Community Shop recently launched its latest Impact Report, tracking the positive outcomes it is achieving in the communities it serves. Now operational across four sites Community Shop – including in West Norwood – is helping to build stronger individuals and more confident communities.

“We welcome and are grateful for the support we have received from you, and Lambeth Council as a whole, and we hope that we can continue to build on our relationships in order to keep delivering fantastic results for the people of West Norwood.”

Highlights from the report include:.

• 98% of members report feeling that they have access to the tools and skills they need to achieve their life goals all or some of the time since joining Community Shop.

• 83% of members report feeling more positive about the future all or some of the time since joining Community Shop.

• 93% of members reported feeling that their mental wellbeing is improved all or some of the time since joining Community Shop.

• Community Shop calculates over 3,832,500 meals have been made using food from its stores in 2016.

Royal Mail sorting office closure

Royal Mail have announced their intention to close our local sorting office meaning residents would have to travel to Penge. There is no direct public transport there and elderly residents and those with mobility issues will be detrimentally affected in West Norwood.

We have spoken with our local MP Helen Hayes who has been incredibly responsive. We will join her in March to meet with Royal Mail managers and with the postal Union CWU to discuss.

Please get in touch if the closure will affect you, your business or your neighbours.

Join Lambeth’s Equality Commission tonight to discuss participation and representation

Lambeth has surged ahead in so many ways in recent years: our population is growing, employment is rising and our schoolchildren continue to achieve record-breaking exam results. The enormous investment pouring into the borough is changing lives for the better.

Despite this growth, we are acutely aware that Lambeth remains one of the most deprived areas of the country – Lambeth is the 8th most deprived borough in London and the 22nd most deprived in England. Deprivation brings significant challenges in health, education and employment for everyone. And, for some of our people, the problems are even more severe. Some of our communities still suffer even greater levels of poverty and inequality; they still face barriers that prevent them from fulfilling their potential.

We have established an Equality Commission, which will identify these barriers and tackle them head-on.

Tonight, the commission is hosting an open community meeting to explore issues around participation, representation and community leadership. Come and tell us what you think are some of the main causes of inequalities in relation to these issues – we want to better understand the effects of inequality in this area as well as identify solutions.

Anyone is welcome to attend, but you must register first. You can register to attend here. The meeting is at 6pm tonight at Streatham Library, 63 Streatham High Rd, London SW16 1PN.

Welcome to the People’s Fridge!

The People’s Fridge is London’s first community fridge: a public fridge where people can give and take spare food.

After successfully crowdfunding the money needed to kick start the project, the People’s Fridge has arrived! It is currently in a temporary location inside POP Brixton where we will be piloting it internally while the team await planning approval for its final destination on Pope’s Road. A soft launch is imminent but in the meantime do head to Brixton and see it in action!

How’s it going to work?

It’s a big fridge in the centre of Brixton where people and businesses can donate spare food, or food that would otherwise go to waste. Others can then go to the fridge to pick up what they want. It will be open on weekdays from 9am–8pm and at weekends from 9am-5pm. Everyone taking food will need to read and sign a disclaimer and then they can tuck right in! Only certified food traders can leave cooked food but everyone can leave other produce.

How can you get involved in projects like this?

Come along to Open Project Night, on every Monday from 6.30pm at Impact Hub Brixton. It’s a free space for everyone interested in Lambeth and community to come to network, work together, host meetings and make awesome projects happen.

Rosendale Playing Fields fence update

Having met in July, in September and more recently last week the steering group have been discussing a wide range of issues surrounding a possible new fence, including; the type of fencing to be used, the height of the fence, gates for vehicles and gates for pedestrian access, amongst a range of others issues. 

Throughout Lambeth have also been liaising with the land owner, Dulwich Estate, to obtain guidance and direction as to the possible proposal for the field. 

The steering group discussions will hopefully enable Lambeth Council to be better placed to engage and communicate with local residents effectively before moving forward to possible planning permission and commissioning. 

This will ultimately allow Lambeth Council to protect our open green spaces and provide a great way to empower, involve and engage the community.

Councillor Max Deckers-Dowber to the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Jane Edbrooke

Supplementary Question

Councillor Deckers-Dowber asked what communities could do in order to work with the Council as there was likely to be a £20m government funding shortfall this year, and therefore co-operative management of green spaces was essential.

Supplementary Answer

Councillor Edbrooke responded that the Council was still committed to co-operative values. The Council was looking at losing £55m in funding and would therefore need to work with residents to ensure services were delivered. Rosendale Playing fields, for example, was looking to set up a community interest company in order to take over the lease and raise money to ensure future investment.