Tag Archives: News

March 2020

Forum Meetings update

Based on public health advice on avoiding face-to-face contact, the Forum meeting on 23 April is cancelled.  The next Forum meeting would be on Thursday 23 July but we will see how the situation develops. 

In the meantime, we will continue to share information by e-mail – please also use this channel to reach out to other local organisations.

Community Showcase Event

We originally set the date for our event on Windrush Square as Saturday 27 June to allow for Lambeth’s ponderous application process.  It now looks as if that may need to be pushed back even further on public health grounds.  

To recap, the idea was for member groups to set up stalls on Windrush Square to show off what they do, and maybe do a bit of fund-raising too.  Although we cannot be precise about the timing yet, it will help our planning if you can tell us if your group would be interested in taking part in this sort of event – please respond to apiperbrix@aol.com

Don’t call at the office!

No sooner had we got settled into our new office base on the 6th floor of International House, than the Coronavirus epidemic hit, and the Forum team have mostly reverted to working from home.  Most other occupants of International House are doing the same, so the building is only ticking over with a skeleton staff.  The front reception desk is not staffed for the time being, so access is via the loading bay and only by prior arrangement.

Not far away, Impact Brixton’s new hub at 17a Electric Lane is also quiet, though not quite dormant.  The official re-launch event on 26 March has been cancelled, but their pre-launch discount offer on space has been extended to 6th April.  Regular events like the Open Project Night are suspended.  Enquiries to team@impactbrixton.com

Health Precautions and Social Care

Current Health Advice

The best source is the NHS itself, at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

If you or a family member appears to have symptoms, see www.nhs.uk/coronavirus for advice on how to isolate the household.

For an overview of how all Lambeth Council services are affected, see www.lambeth.gov.uk/coronavirus

Self-isolating – but not alone!

Around Lambeth, local residents are getting together to help out their community – contact the Lambeth Covid 19 mutual aid group on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/214918153220011/?ref=share

This links to lots of locally-based WhatsApp groups, e.g. for the Poets Corner/ Railton Road group call 07 787 511 201 or 07 311 865 874.

Get in touch if you are self-isolating and need someone to run errands, or if you can offer help in some way.

Sainsburys early opening for pensioners and NHS staff

Sainsbury’s has reset its opening hours across all stores to 8 am to 8 pm Monday to Saturday (Sundays unchanged) to allow more time for staff to re-stock the shelves.  Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the first hour (up to 9 am) will be reserved for elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers. 

A separate time-slot is now being set up for NHS staff and care workers.

Tesco has since announced it will be prioritising the elderly and vulnerable for one hour, between 9 am and 10 am, again on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (except at its Express stores).  Check the websites of the major supermarkets for latest updates.

By the way, the Brixton Buzz website suggests the smaller supermarket branches without car parking are less likely to be picked clean by car-borne shoppers.

Getting some fresh air

Parks and Countryside

Parks are a vital breathing space at this time, but to avoid their early closure, please be considerate and keep your distance.  Joggers in particular should steer clear of other people on the paths, as your huffing and puffing increases the risk of aerosol transmission to other people nearby.

Lambeth Parks are remaining open for the time being but toilets, children’s playgrounds, sports facilities and cafes will be closed.  Group events and activities within parks may be curtailed – please check with organisers or refer to the relevant Friends group website.  In Windmill Gardens, Tai Chi sessions were continuing because there’s room to spread out.  In Myatt’s Fields Park, Stay & Play sessions at the Mulberry Centre, LEAP events and Lambeth Tigers football training are all suspended.

The National Trust has closed its parks and gardens (e.g. Morden Park) though its countryside and coastline areas remain accessible – but it’s prudent to avoid the popular spots.


Coronavirus (Covid – 19) and volunteering events in parks   All remain open at the present time; Lambeth are currently following advice issued by Central Government. Lambeth Council has also set up a dedicated page on its website which can be viewed here.

Lambeth have also made the decision to cancel council-led volunteering activities, including community and corporate workdays – we will review this on a regular basis. 

Lambeth genuinely appreciates everything that stakeholder groups and volunteers do in our parks and open spaces to make them safe, green and welcoming for everybody but your safety and well-being should come first at all times. With a potentially reduced workforce if you need to contact us please email your normal point of contact copying in parks@lambeth.gov.uk and we’ll aim to deliver with enquiries as promptly as we can.  Dr Iain Boulton Environmental Compliance Officer, Parks Development Team Lambeth Parks and Open Spaces Environment and Streetscene Residents’ Services London Borough of Lambeth. 



Practical Gardening

Gardening sessions were continuing normally in Windmill Gardens and at Loughborough Farm, but have ceased at Pop Brixton (fully closed), at Myatt’s Fields Park, and at the Great North Wood Project run by London Wildlife Trust.

Walking round the neighbourhood

A busy programme of guided walks was due to kick off next month, but demands for social distancing mean that organised walks generally are in abeyance for at least the next month or two.  Some of the local groups have published heritage trails or walk routes so maybe you can still get out and explore solo?  See www.lambethlocalhistoryforum.org.uk 

Funding, Training and Support

Keeping community organisations active

Lambeth Council has come together with several other funders to offer a more flexible, friendly and financially understanding approach to the voluntary and community organisations that it currently funds.  This should allow for activities and outcomes to be adapted to suit changing circumstances. If reporting deadlines or spending patterns need to change, the advice is to consult funders early so that changes can be agreed.  London Funders are aware that there may also be impacts on projected income streams for projects.

To see the full list of funders who have committed to a more flexible approach, see https://londonfunders.org.uk/about/covid-19

The Greater London Authority and the City Bridge Trust have set aside £1 million each to launch a fund to support London’s voluntary sector at this uncertain time.  The emergency scheme will be co-ordinated by London Funders (as above).

A special section of the London.gov.uk website will shortly be set up to help link organisations in need of volunteers with individuals willing to help.

Also look out for further e-bulletins from the Integrate Agency, including funding leads.

Challenges for social enterprises and small businesses

The Government have introduced measures to help businesses through this difficult time, though some will be more exposed than others.

First check out: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

A good source of free independent advice is the smallbusiness.co.uk website.

And of course, don’t forget our own Brixton BID as a source of advice – although staff are now working remotely, you can still reach them via admin@brixtonbid.co.uk

Training goes on-line

The Directory of Social Change have reminded us that, even if the normal training courses are suspended, they already offer several on-line courses.  There is also an extensive On-line Funding advice service (on a subscription basis).  For updates, see www.dsc.org.uk

We expect to hear about more on-line training offers, webinars etc in the next couple of weeks.

News (but hardly any events!)

Brixton’s Nightlife curtailed

Brixton’s bars and restaurants are a major attraction for people from a wide area, but this also increases the risk of Coronavirus transmission, so it may be for the best that the Government has closed them across the country.  We should commend the local enterprises which saw the danger and closed before the Government ban, including the PoW, Pop Brixton, Market House, Canteen, Laundry, Cafe Cairo, Phonox, Ritzy (and Upstairs), Whirled Cinema and the Effra Hall Tavern.

Public transport reduced

A key driver of Brixton’s weekend night-life is the Night Tube, which is being curtailed for the time being.  Public Transport generally is being scaled down in frequency, in response to the reduced number of commuters, with more people working from home or in quarantine.  Some intermediate Tube stations without interchange are being closed to conserve resources – on the Victoria Line, that’s only Pimlico and Blackhorse Road, but check the TfL website before you travel.  TfL advice is that you should only take public transport when essential.

National Rail services are also being reduced – see www.nationalrail.co.uk

Lambeth Libraries closed

After first curtailing library-based events and activities, Lambeth has now closed all its libraries.  Lambeth Archives is closed to visitors but staff will try to assist with e-mail or telephone enquiries.  However, if you have a library card, digital books, magazines etc are still available for free at http://lambeth.rbdigitalglobal.com/

The Brixton Rec and other leisure centres run by Better/GLL are also now closed.

The Black Cultural Archives is also closed to the public, but staff will be working from home on ongoing projects, and can be contacted via info@bcaheritage.org.uk or phone (020) 3757 8500.

Events cancelled or postponed?

Lots of messages received this past week about proposed events no longer happening.  Some have already been re-arranged for various dates between July and October, though July is now beginning to look a bit early, based on recent Government comments.  We can only remind you to check the websites of local organisations whose events you usually attend – I hear many are trying to update them more frequently as the situation develops.

Contact us 

News and comments welcome

We welcome hearing from you at any time, but if you want something included in our e-bulletins, please send it to apiperbrix@aol.com – by 29 March if you want it to appear in our April issue.

Keep our mailing list up-to-date

Now more than ever, we want to ensure that information and useful contacts are being shared with local groups and Forum members. Help keep our mailing list current by notifying admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org

– if you want to add a colleague or neighbour to our contact list;

– if you prefer us to send to a different e-mail address, or other details have changed;

– if you have moved away or are no longer interested.

Stay safe – keep your distance!

March 2020 – What was going to be

This page is included as ‘historic documentation’ of events and activities that were in train just as the coronavirus pandemic was beginning to affect public life and overtaking the ability of our editorial to keep up

Forum Events

Our Next Forum Meeting – 23 April

The next Forum meeting scheduled for Thursday 23 April has been cancelled

Changing Plans

The situation with the Corona virus outbreak is changing from day to day, so for all events listed in this bulletin, we suggest you check with the organisers whether they are still happening as announced.  Already the annual get-together of leading members of all 14 Neighbourhood Forums in Lambeth has been postponed until late summer/ autumn. Please tell us if something your group has announced in these bulletins has been cancelled, postponed or otherwise altered.

Community Showcase Event – 27 June

We have been working on an opportunity for local organisations to set up their stalls and shelters in Windrush Square on Saturday 27 June.

This sounds a long way off, and the Corona virus situation makes it very uncertain, but we had to apply early to secure the site.  Sadly Lambeth’s application process is the same for small community events as if we wanted to book the whole of Brockwell Park for a 50,000 people weekender!  Detailed arrangements may change during negotiations with Lambeth Events staff, but we intend the event to be open to the public between 11 am and 5 pm (set up from 9-30 am, clear away by 6-30 pm).

We will be issuing more information shortly, but it would be good to hear from you soon if you want to reserve a pitch, since space is limited. Brixton community organisations and local charities will have priority.  

Health and Social Care

Coronavirus Advice

Subject to the possibility of stricter distancing rules, we are sharing some health hints from our friends at Brixton Therapy Centre and Age Concern Lambeth:

> Keep your distance – avoid unnecessary contact like handshakes or hugs.

> Wash your hands regularly – particularly after using public transport, after any coughs or sneezes, and before handling food.

> If you feel unwell, stay at home and minimise contact with people, preferably for 7 days. Call NHS 111 for advice, rather than go to your GP or hospital.

If your organisation depends on just one or two key workers, they should also be following these hints for maintaining good general health:

> Make sure you get enough sleep.

> Prolonged use of laptops and i-phones in cafes or at the kitchen table means more strain on your eyesight and posture than the big old-fashioned PCs in typical offices of 20 years ago.  If you have an office, does its layout help or hinder? Take regular breaks, move around a bit, even look at the view out the window so your eyes can shift focus.  

> Go for long walks in the fresh air (weather permitting).

> Warm up before any vigorous exercise, to avoid strain.

> Eat healthy – try to get your 5-a-day of vegetables and fruit.  Cut down on red meat, sugar and refined carbohydrates.  BTC recommend more garlic, ginger and turmeric, and good quality honey.

The Future of Landor Road Hospital site

Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLAM) are reviewing mental health services based at Lambeth Hospital on Landor Road, SW9.  The proposal is to move 4 acute adult wards and a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit to a new building on the Maudsley Hospital site in Denmark Hill, 3 miles away.  There will be no change in the total number of beds.

A 12-week public consultation period was due to start at the end of February, but we are still awaiting more details. Meanwhile, we can say that comments should be sent to lambethconsultation@londoncommunications.co.uk

Changes to Social Prescribing Service

Age UK Lambeth have announced that their social prescribing service, launched a few months ago as Safe and Independent Living (SAIL) is now rebadged as MyCommunity Lambeth.  What’s more, the service is now open to anyone over 18 who is in need of support.  As before, people can access the service on-line through the Age UK Lambeth website, or call the team directly on (020) 7346 6800.

 
Funding, Training and Support

More Training through the FSI

Training and information resources from the Foundation for Social Improvement to tell you about this time – more details are on their website at www.thefsi.org

Small Charities Coalition

Another body offering training and support to small charities, membership is free and aimed at bodies with an annual income below £350,000.

They provide four key services:

– Helpdesk and information service, accessible by phone or e-mail, and backed-up by a weekly e-bulletin.

– Mentoring by experienced people from larger charities, businesses or the public sector, for periods from a few weeks to 6 months. For more information contact mentoring@smallcharities.org.uk

– Training, typically at £30 per session.

– Policy and Advocacy, to raise the concerns of smaller charities with policy-makers and funders.

For further information, contact them at info@smallcharities.org.uk

Training Hub by the Barrier Block

Southwyck Community Hall on Moreland Road SW9  recently re-opened as a community training hub.  Millennium Community Services CIC provide community-led training services, including a Job Club, art sessions, IT skills, and English as a Second Language.  Further planned services include fitness for all ages, motivational speaking, and internet radio.

For more information on the courses and their availability contact gailalisonthompson@yahoo.co.uk


So you need more volunteers?

Remember, the first step is always to consider what tasks need doing, and then think about how new people would best work with your team – do you need a specialist to sort out an issue and then move on, or do you need extra pairs of hands to help you cope with more users? Here’s a few sources to explore:

Town Hall Time Bank: Did you realise that all Lambeth Council staff can take up to 21 paid hours per year to volunteer within the borough? The Town Hall Time Bank is a joint effort between Time4Lambeth and the Lambeth Forum Network (LFN). Enquiries to timebank@lambeth.gov.uk

Link UP London: They aim to connect volunteers with professional skills to local community groups, charities and social enterprises. They cureently operate in Lambeth and Wandsworth.  Projects or placements are usually short-term, structured and flexible to fit into busy schedules.  For more info, see their website www.linkuplondon.org or contact them at hello@linkuplondon.org

Paxton Green Time Bank: The emphasis is on encouraging individual residents to share and exchange their skills and time.  Present coverage extends down the eastern side of the borough, overlapping into Southwark too.  For more, see their website www.pgtimebank.org or e-mail to broker@pgtimebank.org

More News and Events

– Subject to late changes. Please  check their latest information

Impact Brixton re-launch in their new home

The former Impact Hub will officially re-launch in the former Photofusion Gallery on Thursday 26 March.  They are offering 30 days free membership to anyone who signs up before midnight on the 26th.  The new space extends to 6,000 square feet and includes a podcast room, meeting rooms, event space, training room, industrial kitchen and business concierge service.  The official address is 17a Electric Lane, London SW9 8LA.

Among other things, they are looking for Hosts to join their monthly membership programme – volunteer for 4.5 hours a week to support the running of the space, and in echange receive 100 hours per month of free workspace, plus access to free member events, a registered business address and discount rates for room hire.  Enquiries to team@impactbrixton.com or see www.impactbrixton.com

Events at Brixton Library

Adventures with Electricity: Thursday 26 March from 7 pm. Local musician and writer Peter Phillips describes the life and work of his grandfather Percy Phillips.  In 1955 Percy opened Liverpool’s first recording studio, Phillips Sound Recording Service, which recorded the first discs of Ken Dodd, Billy Fury and the Beatles. Hear archive recordings and see original photographs from the studio, followed by Q&A.  Free event, organised by the Library Friends and the Writers’ Group at Brixton Community Base.

Windrush and beyond – tracing your African Caribbean ancestors: Saturday 28 March, 2-30 to 4-30 pm, a masterclass led by Paul Crooks, author and genealogist. Free but book with the library or contact TODell@email.lambeth.gov.uk

Spring Bazaar: also on Saturday 28 March, in front of the library railings, 11 am to 2 pm, including a gardening workshop.  Organised by the Friends of Tate Library Brixton to help raise funds for library-based activities.  Followed by the launch of a gardening book at 2 pm in the main library.

Tai Chi extended: Friends of Tate Library have agreed with the funders for the free Saturday morning sessions to be extended until 4th July.  Due to the high turnout, no new registrations can be accepted.  If you have been registered but can no longer attend, please notify foftlbrixton@gmail.com because there are still people on the waiting list.

Brixton Windmill

The fast changing public health situation has regrettably led to the cancellation of open days, schools visits, guided walks and events until at least May, however Tai Chi and volunteer gardening continue for now at Windmill Gardens. Milling is also continuing, and stockists of the flour (along with the latest news) can be found on the website  www.brixtonwindmill.org

Longfield Hall activities

Please see the website for the latest, or contact details, www.longfieldhall.org.uk/events

Planning ahead – reminders………..

Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood consultation

Although consultation on the first phase closed on 7th March, there will be a further round in May, this time focussing on the Town Centre, the St. Matthew’s Estate, and on streets west of Brixton Hill, between Blenheim Gardens and Acre Lane. More details nearer the time.

Affordable Workspace

Lambeth has published a draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to amplify its updated policy in the Lambeth Local Plan.  Basically, it aims to safeguard some premises for local businesses, and to keep their rents affordable, but will it be effective?  Or will developers find ways to ignore it? The deadline for comments is 7th April.

Draft Design Code

This is another SPD, expanding on several policies in the Lambeth Local Plan.  Some of this replaces earlier guidance on home extensions and new basements, but the most important section is that on Tall Buildings.  Several new towers are being proposed around Brixton and at Loughborough Junction, despite the lack of infrastructure to make them work.  Again the deadline for comments is 7th April.

You can find more details of these proposals via the Consultation pages on the Lambeth Council website, www.lambeth.gov.uk

Remember, if you have specific concerns or queries, please share them with our colleagues at the Brixton Society who have been following these issues. E-mail to planning@brixtonsociety.org.uk or see related items on their website, www.brixtonsociety.org.uk

Contact us

Share your news

If you want something to appear in the April issue, try to send it before 29 March.  These bulletins are often put together in a hurry, from a fat folder of e-mails and press releases, so there may not be time to check details with you if we get incomplete or conflicting information.  Please send to the Forum Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com

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;

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

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

April 2020

Changing Forum Priorities Programme Changes

Programme Changes

Our programme of meetings is suspended for the time being, so the meeting due on 23 April is cancelled.  The next scheduled meeting should be on Thursday 23 July, but we will see how the situation develops in coming weeks. Our Community Showcase event on Windrush Square has been deferred from Saturday 27 June to Saturday 26 September, subject to confirmation with Lambeth’s Events team. Lambeth’s various Neighbourhood Forums usually have a joint presence at the Lambeth Country Show, but the Show has been cancelled for this year.

How can we help you?

We have increased these bulletins to twice a month, but in the absence of face-to-face meetings, are there other things that your Forum should be doing?  Remember you can post short notices in these bulletins to reach most other groups active around Brixton.  We are also trying to keep the website updated in these times of frequent changes and restrictions – see www.brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org So, what else would be helpful to support your group? 

Haven’t you heard?

We have been picking up news and information from a wide range of contacts in recent months, which we continue to share here if it seems relevant.  In an ideal world, you would already know about everything listed below, but it’s easy to miss things, or get confused by unreliable sources, so we apologise if you have heard most of it already.  But if you discover a couple of new items, it’s all been worth it! If you want us to forward an original source (with more links and detail), contact Alan Piper at apiperbrix@aol.com

News, Funding, Support and Training

Responding to the Coronavirus emergency

Lambeth has set up a dedicated enquiry line, (020) 7926 2999 open between 8 am and 8 pm. Also see the relevant pages on their website, now well signposted from www.lambeth.gov.uk ( See below for a separate line for business-related enquiries.)

Emergency funding is being offered to help charities and community groups continue to deliver services through the present crisis.  Many face the problem of their income from user charges, events or premises hire drying up because of premises being shut down, while demand for their services is often increasing.  Lambeth has announced that deadlines for funded groups to submit reports and accounts will be extended, though we advise touching base with your grants officer for more detail. London-wide, the GLA, City Bridge Trust, Bloomberg and other contributors have put together an emergency support fund to help voluntary groups and charities to continue their work – see https://londonfunders.org.uk/our-blog

If routine admin processes like the Annual Return to the Charity Commission are likely to be delayed, call them on their helpline 0300 066 9197. The Government has already announced a relaxation in deadlines for annual returns to Companies House.

Mutual Aid Groups have sprung up across London, based around Facebook or Whatsapp.  For the group centred on Brixton, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/214918153220011/

Volunteers are being sought to help sustain community efforts over the weeks ahead – if you are not already committed to a local project, go to www.lambeth.gov.uk/volunteer to join in.

Brixton Market is now limited to established Fruit and Vegetable traders, with more stringent separation between pitches, and cashless payments taken as far as possible.

Cafes and restaurants are limited to takeaway or home delivery services only – for the time being, this does not require amending existing planning permissions.  Nevertheless Lambeth have asked such businesses to let them know at planning@lambeth.gov.uk and foodhealthandsafety@lambeth.gov.uk

Foodbank: The Norwood & Brixton Foodbank works using a voucher referral system, with vouchers issued by a number of local agencies. The outlets at St. Paul’s Church, Ferndale Road; St. Luke’s Church, West Norwood; and the rear of St. Margaret’s Church, Barcombe Avenue, off Streatham Hill are closed to visitors, and they are now operating a delivery service.  For more details see their website www.norwoodbrixton.foodbank.org.uk/ To donate food, use www,bankuet.org.uk  or www.givefood.org.uk

Financial support for businesses

Among our member groups, there is a wide spectrum from charities through social enterprises to small businesses.  At the commercial end of the range, the Brixton Business Improvement District (BID) is the natural umbrella body to look to.  Even if you don’t pay business rates, membership is still open to micro-businesses.  A recent BID e-bulletin provided a useful summary of support available, from which the key points are:

Lambeth Council have a dedicated business helpline on (020) 7926 2344, or e-mail to enterprise@lambeth.gov.uk Lambeth is supporting local business by making advance payments of the Business Grants announced by the Government, but it may still take 2 weeks to process payments.

There are various Government concessions to ease cashflow pressures, including deferral of business rates, VAT payments and (for the self-employed) income tax.  The BID itself is delaying enforcement of the levy it normally adds to business rates.

The Smallbusiness.co.uk website is also a great source of independent free advice, including how to access the Government grants and loans announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Various sources of information can also be found here

Training at a Distance

Details are trickling in of more on-line courses, webinars and videos, so training does not have to wait.  The downside is that you don’t get to chat with other participants and compare experiences during the tea breaks, which can be the most valuable part of a normal training course. The Directory of Social Change has a wide range of topics available as on-line courses, typically at £5.99 each, but now free access for the time being – see www.dsc.org.uk

Technology to the rescue?

Many of us are trying to get used to “virtual” meeting applications like Zoom or Microsoft Teams – let us know how you are getting on. For charities, community groups and churches, Tekgia continues to offer a range of mainstream software at discount rates – see their website, www.tekgia.com

Funding

And finally, a reminder of some sites/ contacts to check out for fund-raising purposes – which is most suitable will depend on how you operate:Crowdfund Lambeth can boost the income from any local crowdfunding campaign – seecrowdfunder.co.uk/funds/lambeth

Give as you Live is an online fund-raising platform for UK charities and good causes.  The platform allows supporters to make direct donations, create fund-raising pages, or raise free funds for the charity every time they shop online at over 4,300 retailers.  Transaction fees apply.  See www.giveasyoulive.com

WhatCharity publish a monthly on-line bulletin of grant opportunities coming up, as a subscription service.  Offers of volunteer placements have also become available recently and now there is a facility to seek other resources from companies.  Enquiries to charities@whatcharitymail.co.uk

Health and Social Care

Connect Lambeth

Despite all the recent focus on the Coronavirus epidemic, issues with disabilities and chronic conditions have not gone away.  Connect Lambeth is a consortium formed by several organisations including Age UK Lambeth, DASL, and Lambeth Carers Hub. Their Gateway service is available to offer advice, support, information and reassurance.  The public can call on (020) 7346 6800 (option 6) or e-mail to mycommunity@ageuklambeth.org Offers to volunteer should be e-mailed to volunteer@ageuklambeth.org If your group is doing something which complements these efforts, or you want to link up to combine resources, contact ourcommunity@ageuklambeth.org More information is at http://connectlambeth.org/

Mental Health services moving from Landor Road site?

Following the item in our March bulletin, more details of the consultation have been received.  Community mental health services are already moving to 3 new Living Well Centres around the borough, and other community settings.  Inpatient facilities are considered inadequate by modern standards. The proposal is to move these to new purpose-built accommodation on part of the Maudsley Hospital site at Denmark Hill.  There is more detail on the website, www.lambethtogether.net/lambethhospital

An obvious local concern will be what takes the place of the present (mostly modern) hospital buildings.  One option is simply selling the site for housing development, which would raise most money to finance the move, or to aim for a package which includes providing some housing for NHS staff within the old site, when rising rents are a real problem for junior staff.The deadline for comments is 31 May, to  lamccg.hospitalconsultation@nhs.net or there is an online survey at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/lambethhospitalconsultation

More News and Events

The Future of Brockwell Hall

Brockwell Park Community Partners hosted an event on 29 February to feed into the next stage of bidding to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the renovation of the Hall in the centre of Brockwell Park.  Key issues include the mix of uses to include in the finished building, trying to cover the future running costs, access arrangements, and identifying historic features to safeguard when adapting the Hall and stables to new uses. There will be further consultations down the line – the target was November for submitting the final bid, though this may now slip.

News from the Windmill

The plan was to open the Windmill to the public for tours one weekend a month from the Easter weekend onwards, but that’s on hold for the time being. However, the Friends of Windmill Gardens report that flour is still being milled (using the 1902 millstones and an electric motor rather than the sails). It is being sent out as before to a number of local outlets – see www.brixtonwindmill.org and was recently featured on BBC London News

Keep in touch

Share your news

For inclusion in the May issue, be sure to send it before 28 April.  However there is likely to be an extra edition later this month, and updates to this website depending how the situation develops and if we have urgent news to share with you.  Please continue to send to the Forum Secretary at apiperbrix@aol.com Please bear in mind that during present restrictions, Forum team members are working from home rather than the office base at International House, so co-ordination is a bit of a struggle and responses may be slower.

Keep our mailing list up to date

Please notify 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.

Paper copies too?

Since the Forum was launched in its present form, our approach has been to engage with local organisations and activists through e-mail and occasional meetings.  Our recent bulletins have included lots of e-mail contacts and website links, but if you know somebody who would welcome a paper copy of the bulletin, please pass on their address so we can post it on.

In addition to official sources, our thanks go to all the local organisations who have been supplying information and updates in the past month or two, including Age UK Lambeth, Art4Space, Brixton BID, Brixton Community Base, Brixton Pound, Brixton Therapy Centre, The Brixton Society, Brockwell Park Community Partners, Friends of Tate Library Brixton, Friends of Windmill Gardens, Impact Brixton, Longfield Hall, Loughborough Farm, Mosaic Clubhouse, Myatt’s Fields Park Project, Norwood & Brixton Foodbank, 198 Gallery, 7 Traits Leadership Learning / Wintrade Global. We are members of the Lambeth Forum Network and Locality, so we also share news from them.

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.

February 2019 Bulletin

Brixton Neighbourhood Forum – February 2019

A quick bulletin this month, because we have some imminent dates to remind you about.  Meanwhile, other plans are taking shape, so we should have much more to tell you next month.  If you want to share what your group is doing, or seek support from others around Brixton, try to send us your news or requests before the end of February.

Quick Reminders

Lambeth Country Show

A follow-up to the notice in last month’s bulletin – applications to trade or exhibit must be in by 4 pm on Friday 15 February.

This is even earlier than last year, and the site fees are higher!  Show dates are 20 & 21 July – enquiries to countryshow@lambeth.gov.uk

Tackling Violent Crime – Herne Hill Ward Meeting

Herne Hill Labour Councillors have organised a public meeting this Saturday, 16 February, 12 noon to 2 pm at the Carnegie Library, 188-192 Herne Hill Road SE24.  Speakers include Helen Hayes MP, London Assembly member Florence Eshalomi, Cllr Mohamed Seedat, Lambeth’s cabinet member for community safety, and police representatives.

Camberwell Area Plan

If you are interested in the area around the Camberwell Green crossroads, Southwark Council is hosting a public consultation event this Saturday, 16 February between 10 am and 4 pm outside Camberwell Library, 48 Camberwell Green SE5 7AL.  Architects Gort Scott are conducting more detailed workshops in the large meeting room above the library, 12-30 to 1-30 pm or 3 pm to 4 pm – to attend these, please e-mail sarah@gortscott.com

 

Community Connector Training – Last Call

Another follow-up from last month’s bulletin – the next course starts with a training day on 21 February so act now if you want to join in!  You must attend all 4 dates to complete the training.  If you missed out, Dave Goslyn should be able to tell you if another course is in the pipeline – all enquiries to him on 07 540 095 696 or dave.goslyn@nhs.net

Sustainable Energy – closing soon

Need help with combating fuel poverty, improving energy efficiency of community spaces or creating renewable energy infrastructure?  Power Partners is funded by UK Power Networks and administered by the Centre for Sustainable Energy.  Closing date for the first round of applications is Monday 18 February at 6 pm.  See website www.communityenergy.london or enquiries to Fleur Disney at fleur.disney@communityenergy.london 

Lambeth’s Own World Cup

This reached us by a roundabout route, but the Lambeth World Cup Tournament is being organised by the Fulham FC Foundation to coincide with the schools’ half-term, on Tuesday 19 February.  Matches take place on the Astro pitch in Kennington Park, SE11 4BE. Players should arrive at 11-30 am tosign in, for matches to start at 12-30 pm, and the event should end by 4 pm. Age groups are 9-12, 12-14 and 15-18. Enquiries to Paul Smithers on 0870 442 5432 or 07 500 108 495 or e-mail to psmithers@fulhamfc.com

Healthy Family Food with Incredible Edible LEAP

A morning of demos, recipes and tips from food blogger Mandy Mazliah on how to encourage kids to eat more fruit and veg, on Tuesday 19 February. 10 am to 12 noon at the Platform, the former toilet block at the corner of Loughborough Road and Ridgeway Road, SW9. To book a place please contact Helen on 07 949 985 343 or e-mail toincredibleedibleleap@gmail.com

Half Term at the Fire Brigade Museum

The pop-up museum in Lambeth High Street is hosting a morning session for kids (age 3 upwards) on Wednesday 20 February, drop in between 10 am and 1 pm (last entry 12-30).  Design your own fire engine greeting card and learn about the history of firefighters uniforms in London.

Enquiries to museum@london-fire.gov.uk

News, Events, Activities

High Rise at Loughborough Junction

A revised planning application has been made for the former Higgs Industrial Estate at the foot of Herne Hill Road, close to Loughborough Junction Station.  This time it includes a single tower block rising to 16 storeys.  Loughborough Junction Action Group have called a public meeting to discuss the plans, on Wednesday 27 February, at 7 pm at the Grove Adventure Playground.  If you want to see the proposals on the Council’s website, the reference is 18/05425/FUL and the deadline for comments has been extended to 4th March. 

Town Hall Changes

Now that Lib Peck has gone to work at City Hall, Councillor Jack Hopkins has been elected Leader of the Labour Group, and is due to be confirmed as Leader of the Council shortly.  It is not clear yet if this will lead to any other changes of roles within Lambeth’s Cabinet.

Among senior officers, some will be pleased to hear that Sue Foster has left, and staff are now grouped into 5 Directorates, though their heads (some still “acting” or interim) are not familiar names.  The Directorates are:

– Sustainable Growth & Opportunity, which includes responsibilities for new housing and regeneration.

– Resident Services, including most day-to-day public services and Council housing management.

– Children’s Services, including schools and social care.

– Adults and Health, including adult social care and public health matters.

– Finance & Investment, including the traditional Treasurer functions.

Meet at the Brixton £ Café?

The Brixton Pound Café at 77 Atlantic Road has space available to hire for meetings or exhibitions – either the café space, or the basement studio – at affordable rates. Enquiries toThomas@brixtonpound.org

Free Woodworking Classes at the Remakery

The Brixton Remakery in Lilford Road, SE5 9HY, is to host a series of woodworking classes, starting in March.  The target group is older men in Lambeth, though women and younger men will be welcome too.  Classes are free and will take place every 2 weeks over 6 months. Typical projects will include planters, wine racks and wooden toys, mostly using recycled wood. Both beginners and experienced woodworkers welcome – enquiries to terry@citywoodwork.co.uk

Volunteer Guides Wanted!

Two local opportunities if you want to get out and meet more people:

Brixton Windmill Tours start up again in April, with at least one weekend opening a month through to October.  Friends of Windmill Gardens are keen to recruit more volunteers as activities should increase once the Education Building is completed next to the mill.  Enquiries or offers of help to info@brixtonwindmill.org.uk

Van Gogh in Brixton: 87 Hackford Road SW9, where the artist stayed in 1873-74, is being renovated and should open for tours from April.  Volunteer guides are being recruited via the San Mei Gallery, now based in the former Loughborough Hotel.  More details on their website at www.sanmeigallery.co.uk/van-gogh-house   Closing date for first batch was meant to be Friday 15th, but check with Janet Currier on janet@sanmeigallery.com

Funding and Training opportunities

Future Support for Community Organisations

For the past couple of years, some support with fund-raising and training has been available through Community Southwark, but that contract runs out this month.  We understand that new arrangements are being considered from several possible providers, but it may be a month or so before the position is clearer.

 

Sustainable City Awards

If your group is interested in sustainability or promoting greener life-styles, check out this award scheme run by the London Sustainability Exchange. Applications can be made up to 29 March.  More details on their website at www.lsx.org.uk

Small Charity Workshops

In previous bulletins we have mentioned the training sessions run by the Foundation for Social Improvement.  The next batch in London comes up on Thursday 14 March at Voluntary Action Islington, with a choice of 90-minute sessions.  Following that is a full-day Skills Conference on Thursday 28 March in Central London, with a mix of useful sessions for a total of £25.  As before, all enquiries to admin@thefsi.org or see their website, www.thefsi.org

First Aid Training

The St. John’s Ambulance Association currently have a scheme to encourage over-50s to gain basic first-aid skills.  Brixton Community Base in Talma Road has already hosted a session before Christmas, so maybe it could be useful to your group too?  Sessions are free, funded by DCMS and Nesta.

Enquiries to Rosie Mcgloughlin, 07 896 969 869 or at rosie.mcgoughlin@sja.org.uk

 

Keep in touch

We are rebuilding our mailing list, so now is the time to tell us if you prefer information to go to a more convenient e-mail address, or to a colleague.

If you have moved away, or no longer wish to be involved, please tell us and we will delete you from our list – a simple e-mail toadmin@brixtonneighnourhoodforum.org or to apiperbrix@aol.com

And please get in touch if you want something from your corner of Brixton to feature in a future Forum meeting, or in one of these bulletins.  We are currently trying to arrange meeting dates for the year ahead.

                                   Alan Piper, Secretary.

January 2019 Bulletin

Thanks for Survey responses

Despite the run-up to Christmas being a busy time for us all, we received encouraging responses to our recent digital survey.  These include some constructive ideas that we want to follow up.  Overall, 82.9% of respondents thought the Forum has been useful, and 92.4% agreed it was needed.

More Help Needed!

The Forum was less active last year because our Executive team was depleted by illness.  We are now looking for extra members to get involved, so that the Forum can be more active again – come to the next meeting or e-mail us. 

Building Community Links

We are aware that the majority of our members are involved in a variety of local organisations, some fully-fledged charities, some very informal grass-roots groups, and some small businesses or social enterprises.  We are keen to encourage networking and collaboration between different groups around Brixton.  We try to share useful information through these bulletins, but if you would like more on any particular topic, please tell us.  

Open Project Night at the Impact Hub

One regular spot for networking is the Open Project Night, held every Monday evening at the Impact Hub, at the back of Pop Brixton, Station Road SW9 – open 6-30 to 10 pm (food served at 6-30 pm as an incentive to be on time!)

Enquiries to info@transitiontownbrixton.org

Dexter Playground opportunity

At short notice, Lambeth Council is offering use of the Dexter Adventure Playground rent-free for community use. The new leaseholder will need to provide activities that support the development of children and young people in the borough, though hiring the premises for other purposes will be permitted if consistent with the main use. Critically, applicants will need to provide a business plan showing how they intend to use the premises, and how they will engage with the community. This plan will be the basis of a Community Service Agreement with the Council.  Deadline for proposals is 1st February and the site is available for viewing this Tuesday morning (15th) or Wednesday 16th between 1 pm and 3 pm.

All enquiries to Paul Davies of Lambeth’s Children’s Services Team, pavies5@lambeth.gov.uk

Funding and Training opportunities

Stronger Together programme – Community Southwark

Community Southwark is nearing the end of its 2-year programme of practical support for Lambeth-based community organisations, funded by the London Community Foundation (LCF).  We have not yet heard if there will be any further support for Lambeth groups after March, so latch onto this programme while you can.

Enquiries to development@communitysouthwark.org or phone Rachel Henry on 020 7358 7288.

Foundation for Social Improvement

Once again, the FSI is running a series of training events for staff and management committee members/ trustees of small charities, at affordable prices at various London venues.  Enquiries to admin@thefsi.org or see their website: www.thefsi.org

Be a Community Connector 

Project Smith has been mentioned in past bulletins, as an NHS-funded project to make care in the community more effective.  They are now looking for local residents to join in the next round of Community Connector training during February and March.

Community Connectors are simply local people who link others in their community to organisations and activities that can help improve their quality of life. Lots of people may do this naturally on a daily basis, but do you always know where neighbours can turn for help?

The training will help you improve your skills and knowledge, and also provides a Level 2 qualification in Supporting Behaviour Change.

The training days run between 9-30 am and 3 pm, on February 21, 25 and 26, and March 4th. You must attend all 4 sessions to complete the course. If you are interested in joining the programme, please call David Goslyn on 07 540 095 696 or e-mail to dave.goslyn@nhs.net

Brixton BID Training Days

For social enterprises and businesses operating in the Brixton area, our Business Improvement District is running a series of one-day training courses from the end of this month through to July.  All these courses run from 10 am to 4 pm and will take place in International House (corner of Popes Road and Canterbury Crescent, SW9). Topics include food hygiene, emergency first aid, fire safety and customer service. Enquiries to admin@brixtonbid.co.uk

News, Events, Activities

Bookings open for Lambeth Country Show

If you want to trade or exhibit at the next Lambeth Country Show, the deadline for applications is Friday 15 February at 4 pm. There are also opportunities to perform, or to host workshops, with the same deadline. See https://lambethcountryshow.us11.list-manage.com or enquiries to countryshow@lambeth.gov.uk

Brockwell Park – A Future for the Hall

For the past couple of years. Lambeth Council, supported by Brockwell Park Community Partners, have been attempting to get funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support improvements to the old house in the centre of the park.  The latest bid has recently been given Stage 1 approval by the HLF, which releases £387,500 to develop detailed plans over the next couple of years.  The second stage, the actual restoration, will cost around £6 million, of which Lambeth will need to find part.  See also  https://love.lambeth.gov.uk/brockwell-hall-restoration/

BPCP is organising a meeting of all the groups with an interest in the Park for Sunday 3rd March – more details to follow.

Lambeth Archives temporary closure

The Archives at Minet Library are about to close for their annual stock-taking, from Monday 28 January, and re-opening from Monday 11 February.

Brixton Vegan Market Returns

The Vegan Market will be back in Brixton Station Road, next to the Farmers’ Market, from Sunday 27 January onwards. It will be open weekly between 11 am and 4 pm. 

More at www.Facebook.com/BrixtonVeganMarket

Children’s Centres at Risk

Lambeth Council is currently consulting on reducing the number of children’s centres in the borough. These mostly cater for under-5s and offer support to parents. Local sites include Effra early years centre in Effra Parade, and centres attached to Stockwell Road, Jubilee and Loughborough Road schools. Closing date for comments is10 February -see the Consultations page on Lambeth’s website.

Software Savings

If your project needs more or better versions of Microsoft programs, Tekgia can provide them to charities, churches, schools and associated volunteers at discount prices. See their website www.tekgia.com or phone 0845 124 0484.

PAPA’s Park Facelift

The community playground in Pulross Road SW9 recently re-opened after an extensive refit. New play equipment has been installed and the under-5s area has been extended. This comes after 6 years of fund-raising and lobbying.  Thoughts are already turning to the next phases, to upgrade the multi-purpose ball games court and add a new purpose-designed building to enlarge the café and provide meeting space that can be hired out to generate future income, because the site  receives no public funding.

More details, including how to contribute, on their website at www.papaspark.co.uk

Keep in touch!

We are rebuilding our contact list, so this is the ideal time to tell us if you prefer information to go to a different e-mail address, or to a colleague.

If you no longer wish to be involved, please tell us and we will delete you from our list – e-mail to admin@brixtonneighbourhoodforum.org or to apiperbrix@aol.com

Also get in touch if you want something from your group to appear in the next bulletin, or to feature in a future Forum meeting.

November 2018 bulletin

Next Forum Meeting

There has been a long gap in our bulletins because our team has been depleted by illness, but we are now starting to plan for a more active programme next year. The first step is to agree a budget so that we can renew our basic funding from the Lambeth Forum Network.

We also need to hear what you think the Forum’s priorities should be for the year ahead. That’s two good reasons for holding a Forum meeting on Monday next, 26 November, starting from 7 pm at the Vida Walsh Centre, 2b Saltoun Road SW2 (facing onto Windrush Square). 

We need your views – take our survey!

If you cannot make the next meeting – or just want to feed in ideas before the meeting – please complete our simple survey on the link in the version of this bulletin sent to our mailing list members.

If you don’t have time to respond before the meeting, we will continue to collect results up to mid-December, to help inform next year’s Forum activities.

Current Consultations on Planning and Transport

Lambeth has 3 important policy documents out for comment until Monday 17 December:

– the Draft Revision of the Lambeth Local Plan;

– changes to the Charging Schedule for the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL);

– Lambeth’s Draft Transport Strategy.

We will briefly introduce these on Monday and highlight a few of the changes that Lambeth wants to make.  We would encourage you also to respond directly (via the Consultations section of the Council’s website).  Are the proposed changes helpful or not?  Are other issues being ignored?

The Local Plan is probably the most important of the three documents, but there is a lot of it to check through.  There are certainly some new proposals for Brixton this time. 

The CIL Charging Schedule is generally being increased, so that more money from new developments comes back to the Council, but we need to be careful that key services for a balanced community are not discouraged.  There is a risk that our Council will become too dependent on developers’ money and allow too much building, to the detriment of the local community.

Transport strategies are largely set by the Mayor and Transport for London, so Lambeth’s strategy is largely a reflection of London-wide priorities – but it’s a great opportunity to press for access to the London Overground,  or for better bus connections.

News from Local Organisations

If your group wants to make a presentation or report to Monday’s meeting, please tell the Secretary as soon as possible, so that we can organise the final agenda.  We are also happy to put out your news through these bulletins or on our website.  Also contact us if you would like to present to a future Forum meeting.

Brixton Rec User Group – public meeting, Tuesday 27 November

6 pm to 8 pm in the meeting room on Level 6. Is the Rec working for you? What changes would you like to see?  Enquiries to recusergroup@btinternet.com

Ten years of Transition Town Brixton:

Marking 10 years of the Transition Town movement in Brixton, with reports from several projects which grew out of TTB, including Brixton Pound, the Remakery and Incredible Edible Lambeth. Thursday 6th December, 7 pm to 10 pm at the Impact Hub (at back of Pop Brixton) 49 Brixton Station Road SW9.

Christmas Fairs and more

Saturday 24 November – Friends of Carnegie Library Winter Fair, 11 am to 3 pm at St. Saviour’s Church Hall, Herne Hill Road (c/o Finsen Road) SE24.

Saturday 1st December – Loughborough Farm Market @ The Platform, 2 Ridgeway Road SW9 7AH: 1 pm to 3 pm, featuring the farm’s winter harvest, Christmas greenery and handmade gifts.

Sunday 2nd December – Friends of Brockwell Park Winter Fair, 11 am to 3 pm in Brockwell Hall, in the centre of the park.

Monday 3rd December – Stockwell Good Neighbours Christmas Fair, 11 am to 3 pm at the Oval House Theatre, 52-54 Harleyford Road SE11 5SW. Enquiries to info@stockwellgoodneighbours.org

The Brixton Society will have their regular stall in Brixton Station Road on Saturday 8th December, 11 am to 3 pm, to coincide with their monthly Market walk.  A chance to stock up with local history books, maps and postcards.

The Crafty Fox Christmas Market this year will be downstairs at The Department Store, 248 Ferndale Road SW9, Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 December, 11 am to 5 pm.

Van Gogh bust unveiled at Hackford Road:

A bust of Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh has been set up in Van Gogh Walk, off Hackford Road, close to where he stayed as a young man in 1873-74.  It is one of a series designed by sculptor Anthony Padgett, which are being set up at various sites associated with the artist – others are planned for sites in Isleworth, Ramsgate and Arles in France.  The local example was unveiled on Friday. 

Funding, support and training opportunities

We will continue to share information that comes to us from funders and other agencies.

Workspace Opportunity for a Social Enterprise

Tripod is the business space in the basement of the remodelled Town Hall, managed by Meanwhile Space.  They are looking for a social enterprise to join their nucleus of creative and tech businesses, offering event space, subsidised office space or hot desk memberships.  Enquiries to rosie@meanwhilespace.com

International House open for Business

Lambeth has moved its own staff out of International House, and handed it over to 3Space to manage.  The Brixton BID, Brixton Design Trail and We Rise are among those who have already moved in.  More details at www.3spaceinternational.co.uk

Published by Brixton Neighbourhood Forum.