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

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
Otherwise, for event details/ booking, see

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

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 or

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 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

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
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

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

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


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.

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

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:

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

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 or contact Janie at 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
– 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 We occasionally add an extra bulletin if there are urgent items or just lots of news to share.