March 2020 – What was going to be

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

Forum Events

Our Next Forum Meeting – 23 April

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

Changing Plans

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

Community Showcase Event – 27 June

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

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

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

Health and Social Care

Coronavirus Advice

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

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

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

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

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

> Make sure you get enough sleep.

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

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

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

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

The Future of Landor Road Hospital site

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

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

Changes to Social Prescribing Service

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

Funding, Training and Support

More Training through the FSI

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

Small Charities Coalition

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

They provide four key services:

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

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

– Training, typically at £30 per session.

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

For further information, contact them at

Training Hub by the Barrier Block

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

For more information on the courses and their availability contact

So you need more volunteers?

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

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

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

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

More News and Events

– Subject to late changes. Please  check their latest information

Impact Brixton re-launch in their new home

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

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

Events at Brixton Library

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

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

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

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

Brixton Windmill

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

Longfield Hall activities

Please see the website for the latest, or contact details,

Planning ahead – reminders………..

Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood consultation

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

Affordable Workspace

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

Draft Design Code

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

You can find more details of these proposals via the Consultation pages on the Lambeth Council website,

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

Contact us

Share your news

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