June 2020

Forum Focus

We’ll Meet Again – Somehow

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

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

Before you scroll down…

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

News and (Virtual) Events

Transport Changes on the Move

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

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

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

Windrush Day Celebration, Monday 22 June

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


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

…and another Windrush performance project

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

Life, Music & Lockdown

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

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

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


Time to get creative!

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

Longfield Hall on-line events

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

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

Last call for Film Africa 2020

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

Coronavirus and Recovery Moves to re-open Libraries

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

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

Household Waste and Recycling

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

VCS Impact Survey

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

Learning from the Past?

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

Funding, Training and Support Grant funding update

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

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

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

Resources for Community Organisations

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

Training and Events at Impact Brixton

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

Recruiting Volunteers through Sparehand

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

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

Small Charity Week

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

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

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

More Training opportunities

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

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

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

Summer Placement scheme for Council Estate residents

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

Business Support

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

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

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

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

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

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

Health & Social Care

For Young Women at Risk of Violence

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

For Families with Young Children

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

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

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

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

Greenspaces and Green issues

30 Days Wild

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

Great North Wood

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

Street Trees in Lambeth and beyond

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

Keep in touchShare your News

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

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

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