Author Archives: Lucy Cava

Participatory photography with Railton Road residents

Our latest display is a large-scale print as part of Never Far Away a project by the artists, Josh Wright & Guillaume Vandame, collectively known as Wright & Vandame. Between the autumn 2016 and the early spring 2018, while on a socially engaged lens-based residency with Photofusion in Brixton, the artist collective were inspired to understand the greater changes rapidly happening across London through art. As a case study, the artists chose to focus exclusively on one street and that street just so happened to be Railton Road, a stone’s throw away from the Brixton Pound Cafe.

The artist duo became fascinated by Railton Road because of its history of radical social and political movements of the late 20th century and the impact of gentrification on the area and these histories. Through research and collaboration with residents living on Railton Road, the artists became interested in the theme of open and closed spaces.

Through this theme the artists drew attention to organisations and community spaces which had lost local funding and become abandoned, alongside charities which lacked visibility of the invaluable services offered to the public. Never Far Away consists of photographs created
by the participants and local residents as well as an offsite exhibition trail on Railton Road at various sites including the Brixton Pound Cafe.

The artists have made a free map and poster for visitors to take away, but feel free to get lost and find yourself at the heart of Brixton and discover Railton Road for yourself!

Intrepid photographers brave a rainy day to capture the best of Railton Road…

Taking Part
An exhibition of socially-engaged photography curated by Anthony Luvera

22nd February to 17th March 2018
Photofusion
17A Electric Lane, Brixton, London, SW9 8LA
Mon-Sat 10-6pm; Sun: Closed

Looking for volunteers to help fight social isolation

Looking for a way to get involved in your community, help others and have lots of fun this new year? The SpaceCraft is looking for volunteers, and there’s lots of ways to get involved and help!

The SpaceCraft is a new not-for-profit local social enterprise working to reduce the risk of loneliness and social isolation locally, set up with the help of the Brixton Pound. It brings people together to craft a range of beautiful gifts and treats – profits from the sale of products go towards sustaining the project and helping it to grow.

It launched last year, working with local people including older people and people with care needs to create a beautiful range of baby gifts and Christmas gifts. And this year they’ll be working with even more people at risk of social isolation in Brixton making a new range of products, and need local people to come and get involved too!

At this early stage, they’re looking for ideas and energy from local crafters to come help shape the range of craft activities they can offer at weekly community craft sessions – so whether you’re an artist, knitter, card maker, screenprinter, photographer, designer (or someone offering something else entirely!) and you’re happy to share your skills with others locally then please get in touch with Kim – you don’t have to be a professional!

They’re also looking for helpers to come and assist at their weekly sessions in Brixton on Tuesdays 10am-12pm. Sessions are lots of fun and you don’t need any experience to come and help. If you would like to get involved but cannot make these sessions, then please do still get involved as there are lots of ways to be part of the project of this fun and rewarding community project.

Also, if you have experience of running creative sessions with people with disabilities, support needs or limited mobility, please do let us know.

For more info or to express your interest in getting involved, please get in touch with Kim on kim.stanway@hotmail.co.uk or 07950 935 007.

Get your tickets for the 12 Days of BriXmas prize draw!

We’re happy to announce that you can now buy tickets for our Christmas prize draw, with the chance to win one of twelve delightful prizes from an array of local Brixton businesses while you support local projects with your purchase.

They’ll be revealed over – yes, you guessed it – a twelve day period leading up to the draw on 23rd December. Tickets are only £1, although we hear that wise folk buy ten to maximise their chances – buy tickets here!

Four days in, and we’ve had some crackers already (apologies for the awesome pun). Check out the prizes so far…

Day 1 of  : a crafty crate of specialty ales from connoisseurs of fine beers, Ghost Whale.

Day 2 of the #12daysofBrixmas is one of the top prizes – a B£ original David Bowie print, worth over £1,000 at auction! It could be yours for just £1 with lucky numbers when prizes are drawn on 23rd December…

Day 3 reveals a Christmas hamper of Xmassy baked goods from Sweet Carolina, worth £50! That’s a whole lot of deliciousness, baked with love, locally.

Day 4 of is something quite special indeed. Old friends of the Brixton Pound  are offering a free property consultation, for anyone thinking of doing work to their home.

Wondering what else is in store? Follow us on Twitter or instagram to find out!

The 12 Days of BriXmas prize draw is the Brixton Pound’s seasonal prize draw. Drop into the Brixton Pound Cafe to pick up your tickets, or get them online here.

All profits go towards the Brixton Fund – a scheme through which the Brixton Pound awards small grants to local community projects.

Collecting small gifts to bring some magic to Age UK Christmas lunch

At the Brixton Pound we’re collecting Christmas gifts to be distributed to local older people this Christmas.

It’s easy to forget while we’re surrounded by family, friends and warmth that not everybody has that at Christmas, whether through bereavement, distance or for other reasons.

On Christmas Day, Age UK Lambeth will be hosting a Christmas lunch for socially isolated older people who might have no one to spend the festive period with, at their activities centre Vida’s on Windrush Square.

We want you to help us make the Christmas lunch extra special by bringing small gifts into the Cafe, where we’ll be holding a wrapping session on the morning of 21st December.

Have you got something you could donate? Suggested items include…

scarves
gloves
jumpers and socks
toiletries and soaps
books
sweets
chocolates
pots of jam, marmalade or pickles

Drop your gifts off at the Brixton Pound Cafe at 77 Atlantic Rd, SW9 8PU during cafe opening hours (8.45am-6pm Monday to Saturday).

We’ll be collecting up until 21st, and you’re welcome to come and join us from 12pm that day to help with the wrapping.

PS Donations of wrapping paper will also be appreciated!

This year, famous British actress Miriam Margolyes supports Age UK Lambeth’s ‘No one should have no one’ Christmas campaign to tackle loneliness for older people in Lambeth. Find out about more ways to get involved at https://www.ageuk.org.uk/lambeth/about-us/campaigns-page/no-one-should-have-no-one-2017/

Close Knit! Free craft sessions at the Brixton Pound Cafe & Pop Brixton

A recipient of a Brixton Fund grant, the SpaceCraft, held their first crafting session at Pop Brixton on 19 September as part of The Shed with Age UK. The SpaceCraft supports older people at risk of social isolation by bringing them together to make baby booties and other knitted crafts. People of all knitting abilities were in attendance on Tuesday, from absolute beginners to seasoned super-knitters – everyone learned a few new tricks and made a few new friends!

SpaceCraft sessions are a friendly, intergenerational space where people can have fun, meet local people in the area and make new connections – as well as elegant crafted items.

We believe it’s important it’s important to building a healthy society that we actively seek to make connections that we might not otherwise make across boundaries such as age. There are often perceptions around age that limit our ability to see the things we have in common with each other, leading to a higher risk of social exclusion for older people.

The Shed will be holding more events at Pop Brixton on 21st November and 19th December. It’s a chance for people of all ages to come together to help combat social isolation in Brixton and its surrounds. Free to attend, and teas and coffees are provided. Check out the Events page on the Pop Brixton website, or contact lucy@brixtonpound.org if you’d like to bring a group of people along.

Sessions will be taking place every Tuesday from 10-12pm at the Brixton Pound Cafe, and from 2-4 pm in the Greenhouse at Pop Brixton. No need to book, just drop in!

Pop traders Bharat & Jean help turn murky storage space into brand spanking new gym for local club Afewee

Afewee founder Steadman Scott shows off his new gym

Afewee Boxing & Football Club, an integral part of the Brixton community, was set up by local Steadman Scott in ’97 in order to fill a gap in society. Seeing young black teenagers and kids spending their spare time out on the street, Scott, who’d been working for Crystal Palace FC, sought to create direction, purpose and discipline in the lives of youngsters via his football (and later boxing) club.

The aim is to create a positive environment for kids who might not otherwise experience one. At Afewee, rules are important: ‘We show that that it takes discipline, hard work and sacrifice to succeed.’ The kids also see that they are striving for something worthwhile, as their peers win places in top sporting teams: as of today, the club has seen more than twenty of its alumni win scholarships or professional signings with teams that include Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Afewee training has taken place in Brixton Rec since the very beginning. But recently, in need of an upgraded gym, Scott approached Pop Brixton for some support. He found himself in touch with Bharat & Jean, spatial designers who turned out to be just the right people to help the club out.

Pop Brixton businesses are part of a local Community Investment Scheme, a project that links up businesses with local community groups and charities to help those businesses give back to their local community. Every business gives back at least 1 hour per week to the local community.

‘We told them we had funding, and how we wanted it, and they drew it up with graphics software. When we needed the plans adjusted, we just asked them and they were happy to help.’ The partnership was fruitful, as you can see in the picture above – and Scott gives the scheme a solid review: ‘if you know what you want, they’ll give you a helping hand.’

Other organisations supported by the scheme include Tulse Hill’s GLOW project, who are receiving some help with the design of their new co-working space, Brixton Rec Users’ Group, who new Pop business Azeus are helping with their marketing strategy, and children’s art group Kids Kreate! who are receiving mentoring to help them set up and run a crowdfunder.

If you’re a community group and you’d like to explore how you could benefit from the project, get in touch with Lucy via lucy@brixtonpound.org.

We’ve covered the history of Brixton’s renowned local club Afewee before here, and you can also read more about them in the Guardian.

The Pop Brixton Community Investment Scheme is a way for local groups to access support in the form of free workshops, training and work placements, as well as more bespoke support along the lines of that provided by Bharat & Jean here.

Brixton Fund spotlight: Brixton Design Trail Pressgang

At our Brixton Fund event last month we funded six awesome local projects.

One of those was the Brixton Design Trail Pressgang, a work experience project run by local youth employment enterprise Raw Talent. Founder Abigail believes that work experience is too often an uninspiring activity, and she’s on a mission to change that!

The BDT Pressgang is an example of how a week of work experience can become a transformative and inspirational experience – one that ultimately meets Raw Talent’s aims of helping  disadvantaged young people overcome the barriers to finding fulfilling work.

Teaming up with Brixton Design Trail, students responded to a specific brief: to research, develop and produce content to support the Design Trail in the leadup to Design Week in September.

Working on a specific project with clear outcomes helps students engage more wholly in work experience and gives them the chance to accomplish a real piece of work, developed as a project through the stages from conception to completion.

As a fully functioning media team, students went out into the streets of Brixton to conduct research, meeting businesses, artists and residents and taking photos, filming segments and conducting interviews.

Students visited Pop Brixton, amongst other places, to talk to the businesses there about their participation in Design Week. To supplement the project work, they also took part in mini CV writing, social media and events management workshops run for free by Pop businesses through the Community Investment Scheme.

The students really enjoyed their week, especially working in teams, meeting new people and writing the stories about the Brixton Design Trail. Linda Quinn, editor of our esteemed local newspaper the Brixton Bugle, was impressed with the quality of writing and is planning a spread for the September edition. Watch this space!

Are you a Brixton business who can help share your skills to with local young people by offering some work experience? Or are you a young person interested in finding meaningful work experience or participating in employment & careers-related workshops? Get in touch with Lucy (lucy @ brixtonpound.org).

Brixton Design Trail is a collaborative creative network that provides a platform for showcasing a wealth of homegrown talent during the London Design Festival, which will take place 16-24th September.

 

Did you catch it? Baytree Centre’s Point of View exhibition

Our latest exhibition was by a group of girls from the Baytree Centre, a local hub on Brixton Road where women and girls can access support through education, training and social programmes.

They worked with homeless people in Brixton to create an exhibition showcasing their perspectives, with support from the Brixton Soup Kitchen.

They showcased the pictures at a launch event at the Brixton Pound Cafe. You can read more about it here.

At the Brixton Pound we support local artists and creative projects by offering low cost exhibition space and studio facilities, either upstairs in our cafe or in our large basement. We’re always on the lookout for local artists to stage exhibitions at our cafe. If you’re interested, get in touch!

Photos credit Alan Slingsby

Help 4 Refugee Children @ The Brixton Pound Cafe this Saturday!

Come along to a festival hosted by Help 4 Refugee Children at the Brixton Pound Cafe this Saturday, as part of Refugee Week. Loads of activities, fun and the chance to chat to volunteers, including the Dunkirk Childrens’ Center and many more, who have been at the forefront of supporting refugee and displaced children in Europe.

The day will include music performances, face painting, creative art workshops (including t-shirt printing) and music activities giving visitors the chance to experience the work our organisations have done with refugee children, families and unaccompanied minors in Calais and Dunkirk.

Citizens of the World Choir will be opening the event on Saturday at 11:30am at the Brixton Pound Cafe. Please come along early to kick off the day with a warm welcome and gorgeous music.

Find out more about the event and the work of Help 4 Refugee Children here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1518115624897254

Buon appetito for local students at Pop Brixton!

Students from local Lansdowne School visited Pop for a tour in early June, where they learnt how to make their very own pasta! Everyone had a go kneading and then shaping the pasta, and one particularly skilful student was crowned Masterchef… After another hands on session designing weird and wonderful beasts with Ella from Into Art, followed by a mini disco in the Popbox, they replenished their energy by eating the fruits of their labour – fresh pasta with a tomato ragu.

Thanks to Stefania and Pietro at Franzina Trattoria who shared their secret Sicilian pasta skills with the Year 11s, Ella who helped inspire some beautiful drawings, and Jack at Container Records who helped them unwind with some bangin’ tunes to finish it all off…

If you’re interested in bringing a group of students or young people to Pop to experience pasta making, a Japanese calligraphy workshop, hear inspiring careers talks and more, get in touch with Lucy at the Brixton Pound: lucy @ brixtonpound.org