Tag Archives: Community

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/

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.

Bulletin February 2020

Brixton on the Move

Forum foothold in International House

At last we can confirm that we have negotiated a presence with 3Space, the managers of the former Council office space in International House. This will provide hot-desk space for our part-time administrator, a base for smaller-scale meetings, and an address for correspondence in case of changes among the Forum’s volunteer office-bearers.

We will be joining several other local projects already based in the building, so there may be some accidental extra meetings in the lobby! See also the final section of this bulletin.

Impact Brixton has moved

The Impact Hub has moved from the back of Pop Brixton to the former Photofusion Gallery space at 15 Electric Lane, on the 1st floor above the western end of the Market Row arcade. We understand that the previous cycle of meetings and events is being maintained.

To remind you, Photofusion themselves are now in International House -access to the gallery is from the 1st floor walkway to Brixton Recreation Centre, up the steps from Brixton Station Road and continue past the Rec entrance to the 1st floor entrance to International House.

Brixton £ Café back in action

The Brixton Pound Café has re-appeared, now at The Platform, the former public toilet block at 2 Ridgeway Road, SW9 7AH – the Loughborough Road end of Wyck Gardens. They are operating on Mondays & Tuesdays, 12-30 to 2 pm and 3 to 6 pm, offering lunch and supper made from surplus food on a pay-what-you-can basis. There’s also a drawing club for kids from 4 to 5-30 pm on these two days, with all art materials provided. Enquiries to Sean Roy Parker, food projects co-ordinator, kitchen@brixtonpound.org

Other days of the week, The Platform is operated by Loughborough Farm Café, open for breakfast 8-30 to 10-30 am, and lunch 12-30 to 3 pm, or brunch on Saturdays 10 am to 3 pm (closed Sundays).  There will continue to be occasional guest chefs and cookery workshops.  You can also rent the space to hold your own supper club or workshop event – enquiries to  ljcommunitycafe@gmail.com

Brixton Businesses in the balance

There are changes afoot among commercial café and restaurant operators too.  Thunderbird recently closed its upmarket fried chicken restaurant after just one year of trading.  It still has 3 other London sites and is backed by private equity investor Trispan, which also has a majority stake in Rosa’s Thai Café (with 18 sites nationwide).  This echoed the sudden closure of Meat Liquor in Market Row exactly a year earlier.

Despite this, Bird, another fried chicken chain, opened in Electric Avenue at the end of January, their first opening since the company was bought out of administration by Crown Partnership last year.  Other Side Fried earlier moved from one of the Pop Brixton shipping containers to one of the few arches on Atlantic Road that’s not obstructed by scaffolding propping up the railway platform above.

Of greater concern, Hondo Enterprises has been trying to push up rents for the more established businesses in the arcades. In particular, Nour Cash & Carry, in Market Row, is threatened with closure by 25 July.  There is already a petition to save this supermarket – see www.brixtonbuzz.com

Planning ahead

A bumper batch of Planning-related consultations are underway right now, some of which were introduced at the last Forum meeting on 30 January.  There are more details on the Consultation pages on the Lambeth Council website, www.lambeth.gov.uk

If you have specific concerns or queries, please share them with our colleagues at the Brixton Society, who are already working on responses – e-mail to planning@brixtonsociety,org.uk or see selected items on their website, www.brixtonsociety.org.uk

Brixton Livable Neighbourhood Consultation

The present phase is consulting on traffic restrictions and improving facilities for cyclists and pedestrians in 3 areas around Brixton:

– around Railton Road and the side streets that feed into it.

– around Ferndale Road, but considering the whole area between Acre Lane and Landor Road.

– the north-east quadrant, around Barrington and Loughborough Roads.

Closing date for comments on this stage is 7th March – see the dedicated website, www.brixtonstreets.commonplace.is

Enquiries to 07 860 180 545 or e-mail: brixtonln@lambeth.gov.uk

The next phase will follow on in May, and focus on 3 other areas:

– Brixton Town Centre generally.

– Streets west of Brixton Hill, from Blenheim Gardens northwards to Acre Lane.

– east of Brixton Hill, the area around St. Matthew’s Road.

Lambeth Local Plan – latest draft revision

This is the overall package of planning policies for the whole borough of Lambeth, and the first reference document for potential developers and their architects.  This latest draft revision replaces an earlier draft published for comments in late 2018.  Don’t panic when you see there are 500+ pages, because both the old and the new text have been included, and most of that is background information which developers will ignore anyway!  

What matters for us is a small number of policies and sections that deal with topical issues – for example:

– An Evening Economy Management Zone (far too small, ED8 and PN3(c));

– Safeguarding space for business and employment (ED2 & 3 and PN3(e));

– the size of dwellings provided by new building or conversion (H4/5/6);

– protecting existing housing (H3 & 11);

– the siting of hotels (ED14),

– Tall buildings (Q26).

There are also dedicated chapters on Brixton Town Centre (PN3), Stockwell (PN6) and Loughborough Junction (PN10).

The deadline for comments is 13 March.  We encourage you to share your concerns, and alert us to anything that would make life grimmer for Brixton residents.

Draft Design Code

The Council has also published a draft Design Code to expand on selected policies in the Local Plan.  Some of this merely replaces existing guidance on home extensions and new basements, but a critical section to examine will be that on Tall Buildings.  Lambeth has recently been willing to accept developments which are both big and ugly, so this section urgently needs to be tightened up.  A slightly longer timescale for commenting on this code (technically a Supplementary Planning Document or SPD) – 7th April.

Affordable Workspace

A shorter SPD, to amplify the updated policy in the Local Plan, which aims to safeguard some premises for local businesses, and in particular, to keep their rents affordable.

Sounds like a worthy aim, but will the wording be watertight enough to be effective?  Again the deadline for comments is 7th April.

Community Infrastructure Levy

The Council is proposing adjustments to the charges it makes when new developments are completed, to help offset the costs of new infrastructure and community amenities that new apartments or business space will require.  There are indications that the Council is more receptive to over-dense developments because of the cash coming in if those developments go ahead.  Already CIL (and the earlier Section 106 payments) from developers have financed a number of new or upgraded amenities that the Council could not easily have funded from other means.  The deadline for comments is as for the Local Plan revisions, 13 March, and these last four documents can be found via the Consultation pages on the Council’s main website, www.lambeth.gov.uk 

Towers at Loughborough Junction

Loughborough Junction Action Group have alerted us to a current planning application for a massive development overlooking the Junction railway station, centred on existing workshop space in Hinton Road, Wellfit Street and Hardess Street.  This consists of 2 residential towers, one of 29 storeys and another of 20 storeys, making them the tallest of several proposals on this side of Brixton in the past year.  Application ref. is 19/04280/FUL if searching Lambeth’s Planning database, and deadline for comments is 25 February.

Other planning applications

Brockwell Park: a modest extension to the Community Greenhouses, to provide extra toilets, and better accommodate visiting school parties.

Application ref. still awaited so no deadline yet.

Rush Common: proposed refurbishment of the play area between Brixton Water Lane and the Brixton Orchard, application ref. 20/00467/RUS, comments deadline 2nd March.

Popes Road: Hondo’s plans for replacing the Sports Direct/ Flannels shops were recently displayed for comments, but it may be a while before they turn into a planning application.

The ground floor market stalls and performance space could work well, but the 22-storey office tower above is hard to love!  It may still be worth you sending comments to hello@yourbrixtonvoice.com or contacting the consultation organisers, Lowick Group, on (020) 3633 7192.

More News and Events

Full House for Tai Chi at Brixton Library 

With 66 people already registered, and another 20 on the waiting list, the free Saturday morning sessions at the library are now closed to new registrations.

The Friends of Tate Library Brixton are negotiating with the funders for these sessions to continue until 4th July.

We have been asked to point out that the same instructor moves up Brixton Hill afterwards to conduct Tai Chi sessions at Windmill Gardens, from 11 am to 12 noon each Saturday. The downside is that there is a charge for these later sessions, of  £3 (waged) or £1 (unwaged).

Brixton Windmill – 2020 programme

Opening dates for Brixton Windmill have now been confirmed, starting on 11/12 April and continuing on one weekend a month until 11 October (with an extra weekend on 19/20 September for London Open House).  Bookings for tours will be open a month in advance – see their website: www.brixtonwindmill.org/visit

After last year’s well-supported event, there will be another Beer and Bread Festival in Windmill Gardens in May – confirmation of date expected soon. 

You can also support your local Windmill when you shop at Tesco.  It’s one of 3 good causes competing for a donation from Tesco, which will be decided by whichever gets most blue tokens put in the “ballot box” as you leave the tills in local branches.  Remember to ask for the blue button tokens at the checkout!

Tennis Taster at Myatt’s Fields Park

On Sunday 1st March, 2 to 3 pm, a free coaching lesson – learn a new sport or improve your game.  To reserve a place, e-mail to manager@myattsfieldspark.info

Pop Brixton highlights

Sunday 23 February: The Youth Market returns to Pop Brixton, 12 noon to 6 pm.

Saturday 29 February: Mardi Gras Festival, with the old sea containers turned into a mini French Quarter, with live music from 3 pm.

All enquiries to info@popbrixton.org

Creative Writing Group re-launched

Brixton Community Base in Talma Road, SW2, are hosting sessions on Tuesdays, 12-30 to 3 pm, aimed at new participants. Sessions start on 3rd March and will continue once a month.  The sessions will be led by Shelley Silas. More information from info@brixtoncommunitybase.org 

Longfield Hall events

Friday 28 February: 7-30 pm, Behind the Bulge, a charmingly interactive Drag King solo show, full of song, smoulder and self-doubt, with the one and only Luke Warm.

Saturday 28 March: 7-30 pm, Cuba Night – food, cabaret, dance and film, celebrating all things Cuban.

Over 50s activities: Weekly daytime sessions, some free, some at subsidised rates, including Latin Dance, Yoga, Boxing Fitness, Ballet Conditioning, and of course the Longfield Voices community choir.  See their website for further details, www.longfieldhall.org.uk/events or call 020 7978 9153 or e-mail enquiry@longfieldhall.org.uk

Planning a Street Party?

If you are considering a street party or similar which requires a temporary road closure, the Council has reminded us of the deadlines for applications, as follows:

For events around the VE Day bank holiday, the deadline is 16 March.

For June and July events, the deadline is 1st April.

For August and September events, the deadline is 1st June.

For Car Free Day events, on 26 or 27 September, the application deadline is 24 July.

Enquiries to events@lambeth.gov.uk

Health and Social Care

Age UK Lambeth Volunteer drop-ins, 22 & 24 February

Two drop-in sessions for anyone interested in volunteering with the Independent Living and Care Partnership in Lambeth, on Saturday 22nd, 1 pm to 4 pm, and Monday 24th, 5 pm to 8 pm, both at the Vida Walsh Centre, 2b Saltoun Road, SW2 1EP.  Meet the teams and find out what opportunities are on offer – the Partnership are currently looking for help with Befriending, Advice, Hosts and Sporting activities.  More information from (020) 7346 6800, or see the website, http://lambethhilcp.org.uk/volunteering/

Suicide Prevention Training, 24 February

Lambeth Together is holding a free Half-Day Training Session on Monday 24 February, 10 am to 1 pm at 336 Brixton Road, SW9 7AA.  They would particularly welcome applications from groups offering welfare advice, debt counselling, food banks and other support for people in financial hardship.  Includes identifying early signs of distress and how to offer effective support.  To book, see website: https://bit.ly/2uq1IUs

Living Well Open Morning, 5 March

Are you interested in Employment and Volunteering opportunities in Lambeth?  If so, come to the Open Morning, 11 am to 1 pm at Mosaic Clubhouse, 65 Effra Road, SW2 1BZ.

There may still be scope for local organisations active in this field to reserve a stall.  All enquiries to Danny McDonagh, tel. (020) 7924 9657, e-mail to d.mcdonagh@mosaic-clubhouse.org or see their website, www.mosaic-clubhouse.org for this and other events:

Cancer Awareness Training, 4 March

This is aimed at anyone who can promote health and wellbeing in their community.  It will run from 9 am to 12 noon at 1 Lower Marsh, SE1 7NT (Room 407. 4th floor) on Wednesday 4th March.  It will be delivered by trainers from Cancer Research UK with nursing and pharmacy backgrounds, with emphasis on cancer prevention, lifestyle changes, screening and early diagnosis.  Book at https://www.eventbrite.com/e//lambeth-cancer-awareness-training-tickets-89954090105 or contact Louise Edlin, tel. 07 919 293 797 or louise.edlin@cancer.org.uk

Patient Participation Group seeks Digital Champions

Do you know individuals in the Brixton or Clapham areas who could help patients learn about digital services?

Could your organisation host talks and demonstrations of the new digital services in February/ March?

A growing number of health services, including GP services, are available on-line, and the aim is to boost the confidence of more patients to make use of them.  If you could help, contact Wai Ha Lam at the Lambeth Patient Participation Group Network, tel. 07 340 805 027 or e-mail: waihalam@lppgn.org.uk

Funding, Training and Support

Now that the Integrate Agency are circulating their own e-bulletins to community groups, we will be scaling down this section, but we will still provide occasional notices and reminders. If you are not yet receiving information from Integrate, remind them of your existence by contacting richard.davis@integrateagency.co.uk

News from Locality

Communities in Charge: The government has committed to set up a Shared Prosperity Fund to replace European Funds for economic development.  The Communities in Charge campaign seeks to put local communities directly in charge of allocating the funding.  Locality has commissioned a film to promote this, showcasing the work of a community centre in Hartlepool – watch the full film at www.locality.org.uk/cic

London Community Spotlight: Locality has started a 3-year programme, with help from City Bridge Trust, to shine a light on local community organisations in London.  There will be a series of information and training events, the first being on Tuesday 17 March, 11 am to 4 pm at Cambridge House, Southwark, free of charge.

For established community organisations that generate income, they are also offering access to Lighthouse, a diagnostic tool for an organisational health-check.  A free guided session can be provided, face-to-face, by e-mail or by phone.

Enquiries to Charlotte Stannard, Development Officer, on 07 917 709 418 or e-mail to: charlotte.stannard@locality.org.uk

Training for Small Charities

The Annual Skills Conference of the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) is being held on Tuesday 24 March in the Waterloo area.  You can access four topic sessions during the day – pick your top 6 topics when booking, to ensure you can attend at least 3 of your choice. Twenty expert speakers will be delivering workshops or briefings.  The event runs from 9 am to 3-30 pm, with networking drinks until 4-30 pm. at a total cost of £30.  Venue: Chadwick Court, 15 Hatfields (off The Cut), London SE1 8DJ, bookings via their website, www.thefsi.org 

Free Gardening Course for 18-26 year-olds starts 21 February

A late reminder about this course based at Slade Gardens Adventure Playground – it will run weekly for 6 Friday sessions, 12 noon to 3 pm with lunch provided, at the corner of Stockwell Park Road and Lorn Road, SW9 0AD.  Enquiries to louisa@urbanfrowth.london or see www.urbangrowth.london/getinvolved

Women in Business

Raise your profile, build your brand, widen your network of contacts, and even get some recognition for your achievements.  Yvonne Thompson of 7 Traits Leadership Learning has given early warning of the WinTRADE global awards, when a series of events over 8-12 June will culminate in presentations at the Park Plaza Hotel on 12 June.  Nominations for the Awards close on 30 March (and yes, you can nominate yourself) – all enquiries to yvonne.thompson@wintradeweek.com

Contact us

Share your news

For inclusion in the March issue, try to send it before 28 February.  These bulletins are usually put together in a hurry, so there may not be time to check details if we get incomplete or conflicting information. We don’t have a team of roving reporters or sub-editors, so your best bet is to send your news in a Press Release format that we can easily digest.  Please continue to send to the Forum Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com

Forum Meetings

We have booked dates for quarterly meetings of the Forum through 2020, but extra meetings can be fitted in if there is demand (offers of extra meeting places also welcome)..  

The next scheduled Forum meeting will be on Thursday 23 April at 7 pm at the Vida Walsh Centre, 2b Saltoun Road, SW2 1EP (Effra Road end, facing Windrush Square and BCA).  Agenda details will be issued nearer the date.

Our mailing list

Please notify admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org

– if you are changing your e-mail or other contact details;

– if you want to add a neighbour or colleague to our e-mail list;

– if you have moved away or no longer wish to receive these bulletins.

Snail-mail welcome too!  

If it suits, you can now post or deliver documents to us at 3Space (6th floor), International House, Canterbury Crescent, SW9 

Bear in mind that we will normally be picking up post only twice a week

Bulletin January 2020

Next Forum Meeting – Thursday 30 January

Our next open meeting will be on Thursday 30 January, open at 6-45 for a 7 pm start, at the Vida Walsh Centre, 2b Saltoun Road SW2 (near Effra Road end, opposite Windrush Square).

We are about to finalise the agenda, so please contact us quickly if you want something included – to the Secretary, Alan Piper on 020 7207 0347, or e-mail to apiperbrix@aol.com

We hope to include the latest stage of the Lambeth Livable Neighbourhoods plan, and we are overdue for an update on Brixton’s Night-time Economy.  We also have a few matters outstanding from last year to catch up with. As usual, we will try to make time for groups to announce any upcoming events or new initiatives. 

More Forum Dates for 2020

So far, we have booked 3 more dates for Forum meetings this year, all on Thursdays at the Vida Walsh Centre – 23 April, 23 July and 22 October.

We can fit in other dates if the need arises, and we welcome offers of other places to meet.

Members asked for a Showcase Event on Windrush Square this year, so that various local groups could have stalls, show off their work and attract more supporters.  We are trying to set this up for May/June and we will confirm the date as soon as we can.

Other local events coming up

Lambeth Country Show – book your pitch soon

Bookings recently opened for sites at the Show, which will be in Brockwell Park on the weekend 18 & 19 July.

Traders, caterers, charities and community groups must book by 4 pm on Friday 14 February.

Musical acts, entertainers and other performers have until Friday 28 February.

Details should be on the Council website by now, or enquire to countryshow@lambeth.gov.uk

Town Centre Developments proposed

Popes Road Extension to Brixton Village: Hondo Enterprises is about to unveil the latest plans for the Sports Direct site in Popes Road, which it bought off Mike Ashley last year.  They will now be displayed on Thursday 30 January from 5 to 8 pm, and on Saturday 1st February from 10 am to 2 pm, in the 1st floor gallery space above Unit 73, 5th Avenue, Brixton Village.

An important element is using the ground-level space to provide more market units, linked into the Brixton Village arcade, but we will be interested to see what’s proposed for the new upper floors between the railway viaducts.

Workshops within the REC building: Lambeth Council is still moving forward slowly with plans to convert disused space behind the Station Road shops into workshop space and training facilities.  The entrance would be from Beehive Place.  Back in November, the Council announced that it would be seeking a partner organisation to manage the refurbished space on its behalf.  The project is funded from the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund.

Windrush Square Memorial: A full planning application has recently been made for siting the memorial to Mrs Cherry Groce on Windrush Square.  Draft designs were shown at our last Forum meeting.  Details are on Lambeth Council’s planning applications database as ref. 20/00088/FUL (access through www.lambeth.gov.uk ). Deadline for comments is 5 February.

The Electric Patterns Project will provide a choice of artist designed patterns to be applied to the roller shutters of shops along Electric Avenue.  Local artists were invited to submit designs last November, and shopkeepers will have a choice from a short list of designs.  Selected artists are due to be notified about now, and will be limited to 4 shutters each to ensure variety along the street.  Final designs should be installed in March and April.

The project is being co-ordinated by the Brixton Project, which developed out of the Brixton Design Trail of a couple of years back.  It is part of the Brixton Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Reliance Arcade: Finally, something which is almost complete, apart from finishing touches still being applied just inside the Brixton Road entrance.  There is a renewed rainbow motif above that entrance, and approaching from that direction you may even glimpse the front of the original Regency house above the arcade.  The high-level glazing has been opened up to public view in the rear half of the arcade.  A combination of small unit sizes and a rent freeze has allowed long-standing businesses to continue in place, without competition from new trendy eating-places. Again, this was funded as part of the Brixton THI. 

Transition Town Brixton responds to the Climate Emergency

Back in November, TTB used one of the Open Project Nights at Pop Brixton’s Impact Hub to brainstorm solutions to the Climate Emergency which Lambeth Council had then just declared.  Participants began dissecting the Council’s “Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan”, to replace the buzzwords by real actions that could actually make a difference.  The Council seemed to start from the point that so many of its services were now contracted out to others that its own emissions were really quite modest already!  However, TTB supporters took the view that we needed to look at the wider picture, taking in not just public services, but all the commercial and household activities within Lambeth. Ambitious perhaps, but it also encourages more people to join in and help make a difference.

To develop ideas more fully, a number of topic groups have been formed and have begun informal meetings and e-mail exchanges – transport, energy, buildings/ housing, rewilding/ nature, consumption and waste, and governance & procurement.  If you want to join in any of these meetings, please e-mail to info@transitiontownbrixton.org or post on www.facebook.com/groups/transitiontownbrixton  

Making Brixton Greener

Urban Growth currently run two practical gardening sessions in Central Brixton.

Thursdays from 10am to 11-30 is Urban Gardening at Pop Farm, within Pop Brixton in Popes Road.

Thursday afternoon sessions are at the Brixton Orchard, on the corner of Brixton Hill and St. Matthew’s Road, SW2.

Both workshops are free and suitable for people with any level of experience.  More information from  info@urbangrowth.london

Friends of Loughborough Park are working to revive this rather secluded and neglected public open space.  There is already a community garden space in one corner, with raised beds for hands-on gardening.  They are now appealing for additional garden plants and for old gardening magazines, to support their environmental education sessions for local children.  Contact their Chair, Dorothy Bell MBE on 07 940 038 438 or belldorothy16@yahoo.com

We know there are other gardening or greening projects out there around Brixton – let’s hear from you! 

Longfield Hall – a Celebration

Friday 31 January starting at 7-30 pm, an evening of entertainment provided by the many artists that use this hall at the corner of Burton Road and Knatchbull Road, SE5. There will be music, dance, comedy, theatre, and even an aerial act!  advance tickets just £5, or £7 on the door.  Enquiries to enquiry@longfieldhall.org.uk 

Activities at Brixton Tate Library

The Friends of Brixton Library are continuing to run two weekly sessions for the next few months, using the former computer training room on the ground floor, to the left of the entrance:

Wake up toTai Chi is a well-attended session on Saturday mornings, 9-30 to 10-30 am.

Craft Wednesdays run from 1-30 to 3-30 pm each week, and so far have included sewing, embroidery,beadwork and macrame.

All enquiries to foftlbrixton@gmail.com

Lambeth Archives temporary closure: Over at the Minet Library, Lambeth Archives will be closed for 2 weeks from Monday 27 January, for their annual stock-taking. They will be open again as normal from Monday 10 February.

Funding, Training and Networking opportunities

Better-connected Community Groups

The Integrate Agency is holding a Networking and Workshops event on Wednesday 29 January from 10 am to 4 pm in the Assembly Hall, Lambeth Town Hall, Acre Lane SW2.  In addition to stalls from various support bodies, there will be a rolling programme of workshops through the day, including Incomer Generation, Social Prescribing, Youth Wellbeing and Sustainabilty.  Book through Eventbrite – enquiries to  richard.davis@integrateagency.co.uk

More Training Events from FSI: Two more training events in prospect from the Federation for Social Improvement:

Over 4th & 5th February, 14 popular training courses are being offered at Amnesty International, 25 New Inn Yard EC2.  Fees for each course are £12.50 to £25.

This will be followed by their Skills Conference, on Tuesday 24 March, again at a Central London location, for a flat fee of £30.

More details on their website, www.thefsi.org

Computer Connections: Do you still have a computer running on Windows 7?  Microsoft stopped supporting this operating system on 14 January.  The current and final version of Windows is Windows 10, which receives updates every 6 months.  if you don’t want to dump the old computer, you could upgrade to Windows 10 to be sure of regular updates.

Tekgia, whom we have mentioned in earlier bulletins as offering discount rates to charities, churches and schools, currently have an offer on MS Windows 10 Professional Upgrade – see their website www.tekgia.com or contact bob@tekgia.com

Crowdfunding can work!

We were pleased to hear, just before Christmas, that WeRise Brixton achieved their Crowdfunding target with pledges of £12,500 from individuals and from local firms.  This qualifies them for an additional £5,000 from the Lambeth Crowdfunder scheme.  This effort was to fund their Youth Connect programme for the year ahead.  Enquiries to abigail@werise.org.uk

Creative Opportunities in Stockwell

Art4Space have several things going on at their Studios at 31 Jeffreys Road, SW4:

Their Social Action Programme is a set of 3 accredited courses which use art training to provide employability and wellbeing impact for women not currently working, but interested in setting up their own business or moving into community work.  They have space for 20 women for the programme starting in February.  The 3 courses are Wellbeing (creative remedies), Creative Enterprise, and employability/ community arts.  Each course is 10 consecutive weekly sessions of 3 hours each.  Apply by 29 January.

Mosaic classes continue every Tuesday evening, as 5 or 10 week courses.  Their After-School Club runs every Thursday 3-30 to 5 pm for children and young people who are interested in learning new creative skills.

They are also conducting activities off-site in connection with local schools and selected community projects. This includes installing mosaic and ceramic artwork at the Roupell Estate community centre.

The Mental Health First Aid Course is being hosted again on 3 & 4 February, in conjunction with It’s a Playground and Studio Moross, at a fee of £300.

Enquiries about all courses and events to jewels@art4space.co.uk

Health and Social Care

Social Prescribing is a new development in Health Care, which allows doctors to refer patients to local organisations for exercise or social activities.  This sounds promising if (say) your Tai Chi class is looking for extra members to help make it viable.  However if the community group is underfunded or lacks space for extra members, the concept falls apart unless the patients referred can also attract new funding to the group.

So, still uncertainty about how it should work, but a number of Link Workers have recently been appointed, each covering a small group of doctors’ surgeries within Lambeth.  They operate under the umbrella of Age UK Lambeth as part of the SAIL scheme.  They will point people towards practical help, learning opportunities, social activities and more.  If your group offers any of these things, it makes sense to get yourselves known to the Link Workers.  One way to find out more is at the 29 January Networking event (above).

Community Connectors – last call: A reminder from our December bulletin, that the next Community Connectors course kicks off on 29 January.  We hear that training sessions will take place at West Norwood Fire Station, Knights Hill SE27.  Community Connectors are volunteers who try to link up their neighbours with local heath and social care facilities.

As before, enquiries to Emma Corker on 07 734 670 300 or emma@rbeassociates.com

Help with Minor Ailments: It seems to take longer nowadays to get an appointment with a doctor, resulting in more people going to hospital A & E departments and waiting several hours to be seen. Yet 20% of GP consultations are only for minor ailments, so the NHS is keen to reduce this part of their workload by diverting people to make more use of their local pharmacy for matters like sore throats, skin conditions and upset stomachs. Consultations can usually be provided without an appointment and with only a few minutes waiting time, and if it turns out to be more serious after all, the pharmacist can point you in the right direction.

Social Enterprise and Small Business Support 

Help from your Library service: You may not realise that help of various kinds is available through your local Library, as part of the Start-ups in London Libraries service.  It’s run in partnership with the British Library’s Business & Intellectual Property Centre, so you can get access to technical publications and standards, and check the position on copyright and registered designs or trademarks.  To register, visit www.bl.uk/sill

For more information on the full range of help available, contact your local SME Champion, Rachel Samuels on 07 944 733 172 or RSamuels1@lambeth.gov.uk

She is based at Brixton Tate Library, but has regular sessions at other Lambeth libraries.

Keep in Touch

Mailing List Updates

Please contact admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org

– if you want to add a neighbour or colleague to our e-mail 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.

News from your corner of Brixton?

Are you putting on an event or starting a new activity?  Do you want to link up with another group?

If you would like something to be included in the February issue, please send it by the end of this month to apiperbrix@aol.com

A basic Press Release style is ideal, because we rarely have time to get back to you if key details are missing, or if we received 3 different versions within a fortnight!

July 2019 Bulletin

Next Forum Meeting – Monday 22 July

We have been able to fit in an extra meeting before the summer break. It’s at 6-45 for 7 pm at the Vida Walsh Centre, 2b Saltoun Road, SW2 1EP (facing onto Windrush Square).

First of all, this is a chance to hear from the Integrate Agency, who have been appointed by Lambeth Council to continue the programme of support and training for community groups that was until February provided by Community Southwark.

We would also like to hear your comments on:

– Traffic around Brixton. Of course we urge you to use the on-line consultation (see below) but is there anything you want to share or query with other Forum members?

– Lambeth Country Show – how was it for you? Whether as a visitor or a stallholder, how could arrangements be improved?

If there is anything else you want to raise or present, please contact us as soon as possible so we can firm up the agenda – to the Forum Secretary, Alan Piper, on apiperbrix@aol.com

We have another Forum meeting booked for Thursday 24 October at the same venue.

Lambeth Country Show, weekend 20/21 July

Open from 12 noon to 7-30 pm each day (last admission 6-30 pm). There are some layout changes, including the main music stage returning to the field above the Lido. Once again the Show will be in a fenced enclosure within Brockwell Park, but this year there will be more gates:

– Entrance A – approach from Brixton Water Lane or the Lido (23 queuing lanes);

– Entrance B – approach from Herne Hill gate (40 lanes);

– Entrance C – approach from Rosendale Road or Norwood Road gates (10 lanes);

– Entrance D – approach from Tulse Hill or Arlingford Road gates (10 lanes).

Lambeth Forum Network

As we said in last month’s e-bulletin, the 14 different forums in and around the borough form the Lambeth Forum Network (LFN). LFN will have a spot at the Show, on Van Gogh Way – look for us about 200 yards downhill from Brockwell Hall, to the right of the path to the Herne Hill gate, beyond the portaloos. Staffing the stall is a shared effort, so if you don’t find a Brixton member when you turn up, there may well be somebody from a nearby forum like Tulse Hill, Vassall or Loughborough Junction.

Local groups taking part

We hear that Friends of Windmill Gardens, the Brixton Society, Friends of Brockwell Park and Age UK Lambeth will have stalls at this year’s show.  If there are any more of you taking part, please take the opportunity to introduce yourselves.

More news, events and activities around Brixton

Consultation on Traffic Around Brixton – Act Now!

We contributed to planning improvements to Atlantic Road a couple of years back, but Transport for London have now asked for ideas for improvements over a wider area, to create “low traffic neighbourhoods”.  The emphasis is on encouraging walking and cycling, and discouraging cars from “rat-running” through residential streets to get to somewhere else. 

The current on-line consultation aims to pick up problems and suggestions within a fairly wide area around Brixton. It is bounded by Brixton Water Lane, via Brixton Hill and through Blenheim Gardens to Lyham Road, thence northwards via Bedford Road to Clapham North Tube Station, then via Landor Road, crossing Stockwell Road to Robsart Street, across Brixton Road and along Loughborough Junction, then via Milkwood Road to Herne Hill Station.  Curiously, Dulwich Road is omitted.

Publicity has been patchy – it’s not on the Consultations page of the Lambeth website, and the closing date is unclear.  So we urge you to get your comments in soon – see the website https://brixtonlnmap.commonplace.is

And remember to share local issues with us too, so we can add our weight to local concerns.

Dexter Playground Decision

In January we flagged up that Lambeth was inviting proposals for running the Dexter Adventure Playground on Railton Road.  Despite tight deadlines, 19 organisations expressed interest, including the Moorland Community Development Group.  Lambeth announced on 4th July that it would sign a 10-year lease with BIGKID, who already run a programme based in Stockwell.  From Autumn 2018, the playground was operated 3 evenings a week by Play at Heart, on a temporary basis, but it’s recently been dormant again.

Services should resume on site once formalities are completed between the Council and the new operators. 

200 Years of Brixton Prison

Friends of Windmill Gardens tell us that they will have a presence at an event in Jebb Avenue, outside the prison, to mark its 200th anniversary. It will be on Friday 26 July, from 2 to 5 pm.

Events in Windmill Gardens

Other events within Windmill Gardens include Art in the Park on Sunday 11 August.  Funding from the Mayor’s National Park City Fund has enabled FoWG to offer 4 free Tai Chi sessions this month – Saturday 20th, Tuesday 23rd, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th.  Each starts at 11 am and lasts 90 minutes maximum.

The Windmill itself is open for tours at least one weekend a month until October – for dates or to book a place on a full tour, see www.brixtonwindmill.org/visit

Security Survey for Brixton BID

We Rise has been collaborating with the Brixton Business Improvement District to survey local business views on security priorities.  Responses were being collected this week, and will then be analysed to report to the BID in September.

We Rise conducted the last of its Summer series of Careers Networking events on 9th July.  Each event focuses on a specific field of business, and this one covered Marketing and Enterprise.  A new series will start up again in the Autumn. Enquiries to hello@werise.org.uk

Night-Time Economy update

Three workshops were held locally in May and June, including residents, businesses, key venues and other stakeholders.  Night Time Economy Solutions Ltd. have been commissioned to report back in September with proposals based on techniques which have been applied in other town centres around the country.  We will keep you informed as the situation develops.

Lambeth Community Solar Energy Project

Lambeth Community Solar, Lambeth’s first borough-wide energy co-op, is proposing to install community-owned solar panels on schools, community buildings and businesses across the borough. Not only will this generate clean green electricity, but the profits from the sale of electricity will not only refund the investors, but also support energy advice, education and innovation projects within the borough.

Already there are plans to install solar panels on Elm Green and Norwood Schools in the south of the borough.  To fund this, a community share offer will be launched in September, seeking investments from £100 upwards and offering an average 3% interest.  At this stage, the focus is on raising awareness, but we may ask LCS to come to our October meeting to tell us more.  That would still fall neatly within the timeframe of the share offer.

LCS is supported by Repowering London, www.repowering.org.uk

Longfield Hall update

Bear in mind that some of the regular classes and exercise sessions take a break over the summer – please check with class leaders or see the website, www.longfieldhall.org.uk

Meanwhile there are a couple of shows coming up – 

Space in the City, a free show at 6 pm on Wednesday 24 July, to showcase the work of resident dance and drama groups.

The Merry Wives of Windsor, at 7 pm on Saturday 27 July, tickets £5 (£3 concessions), Shakespeare’s play presented by Open Bar Theatre.

Longfield Hall recently received a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for a project recalling the Dark and Light Theatre Company, who were based at the hall in the 1970s.This will include an 8-week drama course for people over 50, running from September, and a 3-day drama course for the 8-14 age range in the October half term.

Look ahead to the Celebrating Age Festival

October will once again offer a series of events for older people.  If you are considering an event or activity, contact Age UK Lambeth to get the details included in their programme and other linked publicity – e-mail to info@ageuklambeth.org

20 years of Art4Space at Stockwell

It’s 20 years since Art4Space was established, and they have been in Stockwell ever since.  They are putting on a festival on Friday 26 July, 4 pm to 10 pm, at the Art4Space Art Centre, 31 Jeffreys Road, SW4 6QU.  All welcome – but particularly if you have a project in mind with scope for mosaic or ceramics, whether an installation or some hands-on activity for your members. Enquiries to jewels@art4space.co.uk or see their website, www.art4space.co.uk

Sexual Health Services

King’s College Hospital launched South London’s first sexual health service for trans-gender and non-binary people in April.  This is funded by the 3 boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham, and the Health Innovation Network, in partnership with CliniQ. The walk-in clinic runs every Tuesday from 4 pm to 7 pm, at the Caldecot Centre within the King’s College campus, off Coldharbour Lane, SE5. More information from www.cliniq.org.uk

Funding, training and support

Finding Volunteers

A common concern among community groups is finding more volunteers to help out. It’s more difficult when you need somebody with particular skills, such as a treasurer or book-keeper who can add up.  The first step is probably to take stock of who you are looking for, and think about how you will brief and support them.  Lambeth Council has adopted a scheme for Council staff to contribute up to 3 days a year to voluntary or community groups based in the borough, supported by Paxton Green TimeBank.  Lambeth Forum Network will be represented at an open afternoon for potential Council volunteers on Wednesday 17 July.  We will be happy to canvass on your behalf – but you need to send us information about what you do and who you need NOW – to Alan Piper at apiperbrix@aol.com

Rethink the collection box

With more people using card or contactless payments, rather than cash, maybe the traditional charity collecting box needs to move into the 21st Century?

ECL Plastics have launched a range of hybrid donation boxes and contactless donation devices to suit – more information at www.direct-fundraising.co.uk or contactcontactless@eclplastics.co.uk

Business Support

Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between grass-roots business start-ups and small community groups, but there are resources out there which can be useful to both…

Linking up with Impact Brixton

You don’t have to be based in Impact Brixton (at the back of Pop Brixton) to get some of the benefits of membership. 

Open Project Nights continue, free, in the Impact Hub on Monday evenings, 6-30 pm (with free food if you get there promptly).  More effective though if you plug-in to the on-line discussions or set up your own meet-up or talk as part of the evening.

Connect Membership is available for non-resident individuals or enterprises, providing most of the full membership benefits.  Sign up before the end of this month for £18 a month (fixed forever they say) or leave it till 1st August and it will be £29.99 a month (inc. VAT).

Apart from plugging-in to regular news of up-coming events, there’s a Tea and Cake session on Wednesdays at 4 pm – great for informal networking. There’s also a free Members Lunch Club on Fridays at 1 pm, which seems to be working its way through a list of all the local cafes and cuisines.

The Designer Showdeck on 15 August, 7 to 10 pm, is a chance for freelancers to connect with South London businesses looking for designers in VFX, film, architecture, graphic design and more – but apply now.

Black British Bloggers Co-Working Day will be on 17 August, from 11 am to 5 pm. A chance to mingle with fellow on-line content creators, fine-tune your skills and attend a series of workshops.  Also another opportunity to sign up for Impact Brixton membership at a discount rate.

Get into Film, VFX and Animation on Saturday 27 July, 12 noon to 4 pm, for the 13-19 age group. Free but you need to register. Culture in the Craft is taking over Impact Brixton for a “chop and chat” with a team of industry pros.

All enquiries to team@impactbrixton.com or see their website.

Moving into the Food or Drink Business?

Is your start-up a brand of the future? How would you pitch to a big retailer? UK Future Brands is a strand of Food Matters Live, an industry exhibition devoted to food, drink and sustainable nutrition.  It takes place at Excel on 19 & 20 November.  Applications are now being invited from innovative enterprises – for more details seehttps;//fulreg.wufoo.com/forms/q1lqyk7m179zphb or general enquiries to(020) 3735 5960 or info@foodmatterslive.com 

Trade Shows

Trade Shows are useful opportunities to see what the competition is doing and to spot emerging trends, even gaps in the market.  Before you consider exhibiting, it’s worth checking out what sort of customers a particular event will attract, and how many of them could be potential customers for your own enterprise.

The Business Show at Excel on 27 & 28 November is rather generic, with the emphasis on business-to-business support, but it offers lots of short free seminars. If you are looking for a particular business sector, get in touch in case we can suggest events of interest – some really obscure events come to our notice!

Keep in Touch

Spreading the Word

We aim to issue these bulletins each month – even in August – so if you want something included then, please ensure it reaches us by 5th August , and send to apiperbrix@aol.com

We will give priority to Brixton items, and please remember it takes a few days to compile the bulletin and distribute it, even digitally, so there’s no point now in telling us about an event planned for the 7th!

Money Matters

We want to develop other funding sources for the Forum, in addition to our grant through the LFN. As a first step, we are encouraging local groups to pay a membership subscription.  You may receive an invoice in the month ahead, as we work our way through the contact list.

Subscription 2019
There is an annual subscription fee of £5 for individuals £2 for concessions, and £25 for community organisations. This is to cover basic costs without full reliance on external grants. 
Subscribe online at www.brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org Follow the Membership link to the Paypal facility BACS Co-operative Bank Acc. 65560051 Sort code 08-92-99

The Mailing List

We want to be sure we are reaching as many groups and activists as possible. Please tell us if:

– You want to add a colleague, or another group, to the mailing list;

– You want to change your e-mail address so you receive news more quickly or reliably, instead of through a half-forgotten mailbox;

– You have moved away or are no longer interested.

Please advise all such changes to admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org 

April 2019 Bulletin

News, Events and Activities

Windmill Gardens – Beer & Bread Festival 

This will be the next major event in Windmill Gardens, open between 1 pm and 5 pm on Bank Holiday Monday, 6 May.
Brixton Windmill itself will now be open for tours one weekend a month until October – for dates and bookings, see the Friends website, www.brixtonwindmill.org 

Events at Impact Brixton

The Hub at the back of Pop Brixton has an ongoing programme of training sessions and workshops, mainly to support those getting small enterprises underway.  Free or discounted rates for those who are already members of the Hub. Two notable sessions are coming up on Thursday 25 April:

Overcoming barriers on the way to success, 2 pm to 3-30 pm, non-members £5, free to members, workshop led by Vegard Olsen as part of the Business Helpdesk series.

The Mom Test – How to talk to customers and learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you,6-30 to 8 pm, non-members £15, members £5, a talk based on Rob Fitzpatrick’s bestseller. Register athttps://themomtest.eventbrite.co.uk

For more events, see their website, www.brixtonimpacthub.net or enquiries to Tamara Amarquaye on (020) 7926 3032 or e-mail tamara@impactbrixton.com

Creative Community Placemakers Network

A network covering Creatives, Artists, Performers, Designers, Placemakers and Community groups is being developed by Jacqueline Bleicher of Global Urban Design.  She has organised a meeting to explore the idea on Tuesday 30 April, 6 pm to 7 pm at the Basement level of Lambeth Town Hall, 1 Brixton Hill SW2. If interested, please register via Eventbrite on www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/creative-community-placemakers-network-tickets-59300768194
or e-mail to enquiries@globalurbandesign.org or call 07 570 438 977.

Brixton Community Base

Under the banner of Common Ground, Brixton Community Base has launched a new series of classes for over 55s.  All Classes are free and held at Brixton Community Base in Talma Road, SW2 1AS.  To sign up, contact Jane on 07 941 624 247 or e-mail to brixtoncommunitybase@gmail.com
Topics include:
Drama Workshop, Saturdays 20 & 27 April, 10-30 am to 12-30 pm, Arts & Crafts, Thursdays from 2nd May, 2 pm to 3 pm;
Yoga, Thursdays from 30 May, 2 pm to 3 pm.

Youth Connect Careers Event

A reminder that We Rise is holding monthly careers events, each focussing on a different field of work, in conjunction with Business Launchpad.  Each is at International House, Popes Road, SW9, between 5 pm and 7 pm.  These are aimed at Lambeth-based 16-18 year-olds, to help them explore different careers and build conections with professionals in those fields.  Enquiries to: hello@werise.org.uk
Next up are:
– Tuesday 14 May –  Health & Sport, 
– Tuesday 4 June – Finance & Tech.

Support the Remakery!

A familiar story around Brixton these days is of landlords jacking up rents and thereby pricing out familiar traders and community organisations.  More disappointing though when it’s Lambeth Council adopting the greedy landlord approach. The Remakery, below Council flats on the corner of  Lilford Road and Paulet Road, is facing a rent review in July, with the threat of its annual rent increasing from £6,000 to £40,000 a year – hardly realistic when the whole turnover of the organisation is only £28,000 a year.  It looks unlikely that a commercial business would want to take over this remote location.


The Remakery – or Lambeth Re-use Centre –  was set up a few years ago, with Council support, to encourage recycling of unwanted objects into resaleable goods, and to help people learn practical skills.  Once again a grassroots project appears to be the victim of the Council losing interest once the novelty wears off.

Were you around back in 1971?

An unusual request from a documentary film company, On The Corner Films:  They are producing a documentary series focussed on the music, culture and politics of the year 1971. They are particularly keen to track down home movie footage, particularly of people playing or listening to music, or at music festivals or carnivals. See also their website, www.onthecorner.tv


If you (or your granny!) have anything to share, contact Natalie Fiennes on 07 986 559 115 or e-mail to natalie@onthecorner.tv

Community Business Weekend – 16/19 May

Do you run a Community Business? Want to find new customers, volunteers or members? This event can showcase your impact and provide free marketing support (and some bunting).  Word came to us via Locality but the event is organised by Power to Change – more details at their website, www.powertochange.org.uk

Your Views on Events in Parks and open spaces – reminder

We discussed this at our last meeting on 1st April, and the main concerns expressed were:

– Large areas of public open space are being taken out of use for long periods so commercial events can be staged on them.

– Although this is supposed to be to raise money, finances are not transparent about how much comes back to that park, or to Lambeth parks generally.

– These events cause damage to grass and paving from heavy vehicles, concentrated footfall and temporary structures. There is not enough time between events for the ground to recover.

– Noise disturbance to people living around the park, particularly from entertainment events.

– Community-based events are discouraged by the demand from commercial events, and by cumbersome booking arrangements designed for bigger events.

Have we missed anything?  We encourage you to respond directly to the Council – see www.lambeth.gov.uk and follow the links to the Consultations page. The closing date for comments is Sunday 5 May.

Funding, Support and Training opportunitiesLambeth Wellbeing Fund projects

Last year we published details of this grant programme, and it’s good to see several local projects now being supported from Round 3, including Brixton Community Base, Community Education Foundation/ Lyncx, Moorlands Community Development Project, The Remakery and Ubele.  A few examples are mentioned in this bulletin, or the previous one.  More recently, Friends of Brixton Tate Library were awarded funding for a series of Tai Chi sessions at the Library on Saturday mornings, starting in May.

Introduction to Computer Skills Course

Just about to start at Mosaic Clubhouse, 65 Effra Road, SW2 – assessment session on Wednesday 24 April, 11 am to 1 pm.  Course will run from Wednesday 1 May until 10 July, 11 am to 1 pm at Mosaic Clubhouse.  The course will cover key computer skills including e-mail, web search and basic Microsoft programs Word and Excel.  You will gain a City & Guilds Functional ICT qualification.  This course is free to Lambeth residents on benefits.  Enquiries to Sinead on (020) 7924 9657 or s.obrien@mosaic-clubhouse.org

Tech Mates at Pop Brixton

For older residents, Pop Brixtonhosts introductory sessions on computers, smartphones and IT on Thursday mornings, 10 to 11 am.  Equipment is provided but feel free to bring your own phone, laptop or tablet – particularly if you are struggling with how to make it work! This free class is led by Pop member, KHK Technology, who supply refurbished IT equipment to schools and other organisations.  NB – limited to 6 places per session, sign up through the Pop Brixton website or enquiries toinfo@popbrixton.org

First Aid Skills Day for over 50s

Another event at Pop Brixton in Brixton Station Road – St. John’s Ambulanceare holding a free First Aid Skills session (with lunch!) on Thursday 23 May, 11 am to 2-30 pm. The aim is to build up a network of first aid champions among local community groups.  For enquiries or bookings, contact Rosie on 07 896 969 869 or e-mail to rosie.mcgloughlin@sja.org.uk

Achieving Life Balance Workshop

Wise Women Wellness presents a free self-development programme, Sista Self-care Coaching Circle, for a small group of women to learn the 6 life domains, set goals and boost confidence in a supportive coaching group.  Sessions over 7 weeks at the Eurolink Centre, Effra Road, SW2, the first on Saturday 27 April, 9-30 am to 4 pm, then on Tuesday evenings.  Supported by the Ubele Initiative and funded via LCF.  To book, call Sharon Brooks on 07 973 825 255 or e-mail toinfo@wisewomenwellness.org.uk

Lambeth Larder Resources Directory

Lambeth Larder started with a church-based group in Kennington in 2015, trying to map community food resources. When the pilot scheme ended, they decided their online map was too useful a resource to let go, so they managed to find more funding to expand the project and also publish paper copies of their Directory, a 20-page free guide to food banks, advice centres and other support groups.  Lambeth Larder now works in partnership with Brixton Advice Centre, and last year its resources reached 35,000 people around the borough. Enquiries to info@lambethlarder.org or to download the directory, go to the web pages below.

In fact there are several strands of information about health services, advice and community contacts to be found by exploring the revamped Public Health web pages within the Lambeth Council website: Start from www.lambeth.gov.uk/adult-social-care-and-health/your-health

Volunteers Wanted!

Loughborough Farm (on Loughborough Road, opposite Wyck Gardens) is hosting a Welcome session for new and prospective volunteers on Saturday 27 April from 1-15 pm. This will include a tour of the space and an introduction to how it is run. The session will last about an hour, but you are welcome to stay for the tea-break afterwards. Regular volunteering is an opportunity to pick up or refresh basic gardening skills, such as sowing, transplanting, composting and harvesting. Please book your place by e-mail to Emily at loughboroughfarm@gmail.com

If your project needs volunteers for certain tasks, why not advertise your needs in our next bulletin?

Measnwhile, national charities are not hesitating to ask.  News just in from Keep Britain Tidy that they are seeking volunteers (over 18) for their Litter Heroes Ambassador Programme, for people who want to get their communities involved in litter-picking and improving public spaces for all.  Applications are open until Monday 6 May. For more information contact LHAmbassador@keepbritaintidy.org

Directory of Social Change

We continue to receive occasional updates from the Directory of Social Change about their funding directories, charity management handbooks and training courses. For more details about all of these, see their website at www.dsc.org.uk 

Keeping in Touch

Forum Meetings

We are currently trying to firm up a couple of informal meetings to plan Forum activities through 2019.  You are all welcome to attend the next General Meeting of the Forum – it has been booked for Thursday 27 June, 6-45 pmat the Vida Walsh Centre, 2b Saltoun Road, SW2 (facing onto Windrush Square).

Future Bulletins

We aim to issue these bulletins each month, so if you want to include something in our next issue, please send it to us before11 May.We are often short of time, so earlier is better – and after allowing for editing and distribution, there’s not much point in telling us about events happening much before the 18/19 May weekend. Please send direct to apiperbrix@aol.com

Stay Connected!

It looks impressive if we build up a long list of contacts, but we much prefer if the information is reaching people who are still active and in a position to make use of some of it.
Please respond to this e-mail to tell us if:
– You have moved away or are no longer interested in Brixton affairs;
– You want to add a colleague or a related group to the contact list;
– You want to change your contact details so you get these bulletins sooner or more reliably.