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

Covid resources

Stay alert: Many businesses are reopening and the shopping streets are getting busy again. The government want people to return to work but transport options require careful thought. Coronavirus remains a potent threat to us all, so remember to distance and use face coverings in confined spaces. Be responsible and stay informed:

On this page

Updated 5 September 2020

  • Local advice and resources from Lambeth, Brixton BID and links to local self-help groups
  • Regional advice and resources from the mayor of London and Metropolitan Police
  • National advice from the government, NHS and Public Health England
  • Volunteering: Advice on staying safe
  • Crime resources: Domestic abuse and scams
  • Pandemic statistics: International national and local

Lambeth helpline for anyone over 18 in need of access to food and medicines through My Community Gateway0333 360 3700

Lambeth main information page for people needing help https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/get-support-for-yourself-or-a-vulnerable-person/urgent-assistance

Brixton Business Improvement District news and resources

Lambeth Dashboardsee if infections are rising, and how (PDF updated weekly)

Local and street level self help groups as compiled by Brixton Buzz in May  http://www.brixtonbuzz.com/2020/03/lambeth-coronavirus-full-listing-of-local-whatsapp-support-groups/

GLA / Mayor of London advice on re-opining, face coverings, distancing etc. https://www.london.gov.uk/coronavirus

Public Transport – TFL – face coverings and exemptions National Rail – face coverings and exemptions

Metropolitan Police advice and information

NHS advice and information on symptoms, testing and tracing, people at higher risk, self isolation, distancing and taking part in research

Public Health Englandinformation and reports, including daily statistics and weeks surveillance report

Health & Safety Executive – information on adapting workplaces to be Covid-secure

Government advice and latest information including support for jobs, local lockdowns, re-opening of schools, international travel, driving, and what to do if someone dies

NCVO – advice on volunteering

World Health Organisation advice for the public and technical guidance

Crime Resources

Domestic Abuse – links and advice

If in danger, call the national helpline 0800 2000 247  https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/  (In severe / immediately life threatening situations only: call 999 followed by a cough or tapping 55 to activate a tracing service)

Metropolitan Police advice – https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/c19/coronavirus-covid-19/domestic-abuse/

The Gaia Centre gives Lambeth residents free, confidential, practical and emotional support by phone or email – whatever’s safest – 020 7733 8724 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) email lambethvawg@refuge.org.uk

Scams and cybercrime

The National Cyber Security Centre has recently removed thousands of online scams and hundreds of fake shops selling Covid related items. They have set up a national service for reporting online scams: email to report@phishing.gov.uk

Further advice on avoiding cybercrime

https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/news/public-urged-to-flag-covid-19-threats-new-campaign

https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/personal-fraud/

Coronavirus Statistics

World Health Organization Situation Reports https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports

Worldometer counts – This site tracks population statistics from governments around the world, including of the pandemic https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

UK Government data, with regional and local authority area statistics – https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

July/august 2020

Forum Focus

Meeting and Networking

There will not be a Forum Meeting on 23 July as originally planned – apart from theongoing restrictions, Age UK Lambeth are currently using the Vida Walsh Centre as a hub for their own activities, and external hires are suspended in the meantime.

So, what do you feel about some on-line meetings or webinars? Or have you had too many of them recently in the rest of your life?  The Norwood Forum have had two useful Community Conversations on-line, so this approach can work in picking up local issues and finding solutions.

Over the next couple of weeks, the Forum’s elected officers are trying to draft a budget to ensure continued funding and activities into 2021, so if you have a bright idea, now is the time to share it with us.

Community Showcase, Saturday 26 September

With restrictions gradually being relaxed, we plan to go ahead with our event on Windrush Square, despite a delay of 3 months.  To remind you, the aim is to offer local organisations a pitch to show off what they do, or raise funds, or make new contacts.  Social distancing has not gone away, so the number of pitches is limited.  If you want to reserve a spot, please e-mail promptly to the Forum Secretary, apiperbrix@aol.com

More details of arrangements will be circulated to all of you soon.

Moving around Brixton

Town Centre Traffic Trouble

In case you have been avoiding Brixton Town Centre lately, life has been complicated by the closure of Atlantic Road between Brixton Road and Coldharbour Lane.  This is likely to continue until January, to enable Network Rail to rebuild the railway platform above, which has already been propped up with scaffolding for months.

In the meantime, bus 322 has been diverted.  Southbound buses now leave Brixton Road via Gresham Road, Moorland Road, Loughborough Park and Somerleyton Road, to rejoin Atlantic Road at the Coldharbour Lane crossroads.  Similarly, northbound buses will turn right from Atlantic Road into Coldharbour Lane, incidentally providing some overlap with the P5 bus route. For the time being, single-decker buses are limited to a maximum of 11 to 14 passengers, depending on the bus type.

Brixton Playground – or just playing with traffic?

The Brixton Business Improvement District last week launched a “vision document”, Brixton Playground, proposing to pedestrianise most streets in the Town Centre.  It came with some glossy pictures showing the design concept applied to Atlantic and Brixton Station Roads, and the western arm of Coldharbour Lane.  Clearly closing off Coldharbour Lane would interfere with the P5 bus route, but even for Atlantic Road the fancy planters would prevent delivery vehicles serving the shops and arcades.  We know from previous work done on the Atlantic Road scheme that servicing the shops and markets is fundamental to keeping Brixton’s heart beating.  There may be ways of timetabling access so that cafes can expand into the roads at certain times, but permanent obstructions in the roadway are unworkable.  Time to go back to the drawing board?

Ferndale and Railton Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods

Traffic restrictions around Railton Road have been in place for about a month now, and penalties are about to come into effect for infringements. In addition to the official Commonplace website (see below), Railton area residents have launched their own survey to pick up local concerns. For example, residents in the northern half of Shakespeare Road were left out of the original consultation, so they are feeling aggrieved at their reduced access to the south. The survey link is https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/H2PKG7 

Now the Ferndale low traffic neighbourhood is also coming into effect, covering the side streets between Acre Lane and Landor Road to the north.  There are obstructions to motor traffic at 6 points, though cyclists, buses and emergency vehicles are exempt. With schemes like this, the devil is in the detail, so please feed in comments – and tell us too!

The present measures are temporary, and formal consultation will be needed to make them permanent.  More information at  https://fdstreets.commonplace.is/ or enquiries to lowtrafficneighbourhoods@lambeth.gov.uk

Funding, Training and Support

Support from Integrate

Have you signed up to receive regular e-mail bulletins from the Integrate Agency?  The situation with grant funding is very fluid, with some grant offers only being open for very limited times.  Our impression is that major funders are trying to give priority to keeping existing organisations afloat, and helping them adapt their services to the “new normal”.  

Integrate are also offering a number of Zoom-based training sessions and workshops, including:

  • Price It! Pricing your services, Thursday 6 August at 10 am.
  • Count It! Accounting and financial management for charities, Monday 10 August at 12 noon.
  • Found it! A CIC’s journey, Navedia Young of Neurodiversity Learning talks about how she set up and developed her community interest company, Tuesday 11 August at 10 am.

Enquiries to eoin.heffernan@integrateagency.co.uk

Lunch and Learn sessions at Impact Brixton

To sign up for future Lunch & Learn events, go to https://impactbrixton.com/events/ 
To check out previous training sessions, go to https://impactbrixton.com/resources

Space at Pop Brixton

Pop Brixton have advised us that they have some units available to suit growing businesses – they would particularly like to take on local people and businesses.  There are a number of retail and office units on offer.  There is also some supported space, offered at a reduced rent of 30 to 35% of market value.  Enquiries to Bayo Obasaju at bayo@popbrixton.org

Self-employed? Agency worker?

Connect Lambeth have passed us details of a tax advice service for agency workers and self-employed people whose work has been affected by the lockdown.  Contact Tax Aid on 0345 120 3779 or see www.txaid.org.uk

Health and Social Care 

Problems with face-masks?

If you have a medical condition that makes wearing a face-mask impractical, our friends at Project Smith have told us about some printable labels which can be worn to inform others of your exemption.  Originally devised in Scotland for the Disability Travel Alliance, there are different versions for those with breathing problems, autism, learning disability, other disabilities or health conditions, as well as for those reliant on lip-reading.  We can forward a png file of all the labels on request, to apiperbrix@aol.com

Help-line Changes

The MyCommunity Gateway service has now replaced the Lambeth Council emergency helpline, enabling council staff to return to their normal duties. The service allows any Lambeth resident who is over 18 to ask for help, for themselves or somebody they know.  The service aims to provide help and support, and especially to connect you with local services that can help you.  The phone number is 0333 360 3700, staffed 10 am to 4 pm Monday-Friday, with voicemail facility outside these times. Also see the Connect Lambeth website for a range of support services: https://connectlambeth.org

How are you doing?

Has your life changed since the Coronavirus pandemic? Have your health, feelings or mood changed?  RAMP (Repeated Assessment of Mental Health in Pandemics) is a study based at King’s College to monitor health and wellbeing, particularly how it changes as lockdown restrictions are modified. They are keen to enrol people in their study, initially for a 30-minutes questionnaire, and then shorter versions (10 minutes) fortnightly.  Anyone over 16 with internet access can take part, and they are seeking a wider cross-section of the local population.  So far they have a lot of white middle-class women signed up, so they prefer to enrol anyone else!  To join, or find out more, visit their website, https://rampstudy.co.uk

Advocacy Hub

The Advocacy Hub at Connect Lambeth provides a range of advocacy services to Lambeth residents aged 16 and over.  They can help with cases of mental capacity or mental health, the Care Act, and health service complaints generally.  More details at  www.connectlambeth.org/advocacy or phone (020) 3143 9000 (office hours) or e-mail advocacy@connectlambeth.org

News Round-up 

 Hondo Towers update

If you missed the chance to comment or object to the original application for the 20-storey tower on the Sports Direct site in Popes Road, you have another chance.  Lambeth Planning Department is consulting again because the design has been amended.  This has already been flagged up on the Brixton Blog website.  As far as we can see, the main change is that the whole tower is moved back 2.5m from the Popes Road frontage.  At the last count there were 313 objections.  The application reference is still 20/01347/FUL, accessible from this page

Reviving Brixton Station Road

Lambeth Council have appointed MUF to lead on a package of improvements around the Recreation Centre, comprising workspace off Beehive Place, enhancing the approach to the Rec and smartening-up Brixton Station Road including upgrading some shopfronts below the Rec. Various consultation events are being set up, with the first workshop on the afternoon of Tuesday 28 July at the Rec, with the option of joining on-line via Zoom.  Enquiries to caitlin@muf.co.uk

Libraries are re-opening

Seven of Lambeth’s libraries re-opened on 20 July, including Tate Brixton, Tate South Lambeth and Carnegie.  Opening hours are 11 am to 4 pm for the time being, when you can return items and make appointments to use on-site services such as using a computer or photocopier. 


Book selection has almost returned to the pattern of a century ago, so instead of browsing the shelves it’s a Select & Collect service.  This allows you to choose up to 20 books, audiobooks or DVDs from the online catalogue, then phone or e-mail your preferred library with your preferences and to agree a date/time for collecting them.  Returned books will be quarantined for 72 hours before being available for re-issue.

Library computers can be booked for a session of up to 2 hours per day.  To avoid cash handling, please bring exact money for photocopying charges. Computer print-out charges can be added to your membership record for future payment. Minet library should also re-open soon, and Lambeth Archives will be offering an appointment-only service for researchers.

Lambeth Libraries will continue to host events on-line, and the full range of on-line resources is still available. Contacts for appointments are:
Brixton – 020 7926 1058, brixtonlendinglibrary@lambeth.gov.uk
Carnegie – 020 7926 6050, carnegielibrary@lambeth.gov.uk
South Lambeth – 020 7926 0710, southlambethlibrary@lambeth.gov.uk 
Lambeth Archives – archives@lambeth.gov.uk

Blooming Lambeth Awards

Have you been practising your gardening skills during lockdown?  Incredible Edible Lambeth are co-ordinating this year’s Blooming Lambeth Awards.  There are 7 categories, from simple containers to school gardens, but closing date for entries is 31 August. More details are on their website at www.incredibleediblelambeth.org – look under BLA2020.

Volunteers return to Brixton Orchard

Urban Growth have re-started volunteer gardening sessions at the Orchard site at the foot of Brixton Hill.  To find out the new arrangements and register for sessions, see www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brixton-orchard-volunteer-session-tickets-113515118776

81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance

Work continues among local groups to compile a programme of events for next summer to reflect the 40th anniversary of the original Brixton riots of 1981.  To encourage interest, a series of think-pieces will be appearing on the website each month until April 2021, when the “live” events should begin to happen.
See www.81actsofexuberantdefiance.com or send your enquiries or ideas to connect@81actsofexuberantdefiance.com

Council Ward boundaries review

Not the most interesting topic, but Lambeth is divided into 21 wards, each represented by 3 councillors.  Wards are meant to be roughly equal in numbers of voters, which means blocks of streets or estates often being tacked onto a ward to even up the numbers, so that boundaries can divide natural neighbourhoods or cut across community ties.  This can be a problem when the Council attempts to plan services based on ward units.

While most of Lambeth’s neighbourhood forums started out as clusters of council wards, several have preferred to follow more community-based boundaries. A review of the present boundaries has just got underway, so this is a chance to lobby for changes if you don’t really feel part of Coldharbour or Tulse Hill.  Deadline for comments is 21 September, with draft changes to appear in January, and the final revisions in June 2021.  The new boundaries would apply from the Council elections in May 2022.  See the consultation portal at https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk or see more information at www.lgbce.org.uk or send your views to reviews@lgbce.org.uk 

Keep in touch!

Share your news

To include your news or a coming event in our next bulletin, please send material to the Forum Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com
We expect the next bulletin to appear in the first week of August.

Brixton Neighbourhood Forum is now using Twitter. We post time sensitive information on this account between bulletins. Do have a look.
 

Is our mailing list correct?

If you only received this bulletin via somebody else, or late, why not supply your current e-mail and get the information directly next time?
Please notify us, at admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org
– if your e-mail or other contact details have changed;
– if you want to add a colleague or neighbour to our distribution list;
– if you have moved away or are no longer interested in Brixton issues.

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.

https://www.thebrixtonproject.com

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.

https://www.photofusion.org

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

Keep our mailing list up-to-date Please notify us, at admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org
– if you want to add a colleague or neighbour to our distribution list;
– if you are changing your e-mail or other contact details;
– if you have moved away or no longer wish to receive these bulletins.

black lives resources and endemic racism

Learning and understanding are key.

Brixton has come along way… where is it going? Ever since the uprisings in the 1980’s, many people, community organisations and authorities in Brixton have put in a lot of hard work to make black lives better in the area. Many children and young people of the riots now own the businesses, teach in our schools, and play key and leading roles in our community. But we have also known that there is further to go. Recent events like the Windrush scandal and the disproportionate effects of the coronavirus on black and other minority communities has brought this into sharp and undeniable focus – the endemic pervasive disadvantages still faced by too many people.

Why should black achievement still be against the odds and such an uphill struggle? What’s this ‘white privilege’, even when some face some similar issues? Look at institutions, and societal norms, and call them out. This is what ‘silence is complicity’ is about. Find the barriers, the common challenges, and what unites us. How can everyone work together for justice and parity across the artificial divides?

The page banner shows images of the Olive Morris window in the building named in her honour that’s about to get demolished. Blended onto this image is the face of George Floyd, which will join Olive and too many others as icons of the push for righting the injustices. Below the image is spelt out the action we need to take, how we all need to be, and what needs to be behind our actions, whether neighbours, employers, authorities, or whatever we are. We can all act now.

These words are here for another reason too:

In an unusual move for a non-politically aligned community organisation, it’s time to stand up and call out the way the current outcry is being handled at its epicentre… to call out President Trump. Those words characterise what is needed, none of which remotely apply his actions. Think of the opposite of those words and that’s what comes from him. This is not a matter of politics, it’s a matter of common humanity and decency.

He may have been voted in; he might be again; but he has responsibilities with global consequences, and we need to call him out. We do not accept how so many organisations, politicians, influential figures and institutions tread on eggshells around his blatant lies, vindictive victimisation, and unprecedented abuse of power in the hope that he’ll conveniently disappear soon. There are people and politicians in this country hungry to follow his copybook. Silence in this country is complicity. It’s not acceptable.

Recent marches have shown what ordinary people think. Mass gatherings are currently against the coronavirus restrictions and carry well known risks. Other methods are possible too. Whatever your means, some selected resources are below:

UK Black Lives Matter – http://blacklivesmatteruk.com/

BLM Toolkits – https://blacklivesmatter.com/resources/

Informed reading and resources – https://gal-dem.com

What to do if you can’t attend public demonstrations – https://gal-dem.com/what-to-do-if-you-cant-protest-on-the-streets-for-black-lives-matter/

And if travel is irresistible, go by the advice at all times, and organisers advise self-isolation for two weeks afterwards.

Some interesting reading here about public space and systemic racism here: https://www.citylab.com/ including an inspiring story about Washington DC’s local government response to the recent Road Closer in Chief’s activities – https://www.citylab.com/equity/2020/06/white-house-fence-washington-public-space-black-lives-matter/612592/

May 2020 Extra

Latest on the Epidemic – and exit strategies

Take it seriously – it could be you!

Lots of numbers have flashed across the headlines during the current Coronavirus epidemic, but it can all seem rather abstract until something happens close to home.  Our mailing list is modest compared to other Neighbourhood Forums around the borough, partly due to being late starters, but mainly because we have aimed to enlist local organisations rather than residents in general.  Our 500-plus mailing list has now had its first deletion due to Coronavirus, following the recent death of Chin Ong, who represented Lambeth Pensioners’ Action Group.  He was also involved with Coldharbour Ward Labour Party and Mayall TRA.  I last saw him at a Health networking event at West Norwood Library in December.

So, despite mixed messages from the Government about going back to work or to school, we need to maintain social distance for the time being and avoid unnecessary risks.  I have been very impressed by how well local people have respected the rules so far, though right in the centre of Brixton, space is too tight at peak periods – but more about that below under Consultations. 

Helplines and Advice

Lambeth Council

The general helpline number for most coronavirus-related issues is 020 7926 2999.
For business-related queries, use the business helpline, 020 7926 2344 or e-mail to enterprise@lambeth.gov.uk 

Domestic Abuse

In life-threatening emergency, dial 999 and press 55, then the police can assist without you having to speak.  Freephone calls can be made to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247

Within Lambeth, the Gaia Centre provides support in any cases of gender-based violence, call 020 7733 8724 or e-mail lambethvawg@refuge.org.u  or for more details see their website, www.refuge.org.uk/gaia

Limited Mobility? Or if you are self-isolating

Connect Lambeth can help you with a food/ medication pick-up service and food bank vouchers. E-mail to  mycommunity@ageuklambeth.org  or phone 020 7346 6800 (option 6)

Scams? 

If you are offered testing kits, protective kit, cures, or delivery/collection services, other than from trusted sources, you can get advice from the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.

Re-opening? 

A number of umbrella bodies are issuing guidance on how to adapt workplaces to resume business.  We have mentioned a couple in earlier bulletins and on our website.  Last week’s e-bulletin from Brixton BID set out 3 tests proposed by CIPD before bringing employees back to work. In addition, the British Chambers of Commerce have published some basic guidelines, mainly for office-based businesses.  For retail and other public-facing operations, the Directory of Social Change told us about the Re-opening pack issued by the Charity Retail Association.  Our Secretary is willing to forward both these last 2 documents, but the CRA guide is already being revised as Government advice changes. 

We hear that staff of Lambeth Libraries are actively exploring ways in which libraries could re-open, though the range of services may be limited. A key issue is that many people depend on libraries for access to the Internet, but are left deprived at a time when so much has become available only on-line.

Consultations

Competing for Pavement Space

You may already have seen temporary barriers at a few pinch points like Brixton Water Lane, to widen the pavement space.  Most of our Victorian streets were laid out with pavements barely 2m wide, so pedestrians have to step into the road, even without the complication of bus stops.  Lambeth Council is inviting suggestions for more places where pavements should be widened or other measures be put in place, on a temporary or permanent basis.  They are using the same Commonplace software as for the Brixton Livable Neighbourhood Consultation in February, and again ideas for reducing car traffic or supporting cycling can also be included.  This site enables you to see what others have already suggested, by location, and support them or make your own comment.  No clear deadline but sooner is better – see https://lambethtransportcovidresponsemap.commonplace.is/

Another Brixton Plan?

We have no idea of the timescales yet, but Lambeth planners are gearing up for a review of their Supplementary Planning Document (or SPD) for Brixton Town Centre.  Don’t get too excited, because experience tells us that, however worthy the plan, the Council tends to ignore it when it suits them!  As a preliminary move, the Independent Film Trust have been commissioned to produce a video to assist with local consultations, and have already been enrolling local people to contribute to production.  Enquiries to Charlotte Knowles or Michelle Scarlett at  michelle@independentfilmtrust.org

Last chance to comment on Lambeth Hospital changes

We flagged this up in our April and May bulletins, so a final reminder that the closing dates for comments is Sunday 31 May.
In essence this is about moving mental health services to the Maudsley campus in Denmark Hill and other clinic sites, but there’s also the issue of whether the site is simply sold for residential development, or whether some housing for NHS workers is included within the site.  Responses to lamccg.hospitalconsultation@nhs.net or via the website: https://lambethtogether.net/lambethhospital/

Funding, Training and Support

The Funding Crisis

Lambeth Council’s offer of one-off grants to VCS organisations closed very quickly after it opened.  The Council was overwhelmed by the demand, but fortunately other funders have been changing their priorities so that charities and community projects can keep going through the crisis.  The greatest challenge is for groups who had been largely self-reliant through income from events, user charges and premises hire.  They now find themselves with big holes in their budgets while “live” activities are suspended.  Several funders are now giving priority to meeting the costs of adapting to new ways of delivering services, such as “on-line” sessions and webinars, as well as basic adaptations to meeting places to allow social distance to be observed.
Do keep an eye on the e-bulletins from Integrate and the Directory of Social Change – see www.dsc.org.uk

On-line Training

We hear about lots of on-line training sessions or webinars, but too often with barely a day’s notice, so it’s difficult to share details with you all.

Impact Brixton is now hosting regular training sessions on Zoom.  Highlights include 7 things every funder will want to know, on Friday 22 May and a Legal Health Check on Friday 5 June.  Previous sessions can be found on the Resources page of their website.
If you want to offer a 30-45 minute workshop/ talk to the Impact Hub community, contact marketing@impactbrixton.com

Awesome Tech Training are offering an on-line version of their Build a Website in One Day with WordPress course for £50 inc. VAT if booked before 31 May.  See www.awesometechtraining.com or enquiries to Rachel on 07 950 247 966 or rachel@awesometechtraining.com

The FSI is holding a Virtual Fund-Raising Conference on 18 June, during Small Charity Week (17/22 June). Charge £30 but free if your group’s income is under £100k a year.  Enquiries to admin@thefsi.org.uk or to info@smallcharityweek.com

Volunteers wanted?

Link UP London offers flash support from virtual pro-bono consultants. Their team of skilled volunteers have the perfect blend of senior experience and industry-specific knowledge to help you through your organisation’s next steps.  This is an opportunity to work through issues such as HR, Law, business strategy, IT or marketing to realise your potential.  Link UP will do the co-ordination, all you have to do is explain your needs, and then have 1 hour free to talk through issues with members of their Skilled Volunteer pool.  Phone calls will be 1-hour long and at a time which is agreed and convenient for both parties.  More on their website at www.linkuplondon.org or contact them at hello@linkuplondon.org

Volunteers Week takes place over 1-7 June each year and offers a chance to publicise your needs and pick up ideas – see https://volunteersweek.org

Opportunities to be a volunteer are more limited at present because some projects have shut down, but there are others who are desperate for more helpers.  You can still sign up to volunteer with Lambeth Council at www.lambeth.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/how-you-can-help

Age UK Lambeth have multiple volunteering opportunities.  In particular, they have re-launched their befriending scheme, as MYNeighbour. More details at www.ageuk.org.uk/lambeth/get-involved/together/
If you have specific needs for volunteers, we will be happy to feature them in future bulletins.

Other News and Events

Brixton Windmill still producing flour

The team of volunteer millers at Brixton Windmill have continued to produce flour despite the lockdown, observing strict Government guidelines.  They are now inviting donations to help them continue supplying Brixton Flour to two local food banks:- The Floating Food Bank, based in the Community Hub on the nearby Blenheim Gardens Estate;
– The Norwood and Brixton Food Bank, which we have mentioned before, part of the Trussell Trust. 
The campaign for donations has been successful and production for the foodbanks has been secured for the foreseeable future. See www.brixtonwindmill.org

Windmill guided tours and community events are on hold during present restrictions, but the plans are to train more tour guides during August ready for a soft launch in September.

Businesses re-inventing themselves

Brixton Local is an amazing new website that connects you to local services still working during the current outbreak.  There were 61 enterprises listed last month, but expect more to come on stream as the Government encourages more businesses to re-open – see https://www.brixtonlocal.life/

Food businesses have been undergoing a massive shake-up, with cafes and restaurants shifting to take-away and home delivery services to keep the cash coming in.  Some have used their usual supply networks to support a retail grocery service for the same reason.  Even so, the core “eating-out” market in the UK is expected to be reduced to a third of last year’s turnover.
Nationally, some chains are lobbying to be allowed to use more pavement space for customer seating and tables outside cafes.  Is this something to resist, given the lack of pavement space in much of Brixton already? 

Learning from our neighbours

Many organisations are looking at how they can put more events on-line.  At the other end of Coldharbour Lane, the Camberwell Arts Festiva next month will be wholly on-line. It will run from 13-21 June at  www.camberwellarts.org.uk  but in the meantime you will find an A-Z of Camberwell taking shape on the same site. Worth a look to see what works and what does not!

Greenspaces and Green issues

Make Room for Others!

It’s all very well the Government removing restrictions on how much time we spend outside, but most of our public open spaces are small, and even Brockwell Park has been closed once because it was too busy.  Myatt’s Fields Park Project  have asked people to limit themselves to one hour a day in this small park, to make room for other people to take a turn at using it too.  Their tennis courts have re-opened, subject to limitations, but must be booked in advance – contact  enquiries@myattsfieldspark.info

Playground seeks funds

PAPA’s Park in Pulross Road is a pocket playground that survives on donations and hire fees.  Volunteers have done a great job in raising money for the new play equipment, and for work to start on a new multi-sports pitch in September.  Sadly the current cafe and hall are past their best, and PAPA needs their revenue stream to keep running. The aim now is to build an eco-friendly community space for everyone to use, for classes, events and gatherings.  The first step is to raise £7,000 to put in a planning application and apply for the next round of funding.  See their website,  www.papaspark.co.uk or contact:  papasparkltd@gmail.com

Sustainability Fund

Do you have a green idea that could turn into a sustainable business? Ground Control, a leading supplier of landscaping and maintenance services, has launched its Evergreen Fund, to invest 5% of annual profits in providing seed funding to social enterprises and entrepreneurs keen to deliver environmental impact.  Over the next 5 years, the fund will invest £5 million in early-stage environmental ventures, and set aside £100k a year towards the planting of new native trees, to create protected areas of biodiversity.   

More on Health & Social Care

The NHS is still open for business

Doctors are asking residents not to put off contacting the NHS if they need to consult a doctor or nurse during the present pandemic.  If you are already a patient at (say) Guy’s or St. Thomas’s Hospitals, you should continue to access the care that you need, and keep in touch with your clinical team.  Emergency departments (A&E) at St. Thomas’s and King’s College remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The urgent care centre at Guy’s can provide help with minor injuries and urgent medical problems.

Keep Fit – Keep Calm

Myatts Fields Park have shared details of an on-line Boxercise fitness class open to Lambeth residents, 10 to 11 am on Wednesdays.  E-mail to boxercise@yahoo.com with Register 10am in the subject line to receive joining instructions.

Lambeth Connect and DASL are offering a number of on-line exercise classes to help you keep fit during lock-down.  All are accessed via Zoom.  More information at www,disabilitylambeth.org.uk or contact Nara Zaman on 07 512 566 875 or at intosport@disabilitylambeth.org.uk

Lambeth Fostering Fortnight

Could you be a fostering hero?  During Fostering Fortnight, Lambeth Council are appealing to the community for more foster-carers.  Now more than ever they need new people to come forwards and apply to become foster-carers.  Fostering during lock-down comes with unique challenges, and the example of Alex is featured on the website as somebody willing to welcome vulnerable children into their home – see www.lambeth.gov.uk/foster-hero

Keep in Touch

How was it for you? How are you coping, as a household, community group or enterprise?  Is your organisation just lying dormant until it’s safe to come out again, or are you trying to respond and adapt to the current situation?
It’s that time again when we prepare a budget for what the Neighbourhood Forum expects to do over the next 12 months.  We need to hear NOW if there are issues that the Forum should be helping you with, or taking up on your behalf. It’s not easy to plan ahead at the present time, but do tell us if you want us to do something new, or even the same things differently.

Share your news

3Space at International House is gearing up for most users to return from 1st June onwards, but we are not rushing to return to our hot-desk space.  For the time being, we would still prefer e-mails, virtual meetings or even old-fashioned phone calls to face-to-face meetings.

We are continuing to circulate these bulletins twice a month, so if you want your news included in the next issue, please send it before 8th June to the Secretary, Alan Piper, at apiperbrix@aol.com or for enquiries, phone (020) 7207 0347

Keep our mailing list up-to-date
Please notify us at admin@brixtonneighbourhooodforum.org
– If you are changing your e-mail or other contact details;
– If you want to add a colleague or neighbour;
– If you have moved away or no longer wish to receive these bulletins.

Bulletin may 2020

Latest info about coping with the Coronavirus epidemic

Precautions for Volunteers

Lambeth Council has updated its health precautions guidance notes for volunteers working in various different roles.  This includes those assisting vulnerable people, those involved in food distribution, either at food banks/ hubs or actually delivering to people’s homes, and those working on community gardening projects. These notes and other information can be found at www.lambeth.gov.uk/coronavirus

Lambeth Food Hub

This has been a joint effort between Lambeth Food Partnership, Incredible Edible Lambeth and the Healthy Living Platform, led by Sue Sheehan. Using the bowling green in the basement of the Brixton Rec., volunteers have been sorting donated groceries and packing lots of food boxes to send out to vulnerable households, mostly delivered by bike. 7000 boxes had gone out as of a week ago.For a good summary of the various food and food-growing initiatives in and around Lambeth, see the website www.lambethfoodpartnership.org.uk and follow the links to Covid 19-related services.  Enquiries to lambethfood@gmail.com The Healthy Living Platform is about to put out a call for more volunteers – see their website, www.healthylivingplatform.org  or e-mail to incredibleedibleleap@gmail.com or phone 07 701 365 551.

Mutual Aid and WhatsApp groups – update

We listed 16 groups around the wider Brixton area in the previous e-bulletin, based on information from the Brixton Buzz website, www.brixtonbuzz.com There is a generic phone number for contacting the Mutual Aid groups, 0800  009 6504 (but not for the WhatsApp groups). We have also been told about another WhatsApp group, this one covering streets on the east side of Brixton Hill, including Beechdale and Fairmount Roads, Raleigh Gardens and Cherry Laurel and Virginia Walks:  https://chat.whatsapp.com/L65godsbvBIArau6PwJLF5

Delivering Services Equally

Black Thrive are collecting information on how the pandemic and the lockdown are affecting people’s lives, with the aim of improving services now and in the future.  They would also like to hear if you have any ideas or suggestions for how public bodies and voluntary organisations can deliver their services equally and equitably.  They would particularly like to hear voices from Lambeth’s Black communities.  There’s a short questionnaire which should take no more than 10 minutes, at https://lse.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2ulnR5ZFMEnP8Xz

Support for Portuguese speakers

A new Portuguese-language helpline has been set up by the Lambeth Portuguese Wellbeing Partnership.  They can be contacted on (020) 3143 4060. They are also looking for more Portuguese speaking volunteers to help run the helpline.    

Life after Lockdown

There’s a lot of speculation at present about how and when the present restrictions will be eased.  We are all trying to plan ahead, despite much uncertainty, though some activities and businesses will be affected more than others.  Several umbrella organisations are organising webinars or “virtual briefings” to help their members make the best of the present situation and prepare for recovery. We still have Saturday 26 September in the Forum diary for our Community Showcase event on Windrush Square, but cannot make firmer plans yet.  If there are other things your Forum should be doing as well, or instead, let’s hear from you.

Funding, Training and other support

Lambeth Fund for VCS organisations

In case you haven’t heard, Lambeth Council are providing one-off payments of up to £10k to help voluntary and community organisations.  This is being funded from part of the Community Infrastructure Levy collected on new building developments.  The aim is to make communities more resilient both during the crisis and in the recovery period that should follow.  The one exclusion is for food-related projects, where the Council is making a separate funding contribution. Organisations must be Lambeth-based with an existing bank account and a written constitution.If you have not already received a notice with a link to the simple application form, contact eoin.heffernan@integrateagency.co.uk

Other Coronavirus-related Grants

Our friends at Age UK Lambeth recommend this web-page for a wide range of sources for community organisations, regularly updated: https://www.grantsonline.org.uk/coronavirus.html If you are in business, you ought to be checking the regular bulletins from the Brixton BID, but there’s a guide to applying for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan at www.knowyourmoney.co.uk  DSC advise us that charities are also eligible for this.

Support for Art studies

Another example of an established funder switching its priorities to respond to changing needs, the Paul Mellon Centre has made £200k available to fund both individuals and institutions, to sustain research and writing on British art and architecture. There are Research Continuity Grants of £10k for institutions such as galleries or museums, and Research Continuity Fellowships of £5k to enable individuals to continue research projects when other means of support may no longer be available.  Deadline for applications is noon on 19 May – apply online at grants.paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk

Directory of Social Change

Their books warehouse is operating again, so you can order grants directories and management handbooks with confidence they will arrive.Some of the most popular training courses have been adapted for delivery on-line as a selection of one-hour sessions.  These will be on fixed dates from 11 May onwards at £20 a time for small non-profit organisations.  There are still some free sessions via their Training Online Platform. More information at www.dsc.org.uk

Virtual College open for Council Tenants

Selected on-line courses are free to residents of Lambeth Council estates. We reported this last time but did not have a local link for enquiries – e-mail to engagement@homesforlambeth.co.uk more information at https://www.homesforlambeth.co.uk/virtual_college_launch

Helping the left-behind

With so much of normal life having moved on-line, we need to remember that many people and organisations don’t have the skills or resources to keep up.  We were pleased to hear about one of the organisations trying to get devices to people who don’t have them.  Naturally the first step is encouraging people to donate spare kit (or the funds to buy it) and then to distribute it to people in need.  The DevicesDotNow campaign is asking businesses to donate tablets, laptops and smartphones, as well as connectivity in the form of sims, dongles, and access to mobile hotspots. It’s supported by the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport.  See the website for more information and FAQs: https://futuredotnow.uk/

And if your group needs expert advice to help you keep up, can we remind you about access to skilled virtual volunteers through Link Up London, website link www.linkuplondon.org/flash-support-virtual-volunteers-org-info/ or e-mail your needs to hello@linkuplondon.org

Health and Social Care

The Future of Lambeth Hospital, Landor Road

A reminder that the closing date for comments on the service changes is 31 May.  Public consultation events are not possible but there are still a few ways in.  First, check out the proposals on-line at https://lambethtogether.net/lambethhospital/ You can complete a hard copy of the survey available on the website, or on-line at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/lambethhospitalconsultation Or you can e-mail to lamccg.hospitalconsultation@nhs.net or phone 0800 307 7650.

GPs still open for business

It’s been a close-run thing at times, but the NHS has not been swamped by the Coronavirus epidemic, and capacity to deal with other health problems is gradually returning.  In particular, GPs are still operating, though they would prefer that you phone or contact them on-line first, rather than just turn up.  Their concern is that people have been staying away for fear that it was unsafe to visit, but health problems are easier to treat if picked up early.  Don’t get so fixated on Coronavirus that you get seriously ill from something else because you delayed seeking medical advice.

NHS Volunteer Responders

For those who are vulnerable but not currently being supported, the NHS recently launched a Volunteer Responder Scheme.  It offers help with shopping, prescription collection or a friendly chat to stave off loneliness, targeting these categories:

  • People over 70 with underlying health conditions
  • Pregnant women
  • People who are registered as disabled
  • People with severe obesity
  • People with high-risk medical conditions, weakened immune systems, diabetes, dementia, renal failure or liver disease.

 If you, or someone you know, meets these criteria, call 0808 196 3646 between 8 am and 8 pm.

Dance for the Brain

Free weekly creative dance classes for adults with early symptoms of dementia, to engage the body and brain through movement and co-created choreography. Hosted by Siobhan Davies Studios via Zoom, led by a professional dance artist, sessions are on Tuesdays at 2-15 pm, from 5th May to 23 June. Enquiries to Veronica on 07 713 636 381, e-mail to veronica@arts4dementia.org.uk

Green spaces and green fingers

Finding a future for Brockwell Hall

Work continues on developing a bid to renovate Brockwell Hall in the centre of the park.  Key to this is being able to host a programme of activities which generate income to maintain the building, and are likely to be supported by the surrounding communities.  Do you have any bright ideas (or pet hates)? Would your group want to hold any activities in or around the building?  We are awaiting news of another round of consultations on this, due to start at the end of this month, so look out for more details in the next couple of bulletins.

Facelift for Loughborough Park

For some time we have been encouraging an emerging Friends group for this pocket park.  We had been looking forward to a consultation event this summer to canvass more ideas from the wider community, but for the time being, initial ideas have been posted at www.lambeth.gov.uk/loughboroughpark Lambeth Parks officers are willing to upgrade the children’s playground, but the biggest challenge is a disused adventure playground enclosure in the centre of the park, and one suggestion is to reclaim most of this site to extend the usable greenspace.

Grow Food at Home

Myatt’s Fields Park Project is offering to residents of Coldharbour and Vassall Wards, with priority to lower income households

  • Seedlings to grow outside (garden, balcony or community space): tomatoes, kale, pumpkins, chillies and spring onions, from this week onwards.
  • Seedlings to grow indoors, from 18th May onwards: chillies, lettuce and herb plants.

Plants will come with instructions and compost if you need it, and even a video demo on how to grow each plant type. To apply, go to: www.myattsfieldspark.info/free-seedlings.html

Other News and Events

Hondo Plans for Popes Road

Despite the current crisis, the business of property development in Brixton still rolls onward.  Hondo Enterprises, owners of the two main arcades, have put in a planning application for building two towers on the site now used by Sports Direct in Popes Road.  The design closely follows that exhibited at the end of January.  One of the towers will be 19 storeys high, with a 9-storey block at the Valentia Place end of the site between the railway viaducts. All the space would be in commercial use, though early ideas for a hotel use have been dropped. Details can be seen on the Planning Applications Database section of the main Lambeth Council website, under reference 20/01347/FUL. The deadline for comments is 12 May – e-mail to MCassidy@lambeth.gov.uk or comment directly in the application link.

Lambeth History Talks on-line

Weekly topics have now been announced up to the end of May. Capacity has been upgraded to cope with audiences of over 100 people.  The talks are also being recorded so they will be viewable on Instagram if you miss them.  To book a place for the live version for a session, e-mail archives@lambeth.gov.uk to receive the Zoom log-in details.

For other Lambeth Library services available on-line, see the Council’s website, www.lambeth.gov.uk/LibraryServicesOnline and this link for the latest news https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKLAMBETH/bulletins/2896e95Inboxx If you don’t have a library membership, to access the full range, you can sign up on-line at www.lambeth.gov.uk/jointhelibrary

News from Art4Space

Art4Space has been busy adapting to the new situation, in the hope of opening the Centre soon in a new safer format.  They have also become a Trinity Champion Centre, in recognition of their achievement in putting more than 100 children through their Arts Award certification. Art in a Box has been delivered to 6 local primary schools.  It provides children and teachers with creative resources and lesson plans to support schools and children during these difficult times.  Thanks to the Arts Council for supporting this initiative. They are also contributing to the BBC’s Get Creative at Home.  And do have a look at Louise’s video demonstrations, refreshed every 2 weeks. See the website for more – www.art4space.co.uk

Keep in Touch 

 Share your news

Let’s hear something from your group or your corner of Brixton for our next issue.  For the time being, we are issuing these bulletins twice a month. To include your news or event in the next one, please send it before 14 May, or for the June issue, 28 May, to Alan Piper, Forum Secretary, at apiperbrix@aol.com

Faulty link? Failed to download?

We cannot always check whether web-links supplied to us actually work, and it’s easy for typos to creep in.  Do contact our Secretary if you could not get through and we will try to check the original message, or forward the attachment, as required – e-mail to apiperbrix@aol.com.  We prefer not to send out attached files to all our members – I guess most would disappear into spam filters anyway. We have also been putting more information on our website in the past few months, so you can also try the links from that – and please let us know if those don’t work! www.brixtoneighbourhoodforum.org

Keep our mailing list up-to-date

Please notify us at admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org

  • If you are changing your e-mail or other contact details
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  • If you have moved away or no longer want to receive these bulletins.

april 2020 update

Highlights in this issue

– Coping during the Coronavirus epidemic

– Health and Social Care news

– Greenspaces and green fingers

– Funding, training and other support

– Virtual events and news from groups

Coping during the Coronavirus epidemic

 Sharing information with you

We are currently circulating information twice a month, trying to keep you all in touch with developments and emerging sources of help.  Most of the information below is extra to that we circulated earlier this month. If there are other things you think the Forum should be doing, do tell us – but remember face-to-face meetings are still out of the question.   

Help with Shopping

Lambeth Council is currently trialling a new shopping offer, as part of its borough-wide food offer.  This is based on a service previously delivered by Age UK Lambeth.  It will be provided to residents who are unable to leave their homes due to Coronavirus, but who do not require an emergency food package.  Around Brixton, Vassall is one of the trial wards, with Brixton Hill and Tulse Hill about to be added.  Plans are still developing, but if you or a neighbour have a need for this, contact the Council’s helpline, 020 7926 2999 between 8 am and 8 pm, Monday to Friday, or see their website, www.lambeth.gov.uk and follow the links. 

Mutual Aid and WhatsApp groups

We found that the most complete listing of these groups around Brixton is on the Brixton Buzz website, including hot links – see www.brixtonbuzz.com

There is now a generic free phone number to contact the Mutual Aid groups, 0800 009 6504. The main local groups are:

– ABRA (Arlingford & Brailsford Roads, SW2)

-Acre Lane and West Brixton

  • Brixton Hill (Lyham Road/ Blenheim Gardens/ Lambert Road/ Branksome Road)

– Brixton SW2 (Glenelg/ Strathleven/ Kildoran/ Maulever/ Mandrell Roads)

– Brixton Water Lane & St. Matthew’s Estate

– Brockwell Park Estate, SW2

– Clapham Park (roads between Lyham Road and Kings Avenue, including Kingswood, Rosebery and Thornbury)

– Coldharbour (Central Brixton)

– Ferndale

– Leander Road

– Loughborough Junction

– Poets Corner (Railton and roads off)

– Tulse Hill (main group)

– Cressingham Gardens (sub-group of Tulse Hill)

– Mackie, Hillworth and Estoria Roads SW2 (sub-group of Tulse Hill)

– Vassall.

And if there are other active groups out there, please tell us – apiperbrix@aol.com

Local Businesses are still operating

You can now find them: Brixton Local is a new website that connects you to local services during the outbreak.  So far, 61 organisations are listed, from Brixton Brewery to Yogapoint, mostly businesses but also some VCS organisations like Brixton Pound.  The emphasis is on those providing delivery of goods, though there are also various remote services on offer such as advice and webinars.  Explore the site at https://www.brixtonlocal.life/

On-line Meetings

Recently we have all had to make use of various forms of on-line or virtual meeting systems.  However, if you are a registered charity or a limited company, key decisions still need to be made and recorded correctly, with an adequate quorum of board members or trustees involved.  The Directory of Social Change recently flagged up a handy guide to good practice, compiled by the Chartered Governance Institute.  It includes a useful comparison of the available types of software to enable such virtual board meetings.  The PDF file can be found here http://www.brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Virtual-Board-Mtg-Ap20.pdf

However, it does not address the looming issue of Annual General Meetings, where more members may need to be involved – probably time to start reading the small print of your constitution! How should we support the “left behind”? Telling people to do it all on-line can work for a lot of people, but not everybody has either the kit or the IT skills to sort their benefits or order groceries on-line.  And how can anybody afford a smartphone if they are on Universal Credit?  This is troubling several of the Neighbourhood Forums right now – we want to be inclusive but we cannot see a way forward – got any bright ideas?

 Health and Social Care News

 Firms feeding NHS workers

The major food delivery firms have recently been offering concessions to NHS staff. Just Eat offered a 25% discount to NHS workers, and this has been extended until 26 April after staff had ordered a million meals through the scheme in its first two weeks. Last month, Uber Eats gave away 100,000 vouchers valued at £10 to enable NHS workers to buy a meal from the restaurants and convenience stores linked to its app. Deliveroo has raised £1.5 million to enable it to donate free meals to NHS workers.  The money, from customer donations and corporate funding, will provide £20 Deliveroo vouchers to 50,000 frontline workers, covering both the meal and delivery. Source: The Big Hospitality e-mail bulletins.

Staying Well

A major concern during the present crisis is to minimise demand on the hospitals, not just from coronavirus cases, but also from other conditions exaggerated by lack of exercise or fresh air, or the stress of sharing limited space at home.  Common threads among several “survival guides” seem to be setting a routine (but taking regular breaks), a varied diet rather than comfort eating, getting regular exercise, fresh air (at least you can now open a window) and touching base with the extended family, friends and colleagues. If you have any other “top tips”, why not share them with us? It may also be worth noting that Brixton Therapy Centre is offering Video and Telephone Consultations – enquiries to (020) 7733 9944 or e-mail to info@brixtontherapycentre.com

Greenspaces – and green fingers

Social distance in parks – jog responsibly!

  • Friends of Brockwell Park are encouraging park users to follow these guidelines to maintain social distance within the Park , which has been very busy on recent occasions. These apply across walkers, pram pushers, wheelchair users, runners and cyclists.
  • Move around the park on the left-hand side of the path, keeping 2m behind the person in front. Most paths are wide enough for you to stay 2m clear of people approaching from the other direction.
  • Overtake to your left, on the grass, keeping 2m clear of others.
  • If there is no space to the left, only use the opposite lane if this is clear of other users.  Do not walk, run or cycle between the two lanes, to maintain that 2m clearance.  That may mean joggers running on the spot until a safe space opens up, or cyclists dismounting, but please keep a safe distance.

Discover other green spaces

Why not ring the changes and explore some other open spaces on our patch?  I have just heard from a Town Centre resident who has discovered Myatt’s Fields Park for the first time.  Far fewer people know about the Loughborough Park open space – there is far more to it than a disused adventure playground.  You might think that Trinity Gardens, Blenheim Gardens and Wyck Gardens are too small to bother with, but at least the walk there will vary your exercise routine.  And with less traffic on the roads, a woodland walk through Brixton Orchard and Rush Common finally becomes worth tackling.

Grow at Home

Community gardening efforts are rather limited right now, but have not stopped completely.

Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses are running some “remote” sessions including Gardeners Question Time, Fermentation classes, Story Stompers and a Singing Group. They also have some young soft fruit bushes, grown from cuttings, for sale at £5 each.  For details of all these, see their website,  wwwbrockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/events/

Myatt’s Fields Park has a free seedlings scheme to help local people grow their own food at home.  This applies to residents of Coldharbour and Vassall wards  More details at www.myattsfieldspark.info/free-seedlings.html They have also highlighted the Lambeth Larder website for great tips on food growing, recipes and saving money.  See  www.lambethlarder.org

If you are an experienced grower, Incredible Edible Lambeth are looking for people to start vegetable seedlings at home and then share with the community.  See https://www.incedibleediblelambeth.org/news/growing-veg-for-your-community/

Funding, Support and Training 

New funding sources

The problem for many groups seems to be that income from events and sessional activities has dried up, but many fixed costs still need to be met, so the business plan has gone out the window.  Some funders have diverted resources to help keep voluntary groups operating, and if you are already operating with grant support, many funders are willing to be flexible about outcomes and reporting timescales – but you need to keep them in touch with any changes in how you are operating.  If you are still seeking funds, either to do more or to start something new, it’s more difficult right now. 

The London Community Response Fund has been delivering differently grants for the up-front costs of switching the way you deliver services, e.g. putting sessions online:  https://londoncommunityresponsefund.org.uk

For a more general list of sources for organisations supporting people during the Coronavirus lock-down, see  https://charitybank.org/news/covid-19-emergency-funding-for-charities-and-social-sector-organisations

Webinars and On-line Courses

Survival Strategies for Youth and Play organisations is a FAQ session being led by the Integrate Agency on Friday 24 April from 2 pm. Business planning, financial resilience and future income generation will be included.  To submit questions in advance, please e-mail to Tom Cunningham, tcunningham@lambeth.gov.uk by Wednesday. To reserve a place, e-mail richard.davis@integrateagency.co.uk

Homes for Lambeth has started a new partnership with the Virtual College to provide free access to selected on-line courses for Lambeth Council tenants. There is potential for more (see www.virtual-college.co.uk ) but on offer to start with are:- Nutrition and hydration;- Completing application forms;- Get moving, get healthy. The Directory of Social Change has confirmed that courses on its Training Online Platform will be free to access until 17 July.  More details at www.dscorg.uk and follow the links.

Virtual Events and Other News

Write on Art

Teenagers running out of things to do?  Write on Art is a national writing competition for students aged 15 to 18 and studying in the UK.  Its mission is to encourage an interest in Art History among young people. All students need to do is select one art work from www.artuk.org that fascinates them and persuade readers to share their interest and take a closer look.  Entries can be made in 2 categories, years 10/11 or 12/13, and win a cash prize of £500.  The deadline for entries has been extended to 31 July – see www.writeonart.org for guidelines and entry details. 

Soft Launch for “81 Acts” programme

Since last summer, several local groups and arts activists have been talking about how to mark the 40th anniversary of the original Brixton Riots in April 1981.  What is emerging is a programme of events under the banner of 81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance. With a year to go, we had intended some kind of curtain raiser over the Easter weekend, but the current restrictions ruled out even a stroll together along Railton Road, the old flashpoint. Instead, we have had to make do with a virtual launch, through e-mails and social media channels.  If you have not already picked this up, please check out the links below and respond with your own ideas and comments.  Share with your own networks, discuss with those who were around at the time, and consider if there are lessons for today.  Above all, we want you to start planning now so that Brixton can host a wide range of activities and events between April and October next year. Find out more at  https://81actsofexuberantdefiance.com Get involved by contacting connect@81actsofexuberantdefiance.com

A Longfield Hall Celebration

An evening of entertainment from the many artists who use the halls – on Friday 1st May at 7-30 pm, via their Facebook Live page  @Longfieldhall. Hosted live from their homes by the hall’s artistic director, Laura Harling, and presenters Adam Courting (BBC Radio 4) and Kate Starling (London Fringe Radio), with streamed performances from a range of artists and organisations that use the hall.  In order to support the artists at this difficult time, viewers are encouraged to donate via Paypal – more details at www.longfieldhall.org.uk/events

Lockdown Diaries

These days will pass – but keep a record. The Lock-down Diaries is a Lambeth Archives project to collect local people’s experiences of the Coronavirus epidemic in Lambeth.  The project is to encourage Lambeth residents to start keeping a diary, and then to send a copy to the Archives, documenting their lives right now. The Archives staff are particularly interested in the experiences of people whose lives have been dramatically affected by recent events, such as NHS staff and restaurant proprietors. 

Enquiries to archives@lambeth.gov.uk or by Twitter,  @LambethArchivesKeep in touch

Share your News

To include your news or event in the next e-bulletin, be sure to send it before 28 April to the Forum Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com

We are trying to sustain publication twice a month, and we have also been putting more information on this website.

Keep our mailing list up-to-date

Please notify admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org – if you are changing your e-mail or other contact details;- if you want to add a colleague or neighbour;- if you have moved away or no longer want to receive these bulletins.

get your art at home in april/may 2020

With the galleries closed, they now have a variety of online offerings, whether locally or from around the world

Rhizome – www.ryzome.org

Serpentine Galleries – www.serpentinegalleries.org

Acute Art – www.acuteart.com

Sunrise/Sunset – www.whitney.org

Faustin Linyekula – www.tate.org

Virtual Design Festival – www.dezeen.com/virtualdesignfestival/

Tate Modern – www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern

Picasso and Paper – https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/article/picasso-and-paper-virtual-exhibition-tour

Louvre, Paris – www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne

De Young, San Francisco – https://deyoung.famsf.org/deyoung/collections/google-art-project-street-view-launch

Museum of Art, Sao Paulo – https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/masp

The Vatican – http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/collezioni/musei/tour-virtuali-elenco.html

New York Metropolitan – https://www.metmuseum.org/art/online-features/met-360-project

National Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, Seoul – https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/national-museum-of-modern-and-contemporary-art-korea

Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro – https://artsandculture.google.com/project/museu-nacional-brasil

British Museum – https://blog.britishmuseum.org/how-to-explore-the-british-museum-from-home/

Musee d’Orsay, Paris – https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/musee-dorsay-paris

…and get fully interactive with Tussenkunstenquarataine – http://email.wordfly.com/click?sid=MTE1NF8xMjkwXzE2NjA4XzczMDQ&l=a1a1a870-e974-ea11-bf4f-e41f1345a486&utm_source=wordfly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=FriendEnews&utm_content=version_A&sourceNumber=560

coronavirus / covid-19 support update

8 June 2020 rules update: See exactly what applies in full detail here

Important advice on travelling here

On this page

Updated 13 June 2020

  • Local advice and resources from Lambeth, Brixton BID and links to local self-help groups
  • Regional advice and resources from the mayor of London and Metropolitan Police
  • National advice from the government, NHS and Public Health England
  • Volunteering: Advice on staying safe
  • Food growing and community gardens
  • Health, wellbeing, faith and culture at home and outside
  • Shopping in Brixton
  • Crime resources: Domestic abuse and scams
  • Pandemic statistics: International national and local

Local – Lambeth

Lambeth helpline for access to food and medicines: 020 7926 2999

Lambeth’s Get Support site (Assistance – Financial help, benefits, employment and housing advice – mental health, domestic violence and emotional support – children and families)

Lambeth Food Hub This has been a joint effort between Lambeth Food Partnership, Incredible Edible Lambeth and the Healthy Living Platform, led by Sue Sheehan. Using the bowling green in the basement of the Brixton Rec., volunteers have been sorting donated groceries and packing lots of food boxes to send out to vulnerable households, mostly delivered by bike. 7000 boxes had gone out as of a week ago.For a good summary of the various food and food-growing initiatives in and around Lambeth, see the website www.lambethfoodpartnership.org.uk and follow the links to Covid 19-related services.  Enquiries to lambethfood@gmail.com The Healthy Living Platform is about to put out a call for more volunteers – see their website, www.healthylivingplatform.org  or e-mail to incredibleedibleleap@gmail.com or phone 07 701 365 551.

A Portuguese language helpline to support Portuguese speakers has been set up by the Lambeth Portuguese Wellbeing Partnership with Age UK:  020 3143 4060 – open seven days a week 10am-4pm They are also looking for more Portuguese speaking volunteers to help run the helpline. Full information is here http://www.lambethlife.com/lambeth-talk-covid-19-support-available-for-portuguese-readers/

Lambeth’s main information page is here https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19

Lambeth’s downloadable guide covering a wide variety of topics is here http://www.brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Community-organisation-external-FINAL-9-April.pdf

Local Business Support from Brixton Business Improvement Disctrict https://www.brixtonbid.co.uk/covid-19/

Lambeth Mutual Aid – a growing group of volunteers committed to providing and facilitating mutual support in our community http://a growing group of volunteers committed to providing and facilitating mutual support in our community.

Local and street level self help groups as compiled by Brixton Buzz http://www.brixtonbuzz.com/2020/03/lambeth-coronavirus-full-listing-of-local-whatsapp-support-groups/

Regional – Mayor of London / GLA / TfL

Mayor of London resources and advice https://www.london.gov.uk/coronavirus

Thrive London – a citywide movement to improve the mental health and wellbeing of all Londoners. It is supported by the Mayor of London and led by the London Health Board partners https://thriveldn.co.uk

Metropolitan Police – Be clear about the restrictions, and other advice https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/c19/coronavirus-covid-19/

Transport for London have issued advice on new terms of carriage starting on 15 June, in particular the wearing of face coverings. General advice on travelling on all public transport is here: http://www.brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/GOV-Travel-Advice.pdf

Adaptations at Brixton station – It’s been a while since many of us have been on the tube, and the advice remains to only travel if you need to. Just as in the shops, new sanitising and distancing measures are in place, along with new signage. This short video blog shows how Brixton station has been adapted, so you know what to expect if you do need to travel, and includes an interview with the Managing Director of London Underground. https://youtu.be/bykaHNVYflk

National

UK Government

  • Protect yourself and others
  • Testing
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Employment, financial support and money
  • Working safely
  • Business and self employed people
  • School openings, education and childcare
  • Housing and accommodation
  • Driving and transport in the UK
  • International travel and immigration
  • Volunteering and offering help
  • Healthcare workers, carers and care settings
  • Support if someone dies

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Leaflet on protecting yourself and others https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/877678/coronavirus-leaflet.pdf

NHS

Concerns about symptoms – NHS 111

NHS Latest information and advice

  • Check of you or your child has symptoms
  • Self-isolation and treatment if you have symptoms
  • Testing and tracing
  • People at higher risk
  • Social distancing and changes to everyday life

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Public Health England

PHE publishes free campaign material that can be used for posters and on websites https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/

Latest advice on distancing for young people (updated 9 May) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others-guidance-for-young-people/covid-19-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others-social-distancing-guidance-for-young-people

All public advice (updated 1 June) https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance

Health & Safety Executive

The HSE has not featured prominently in the public consciousness to date, but points out that businesses should stay open as much as possible, except for some non-essential shops and public venues that were ordered by the government to close.  Some construction sites and other businesses are beginning to re-open, having taken time to reassess working practices against the distancing requirements. The prospect of no early end to distancing will mean that more businesses that can, are likely to reopen and adapt rather than wait indefinitely.   This page has specific advice on distancing in the workplace, which is also relevant for volunteers engaged in key services (see also volunteer section below) https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/social-distancing-coronavirus.htm

There is wider advice covering a variety of topics, including workplace PPE here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/coronavirus.htm?utm_source=hse.gov.uk&utm_medium=refferal&utm_campaign=coronavirus&utm_term=covid-landing&utm_content=home-page-popular

Volunteering

The National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has published easy to understand advice on maintaining safety and distancing while volunteering here: https://www.ncvo.org.uk/ncvo-volunteering/i-want-to-volunteer/volunteering-coronavirus

and have produced a useful PDF download for briefing organisations

Lambeth has produced this PDF download on volunteering

Register with Lambeth for volunteering donating food, money, and keeping safe here: https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/forms/volunteer-to-help-your-community

Advice on volunteering at the Lambeth Food Hub is here

NHS Volunteer Responders

  • delivering medicines from pharmacies;
  • driving patients to appointments;
  • bringing them home from hospital;
  • or making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.

– Due to the level of interest, new applications have been paused, but check the website for updates: https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHS

Other local organisations offering volunteering opportunities

Lambeth Forum Network https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/elections-and-council/lambeth-forum-network-lfn

AGE UK https://www.ageuk.org.uk/lambeth/get-involved/together/

Lambeth Mutual Aid https://www.lambethmutualaid.co.uk

Next Door https://nextdoor.co.uk/

Communities Together https://together.madeopen.co.uk/

List of local WhatsApp suport groups compiled by Brixton Buzz http://www.brixtonbuzz.com/2020/03/lambeth-coronavirus-full-listing-of-local-whatsapp-support-groups/

Brixton Soup Kitchen https://brixtonsoupkitchen.org/

Donate food

Lambeth Larder http://www.lambethlarder.org/

Norwood & Brixton Foodbank https://norwoodbrixton.foodbank.org.uk/

Lambeth Food Bank Fund https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-lambeth-food-bank-fund

Funding for organisations

Locality has regularly updated information on local and national funding sources https://locality.org.uk/services-tools/resources/coronavirus-covid-19-information-and-support/covid-19-funding/

Lambeth Fund for VCS Organisations

Lambeth Council are providing one-off payments of up to £10k to help voluntary and community organisations.  This is being funded from part of the Community Infrastructure Levy collected on new building developments.  The aim is to make communities more resilient both during the crisis and in the recovery period that should follow.  The one exclusion is for food-related projects, where the Council is making a separate funding contribution. Organisations must be Lambeth-based with an existing bank account and a written constitution.If you have not already received a notice with a link to the simple application form, contact eoin.heffernan@integrateagency.co.uk

Other Coronavirus-related Grants

Our friends at Age UK Lambeth recommend this web-page for a wide range of sources for community organisations, regularly updated: https://www.grantsonline.org.uk/coronavirus.html If you are in business, you ought to be checking the regular bulletins from the Brixton BID, but there’s a guide to applying for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan at www.knowyourmoney.co.uk  DSC advise us that charities are also eligible for this.

Staying at home

Summary of information and tips from Lamtheth Talk PDF

News – get facts from the government website http://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Stress – take sufficient rest, eat properly, do some physical activity and keep in touch with family and friends http://nhs.uk/oneyou/ every-mind-matters/coronaviruscovid-19-anxiety-tips

Routine – follow usual routine as much as possible and don’t overwork https://www.good-thinking.uk/

Keep active – Build in physical activity into your day, remembering that dancing, cleaning your home, and seated exercises also count https://www.sportengland.org/news-and-blogs

Being alone – do things to boost your mood if things are too quiet for your liking https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

Church and Mosque at home

Information for staying connected and online services:

Church of England – Southwark Diocese list of local churches with online offer https://southwark.anglican.org/churchonline/

Catholic Diocese of Southwark – http://www.rcsouthwark.co.uk

New Testament – https://ntcgbrixton.org

Advice from the Muslim Council https://mcb.org.uk/general/ramadan2020_guidance/

Art, Culture and History at Home

Lambeth Library services available on-line, see the website, www.lambeth.gov.uk/LibraryServicesOnline for general information. See this here for updates and links for online events. If you don’t have a library membership, to access the full range, you can sign up on-line at www.lambeth.gov.uk/jointhelibrary

Lambeth Local History talks online – Weekly topics have now been announced up to the end of May. Capacity has been upgraded to cope with audiences of over 100 people.  The talks are also being recorded so they will be viewable on Instagram if you miss them.  To book a place for the live version for a session, e-mail archives@lambeth.gov.uk to receive the Zoom log-in details

Get your art at home – our guide to what the galleries (local and around the world) are offering online: http://www.brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org/?p=338

London history in cinema – This link has old documentaries about London in iPlayer https://londonist.com/london/film/iplayer

Art4Space has been busy adapting to the new situation, in the hope of opening the Centre soon in a new safer format. They are also contributing to the BBC’s Get Creative at Home.  And do have a look at Louise’s video demonstrations, refreshed every 2 weeks. See the website for more – www.art4space.co.uk

Living History – We are unwittingly living through a key time in the course of world events. Lambeth Archives would like to capture the moment by getting help with collecting items that shows life in Lambeth during the lockdown period – full details at: https://www.lambethlocalhistoryforum.org.uk

Theatre – This page has links to a variety of online theatre performances https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2020/mar/17/hottest-front-room-seats-the-best-theatre-and-dance-to-watch-online

Greenspaces – and green fingers

Social distance in parks – jog responsibly!

Friends of Brockwell Park are encouraging park users to follow these guidelines to maintain social distance within the Park , which has been very busy on recent occasions. These apply across walkers, pram pushers, wheelchair users, runners and cyclists.

  • Move around the park on the left-hand side of the path, keeping 2m behind the person in front. Most paths are wide enough for you to stay 2m clear of people approaching from the other direction.
  • Overtake to your left, on the grass, keeping 2m clear of others.
  • If there is no space to the left, only use the opposite lane if this is clear of other users.  Do not walk, run or cycle between the two lanes, to maintain that 2m clearance.  That may mean joggers running on the spot until a safe space opens up, or cyclists dismounting, but please keep a safe distance.

Discover other green spaces

Why not ring the changes and explore some other open spaces on our patch?  I have just heard from a Town Centre resident who has discovered Myatt’s Fields Park for the first time.  Far fewer people know about the Loughborough Park open space – there is far more to it than a disused adventure playground.  You might think that Trinity Gardens, Blenheim Gardens and Wyck Gardens are too small to bother with, but at least the walk there will vary your exercise routine.  And with less traffic on the roads, a woodland walk through Brixton Orchard and Rush Common finally becomes worth tackling.

Grow at Home

Community gardening efforts are rather limited right now, but have not stopped completely. Advice on volunteering on food growing projects is here

Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses are running some “remote” sessions including Gardeners Question Time, Fermentation classes, Story Stompers and a Singing Group. They also have some young soft fruit bushes, grown from cuttings, for sale at £5 each.  For details of all these, see their website,  wwwbrockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/events/

Myatt’s Fields Park has a free seedlings scheme to help local people grow their own food at home.  This applies to residents of Coldharbour and Vassall wards  More details at www.myattsfieldspark.info/free-seedlings.html They have also highlighted the Lambeth Larder website for great tips on food growing, recipes and saving money.  See  www.lambethlarder.org

If you are an experienced grower, Incredible Edible Lambeth are looking for people to start vegetable seedlings at home and then share with the community.  See https://www.incedibleediblelambeth.org/news/growing-veg-for-your-community/

Shopping

One of the positive things is that we seem to be falling back in love with our corner shops. Brixton Local is website that list details of local independent shops that remain open for business, including food outlets with takeaway service https://www.brixtonlocal.life/

Brixton Blog has a roundup of food and drink outlets here: https://brixtonblog.com/2020/05/take-it-away-brixton/

The big stores currently operate revised opening times with special times for vulnerable and key workers – please check their websites for all details, as they vary over bank holiday weekends. The general pattern for Tesco Acre Lane and Sainsbury’s Tulse Hill is:

  • NHS / Social care workers: Mon-Sat 7.30-8am at Sainsbury’s, Sun/Tue/Thu 9-10am at Tesco
  • Elderly, vulnerable and carers: Mon/Wed/Fri 8-9am at Sainsbury’s and Mon/Wed/Fri 9-10am at Tesco

Brixton Market has remained open, for food stalls only, with a more spacious layout. Mon-Sat 8am-6pm (Weds ’til 3pm)

More shops are getting ready to re-open in June. What can we expect?

Brixton Business Improvement District has issued advice on the preparations that shops and businesses need to make here: https://www.brixtonbid.co.uk/getting-your-business-ready/?mc_cid=1abc54c4f6

Remember to keep 2m away from other people when shopping

Crime Resources

Domestic Abuse – links and advice

If in danger, call the national helpline 0800 2000 247  https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/  (In severe / immediately life threatening situations only: call 999 followed by a cough or tapping 55 to activate a tracing service)

Metropolitan Police advice – https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/c19/coronavirus-covid-19/domestic-abuse/

The Gaia Centre gives Lambeth residents free, confidential, practical and emotional support by phone or email – whatever’s safest – 020 7733 8724 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) email lambethvawg@refuge.org.uk

Scams and cybercrime

The National Cyber Security Centre has recently removed thousands of online scams and hundreds of fake shops selling Covid related items. They have set up a national service for reporting online scams: email to report@phishing.gov.uk

Further advice on avoiding cybercrime

https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/news/public-urged-to-flag-covid-19-threats-new-campaign

https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/personal-fraud/

Coronavirus Statistics

World Health Organization Situation Reports https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports

Worldometer counts – This site tracks population statistics from governments around the world, including of the pandemic https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

UK Government data, with regional and local authority area statistics – https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

The forum for community groups and individuals around Brixton