Author Archives: Lucy Cava

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

Brixton Fund is now OPEN

photo credit Mike Urban/Brixton Buzz

We’re very pleased to open the Brixton Fund for applications for the first time in 2017. The Fund is the only one of its kind – built from proceeds generated in Brixton, for Brixton.

Full information about how to apply, and a link to the application form, can be found by going to brixtonpound.org/fund.

This year we welcome new partners, Brixton BID and Brixton Neighbourhood Forum. Both organisations will play a role in helping us shape the Fund in future and ensuring that it both grows in size and reach.

We are also grateful to our sponsors Marsh and Parsons, Seven at Brixton, Three Eight Four, and the Queen’s Head. More businesses are coming on board to sponsor the Fund, particularly via our ‘Pound Up’ scheme for food and drink businesses. If you would like to get involved and support the Fund, please email fund@brixtonpound.org.

The application window is open until 10am Tuesday 2 May. We look forward to receiving your application and finding out more about the work you want to do in Brixton!