Category Archives: news

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

Sunday Feasts throughout June at the Brixton Pound

Where: Brixton Pound Cafe, 77 Atlantic Road
When: Every Sunday in June from 13:00 to 15:00
What: Food and community
Who: Everyone

Every Sunday in June we shall be hosting community meals at the Brixton Pound cafe on Atlantic Road.

The concept is simple: we are taking perfectly edible surplus food donated to us by local restaurants and businesses and we are turning into a delicious and nutritious feast for our local community.

We want to welcome all members of our community into our cafe and for that we reason we are serving the food on a pay what you feel basis.

What does pay what you feel mean? It means that you pay what you can afford, it means you pay what you think the food (and the project) is worth, and it doesn’t just mean that you pay us with money. Are you an amazing chef? Then maybe you can donate your time in our cafe? Maybe you work in a food business and you would be able to donate your surplus food to us? There are many ways that you can pay and contribute to the project. Either ask in the cafe or email cafe@brixtonpound.org and we can discuss it through.

All proceeds go towards supporting our work in Brixton, including the Brixton Fund – on Wednesday 28 June we’ll be holding our next Fund event, so let’s give it a boost with some busy Sundays!

The menu will vary from week to week, but it will be all vegetarian with gluten free and vegan options available.

We’re hiring! Come and work in our cafe

Join our team at the Brixton Pound Cafe

Are you a budding barista? Do you have flair and panache in the kitchen? Are you imaginative and creative? Would you like to be part of a friendly local community?

We’re currently looking for new people to staff our pay-as-you-feel café in central Brixton.

We make tasty vegan and vegetarian sandwiches, salads, soups and top quality teas and coffees. Where possible we aim to source our ingredients from items that would otherwise go to waste. We regularly receive donations from local food businesses and therefore adapt our menu depending on what is available.

We are looking for someone who is:

  • Experienced working in a cafe or coffee shop and using a manual coffee machine
  • Passionate about food and creative in the kitchen – you’ll be able to think up dishes based on what’s in stock, and make them our daily specials
  • Excellent dealing with customers
  • Personable and able to work alongside colleagues and volunteers
  • Flexible with the rota, and happy to do the occasional Saturday
  • Aware of kitchen hygiene, food and drink preparation, ideally with a level 1 or 2 in food safety
  • Confident working as part of a team and independently in a busy work environment
  • Happy talking to the public about the Brixton Pound and the ethos and aims of our project

What we offer:

  • The opportunity to be creative and to work with a small social enterprise with a unique progressive ethos
  • Competitive hourly rate
  • Free meal & all the coffee you can drink whilst on shift
  • A chance to be part of a dynamic Brixton community
  • Up to 16 hours a week available

To apply, please email your cover letter and cv to keisha@brixtonpound.org or drop it in to our café at 77 Atlantic Road, Brixton SW9 8PU

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The money raised by sales at the Brixton Pound Café goes towards the Brixton Fund, which funds community projects in the area. Our ethos is on sustainability, community and inclusivity, and we aim to sell food made primarily from surplus goods that local businesses would otherwise throw out.

Sign up for Brixton’s first Action for Happiness course at the B£ Cafe!

We’re excited to be hosting Brixton’s first Action for Happiness course, an 8-week course for people interested in exploring what matters for a happy and meaningful life.

“In the modern world we are bombarded with false messages about what makes for a happy life. The Exploring What Matters course helps people discover for themselves that real success has much less to do with what we earn or consume – and much more to do with our inner attitudes, our relationships with others and our contribution to society”.

-Dr Mark Williamson, Director, Action for Happiness

A challenge to the materialism and doctrine of individual success that predominates in today’s society, Exploring What Matters sees a group of likeminded, curious people meeting for eight weeks to explore key factors that shape our lives, and determine our wellbeing. They start with “What really matters in life?” and then “What really makes us happy?”. These are followed by sessions on dealing with adversity, having good relationships, caring for others, and creating happier workplaces and communities. They end with “How can we create a happier world?

Analysis of the course has found that it leaves people both happier and more pro-social, with participants reporting increases in levels of life satisfaction, mental wellbeing, compassion and social trust. It’s delivered by community volunteers, and is supported by the Dalai Lama (!) … https://www.youtube.com/embed/rakF28bExMU?rel=0&autoplay=1

Sound good? Sign up for your place here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-action-for-happiness-course-brixton-22-may-2017-tickets-34101744235?aff=efbevent

The first session kicks off on 22 May 2017 at The Brixton Pound Cafe, 77 Atlantic Rd.

See you there!

New: Yoga classes in Brixton Pound studios

We’re very pleased that we’ll soon be starting yoga classes in the studio space below our cafe.

Yoga with Sarah (every Monday): 8am-9am Vinyasa Flow. 10.30am-11.30am Parent and baby yoga. £10/drop-in

Yoga with Mary (every Friday): Mindful yoga flow 11am-12pm beginners, 12pm-1pm intermediate. £10/drop-in

Yoga and meditation with Melanie (starting Saturday 17th): Hatha Flow with meditation, all levels, 12.00pm-1.15pm. Pay-what-you-feel (£8 recommended).

All our teachers are keen to get to know students and make it a social experience as well, so there will be a coffee/tea in the cafe after classes for anyone who would like to join in!

Sarah was an education consultant for more than a decade but in 2012 left for Latin America. Discovering yoga as a sustainable way of life, she qualified to teach in 2013 and began giving one-to-one classes, teaching small groups in offices and at a studio in Crystal Palace. She completed 500 hours training in India, studying the styles of Iyengar and Ashtanga with focus on alignment and adjustment, practicing under gurus in Mysore and learning Thai yoga massage to enhance her anatomical knowledge. She specialises in the styles of Ashtanga, Yin & acro-yoga and she recently added parent & baby yoga to her qualifications after attending classes with her own baby. She also teaches wellbeing classes & mindfulness yoga to students and staff in secondary schools. Her classes are dynamic yet playful, flowing but structured, encouraging students to feel grounded and energised.

Mary first turned to yoga as a way of keeping fit, sane and anchored while working in a manic advertising role. She also found it highly useful in dealing with her increasing anxiety. In 2011 she decided to press pause on the rat race; completing her 200 hour teacher training on a retreat in Dahab, Egypt; her mother’s homeland. The country had an intense pull on her so she relocated there shortly after, teaching her Vinyasa style classes to ex-pats, holidaymakers, Egyptian and Bedouin women, which she describes as an enlightening experience.

Returning to live once more in London in 2014 she went on to complete an 80 hour Pregnancy teacher training with Yogamama Ltd. Her yoga promotes balance, flexibility and strength, whilst the mindfulness techniques along with breathwork help develop an openhearted awareness of the present moment. You will leave feeling relaxed, energised and grounded. Resources are also provided to help you develop a personal practice at home.

Are you a yoga teacher looking for an affordable space in Brixton to run your classes? Get in touch spacehire@brixtonpound.org

Brixton Windmill pops up in Pop Brixton

You might not have noticed the little logo on the page of Brixton’s local newspaper, the Bugle. It’s a silhouette of a windmill. And not just any windmill – it’s the Brixton Windmill. Located a little way up Brixton Hill, tucked amidst the houses of Blenheim Gardens in a unique urban setting, the Windmill has been around for 200 years, and through the twists and turns of history has now lovingly been restored to working order.

In March, the Friends of Windmill Gardens brought the Windmill to central Brixton, running a pop up stall in Pop Brixton to raise funds and launch their summer programme. The Friends are the spiritual guardians of the Windmill: a group of local volunteers who manage and maintain the mill and its grounds, recruit volunteers, and raise funds. Most recently they have embarked on an exciting new project to build an Education Centre in the grounds, which will ultimately make the Windmill more accessible and user friendly for its diverse range of visitors, including school groups and young people.

As part of Pop’s Community Investment Scheme, they took over an empty unit where they sold merchandise and promoted their 2017 programme http://www.brixtonwindmill.org/visit, which kicked off on 25 March. The Windmill opens for volunteer-led tours of the mill and gardens on scheduled weekends, which are very popular, so make sure you book. And don’t miss the renowned Beer and Bread Festival [http://brixtonwindmill.org/whats-on?item=161] which takes place on bank holiday Monday 1 May, with beer, bread, live music and Morris men.

The Friends also sold their locally milled Brixton flour (produced in the Windmill itself by their tireless volunteer millers – if you’re interested in becoming one, get in touch with the Friends!) If you missed the pop up, you can buy Brixton Windmill flour from Brixton Whole Foods, the Old Post Office Bakery, Cornercopia, F Mondays, Dulwich Picture Gallery, and our own Brixton Pound Café.

Friends of Windmill Gardens visited Pop Brixton as part of the Brixton Pound’s community investment scheme, through which Brixton businesses give back to the local community in varied ways. If you’re a community organisation, project or school interested in benefiting from the scheme, get in touch with Lucy (lucy @ brixtonpound.org) to find out more.

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!

Brixton Fund supported Advocacy Academy organises Bridges Not Walls action in Brixton

An inspiring action took place in Brixton at 5pm on 20th January 2017, at the exact moment Donald Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States. A group of young people came together to drop a banner declaring their outrage, solidarity and hope. The action was part of the global action BRIDGES NOT WALLS.

After hanging the banner, the young people swore an oath:

TOGETHER: At this moment, Donald Trump is being inaugurated as President of The United States.

AMAL: We have come together to mark this moment in another way.

ZHANÉ: As young people from Brixton, we are here to express our outrage at the dangerous politics of hate and division.

MALIKA: And of scapegoating and bigotry.

ILHAN: To say NO to racism, sexism, islamophobia and xenophobia.

AZAL: To stand in solidarity and hope with communities all over the world who need our love and support right now.

PERREIRA: As we speak, Donald Trump is standing on the steps of Capitol Hill, taking an oath to faithfully protect, preserve and defend.

ASHLEIGH: A promise we plan to hold him to it.

SAMANTHA: And so today, we too take an oath.

ELIZABETH: That, no matter what, we ain’t gonna let nobody or nothing turn us around.

CELINE: We’ve been down this path before and we know where it leads.

ERICA: It leads nowhere good..

BRITTNEY: So we’re building a better world.

THALIA: A world of justice, equality and freedom for all people.

TOGETHER: We have built too many walls. Now is the time to build bridges.


The young people are fellows of The Advocacy Academy, a Social Justice Fellowship for young people who are passionate about making a difference in the world. Across eight months, The Advocacy Academy supports young leaders from marginalised communities to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to tackle some of the biggest challenges of the 21st century.

In 2016, Advocacy Academy was shortlisted for an award from the Brixton Fund, and came first in a community vote on how to allocate funding. As a result, they received the maximum grant of £2000. Founder, Amelia Viney, said:

“Just like the Brixton Pound, The Advocacy Academy is all about building powerful communities. That’s why we were so excited to win £2000, money which will allow us to run a four-day event designed by our young leaders, exploring how they can effectively challenge systemic inequality an injustice. We are so grateful to all the locals who came out to support us! You are helping a generation of ambitious but underprivileged young Londoners to be heard.”

The Brixton Fund grant was spent on a four-day residential programme in October 2016, designed by participants to address the systemic causes of oppression facing many young people in the area, focusing on race, class, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability. The Advocacy Academy works with several Brixton organisations, such as the Black Cultural Archives, TEDx Brixton, Reclaim Brixton, and Brixton Pound.

Read more about the Advocacy Academy’s action on Brixton Blog and in the Brixton Bugle:

And check out Bridges Not Walls‘ video to see more of what was happening in the UK and worldwide on that day:

Big things coming up in 2017: Brixton Fund round 3

The Brixton Fund is B£’s grant scheme started to support grassroots work in Brixton. To date, the Fund has given out just under £10,000 of small grants to 13 local organisations who strengthen and benefit communities, take action for social justice, or increase local employment opportunities. The simple application process, support we offer along the way, and minimal reporting requirements for grant recipients make the Brixton Fund highly accessible even to individuals or groups without many resources.

In 2016, we increased Brixton Fund’s reach and impact massively: in the first round in November 2015, we received 18 applications and gave a total of £2,400 to 4 organisations, and in June 2016 we more than tripled the number of applications received as well as funding granted: out of the 60 that applied, 9 organisations received a total of £7,500. For the second round of the Brixton Fund, we also trialled a more open and democratic voting process, where we invited the public to vote on how to distribute the awards between shortlisted projects.

Brixton Fund public voting event in June 2016. Photo credit: Mike/Brixton Buzz. Speaker is Ciaran Thapar from Hero’s Journey, a youth project funded by the Brixton Fund. Read Ciaran’s recent article about bridging gentrification’s stark divides.

In 2017, we would also like to open the Fund Panel to volunteers from the community. Would you like to join? You would help us score the applications we receive and arrive at a shortlist for guaranteed funding. In 2017, the likely scenario is that the Fund will open for applications in April, and scoring will take place in May. You will be asked to score no more than 10 applications, and we’ll provide you with a detailed criteria and scoring guidelines. We will also ask you to declare any bias you may have, so don’t worry if someone you know is thinking of applying for funding – we’ll make sure you are not scoring their application. Depending on the volume of applications and turnaround, we’d then like to hold the open event where the public can vote on how to distribute funding among shortlisted projects in late May or early June.

You can support the Brixton Fund in a number of ways:  by spending electronic B£s (1.5% of each transactions goes straight into the Fund), by treating yourself to cocktails at Seven and Three Eight Four bars, the official sponsors of the Brixton Fund, by playing the Brixton Bonus (another round will be happening in the spring), by direct donations. Everyone is invited to come vote on how to distribute the grant money once we announce a shortlist for the next round.

But if you’d also like to be part of the initial selection process, you can now join the Fund Panel.

So, would you like to give your time and expertise to the Brixton Fund application scoring during May 2017? If yes, please fill out this form, or contact us if you have any questions or comments. We would love to have you on board!