February 2024

Next meeting – 21 March 2024

The next General Meeting of the Forum will be on Thursday 21 March from 7 pm at the Vida Walsh Centre, 2b Saltoun Road, SW2 1EP (entrance faces Windrush Square). 

More details from us next month, but among other things, we want to identify priorities for the new financial year. Our board is meeting this week to agree the agenda but if you want to add to it, or make a presentation to the meeting, please contact the Secretary quickly at apiperbrix@aol.com

Making Plans for Brixton

The Brixton Neighbourhood Forum was set up in Summer 2011 with a view to devising a Neighbourhood Plan that would reflect the needs and aspirations of the community rather than the ambitions of developers or Lambeth Council planners.  As it turned out, there was not much in the Council’s Masterplan that we disagreed with, so the Forum has found other things to do, supporting local groups and community organisations to attract resources and network together.

After a dozen years, it’s clear that planning policies increasingly favour big developers over the local community’s concerns.  Time perhaps for the community to put forward its own ideas? Rather than cover everything, we may be more effective if we focus our energy on a few key issues or sites.  Concerns already raised with us include anti-social behaviour, the state of public spaces and the threat of over-development on the Tesco site in Acre Lane. But if there are other matters or sites that you think should be included, you need to tell us NOW.

Meanwhile, we will be sounding out other Forums who adjoin our catchment area and scoping out a series of consultation events for the months ahead.  We would like to make our initial bid for designation by the end of March, taking advantage of our links to Locality.

Initial comments and enquiries to Alan Piper (Forum Secretary) at apiperbrix@aol.com

More Events Coming Up

Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour

Following the public meeting with police and Council representatives on 30 November, we hear from Action on ASB that another meeting to report back on progress is likely to be on Wednesday 27 March at the Town Hall.
In the meantime, the Safer Neighbourhood Panels have finally begun meeting, based on the ward boundaries adopted at the last Council elections.  These are open to community groups active in each ward, and meet every 3 months.  Brixton Windrush ward had its first meeting on 1st February. 

Issues can be fed back to the ward’s police team by e-mail to ASMailbox-.BrixtonWindrush@met.police.uk but to report a crime, dial 101 or visit www.met.police.uk or in emergency, dial 999.  The police stressed that more crime reports help them attract more resources to the area.
Events at Brixton Windmill
Some special events are coming up:

  • A Milling & Baking Day on Sunday 25 February, 10-30 to 4 pm;
  • Flavours of Easter Baking Class with Fabio on Saturday 23 March, 10-30 to 4-30 pm;
  • Easter Family Event with free craft classes on Sunday 31 March

Dates have been set for this year’s tours of the windmill, on at least one weekend a month, starting from 30/31 March (Easter weekend). Please book for all events via the website, www.brixtonwindmill.org
Wednesday Warm Space sessions continue between 1 and 3 pm until 20 March.

Arts, Culture, Leisure

Brixton Performs returns soon

Brixton Business Improvement District is organising another series of performance events at various local venues, during the period Tuesday 12 to Saturday 16 March.
If you want to present music, poetry, comedy or other performance, contact brixtonperforms@brixtonbid.co.uk 
Community Research Exchange

Tony Cealy has alerted us to an upcoming 3-day event in collaboration with the Brixton Project and Impact on Urban Health

Saturday 23 March will be the Narrative Exchange, including workshops for community members facilitated by local practitioners. The day will end with a discussion of preserving traditional communications and performances, curated by Vinyl Sound Memories.

On Tuesday 26 March, the theme will be community research in practice, presentations by creative performers will lead up to an 81 Acts retrospective.

Finally, on Wednesday 27th, Shifting Power will involve keynote addresses, reports back from the community researchers and mapping exercises, concluding with an evening reception at International House.

Enquiries to hello@thebrixtonproject.com
Saturday Arts & Cooking (age 8-13)

Sessions run from 12 to 3 pm at St. Vincent’s/ Brixton Community Base, Talma Road SW2 1AS.  Kids take part in arts, crafts and cooking, lunch is provided.  To register, please e-mail to LeanneT@svp.org.uk or text to 07 960 445 930.  Travel costs support available for asylum seekers/ refugees.

Volunteer Assistants are also sought to help run the sessions with the Session Leader, for 3 hours a week for a 12-week term. Enquiries to Leanne Twidale, as above. 

Health and Social Care

Support for Mental Health

We shared some useful contacts last month, but we have received a more complete list from Lambeth Together which we can forward on request.  We should highlight:
Support and advice for under 18s: These 3 services all operate 24/7:
Kooth – website https://www.kooth.com/
Shout – Text YM to 85258,
Papyrus National Helpline: tel. 0800 068 4141 or text 07 786 209 697
Supporting staff and volunteers:
Employers are encouraged to sign up to the Mental Health Charter – bronze-level membership is free and you can join up online via www.mentalhealth-charter.co.uk
And if you rely on volunteers to keep the show on the road, don’t put them under too much pressure – invest in a copy of the Volunteer Management Handbook from the Directory of Social Change, see https://www.dsc.org.uk
Black Health Inequalities Summit

We flagged up the work of Inspire in last month’s e-bulletin.  They are now planning this summit for Monday 25 March, bringing together black healthcare professionals and community activists.  Enquiries to  hello@inspireblackhealth.london or see their website:  www.inspireblackhealth,london

Green spaces, Green issues

Views from Brockwell Park

One of the Council’s current consultations is on protected views from sites around the borough.  Most of these are at the north end of Lambeth, but there are a couple from within Brockwell Park worth a look.  This matters because of Lambeth planners’ enthusiasm for tall buildings.  More details on the consultation pages of the Council website, but the deadline for comments is 23 February.
Events at Brockwell Park

Community Greenhouses

Just a taster – there’s more on their website at https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/events
Introduction to Green Woodwork – from log to spoon, Friday 23 February, 12-30 pm. A nature-based meditation workshop, Saturday 24 February, 1 to 4 pm.
Repair, Recycle and Refresh – a free community event including clothes swap and repairing, tool sharpening tips, and an update on the Brixton Remakery’s Materials Garden, Sunday 3rd March, 12-30 to 3 pm.
Fermentation Workshop, Sunday 10 March, 12-30 pm.

Incidentally, their new Barn was recently shortlisted for the 2024 MacEwan Award, which recognises successful community buildings. https://www.ribaj.com/buildings/macewen-award-2024-longlist
On Your Bike

Brixton BID is again sponsoring monthly sessions by Dr Bike mechanics for cycle safety checks and essential maintenance, 12 to 3 pm at various sites:

  •  Wednesday 28 February, Mosaic Clubhouse in Effra Road SW2.
  • Wednesday 27 March, by Brixton House Theatre, Coldharbour Lane.
  • Wednesday 24 April, outside F Mondays, Brixton Hill (near corner of Blenheim Gardens).
  • Wednesday 29 May, outside British Heart Foundation, Acre Lane (across from Tesco).

Refuse Collection Changes

Household waste collection from black wheely bins will be reduced to fortnightly from 15 April. Recycling collections will continue weekly.
Further south, around Tulse Hill and West Norwood, fortnightly collections began on a trial basis from 6th February.  Housing estates with communal waste storage should not be affected.  For more details of recycling and waste services, see www.lambeth.gov.uk/rubbish-recycling

Funding, Training & Support

Grant deadlines approaching

Once again, a reminder of grant schemes already notified by Integrate – if you missed the original alerts, contact them at: eoin.heffernan@integrateagency.co.uk
London Greening invite from the Kusuma Trust for creating or improving green spaces (aimed at larger organisations), closing date 28 February.
The Inman Charity grants programme offers up to £5,0000 for health and social care, closing date 29 February.
The Naturesave Trust Charitable Food Fund, grants up to £2500, closing 29 February.
Disability Justice Fund, from the Trust for London, for organisations led by people with disabilities, closing date 4 March.
Sport England Small Grants Fund, up to £15,000, closing date 31 March.
Digital Accelerator for Arts & Culture, from Bloomberg Philanthropies: offers grants and technical assistance with IT systems for nonprofit cultural organisations, closing date 13 March.
Locality has also advised us of these offers (Google the funder for contact details):
Peter Harrison Foundation – Opportunities through Sport, up to £50,000, closes 1 April.
Ironmonger’s Company, for charities working with disadvantaged young people, grants up to £10,000, closing date 31 July.
Training Opportunities

Social enterprises and small businesses within the Brixton BID area should be able to join their free training courses.  Next up are:

  • Food Safety (level 2) 28 February, 10 am to 4 pm at International House.
  • Conflict Management, 11 March, 10 am to 4 pm at Brixton House.
  • Health & Safety, 27 March, 10 am to 4 pm at International House.

Enquiries to admin@brixtonbid.co.uk
Learning from High Trees

High Trees was set up 25 years ago in the former St. Martin’s Library on Tulse Hill.  Based on their wide experience across social action and employment training, they have produced these free guides and templates.

  • A practical guide to collaborative working, aimed at smaller VCS organisations trying to work together.
  • A guide to delivering person-centred employment services.
  • Templates for VCS organisations running community buildings (with the Lambeth Community Hubs Network).

Enquiries to hello@high-trees.org  

Your Forum Bulletins

Get your name out there!  If you are doing something around the Brixton area – an event, a new service, or making changes in what you already do – you are welcome to use these bulletins to tell other Forum members. That’s well over 550 on our current list.  We aim to circulate around the 10th of each month, but please allow us a week to put it together, because we work on a very part-time basis. So, send items to the Forum Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com by the 3rd of the month.

Keep in Touch

We want to be inclusive and ensure that these bulletins reach all community organisations, social enterprises and activists in the wider Brixton area.  Please contact us at  admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org

  • If you want to be added to our mailing list, or to add a colleague or neighbour.
  • If you want these bulletins sent to a different e-mail address, so that you see them more quickly or reliably.
  • To unsubscribe if you have moved away or are no longer interested.
  • www.brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org See more about the Forum on our website