Category Archives: Community

june 2021

Events Coming up

Marking Windrush Day

Officially it’s on Tuesday 22 June, so look out for further local publicity about linked events.  Last year, in spite of Lockdown restrictions, 35,000 Lambeth residents, schoolchildren and businesses took part in related activities, and particularly highlighting the contribution the Windrush generation and their descendants have made to the NHS and public services generally.
The Brixton Project have already organised a competition among local artists and designers for this year’s logo, which will be revealed shortly.  Tony Cealy has been commissioned by Lambeth Council to produce a short film, which will be screened at the Town Hall on Monday 21 June.

Domestic Abuse is all our business

In case you missed the notice in last week’s Integrate bulletin, an on-line workshop on this theme takes place on Monday 14 June, starting at 10 am. The focus will be on how organisations can support their staff or volunteers who are exposed to domestic abuse, and may be struggling to cope as a result.  The workshop will be led by former Forum member Fernanda Correia-Sefzick. 
Enquiries to eoin.heffernan@integrateagency.co.uk

Early Years service at Windmill Gardens

Lambeth Council is inviting offers to lease the former Stay-and-Play/ One O’Clock Club building in Windmill Gardens – the green hut next to the windmill.   The rent will be waived provided that the new organisation provides suitable community services, ideally for young children aged 0-4 years. The deadline for applications is Monday 21 June, to the Council’s Early Years & Parenting Team – enquiries to youthandplaytenders@lambeth.gov.uk

Lambeth Speaks: Community & Culture in the Post-Covid Era

The Impact Hub are hosting a panel discussion on this theme on Monday 28 June at 6-30 pm.  A range of organisations will be represented on the panel, including We Rise, Brixton House, Squire & Partners, Brixton Village, Integrate Agency and Black Thrive.  The panel discussion will be followed by a Q & A session and an opportunity for guests and panellists to network and continue the conversation.  Booking enquiries to team@impactbrixton.com or see www.impactbrixton.com for this and other events at Impact Brixton.

Time running out for EU Citizens

European Union citizens must apply for EU Settled Status to live and work in the UK.  Applications are free but must be made by 30 June – see www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families
For more information and help see  www.settled.org.uk  and  www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/european-londoners-hub/how-apply-eu-settlement-scheme
The fear is that the Windrush Scandal was just a warm-up, and that the Home Secretary is itching to extend her “hostile environment” to EU citizens.

Planning and Regeneration News

Around the Brixton Rec

MUF Architects recently unveiled their proposals for improvements around the Brixton Recreation Centre.  They expect to be out on Brixton Station Road on the afternoons of Wednesday 9 June and Saturday 12 June.  A webinar is being organised to explain the proposals in more detail, but date not confirmed yet.  In the meantime the link to see the proposed package is at http://orlo.uk/aRvgN

The future of Pop Brixton and International House

The Council’s current proposals for developing the two sites are described on their website at https://beta.lambeth.gov.uk/better-fairer-lambeth/projects/growing-brixtons-rec-quarter-49-brixton-station-road-6-canterbury-crescent
A series of “meet the bidder” community events are expected in September. At our February Forum meeting, the views expressed by most Forum members were that retaining International House would be better for nurturing existing enterprises, instead of displacing them, while the Council’s objectives were too diverse to achieve much impact in any particular field, whether housing or employment or something else.  BRUG and the Brixton Society have since come out in support of listing International House, an idea for which there is already vocal support among architects.

Towers still in the balanceDecisions are still pending on several major developments, including the high tower developments at Popes Road and Loughborough Junction, which were both called in for the Mayor’s decision.  Documents and many individual comments/ objections can be seen on the Planning Applications Database within the Lambeth Council website.  The Brixton Society publishes its comments on recent applications on its website at www.brixtonsociety.org.uk
At our April Forum meeting, we promised to share the link to the GLA page for the Hondo Tower (Popes Road) application, so you can still send in comments – clicking on the Comments tag brings up a form in which to leave a representation: https://gla.force.com/pr/planning-application/a0i4J000002gBW8QAM/20210265

The Lambeth Hospital Site

Another bad example of unsustainable overdevelopment, the Lambeth Hospital site on Landor Road is being developed as flats by the South London and Maudsley Trust, to finance relocating most services to the Maudsley Hospital campus on Denmark Hill.  Belatedly, they are now consulting on what amenities should be included within a small community centre within the new residential estate.  They are particularly keen to hear from local groups who might be interested in using the new premises (fronting Landor Road) to identify needs and any special provision that should be built in.
All enquiries to Gordon Mackenzie Leceia at leceia.gordon-mackenzie@slam.nhs.uk

Funding, Training and Support

Please bear in mind when contacting funders and support agencies that responses may be slower due to staff working from home or part-time.

Current Grant Schemes

Common Call have launched a second funding round for Black-led impact projects, social enterprises and charities across the UK.  About 35 organisations are expected to receive grants of £5,000 or £12,500 as unrestricted funding.  Application deadline is 5 pm on Friday 25 June.  See more at https://www.commoncall.fund

Return to Play is a small grants scheme from Sport England, to help clubs and community groups restart or develop activities after Lockdown.  Grants can range from £300 to £10,000, with emphasis on providing better hygiene and safety equipment, or supporting smaller-scale activities to maintain some social distancing.  This programme is only open until 30 June – see  https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/our-funds/return-play-small-grants

Black and Minoritised Women Fund offers grants of £5,000 or £10,000 to relevant women’s organisations impacted by Coronavirus.  The Women’s Resource Centre is hosting an information session for organisations preparing to apply – on Friday 18 June, 10 am to 11-15 am, enrol at https://bit.ly/3p9WSCY  Applications will open on 21 June.

Training offers

Your Forum now has a modest budget for organising some training for our members, so if there is a skill or topic that would be helpful to your group, please get in touch, via apiperbrix@aol.com

Enquiries about Training courses organised by the Brixton BID should be addressed to chantel.facey@brixtonbid.co.uk

Even if you are outside the Brixton BID area, if you are a business or social enterprise in London, you can probably access training or advice from the London Business Hub – see https://www.businesshub.london/resource or /events

Utility Bills and Debt Advice

This is not a complete list, but we suggest these contacts are worth exploring:

London-based debt advice charity Fair Money Advice has been funded to continue supporting Lambeth residents who are struggling financially.  More than a quarter of Lambeth households expect difficulties with paying for household essentials, such as food, rent and utilities, this year.  Seeking advice is an essential step in dealing with the problems.  More information on their website, https://www.fairfinance.org.uk/advice or contact 020 3475 8811 or info@fairmoneyadvice.co.uk

Turn2us also has an online benefits calculator, grant finder and other tools to help individuals find financial support – tel. 0808 802 2000 or see their website www.turn2us.org.uk

Christians Against Poverty may be able to help with budgeting and getting out of debt – call 0800 328 0006 or visit https://capuk.org

For older people, the Gateway Support Line can provide advice and put you in touch with relevant agencies – hosted by Age UK Lambeth, call 0333 360 3700.

If you are already claiming benefits, or experiencing financial hardship, Lambeth Council may still be able to help as part of its Coronavirus support services – see  www.lambeth.gov.uk/coronavirus-financial-help

Working with Volunteers

The pandemic brought an influx of new volunteers to some organisations, and enabled new grass-roots groups to spring into being.  Lockdown left more people available to volunteer, and in an NCVO survey published last month, 24% of VCS organisations said they had experience an increase in volunteering.  On the other hand, 36% reported a decline, the combined effects of restrictions on what services could be run, and older volunteers needing to isolate themselves.  Another effect was to increase the diversity of volunteers, including ethnic minorities and younger age groups.

92% of groups responding said they had moved services on-line, in response to the pandemic.  39% said this resulted in more volunteer roles being carried out remotely, while 26% found they needed to recruit volunteers with different skills to previously, such as digital skills.
(Source – Civil Society News.)

Finally, Sunday 4 July is being promoted as Thank You Day, an opportunity to lay on something to thank your volunteers and supporters in the community – see more about it at https:thankyouday.org.uk

Health and Social Care

Coping with Coronavirus

Vaccinations:  There have been various “pop-up” sessions around the borough so people who may have missed out in the earlier rounds can still get vaccinated.  Sessions are continuing at the Streatham Place surgery on the far side of the South Circular Road on Wednesdays, 9 am to 12 noon and 1 pm to 4-45 pm.  For other sessions in Lambeth, see www.selondonccg.nhs.uk – or for younger age groups, ask your GP if they are organising any special sessions. 

Testing: Extra testing is underway in four parts of the borough, including Brixton (in Windrush Square, 9 am to 3 pm), Stockwell and Clapham.  You can either get a test on site, or collect a PCR test kit to complete at home.  This is in response to a local rise in cases and further details are on the Council’s website.

Help with Self-Isolating: If you test positive, or have Coronavirus symptoms, Lambeth Council can provide a payment of up to £738 to help you cope with self-isolating.  This recognises that it can be hard to take time off when money is tight.  Again see the Council website, or phone 0800 054 1215.

My Neighbour service

This is one of the services co-ordinated by Age UK Lambeth, to bridge the gap between formal and informal support at a neighbourhood level. It can provide:
Friendship calls: over 400 volunteers are making weekly calls to isolated and vulnerable residents.
Digital Neighbours: Advice provided over the phone, over Zoom or on the doorstep, as basic digital support with use of computers, internet and mobile phones.
Missions: Volunteers can help with tasks like shopping, collecting prescriptions, running errands and even providing homemade birthday cakes.
Home Cooks Project puts volunteers in touch with older isolated people who would appreciate a home-cooked meal brought round from time to time.
Plus there’s a wider range of volunteer roles – enquiries to volunteer@ageuklambeth.org or phone 020 3143 5836.

Health Complaints?

The Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Service can help individuals make a complaint about a NHS service, including hospitals, GPs, ambulance services, district nurses, mental health services, dentists, pharmacists and opticians.  The advocates will listen to an individual’s experience, and help them raise their concerns. Contact Scarlett McCarthy, independent health complaints advocate, at Connect Lambeth, DASL, 336 Brixton Road, SW9 7AA – phone 020 3143 9000 or e-mail to s.mccarthy@pohwer.net  Websites www.connectlambeth.org or www.pohwer.net

In Other News…

Changes in the Town Hall

Following Councillor Jack Hopkins resigning as Council Leader last month, Cllr. Claire Holland has been confirmed by the Council as his replacement. As a result, there are several changes of responsibilities within Lambeth’s Cabinet.  Cllr. Holland’s old portfolio of Sustainable Transport, Environment and Clean Air (including LTNs) is now a job-share between Councillors Mahamed Hashi and Danny Adilypour.  Similarly, Health and Social Care will be split between veteran Cllr. Jim Dickson and Cllr. Lucy Caldicott, a new Cabinet member.  Another new member is Cllr. Jess Leigh, Deputy Cabinet Member for the Health and Wellbeing of Young People.

Deputy Leader, with special responsibility for Jobs, Skills and Community Safety, is Cllr. Jacqui Dyer.  Cllr. Maria Kay is Cabinet member for Housing and Homelessness, though Planning, Investment and New Homes are still overseen by Cllr. Matthew Bennett.  Other responsibilities are Finance & Performance (Cllr. Andy Wilson), Children & Young People (Cllr. Edward Davie), Equalities & Culture (still Cllr. Sonia Winifred) and Voluntary Sector & Leisure (Cllr Donatus Anyanwu).

Deputy Cabinet members include Cllr. Christiana Valcarcel (Disabilities), Cllr. Ben Kind (Jobs), Cllr. Irfan Mohammed (Business Recovery).  Cllr. Nanda Manley-Brown is Policy Lead for Schools & Education, while Cllr Emma Nye is Policy Lead for Recycling & Waste.

Brixton Advice Centre seeks Trustees

The Brixton Advice Centre began in a prefab hut on Somerleyton Road in 1966, and is now a respected Brixton institution on Railton Road, continuing its free advice service for struggling residents.  Now the Trustees want to fill gaps in their ranks, and ideally attract both links to lived experience and useful skills for the future development of the organisation.  Closing date for applications is 30 June – more details of the Centre’s work and the recruitment process are on their website at https://brixtonadvice.org.uk

Consultations on Traffic Changes

Transport for London is consulting on changes it made to the A23 between the Oval intersection, along Brixton Road and up Brixton Hill to the South Circular Road by the Crown & Sceptre.  This is an extended consultation, continuing until 17 November.  Obviously there will be issues of what should remain of present controls as travel patterns become more “normal”, and what will be adapted or abandoned. More details can be found at their website, tfl.gov.uk/oval-streatham
You can respond via the website, or by e-mail to  haveyoursay@tfl.gov.uk  and if your views change later, you can respond again.

Meanwhile, Lambeth Council has been distributing “Update” leaflets within existing Low Traffic Neighbourhoods but the one for the Railton LTN provided no new information, just a colourful map with several errors.  One problem is that LTNs divert more traffic into other areas whose residents don’t get included in any consultations.  For example, the Ferndale LTN has channelled more traffic into Landor Road, which is scarcely a main road to start with.  Yet we only hear about these issues at second hand – people for or against seem to speak out within their own echo chambers.  At least there’s a contact for feedback – e-mail to  lowtrafficneighbourhood@lambeth.gov.uk

Neighbourhood Champions

Really this is a recent rebranding of the old Street Champions scheme, to remind residents that it can also operate on estates.  The current programme began in 2016 as a joint effort with Veolia and has at least another year to run.  Basically, it encourages residents to improve their street or estate environment.  There were 500 volunteers signed up before the re-launch, and another 70 have been recruited since.  It is linked to the Council’s Freshview scheme, which supports local clean-ups.  Veolia can currently provide compost and hand tools for on-street planting, though not the plants.
More details on the Council website at lambeth.gov.uk/neighbourhoodchampions or enquiries to neighbourhoodchampions@lambeth.gov.uk

It’s Your Forum

Things to Come

We are currently in touch with several people about topics for future Forum meetings, but we have not pinned down dates yet.  We hope to confirm arrangements soon, but we can say that the next Forum meeting will be via Zoom again.  If you want to present something to Forum members, or seek support for your bright idea, please contact the Secretary, Alan Piper, at apiperbrix@aol.com

Want to see your name here?

We encourage you to use these bulletins to report what your group is doing, to announce coming events, or to share your concerns.  Just bear in mind that space is limited and we cannot guarantee to print everything we receive – though we seem to include more events and services than most other Forums around the borough!  Send to apiperbrix@aol.com or to  admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org

Is our Mailing List correct?

Finally, our usual reminder for you to tell us – at admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org
– if you would like to add a colleague or neighbour to our distribution list,
– if you would prefer these bulletins sent to a different e-mail address so you are more likely to see them,
– if you no longer wish to receive them because you are no longer interested or have moved away. 

May 2021

Don’t miss out on Covid vaccinations!


If you hesitated when first offered a vaccination – or if nobody even asked you – there are still opportunities to get the jab.  If you are aged over 40 OR in one of the “At Risk” groups, you can get vaccinated by:
– Walk-in Vaccination Clinic at Streatham Place Surgery, on the far side of the South Circular Road at the top of Brixton Hill: Wednesdays 9am to 12 noon and 1 pm to 4-45 pm.
– Contact your own GP practice to ask if they are running any clinic sessions themselves.
– Check www.selondonccg.nhs.uk for other clinic dates and locations coming up.

Zoom chats with Councillor

Councillor Donatus Anyanwu, Lambeth’s lead member for Voluntary and Community organisations, is holding a series of on-line meetings to discuss issues with such groups.  What was your experience during Covid-19? What does the “new normal” look like in terms of restarting face-to-face activities or continuing on-line services? 
To book, contact Eoin Heffernan at Integrate, eoin.heffernan@integrateagency.co.uk
Health & Social Care – Tuesday 18 May at 2pm;
Youth Services – Wednesday 19 May at 3 pm;
Employment – Tuesday 25 May, 4 pm;
Sports – Wednesday 26 May at 4 pm.
Each session is scheduled for one hour.

We’ll Meet Again

Our thanks to everyone who joined in our on-line Forum meeting last month – 37 people in total is the best turnout for a couple of years.  It’s likely there will be another Forum meeting on Zoom before we attempt a live meeting again, but what would suit you best?

Following our discussions of the Hondo Tower plans, and the Council’s plans for Pop Brixton and International House, we are continuing to develop an on-line briefing on the Town Planning system with our friends at the Brixton Society, to help community groups influence other planning applications that come along.  More news to follow.

Happening Soon

Free Bike Checks in Brixton

Free sessions with the Dr Bike team are being held in Windrush Square next month, sponsored by Lambeth Council:
Wednesday 2 June, 4 pm to 7 pm,
Saturday 5 June, 12 noon to 3 pm.

Black Culture Market, 5 & 6 June

Downstairs at The Department Store, 248 Ferndale Road, SW9, open 11 am to 5 pm each day.  The aim is to support emerging entrepreneurs and new black businesses with opportunities to showcase and sell their products.  For customers, it will offer a diverse shopping and cultural experience, celebrating producers of African and Caribbean heritage.  Admission free but please register at  www.blackculturemarket.co.uk

Black Men’s Theatre project at Mosaic Clubhouse

Tony Cealy is recruiting black men for a free 12-week mental health performance project, exploring the themes of intimacy, shame, guilt and mental health.  The project uses improvisation and story-telling to alleviate isolation, depression and stress. Participants will develop skills in performing arts, interviewing and research. 
Weekly sessions on Mondays, 6 pm to 9 pm at Mosaic Clubhouse, 65 Effra Road SW2 1BZ. See more at  https://youtu.be/HszjNgxlvd0

Impact Brixton – join the family

Impact Brixton already supports over 160 freelancers, creators and social change makers.  The top 3 industry sectors represented are Education, Events and Marketing/Communications.  During lockdown, its online events programme reached an audience of over 500.  See more about virtual, flexible or fixed membership on their website, https://impactbrixton.com 

Now they are building a year-long Fellowship Programme, Impact Invests, for purpose-driven entrepreneurs, partnering with accelerator programmes across London to take on their talented graduates and link them with members of IB’s existing network.  A pilot group will launch next month, with development work following to enable the main programme to launch in September.  Enquiries to Kate Allen, Programme Manager, at kateallen@impactbrixton.com

Brixton Celebrates Young Art

You are cordially invited to view Big Local Impact’s virtual exhibition – go to https://biglocalimpact.org.uk/brixton-celebrates-young-art/
It started with a proposal to showcase the work of Brixton’s young artists, but had to be adapted in response to Covid, with support from Power to Change.  Take a walk through the exhibition using your mouse or the arrow keys on your keyboard (sorry, but not accessible via smartphones)

Brixton Community Base is now St. Vincent’s Brixton 

A reminder that the building in Talma Road SW2 is coming to life again, now as St. Vincent’s Brixton.  If you are interested in using it for regular or occasional meetings, please contact the manager, Jane Duncan-Ribeiro, tel. 07 941 624 247 or 020 7703 3030 or at JaneDR@svp.org.uk

Van Gogh House seeks Volunteers

The team at Van Gogh House are looking for keen and confident volunteers to act as guides for their tours of 87 Hackford Road, SW9, the house where Vincent Van Gogh lived in 1873-74.  Beyond this, the house has its own fascinating history.  The aim is to step up the programme of timed-entry guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays to two weekends a month.
To apply for their next round of tour guide training in June, you need to apply NOW – contact info@vangoghhouse.co.uk or see https://www.sanmeigallery.co.uk

More Reopenings

The Black Cultural Archives reopens to visitors on Thursday 20 May.  As with most such venues, please check the website for opening times and access arrangements – in this case, https://blackculturalarchives.org  In the meantime, a couple of their exhibitions are viewable on-line via the website.

Brixton Rec and other Lambeth Leisure Centres have been open again for a few weeks.

Lambeth Libraries are gradually reopening more of their services.  You can book an appointment to use a PC, to print, photocopy/scan, browse or study – phone your local library during normal opening hours, or e-mail to  libraries@lambeth.gov.uk  Library phone numbers are
Tate Brixton 020 7926 1058,
Minet 020 7926 6073,
Tate South Lambeth 020 7926 0705,
Carnegie 020 7926 6050.

Minet Library, Lambeth Archives are open again but for limited numbers, so please book your visit via 020 7926 6076 or archives@lambeth.gov.uk

Car Boot Sales in Brockwell Park restart next month, in the Lido car park, organised by the Friends of Brockwell Park.  Gates open to sellers at 7 am for a £10 fee, and the sale closes at 1 pm. Summer dates are Sundays 13 June, 11 July, 8 August and 12 September – see www.brockwellpark.com

Windmill opening again to visitors

The Friends of Windmill Gardens have announced that the first open weekend at the Windmill will be Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 May.  There will then be at least one open weekend each month until November.  Tours of the mill are still free but must be booked in advance – see the website  www.brixtonwindmill.org

Funding, Training and support

Summer Holiday Activity and Food programme

This is funded by the Department for Education, and is expanding this year to ensure that children aged 5-16 who receive free school meals in term time will also be offered free healthy meals and enriching activities over Summer, Christmas and Easter holidays.  Locally the programme is managed by Lambeth Council and targetted at Lambeth-based providers, ideally able to provide services for a minimum of 4 hours a day, 4 days a week for 4 weeks during the Summer Holidays.  Funding should be not less  than £11 per child per session.
More details at  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/holiday-activities-and-food-programme/holiday-activities-and-food-programme-2021
Deadline for applications is Friday 21 May – any queries about the application process to vicki.exall@googlemail.com

Step Up programme for Lambeth residents aged 19+

A last-minute reminder that the Step Up programme will run from 17 May to 20 July, and is free for anyone over 19 and living in Lambeth.  Three online courses are available as a result of collaboration between Photofusion and 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning. Apply to thefactoryproductionhouse@photofusion.org

Film & Video – Mondays, 11 am to 4 pm,
Art & Design – Tuesdays 11 am to 4 pm, from 18 May,
Photography – Tuesdays 11 am to 4 pm, including practical assignments and a session in Photofusion’s darkroom.

Community Champions Course

Interested in working in the arts and with community projects? Art4Space are starting another free arts-based course for 16-30 year olds, starting on Wednesday 26 May on-line, and continuing in their studio from 30 June for the last 4 sessions.  Choose morning sessions for sewing or afternoon sessions for painting.  Enquiries to Julie, jewels@art4space.co.uk

Lambeth Larder community food resource

Their April Newsletter contained a number of useful ideas and contacts, including a couple of funding sources.  See it at https://bit.ly/3xlvDsK and sign up for future issues. 

London Historic Buildings Trust

This could be useful if you are exploring a project around re-use and restoration of a historic building.  The Trust is offering a free on-line series of 3 workshops on Visioning & Viability – Establishing Heritage Projects. Among the case studies is our very own Brixton Windmill. The three dates are
Monday 17 May, 2 pm to 5 pm, Introduction; 
Tuesday 25 May, 2 pm to 5 pm, Visioning;
Tuesday 8 June, 9 am to 12 noon, Viability.
Please book via Eventbrite  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/visioning-viability-establishing-heritage-projects-tickets-151177202081

Project Management Workshop, Wednesday 2 June

In case you missed the e-mail from Integrate, they are putting on an on-line workshop session on the Fundamentals of Project Management, presented by Laura Bassett, their Director of Partnerships.  It is aimed at anyone managing projects who has not had prior training in project management.  It will run on Zoom from 9 am to 11 am.  Enquiries to eoin.heffernan@integrateagency.co.uk

The Little Book of…

The Charity Learning Consortium have shared details of a series of handy guides including Webinars, Video Learning and In-house Coaching.  Enquiries to Martin Baker, tel. 0845 1707 702 or martinbaker@comms.charitylearning.org
To explore more training resources from this provider, go to https://charitylearning.org

Finding Volunteers

On Handis a digital platform of local volunteers who specialise in supporting residents who need general support due to health, disability or isolation reasons.  To see if it could be useful for your group, see https://www.beonhand.co.uk/council-and-charity-partnerships

Keeping in touch
 
Is our message getting through?
Do you find these bulletins useful?  Do you share them with neighbours or with other members of your group?  Are there other topics that you would like to see included?
Please contact admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org
– If you want to add a colleague or neighbour to our mailing list;
– If you prefer these bulletins sent to a different e-mail address, for quicker access;
– If you have moved away or are no longer interested in what we do.

Share your news too!
We are keen to include news and requests from our member groups in these bulletins, which we circulate at least monthly.  Items are usually short, bearing in mind that many people are struggling to read this on their mobile phones.  Please send any news for the June bulletin to arrive by 1st June, to the Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com

March 2021

Planning Ahead

Priorities for the year ahead

With a new financial year starting in April, we are preparing a bid for further funding from the Lambeth Forum Network (LFN).  If there is something that you think the Forum should be doing, now is the time to tell us!  We can also approach other funders, or collaborate with other groups.  We are already liaising with Vassall & Coldharbour Forum over employability projects – how far should we go with this, or would you prefer us to focus on other things?

We’ll Meet Again

We are still making plans for our next couple of (on-line) events, but in the meantime, we wanted to remind you about some other events and opportunities which are coming up.  We have been encouraged by the turnout for our last 3 Forum meetings, all via Zoom, and at last there are prospects of meeting each other face-to-face later this year

Remember we welcome groups to present their projects or raise issues at our Forum meetings.  If we can hear from you soon, it helps us to plan the agenda for each session.  Please contact the Secretary, Alan Piper, at apiperbrix@aol.com

Health and Social Care

Milestones to Recovery

A reminder of the key dates for the gradual return to normal – but please remember that these may be delayed or varied if Coronavirus infection rates do not fall as fast as expected. Please maintain social distancing in the meantime.  Individual sites and venues may re-open later if they need more time for preparation. The following is summarised from the Government website

Step 1: Monday 8 March:  Schools due to return but staff and secondary pupils will be subject to regular testing.  Two people from different households can meet out-of-doors.

Step 2: Monday 29 March: 
Small outdoor gatherings allowed, subject to the “Rule of 6”, or else two households may mix out of doors.  Outdoor sports can resume, but working from home should continue where possible.

Step 3: Monday 12 April:  Most shops, hairdressers, gyms, nail bars, community centres, libraries and art galleries may re-open.  Cafes and pubs may re-open for outdoor hospitality only.  Self-catering holidays allowed within the UK (but situation in Wales/ Scotland/ Ulster may vary). 

In all sectors, COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place and premises must not cater for groups larger than the legal limits.

People will be asked to follow guidance on how to meet safely, for example by minimising the size of gatherings and meeting outdoors where possible.

At Step 3, the Government will further ease limits on social contact, enabling the public to make informed personal decisions. It will remain important for people to consider the risks for themselves, taking into account whether they and those they meet have been vaccinated or are at greater risk.

Strep 4: Monday 17 May:  Outdoor gatherings of up to 30 people allowed.  Indoor hospitality may re-open.  Museums, theatres and sports arenas may re-open but at reduced capacity.  Possible relaxations for overseas travel.

By Step 4, the government aims to remove all legal limits on social contact, publishing accompanying guidance on how best to reduce the risk of transmission and protect ourselves and loved ones.

Even as restrictions are lifted, it is essential that everyone carries on with the good habits that reduce transmission: remembering ‘hands, face, space’ and letting fresh air in, getting a test on the first sign of symptoms and self-isolating if it is positive. It is safer to meet outdoors and to avoid large gatherings.

Businesses must also continue to take necessary precautions as restrictions ease. 

Monday 21 June: Target date for all restrictions to be lifted.  All types of business or public venues allowed to re-open, including night clubs.

NB – The Lambeth Country Show will be a “virtual” event again this year.

Health Promotion on 7 April

Healthwatch Lambeth are running an interactive event on Wednesday 7 April to mark World Health Day and Stress Awareness Month.  If you want to run a workshop or present a talk or taster session as part of this, contact Caroline Waran urgently at  caroline.waran@healthwatchlambeth.org.uk
Otherwise, for event details/ booking, see  https://www.healthwatchlambeth.org.uk/

More news and events

Hondo Tower – the Mayor will decide!

It was recently announced that the Mayor has called in the controversial Hondo Tower planning application for his own decision.  This will follow a public hearing but the exact process and timescale are unclear so far.  More details will follow once we know.

Meanwhile, support is building for retaining International House as a hub for creative businesses and community organisations., following the launch of the Council’s search for a developer partner for this and the Pop Brixton site.  So far, the Brixton Society, the Brixton Rec Users Group and the 20th Century Society have called for its retention and listing, reflecting its close integration with the Recreation Centre.


Lambeth Climate Emergency – Citizens Assembly

Lambeth Council is convening a Citizens’ Assembly to come up with recommendations on how Lambeth can become Carbon-neutral by 2030.  The Assembly will have limited membership and act rather like a jury to consider evidence and produce some agreed conclusions.  The challenge for those seeking a more sustainable approach will be to marshall evidence to put before this Assembly.  For more details, see https://bit.ly/2Zr7GR2

Other Council consultations

Lambeth Made Community meetings

In parallel with the network of Neighbourhood Forums, Lambeth Council is also running its own series of Ward-based community meetings.  These are usually led by Councillor Jacqui Dyer, Cabinet member for Jobs, Skills and Community Safety, with Ward councillors in attendance.  The emphasis is intended to be on community resilience, local problems and community safety. 

The next that we are aware of is for Coldharbour Ward on Thursday 18 March from 6 pm to 7-30 on Zoom.  You can sign up for this meeting at coldharbour.commonplace.is or www.lambeth.gov.uk/Coldharbour/LMC

Closing dates for comments: 

A reminder that closing dates for comments on various Council proposals are as follows:
– Special Educational Needs, Disabilities and Inclusion Strategy, closing date 2nd April.
– Licensing of small Houses in Multiple Occupation, closing date 12 March.
– Main Modifications to the Draft Revised Lambeth Local Plan, closing date 29 March.


Census Day approaches

Letters should be arriving in early March to introduce arrangements for the Census.  The official date is 21 March.  This year, the aim is to encourage most Census forms to be completed on-line, but we all know that many local residents have limited or no internet access.  However, you can request a paper form, or an individual form if you are in a shared house or flat, or obtain forms in a choice of other languages.
You can find guidance at https://census.gov.uk/help/ or phone the telephone support centre at 0800 141 2021, or for translation services 0800 587 2021. The cesnus helps the government plan future priorities and spending, and will provide an invaluable resource for future historians and researchers when the information is released to the public in 2093.

81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance

To mark the 40th anniversary of the 1981 Uprising, individuals, community groups and organisations are invited to come together and create 81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance.  Share the historical context, highlight the voices of those who were there, bring together the exuberant diaspora of Brixton, connect to imagine new ways forward together.

Open House session on Thursday 11 March, 6-30 to 8-30 pm on-line.  Do you already have something in mind? Are you still thinking about it? Want to know more? For more information, or to sign up for the session, see www.81actsofexuberantdefiance.com

More Road works in the Town Centre

Southern Gas Networks has announced that it will be renewing gas pipes below Coldharbour Lane, starting from Tuesday 9 March.  This will close the section between Brixton Road and Atlantic Road for at least 5 weeks.  Enquiries to 0800 912 1700 or customer@sgn.co.uk
Meanwhile, the northern section of Atlantic Road remains closed from Coldharbour Lane to Brixton Road, due to Network Rail’s delays in repairing the railway viaduct and platforms at Brixton Railway Station.

Southwyck House Community Hall

At the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, Millennium Community Services combined forces with Healthy Living Platform and Lambeth Council to transform the under-used Southwyck House Community Hall, below the Barrier Block.  It’s now an active hub, offering food parcels to those shielding or isolating, and offering workshops and activities to both educate and entertain.  They are keen to offer a range of different cuisines to match the diverse array of cultures and ethnicities in the surrounding area. Millennium CS have now launched a crowd-funding drive to support this side of their operations – enquiries to millenniumcommunityservices@outlook.com

Funding, Training and Support

National Lottery Heritage Grants

Applications are open again for National Lottery Heritage Grants, but with new priorities for 2021/22 reflecting the ongoing impact of Coronavirus.  They expect to give priority to projects which boost the local economy, encourage skills and job creation, support wellbeing, create better places to live, work or visit, and improve the resilience of heritage organisations. The application process and complexity depends on the scale of funding you are seeking:  £3,000 to £10,000, £10,000 to £250,000 and  £250,000 to £5 million.  See  https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/funding/

Opportunities for Overseas Study return

One of the early casualties of Brexit has been the opportunity for young people to study abroad under the Erasmus Programme.  It has recently been announced that the Government will fund a replacement programme, known as the Turing Scheme.  Funding will be divided between 3 sectors, Higher Education, Further Education/ Vocational Training, and Secondary Schools.  Applications will be made on-line – see https://www.turing-scheme.org.uk/funding-opportunities/

Networking

Tapping into kindred groups and networks to share ideas and find collaborators is still possible, despite the current lockdown. For example, the Brixton Neighbourhood Forum is affiliated to Locality, a national network for community centres and projects.  This has some special interest groups including Community-led Housing, Early Years practitioners (for nurseries and pre-schools), Human Resources (for advice on employment matters) and Coastal Communities. 

STRIDE has some exciting opportunities coming up over the next couple of months for local people in Lambeth to get involved in. The opportunities will help to support young people from South London into careers in the creative and tech industries. As well as supporting entrepreneurs to start-up and grow creative and tech businesses. All of the opportunities are completely free and available to people living in Lambeth and other southern boroughs. https://stride.london

Scholarships for the renowned School of Communication Arts online advertising course – 12 month course starting in April or September 2021 (applications for April intake close second week in March)

Join the Voltage Revolution programme from Do It Now Now to get trained for a job in the creative and tech sectors – 6 month course starting in March 2021

RE–SET–GO training programme for young architects – 1-to-1 mentoring sessions and CV surgeries available to book now
To find out MORE contact  Rosie Gainsborough  RGainsborough@lambeth.gov.uk

WinTrade Global Network is continuing its series of Thursday lunchtime sessions for Women in Business, trades or professions.  This month it is moving to a different webinar platform, the Airmeet Conference Platform, which will enable a wider range of functions.  Enquiries to Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE of 7 Traits Leadership Learning, e-mail:  yvonne.thompson@wintradeweek.com

Make it in Brixton recently launched as the face of Brixton’s Creative Enterprise Zone, funded by the Mayor of London.  It will co-ordinate, curate and cultivate creativity of all kinds, spanning education, training and business support.  It should give practitioners, facilitators and trainers a common voice. More details on the website at https://inbrixton.org/

Looking for Directors/ Trustees

Incredible Edible Lambeth are actively seeking new directors to join them, after an explosion of interest in food growing, green spaces and engaging with nature over the past year.  Within the past 9 months they have secured funding from 3 different sources to provide support for food growers, and to create a new template for managing green spaces around estates for biodiversity and food growing.  This template is already being trialled on 6 estates.  The team are also working with Arup to map existing and potential green spaces across the whole borough for further potential.
See the website www.incredibleediblelambeth.org or contact Janie at director@incredibleediblelambeth.org if interested.

We hear that other organisations around Brixton are also looking for extra Trustees, Directors or Board members, ideally those who can bring particular skills to the team.   We will gladly feature your needs in future bulletins – preferably tell us something about what you do, the challenges you face, and if there are any deadlines for responses. 

Keep in Touch

Is our mailing list up to date?
We want to reach all local groups and interests, so please notify us at admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org
– If you want to add a colleague or neighbour to our mailing list.
– If you are changing your e-mail or other contact details.
– If you have moved away or are no longer interested.

Share your news
We are keen to include news and requests from our member groups in these bulletins.  If there are other issues or sources of help that you would like to see in future bulletins, do tell us.  Please send any news for next month’s bulletin to arrive by 5th March, to the Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com We occasionally add an extra bulletin if there are urgent items or just lots of news to share.

January 2021

Things to come

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

More Tower Blocks Proposed

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

Lambeth Hospital site, 108 Landor Road SW9

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

Waste Transfer Station, Shakespeare Road SE24

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

Holocaust Memorial Day

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

Census Briefing

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

Lockdown 3

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

Lambeth Libraries & Archives:

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

Big Garden Birdwatch

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

Funding, Training and Support

Grant Deadlines approaching

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

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

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

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

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

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

Training opportunities

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

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

Lambeth Wellbeing Fund

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

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

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

Making Connections

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

Recycling: 

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

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

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

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

Sustainable City Awards

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

Health and Social Care

Tiers roll on

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

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

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

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

Working Safely

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

Vaccination programme briefing

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

Test and Trace in Brixton

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

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

Other Health issues

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

A drama project to overcome depression and stress

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

Keeping in Touch

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

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

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

  • If you want to add a colleague or neighbour to our mailing list.
  • If you are changing your e-mail or other contact details.
  • If you have moved away or are no longer interested.

december 2020

S E A S O N S   G R E E T I N G S


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

Image “From Where I’m Standing”

Events before Christmas

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

Healthy affordable food from Southwyck Pantry


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

Loughborough Farm Well-being workshop series


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


From Where I’m Standing


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

Lots more going on…


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

Events in the New Year


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

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

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

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

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

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



Purple Plaques campaign


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

Planning & Regeneration

Planning 101 – back to basics


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

Conservation Areas under review


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

Health and Social Care News

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

Warm & Well service from Age UK Lambeth

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

Funding, Training and Support

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

Keep in touch

Share your news
To include your news or a coming event in the Forum e-bulletin, please e-mail to the Forum Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com
We aim to publish at least monthly, so for the next issue please send in before 4th January. We would love to hear from a wider range of groups.

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

Is our mailing list up to date?
We want to be sure of reaching all local groups and interests, so please notify us, at admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org
– If you want to add a colleague or neighbour to our mailing list.
– If you are changing your e-mail or other contact details.
– If you have moved away or are no longer interested

December 2020

Local News and Events

Brixton Windmill – Winter Market on Sunday 13 December

Subject to current Covid precautions, the Friends of Windmill Gardens are planning this event around the old windmill, running between 12 noon and 3-30 pm.  A dozen stalls are lined up to offer seasonal gifts and food, supported by seasonal refreshments from the pop-up cafe in the community building, and Santa in his grotto on the ground floor of the mill.  Access to Windmill Gardens is via Blenheim Gardens, off Brixton Hill SW2.

Winter Market in Wyck Gardens – Saturday 5 December

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

Longfield Hall – Festive Events

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

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

Hondo Tower – the fight continues

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

Overnight work on the railway – 6/7 December

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

On-line events at the Black Cultural Archives

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

Lambeth Archives re-opens

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

Town Centre Footfall

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

Forum meetings on-line

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

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

Networking with other Forums

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

Lockdown 2 ends in Tiers
 

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

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

A Christmas Truce?

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

Local Contact Tracing and Testing

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

We now have a drive-through Mobile Testing Unit in Brixton, in Somerleyton Road.  Lambeth also has walk-through Local Testing Sites in Vauxhall and Streatham.  If you experience symptoms, call 119 or use the website www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
Lambeth residents with symptoms can also book home testing kits through this website.

Other Health and Social Care News
 

Make a difference this Christmas

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

Sharing Good Practice

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

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

Green Issues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Funding, Training and Support
 

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

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

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

Helping Feed the Community
Family Food Schemes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep in touch
 

Share your News
To include your news or a coming event in the Forum e-bulletin, please e-mail to the Forum Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com
We aim to publish at least monthly, so for the January issue, please send in before the end of December.  We try to adapt to last-minute changes but it still takes a while to compile and circulate these bulletins, even digitally.

Is our mailing list up-to-date?
We want to be sure of reaching all local groups and interests.  We are not fussy about your location – if you think you are in Brixton, you are welcome!
Please notify admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org
– If you want to add a colleague or neighbour to our mailing list;
– If you are changing your e-mail or other contact details;
– If you have moved away or are no longer interested.


 

november 2020

Forum AGM on-line, Monday 23 November

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

Lockdown 2 – key contacts and support Council and other contacts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lambeth Larder is a good resource for food and support.  For web enquiries, go to www.lambeth.gov.uk and follow the relevant links.Also, the MyCommunity gateway service, powered by Age UK Lambeth, can provide advice and help connect you to local services of many kinds – e-mail tomycommunity@ageuklambeth.orgor phone 0333 360 3700.

Lockdown Guidance

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

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

Closed or Open?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forum Meetings

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

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

Funding, Training and Support

Planning your Community Project

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

Volunteers wanted?

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

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

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

Other Health and Social Care News.

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

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

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

More News and Events

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

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

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

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

Keep in Touch – Share your news

To include your news or a coming event in the Forum e-bulletin, please e-mail to the Forum Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.comWe aim to publish monthly, so for the December issue, please send in before the end of November – but we will try to adapt to last-minute changes of event dates or details.

Is our mailing list correct?
We want to be sure of reaching all local groups and interests, so please notify admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org
– if you want to add a colleague or neighbour to our mailing list;
– if you are changing your e-mail or other contact details;
– if you have moved away or are no longer interested.

   ADP, correct at 9.11.20

October 2020

On-line Meetings coming soon

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


Planning changes too

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


News Round-up

Brixton Windmill re-opens

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

We Rise

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

Digging up Brixton Road

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

Library of Things reaches Brixton

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

Libraries and Heritage

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

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

Health & Social Care 

Community Connectors Course

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

Volunteers wanted to help with meals service

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

Mental Health Focus

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

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

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

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

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

Green issues

Green Homes Grants

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

Running costs of community buildings

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

Lambeth Climate Action website – don’t be late!

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

Funding, training and support

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

The Kickstart Scheme

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

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

On-line Training opportunities

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

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


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

Keep in touch! Share your news

To include your news or a coming event in the Forum e-bulletin, please e-mail to the Forum Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com We aim to continue publishing monthly, so for the October issue, please send in before the end of September.

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

  • if you want to add a colleague or neighbour to our mailing list
  • if you are changing your e-mail or other contact details;
  • if you have moved away or are no longer interested.
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September 2020

Changing Plans 

Community Showcase Cancelled

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

On-line Meetings coming soon

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


Planning changes too

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


News Round-up

Brixton Windmill re-opens

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

We Rise

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

Digging up Brixton Road

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

Library of Things reaches Brixton

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

Libraries and Heritage

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

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

Health & Social Care 

Community Connectors Course

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

Volunteers wanted to help with meals service

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

Mental Health Focus

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

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

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

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

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

Green issues

Green Homes Grants

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

Running costs of community buildings

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

Lambeth Climate Action website – don’t be late!

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

Funding, training and support

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

The Kickstart Scheme

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

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

On-line Training opportunities

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

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


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

Keep in touch! Share your news

To include your news or a coming event in the Forum e-bulletin, please e-mail to the Forum Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com We aim to continue publishing monthly, so for the October issue, please send in before the end of September.

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

  • if you want to add a colleague or neighbour to our mailing list
  • if you are changing your e-mail or other contact details;
  • if you have moved away or are no longer interested.

august 2020

Forum Focus

Community Showcase, Saturday 26 September

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

We’ll meet again

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

News Round-up

Lambeth Hospital site, Landor Road

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

Traffic Changes – reminder

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

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

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

Re-opening Brixton

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

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

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

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

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

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

Funding, Training & Support

Virtual Training dates from the FSI

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

Training for Advice Workers

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

London Plus

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

Arts Grants and Fellowships

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

Help with policies and procedures

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

Health & Social Care

Stop the Spread!

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

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

Support for Older People and Carers

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

Mental Health

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

Green issues

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

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

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

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

Keep in touch!

Making Connections

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

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

Share your news

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

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

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

ADP, 8.8.20