care

Coronavirus Advice

Subject to the possibility of stricter distancing rules, we are sharing some health hints from our friends at Brixton Therapy Centre and Age Concern Lambeth:

> Keep your distance – avoid unnecessary contact like handshakes or hugs.

> Wash your hands regularly – particularly after using public transport, after any coughs or sneezes, and before handling food.

> If you feel unwell, stay at home and minimise contact with people, preferably for 7 days. Call NHS 111 for advice, rather than go to your GP or hospital.

If your organisation depends on just one or two key workers, they should also be following these hints for maintaining good general health:

> Make sure you get enough sleep.

> Prolonged use of laptops and i-phones in cafes or at the kitchen table means more strain on your eyesight and posture than the big old-fashioned PCs in typical offices of 20 years ago.  If you have an office, does its layout help or hinder? Take regular breaks, move around a bit, even look at the view out the window so your eyes can shift focus.  

> Go for long walks in the fresh air (weather permitting).

> Warm up before any vigorous exercise, to avoid strain.

> Eat healthy – try to get your 5-a-day of vegetables and fruit.  Cut down on red meat, sugar and refined carbohydrates.  BTC recommend more garlic, ginger and turmeric, and good quality honey.

The Future of Landor Road Hospital site

Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLAM) are reviewing mental health services based at Lambeth Hospital on Landor Road, SW9.  The proposal is to move 4 acute adult wards and a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit to a new building on the Maudsley Hospital site in Denmark Hill, 3 miles away.  There will be no change in the total number of beds.

A 12-week public consultation period was due to start at the end of February, but we are still awaiting more details. Meanwhile, we can say that comments should be sent to lambethconsultation@londoncommunications.co.uk

Changes to Social Prescribing Service

Age UK Lambeth have announced that their social prescribing service, launched a few months ago as Safe and Independent Living (SAIL) is now rebadged as MyCommunity Lambeth.  What’s more, the service is now open to anyone over 18 who is in need of support.  As before, people can access the service on-line through the Age UK Lambeth website, or call the team directly on (020) 7346 6800.

 
Funding, Training and Support

More Training through the FSI

Training and information resources from the Foundation for Social Improvement to tell you about this time – more details are on their website at www.thefsi.org

Small Charities Coalition

Another body offering training and support to small charities, membership is free and aimed at bodies with an annual income below £350,000.

They provide four key services:

– Helpdesk and information service, accessible by phone or e-mail, and backed-up by a weekly e-bulletin.

– Mentoring by experienced people from larger charities, businesses or the public sector, for periods from a few weeks to 6 months. For more information contact mentoring@smallcharities.org.uk

– Training, typically at £30 per session.

– Policy and Advocacy, to raise the concerns of smaller charities with policy-makers and funders.

For further information, contact them at info@smallcharities.org.uk

Training Hub by the Barrier Block

Southwyck Community Hall on Moreland Road SW9  recently re-opened as a community training hub.  Millennium Community Services CIC provide community-led training services, including a Job Club, art sessions, IT skills, and English as a Second Language.  Further planned services include fitness for all ages, motivational speaking, and internet radio.

For more information on the courses and their availability contact gailalisonthompson@yahoo.co.uk


So you need more volunteers?

Remember, the first step is always to consider what tasks need doing, and then think about how new people would best work with your team – do you need a specialist to sort out an issue and then move on, or do you need extra pairs of hands to help you cope with more users? Here’s a few sources to explore:

Town Hall Time Bank: Did you realise that all Lambeth Council staff can take up to 21 paid hours per year to volunteer within the borough? The Town Hall Time Bank is a joint effort between Time4Lambeth and the Lambeth Forum Network (LFN). Enquiries to timebank@lambeth.gov.uk

Link UP London: They aim to connect volunteers with professional skills to local community groups, charities and social enterprises. They cureently operate in Lambeth and Wandsworth.  Projects or placements are usually short-term, structured and flexible to fit into busy schedules.  For more info, see their website www.linkuplondon.org or contact them at hello@linkuplondon.org

Paxton Green Time Bank: The emphasis is on encouraging individual residents to share and exchange their skills and time.  Present coverage extends down the eastern side of the borough, overlapping into Southwark too.  For more, see their website www.pgtimebank.org or e-mail to broker@pgtimebank.org

More News and Events

– Subject to late changes. Please  check their latest information

Impact Brixton re-launch in their new home

The former Impact Hub will officially re-launch in the former Photofusion Gallery on Thursday 26 March.  They are offering 30 days free membership to anyone who signs up before midnight on the 26th.  The new space extends to 6,000 square feet and includes a podcast room, meeting rooms, event space, training room, industrial kitchen and business concierge service.  The official address is 17a Electric Lane, London SW9 8LA.

Among other things, they are looking for Hosts to join their monthly membership programme – volunteer for 4.5 hours a week to support the running of the space, and in echange receive 100 hours per month of free workspace, plus access to free member events, a registered business address and discount rates for room hire.  Enquiries to team@impactbrixton.com or see www.impactbrixton.com

Events at Brixton Library

Adventures with Electricity: Thursday 26 March from 7 pm. Local musician and writer Peter Phillips describes the life and work of his grandfather Percy Phillips.  In 1955 Percy opened Liverpool’s first recording studio, Phillips Sound Recording Service, which recorded the first discs of Ken Dodd, Billy Fury and the Beatles. Hear archive recordings and see original photographs from the studio, followed by Q&A.  Free event, organised by the Library Friends and the Writers’ Group at Brixton Community Base.

Windrush and beyond – tracing your African Caribbean ancestors: Saturday 28 March, 2-30 to 4-30 pm, a masterclass led by Paul Crooks, author and genealogist. Free but book with the library or contact TODell@email.lambeth.gov.uk

Spring Bazaar: also on Saturday 28 March, in front of the library railings, 11 am to 2 pm, including a gardening workshop.  Organised by the Friends of Tate Library Brixton to help raise funds for library-based activities.  Followed by the launch of a gardening book at 2 pm in the main library.

Tai Chi extended: Friends of Tate Library have agreed with the funders for the free Saturday morning sessions to be extended until 4th July.  Due to the high turnout, no new registrations can be accepted.  If you have been registered but can no longer attend, please notify foftlbrixton@gmail.com because there are still people on the waiting list.

Brixton Windmill

The fast changing public health situation has regrettably led to the cancellation of open days, schools visits, guided walks and events until at least May, however Tai Chi and volunteer gardening continue for now at Windmill Gardens. Milling is also continuing, and stockists of the flour (along with the latest news) can be found on the website  www.brixtonwindmill.org

Longfield Hall activities

Please see the website for the latest, or contact details, www.longfieldhall.org.uk/events

Planning ahead – reminders………..

Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood consultation

Although consultation on the first phase closed on 7th March, there will be a further round in May, this time focussing on the Town Centre, the St. Matthew’s Estate, and on streets west of Brixton Hill, between Blenheim Gardens and Acre Lane. More details nearer the time.

Affordable Workspace

Lambeth has published a draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to amplify its updated policy in the Lambeth Local Plan.  Basically, it aims to safeguard some premises for local businesses, and to keep their rents affordable, but will it be effective?  Or will developers find ways to ignore it? The deadline for comments is 7th April.

Draft Design Code

This is another SPD, expanding on several policies in the Lambeth Local Plan.  Some of this replaces earlier guidance on home extensions and new basements, but the most important section is that on Tall Buildings.  Several new towers are being proposed around Brixton and at Loughborough Junction, despite the lack of infrastructure to make them work.  Again the deadline for comments is 7th April.

You can find more details of these proposals via the Consultation pages on the Lambeth Council website, www.lambeth.gov.uk

Remember, if you have specific concerns or queries, please share them with our colleagues at the Brixton Society who have been following these issues. E-mail to planning@brixtonsociety.org.uk or see related items on their website, www.brixtonsociety.org.uk

Contact us

Share your news

If you want something to appear in the April issue, try to send it before 29 March.  These bulletins are often put together in a hurry, from a fat folder of e-mails and press releases, so there may not be time to check details with you if we get incomplete or conflicting information.  Please send to the Forum Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com

Keep our mailing list up-to-date

Please notify us at admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org

– If you are changing your e-mail or other contact details;

– If you want too add a colleague or neighbour to our e-mail list;

– If you have moved away or no longer wish to receive these monthly bulletins.

March 2019 Bulletin

Brixton Neighbourhood Forum – March 2019 Bulletin

Next Forum Meeting – Monday 1st April
6-45 pm at the Vida Walsh Centre, 2b Saltoun Road SW2
The venue faces onto Windrush Square, at the southern end of Brixton Town Centre.

We are still firming up the agenda, but we aim to include:
– Update on current plans for the Town Centre, including Atlantic Road and Brixton Station Road;
– Events in Parks: Lambeth’s current review of how it handles events bookings, both for large parks like Brockwell and smaller spaces like Windrush Square (see also news item below).

This is also an opportunity for some of our member groups to share what they have been doing, or their ambitions for summer events.
If your group would like to make a presentation to the meeting, contact the Forum Secretary on apiperbrix@aol.com

Future Forum Meetings
Members asked for Forum dates to be set further ahead.  So far, we have booked further meetings at the Vida Walsh Centre for:
– Thursday 27 June,
– Thursday 25 October, both at 6-45 pm.

Other meetings and events may be slotted into the schedule according to demand.  We would welcome offers of other meeting places within our wide catchment area, and of course suggestions for topics or speakers for future meetings.

Meanwhile, we are arranging for minutes from the past two Forum meetings to be circulated to members and to be placed on the Forum website. 

Funding, Support and Training opportunities
Small Charity Training
At the time of writing, we do not know who will carry on the programme of support recently provided by Community Southwark, but we will keep you posted.  If there are training topics that your group would like help with, please let us know.  We have a small budget for this, so perhaps we could help organise something locally that member groups could send people to?

We have previously mentioned the courses for small charities organised by the Foundation for Social Improvement.  Closing date for the 28 March sessions is about now.  However, they have another cluster of London training courses coming up over the 3 days, 14-16 May – enquiries to admin@thefsi.org or see their website, www.thefsi.org

Support from Locality
For the past few years, the Neighbourhood Forum has been a member of Locality, a national federation supporting community organisations.  It recently launched a £3.2 million Bright Ideas Fund to help community business start-ups in England – closing date 9th April.
They are also involved (in partnership with 4 other organisations) in Community-led Homes, which has 3 grant funds to provide training, funding and practical support to community groups keen to take action to provide or refurbish the homes communities want.
They are continuing their Save our Spaces campaign to protect public buildings and spaces being sold off for private use.
If your group runs – or aims to run – a community building, it’s worth considering joining directly – see www.locality.org.uk
Meanwhile, our Secretary is happy to forward their recent e-bulletin.

Totally Thames calls for artists, performers and community groups
Totally Thames is a September season of arts and culture events along the 42-mile stretch of the Thames through London.  The organisers recently called for proposals for indoor or outdoor events, installations or activities that would be in, on, by or about the river. The submission guidelines provide more details, but they are keen to receive submissions from members of ethnic minorities, and from under-30s. Closing date for applications is Friday 5 April.
Enquiries to contact@thamesfestival.org 

Crowd-sourcing and Text-giving
The British Film Institute has created a short animation to promote their Britain on Film crowdsourcing platform, which can be downloaded from:
https://we.tl/t-TCA3swcrGB
It can also be viewed and shared from Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=326088114700087

Just Text Giving are ceasing their “text to donate” services at the end of this month.  News is starting to trickle in from alternative providers in this field. One we have already received details of is instaGiv – contact chris@instagiv.com if it might be useful for your fund-raising.

PAC-UK

 https://www.pac-uk.org/inoculand-forms-first-charitable-relationship-pac-uk/

We are now trying to find recipients for a grant that we have put in place starting April 2019. I already found my first recipient that is Oasis Children’s Venture in Stockwell https://oasisplay.org.uk/
What I did not count on was how challenging it was to actually find recipients. So I am now posting in various forum the incentive hoping to reach interested parties.\Brixton Neighbourhood Forum is exactly the king of recipients we are looking for. But I also see that you may know of many other organisations that could be a recipient of it.

In a nut shell:
1- we want to promote Diversity and Community by supporting any incentives with a social or educational character

2- The project need to be vetted through an organisation/establishment such as churches, schools, charities, associations.
3- Money will be paid to the organisation and will be acknowledged in a post linking our Diversity and Community page https://www.inoculandpestcontrol.co.uk/diversity-and-community/
4- it could be any thing from supporting a charity, to make possible a school project, to help a family in need…
Could you pass on the info to interested parties or promote it through your page.
Regards,Daniel

Historic Buildings Guidance
If your project revolves around a historic building, either Listed or in a Conservation Area. the Heritage of London Trust is currently holding a series of morning workshops in Clapham on some of the key issues for groups considering or preparing bids for funding. Still to come are:
– Thursday 21 March: Asset transfer and partnerships;
– Monday 1 April: Fund-raising for historic buildings;
– Thursday 18 April: Feasibility study or Options appraisal?

To reserve a place on any session, please contact rosemarie.shaw@yahoo.co.uk

News, Events and Activities
Events in Parks – Council Consultation underway
Lambeth Council is now consulting on changes to how it manages events in its parks and open spaces.  The present scheme was adopted in 2016 but has been criticised for the impact of big commercial events on major parks like Brockwell Park and Clapham Common.  The proposed changes sound like an improvement on this, but it’s worth checking for loopholes.  We would like to hear your comments at our April meeting, but the closing date for comments to reach the Council is Sunday 5 May.  See the Consultations page on the Council’s website, www.lambeth.gov.uk

Council Review of Licensing Policy
Another Council consultation will be coming up in May over its Licensing Policy, which has to be reviewed from time to time to ensure it is abreast of current concerns.  Don’t expect too much from this, because the Council has limited scope for changes, but it’s a chance to flag up “hot spots” within the borough and loopholes in current controls. More news about this nearer the time.
 
81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance!
The germ of the idea was something to mark the 40th anniversary of the original Brixton Riots of April 1981, and to remind everyone that there is still a diverse community here.  After a couple of exploratory meetings, many ideas are emerging and several working groups are following them up.
There is an open Facebook group for anyone that wants to find out more or join in later – see https://www.facebook.com/81Acts/
Enquiries also to Chloe Osbourne, chloelayla@gmail.com or Tony Cealy,  tctonycealy@gmail.com

A last summer at the bowling green?
The bowling green in Brockwell Park has been in decline since the serious bowlers moved down the hill in 1996 to use the indoor bowls pitch in the basement of the Brixton Recreation Centre.  The outdoor green has been looking the worse for wear since the Council’s specialist green-keeper retired last year.  However a small group of enthusiasts, the Sylvan Bowls Club, revived use of the green in 2007 and has since tried to keep it in use for its original purpose. This might be their last year of playing before the surface becomes unplayable, but they expect to open the green to the public every Sunday afternoon from April to September, between 2 pm and 6 pm. There were 582 players over 30 Sundays in 2017, plus some special sessions laid on for local organisations including the Mosaic mental health centre on Effra Road.  

Vintage Voices – creative writing sessions
Another series of creative writing sessions is starting up, to encourage people to share their experiences, explore different writing styles and craft stories.
Sessions take place 1 pm to 3 pm (light lunch available at 12-30 pm) on Tuesdays 26 March, 2, 9, 23 and 30 April and 7 May, with an extra session on Saturday 20 April, all at Brixton Community Base in Talma Road, SW2. 
To register your interest, enquiries to 07 958 448 690 or 07 941 624 247, brixtoncommunitybase@gmail.com.

Youth Connect Careers Event
We Rise is organising a series of monthly careers events, each focussing on a different field of work, in conjunction with Business Launchpad.
Each will be at International House, Popes Road, SW9 7QD, between 5 pm and 7 pm:
– 8 April – Design & Media,
– 14 May – Health & Sport,
– 4 June – Finance & Tech.

These are aimed at Lambeth-based 16-18 year-olds, to help them explore different careers and build connections with professionals in those fields.
So it’s not just about getting word out to the young people, We Rise would also like to hear from people with relevant experience who can come along on any of these dates to talk to them about what they do – contact hello@werise.org.uk

Green Issues
Green light for Atlantic Road improvements
Lambeth Council’s bid for funding from TFL’s Liveable Neighbourhoods programme has finally reached the top of the pile.  The key element is re-organising Atlantic Road between Coldharbour Lane and Brixton Road to make it safer for cyclists and provide dedicated kerb space for deliveries to the shops and markets.  There will also be changes in Coldharbour Lane to improve pedestrian movement between the Brixton Village arcade and the new Oval Theatre.  The Neighbourhood Forum and the Brixton BID were represented at design meetings when proposals were first prepared nearly two years ago.  Since then the plans have been tweaked with “low traffic neighbourhoods” to be added in nearby residential areas, and a cyclists “hub” off Electric Lane. 
 
Recycling Food Waste
Lambeth has begun reminding residents about its food waste collection service.  If your home has ordinary wheely bins for waste and recycling, you should also have a small “pigswill” bin or caddy for food waste.  Feeding it to pigs is no longer allowed, so it is actually composted as a soil conditioner, but this is still cheaper for the Council than adding it to the general waste collection.  Leaflets are being distributed with more advice on how best to recycle.
For estates with larger shared bins, the Council is willing to supply community composters for a block or estate to share.

Ultra Low Emission Zone
To help improve air quality, the Mayor is starting an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) from 8 April.  To begin with, it will match the existing Congestion Charging Zone in Central London, but it will be rolled out across Brixton as far as the South Circular Road from October 2021.  To avoid paying extra charges, powered vehicles will need to meet tighter exhaust emission standards.  To check whether your vehicle meets the new criteria, see the TfL website.

Energy Advice for Enterprises
Need expert advice for a small business or organisation, but can’t spare even half a day to attend a briefing or exhibition? The Carbon Trust is now offering free technical webinars lasting 45 minutes on a range of topics, in connection with its Green Business Fund.  Topics include supply chain sustainability, commercial kitchens, sports centres, and the challenges for new start-up businesses. See more at https://www.carbontrust.com/about-us/events

Keep in touch!
We have been busy updating our mailing list, but there is still lots to do!  Please respond to this e-mail to tell us if:
– You have moved away, or are no longer interested in Brixton affairs;
– You want to add a colleague to the list;
– You want to change your contact details so you get messages sooner, rather than them going to an old inbox that you only check occasionally.

In fact, if we haven’t heard from you for a while, why not send us an e-mail anyway, to remind us that you are still active and interested?
 
We are trying to issue these bulletins each month, so if you want an announcement included in our next issue, it helps if we receive it by 13 April.
Remember it takes a while to compile and distribute each bulletin, so no point in telling us about events happening before the 20th!
We are not usually short of space, but we are often short of time, so most bulletins have been basic so far.
Please send direct to the Secretary, Alan Piper, at apiperbrix@aol.com or phone enquiries to (020) 7207 0347.

February 2019 Bulletin

Brixton Neighbourhood Forum – February 2019

A quick bulletin this month, because we have some imminent dates to remind you about.  Meanwhile, other plans are taking shape, so we should have much more to tell you next month.  If you want to share what your group is doing, or seek support from others around Brixton, try to send us your news or requests before the end of February.

Quick Reminders

Lambeth Country Show

A follow-up to the notice in last month’s bulletin – applications to trade or exhibit must be in by 4 pm on Friday 15 February.

This is even earlier than last year, and the site fees are higher!  Show dates are 20 & 21 July – enquiries to countryshow@lambeth.gov.uk

Tackling Violent Crime – Herne Hill Ward Meeting

Herne Hill Labour Councillors have organised a public meeting this Saturday, 16 February, 12 noon to 2 pm at the Carnegie Library, 188-192 Herne Hill Road SE24.  Speakers include Helen Hayes MP, London Assembly member Florence Eshalomi, Cllr Mohamed Seedat, Lambeth’s cabinet member for community safety, and police representatives.

Camberwell Area Plan

If you are interested in the area around the Camberwell Green crossroads, Southwark Council is hosting a public consultation event this Saturday, 16 February between 10 am and 4 pm outside Camberwell Library, 48 Camberwell Green SE5 7AL.  Architects Gort Scott are conducting more detailed workshops in the large meeting room above the library, 12-30 to 1-30 pm or 3 pm to 4 pm – to attend these, please e-mail sarah@gortscott.com

 

Community Connector Training – Last Call

Another follow-up from last month’s bulletin – the next course starts with a training day on 21 February so act now if you want to join in!  You must attend all 4 dates to complete the training.  If you missed out, Dave Goslyn should be able to tell you if another course is in the pipeline – all enquiries to him on 07 540 095 696 or dave.goslyn@nhs.net

Sustainable Energy – closing soon

Need help with combating fuel poverty, improving energy efficiency of community spaces or creating renewable energy infrastructure?  Power Partners is funded by UK Power Networks and administered by the Centre for Sustainable Energy.  Closing date for the first round of applications is Monday 18 February at 6 pm.  See website www.communityenergy.london or enquiries to Fleur Disney at fleur.disney@communityenergy.london 

Lambeth’s Own World Cup

This reached us by a roundabout route, but the Lambeth World Cup Tournament is being organised by the Fulham FC Foundation to coincide with the schools’ half-term, on Tuesday 19 February.  Matches take place on the Astro pitch in Kennington Park, SE11 4BE. Players should arrive at 11-30 am tosign in, for matches to start at 12-30 pm, and the event should end by 4 pm. Age groups are 9-12, 12-14 and 15-18. Enquiries to Paul Smithers on 0870 442 5432 or 07 500 108 495 or e-mail to psmithers@fulhamfc.com

Healthy Family Food with Incredible Edible LEAP

A morning of demos, recipes and tips from food blogger Mandy Mazliah on how to encourage kids to eat more fruit and veg, on Tuesday 19 February. 10 am to 12 noon at the Platform, the former toilet block at the corner of Loughborough Road and Ridgeway Road, SW9. To book a place please contact Helen on 07 949 985 343 or e-mail toincredibleedibleleap@gmail.com

Half Term at the Fire Brigade Museum

The pop-up museum in Lambeth High Street is hosting a morning session for kids (age 3 upwards) on Wednesday 20 February, drop in between 10 am and 1 pm (last entry 12-30).  Design your own fire engine greeting card and learn about the history of firefighters uniforms in London.

Enquiries to museum@london-fire.gov.uk

News, Events, Activities

High Rise at Loughborough Junction

A revised planning application has been made for the former Higgs Industrial Estate at the foot of Herne Hill Road, close to Loughborough Junction Station.  This time it includes a single tower block rising to 16 storeys.  Loughborough Junction Action Group have called a public meeting to discuss the plans, on Wednesday 27 February, at 7 pm at the Grove Adventure Playground.  If you want to see the proposals on the Council’s website, the reference is 18/05425/FUL and the deadline for comments has been extended to 4th March. 

Town Hall Changes

Now that Lib Peck has gone to work at City Hall, Councillor Jack Hopkins has been elected Leader of the Labour Group, and is due to be confirmed as Leader of the Council shortly.  It is not clear yet if this will lead to any other changes of roles within Lambeth’s Cabinet.

Among senior officers, some will be pleased to hear that Sue Foster has left, and staff are now grouped into 5 Directorates, though their heads (some still “acting” or interim) are not familiar names.  The Directorates are:

– Sustainable Growth & Opportunity, which includes responsibilities for new housing and regeneration.

– Resident Services, including most day-to-day public services and Council housing management.

– Children’s Services, including schools and social care.

– Adults and Health, including adult social care and public health matters.

– Finance & Investment, including the traditional Treasurer functions.

Meet at the Brixton £ Café?

The Brixton Pound Café at 77 Atlantic Road has space available to hire for meetings or exhibitions – either the café space, or the basement studio – at affordable rates. Enquiries toThomas@brixtonpound.org

Free Woodworking Classes at the Remakery

The Brixton Remakery in Lilford Road, SE5 9HY, is to host a series of woodworking classes, starting in March.  The target group is older men in Lambeth, though women and younger men will be welcome too.  Classes are free and will take place every 2 weeks over 6 months. Typical projects will include planters, wine racks and wooden toys, mostly using recycled wood. Both beginners and experienced woodworkers welcome – enquiries to terry@citywoodwork.co.uk

Volunteer Guides Wanted!

Two local opportunities if you want to get out and meet more people:

Brixton Windmill Tours start up again in April, with at least one weekend opening a month through to October.  Friends of Windmill Gardens are keen to recruit more volunteers as activities should increase once the Education Building is completed next to the mill.  Enquiries or offers of help to info@brixtonwindmill.org.uk

Van Gogh in Brixton: 87 Hackford Road SW9, where the artist stayed in 1873-74, is being renovated and should open for tours from April.  Volunteer guides are being recruited via the San Mei Gallery, now based in the former Loughborough Hotel.  More details on their website at www.sanmeigallery.co.uk/van-gogh-house   Closing date for first batch was meant to be Friday 15th, but check with Janet Currier on janet@sanmeigallery.com

Funding and Training opportunities

Future Support for Community Organisations

For the past couple of years, some support with fund-raising and training has been available through Community Southwark, but that contract runs out this month.  We understand that new arrangements are being considered from several possible providers, but it may be a month or so before the position is clearer.

 

Sustainable City Awards

If your group is interested in sustainability or promoting greener life-styles, check out this award scheme run by the London Sustainability Exchange. Applications can be made up to 29 March.  More details on their website at www.lsx.org.uk

Small Charity Workshops

In previous bulletins we have mentioned the training sessions run by the Foundation for Social Improvement.  The next batch in London comes up on Thursday 14 March at Voluntary Action Islington, with a choice of 90-minute sessions.  Following that is a full-day Skills Conference on Thursday 28 March in Central London, with a mix of useful sessions for a total of £25.  As before, all enquiries to admin@thefsi.org or see their website, www.thefsi.org

First Aid Training

The St. John’s Ambulance Association currently have a scheme to encourage over-50s to gain basic first-aid skills.  Brixton Community Base in Talma Road has already hosted a session before Christmas, so maybe it could be useful to your group too?  Sessions are free, funded by DCMS and Nesta.

Enquiries to Rosie Mcgloughlin, 07 896 969 869 or at rosie.mcgoughlin@sja.org.uk

 

Keep in touch

We are rebuilding our mailing list, so now is the time to tell us if you prefer information to go to a more convenient e-mail address, or to a colleague.

If you have moved away, or no longer wish to be involved, please tell us and we will delete you from our list – a simple e-mail toadmin@brixtonneighnourhoodforum.org or to apiperbrix@aol.com

And please get in touch if you want something from your corner of Brixton to feature in a future Forum meeting, or in one of these bulletins.  We are currently trying to arrange meeting dates for the year ahead.

                                   Alan Piper, Secretary.

January 2019 Bulletin

Thanks for Survey responses

Despite the run-up to Christmas being a busy time for us all, we received encouraging responses to our recent digital survey.  These include some constructive ideas that we want to follow up.  Overall, 82.9% of respondents thought the Forum has been useful, and 92.4% agreed it was needed.

More Help Needed!

The Forum was less active last year because our Executive team was depleted by illness.  We are now looking for extra members to get involved, so that the Forum can be more active again – come to the next meeting or e-mail us. 

Building Community Links

We are aware that the majority of our members are involved in a variety of local organisations, some fully-fledged charities, some very informal grass-roots groups, and some small businesses or social enterprises.  We are keen to encourage networking and collaboration between different groups around Brixton.  We try to share useful information through these bulletins, but if you would like more on any particular topic, please tell us.  

Open Project Night at the Impact Hub

One regular spot for networking is the Open Project Night, held every Monday evening at the Impact Hub, at the back of Pop Brixton, Station Road SW9 – open 6-30 to 10 pm (food served at 6-30 pm as an incentive to be on time!)

Enquiries to info@transitiontownbrixton.org

Dexter Playground opportunity

At short notice, Lambeth Council is offering use of the Dexter Adventure Playground rent-free for community use. The new leaseholder will need to provide activities that support the development of children and young people in the borough, though hiring the premises for other purposes will be permitted if consistent with the main use. Critically, applicants will need to provide a business plan showing how they intend to use the premises, and how they will engage with the community. This plan will be the basis of a Community Service Agreement with the Council.  Deadline for proposals is 1st February and the site is available for viewing this Tuesday morning (15th) or Wednesday 16th between 1 pm and 3 pm.

All enquiries to Paul Davies of Lambeth’s Children’s Services Team, pavies5@lambeth.gov.uk

Funding and Training opportunities

Stronger Together programme – Community Southwark

Community Southwark is nearing the end of its 2-year programme of practical support for Lambeth-based community organisations, funded by the London Community Foundation (LCF).  We have not yet heard if there will be any further support for Lambeth groups after March, so latch onto this programme while you can.

Enquiries to development@communitysouthwark.org or phone Rachel Henry on 020 7358 7288.

Foundation for Social Improvement

Once again, the FSI is running a series of training events for staff and management committee members/ trustees of small charities, at affordable prices at various London venues.  Enquiries to admin@thefsi.org or see their website: www.thefsi.org

Be a Community Connector 

Project Smith has been mentioned in past bulletins, as an NHS-funded project to make care in the community more effective.  They are now looking for local residents to join in the next round of Community Connector training during February and March.

Community Connectors are simply local people who link others in their community to organisations and activities that can help improve their quality of life. Lots of people may do this naturally on a daily basis, but do you always know where neighbours can turn for help?

The training will help you improve your skills and knowledge, and also provides a Level 2 qualification in Supporting Behaviour Change.

The training days run between 9-30 am and 3 pm, on February 21, 25 and 26, and March 4th. You must attend all 4 sessions to complete the course. If you are interested in joining the programme, please call David Goslyn on 07 540 095 696 or e-mail to dave.goslyn@nhs.net

Brixton BID Training Days

For social enterprises and businesses operating in the Brixton area, our Business Improvement District is running a series of one-day training courses from the end of this month through to July.  All these courses run from 10 am to 4 pm and will take place in International House (corner of Popes Road and Canterbury Crescent, SW9). Topics include food hygiene, emergency first aid, fire safety and customer service. Enquiries to admin@brixtonbid.co.uk

News, Events, Activities

Bookings open for Lambeth Country Show

If you want to trade or exhibit at the next Lambeth Country Show, the deadline for applications is Friday 15 February at 4 pm. There are also opportunities to perform, or to host workshops, with the same deadline. See https://lambethcountryshow.us11.list-manage.com or enquiries to countryshow@lambeth.gov.uk

Brockwell Park – A Future for the Hall

For the past couple of years. Lambeth Council, supported by Brockwell Park Community Partners, have been attempting to get funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support improvements to the old house in the centre of the park.  The latest bid has recently been given Stage 1 approval by the HLF, which releases £387,500 to develop detailed plans over the next couple of years.  The second stage, the actual restoration, will cost around £6 million, of which Lambeth will need to find part.  See also  https://love.lambeth.gov.uk/brockwell-hall-restoration/

BPCP is organising a meeting of all the groups with an interest in the Park for Sunday 3rd March – more details to follow.

Lambeth Archives temporary closure

The Archives at Minet Library are about to close for their annual stock-taking, from Monday 28 January, and re-opening from Monday 11 February.

Brixton Vegan Market Returns

The Vegan Market will be back in Brixton Station Road, next to the Farmers’ Market, from Sunday 27 January onwards. It will be open weekly between 11 am and 4 pm. 

More at www.Facebook.com/BrixtonVeganMarket

Children’s Centres at Risk

Lambeth Council is currently consulting on reducing the number of children’s centres in the borough. These mostly cater for under-5s and offer support to parents. Local sites include Effra early years centre in Effra Parade, and centres attached to Stockwell Road, Jubilee and Loughborough Road schools. Closing date for comments is10 February -see the Consultations page on Lambeth’s website.

Software Savings

If your project needs more or better versions of Microsoft programs, Tekgia can provide them to charities, churches, schools and associated volunteers at discount prices. See their website www.tekgia.com or phone 0845 124 0484.

PAPA’s Park Facelift

The community playground in Pulross Road SW9 recently re-opened after an extensive refit. New play equipment has been installed and the under-5s area has been extended. This comes after 6 years of fund-raising and lobbying.  Thoughts are already turning to the next phases, to upgrade the multi-purpose ball games court and add a new purpose-designed building to enlarge the café and provide meeting space that can be hired out to generate future income, because the site  receives no public funding.

More details, including how to contribute, on their website at www.papaspark.co.uk

Keep in touch!

We are rebuilding our contact list, so this is the ideal time to tell us if you prefer information to go to a different e-mail address, or to a colleague.

If you no longer wish to be involved, please tell us and we will delete you from our list – e-mail to admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org or to apiperbrix@aol.com

Also get in touch if you want something from your group to appear in the next bulletin, or to feature in a future Forum meeting.