Win B£1,000 this Christmas!

The very special Xmas Bonus is on! Buy a ticket for £1 and enter a draw to win B£1,000, or one of 22 runner up prizes – including original B£ merchandise and 12 mystery prizes donated by Brixton businesses this Christmas!

  • Raffle draw on 16th December
  • 22 runner-up prizes: new prizes donated by Brixton businesses revealed daily
  • Get up to 10 tickets to boost your chances!

Buy your tickets at the B£ Cafe or online: brixtonpound.org/bonus-play

Proceeds from the Brixton Bonus go into the Brixton Fund, our local grants scheme: so it’s a win for Brixton every time!

Turn £1 into B£1,000 and cover all your Xmas costs

With B£1,000 in your pocket, you can cover all your Christmas costs: buy gifts for family and friends, groceries, decorations, and any other festive items – all from local, independent shops. For some great ideas, check out gift guides made by B£ users in the previous years, or see what previous Bonus winners spent their prize money on

You could spend your Brixton Grand on:

And while you do your Christmas shopping, treat yourself to a lovely coffee break at Federation Coffee, or a festive cocktail at Seven or Three Eight Four bars.

For a full list of B£ businesses, visit the B£ Directory.

Buy your tickets at the B£ Cafe or online: brixtonpound.org/bonus-play

12 Days of BriXmas Advent Calendar – win one of 22 very special runner-up prizes!

photo-01-12-2016-12-38-02Aside from the Brixton Grand, you’ve got a chance to win one of 22 special runner-up prizes in the Brixton Bonus!

We’ve teamed up with Brixton businesses who donated 12 very special prizes. We will announce a new prize every day from 1st until 12th December – keep an eye on our social media, or come see the advent calendar at the B£ Cafe!

2 sessions of mosaics workshop with master mosaic artist Kes Young! Kes will work with you to design and learn to use tools and then grout your own unique piece as part of a chilled group mosaic class at the B£ cafe.

  • 2 December: jug by Omnis

    Hand made, hand painted jug from Omnis.

  • 3 Dec: Koi Ramen gyoza

    Free gyoza at Koi Ramen!

  • 4 Dec: cupcakes from Cupped

    24 Christmas cupcakes, a mix of gingerbread, mince pie, and vanilla bean Christmas tree. Boxed and delivered with a big red bow!

  • 5 Dec: design plate from Circus

    A Danish 1970s ceramic dish, designed by Bjorn Wimblad.

  • 6 December: BCA membership

    A year’s Friends of the Black Cultural Archives membership! Gives you exclusive invitations to special events at the BCA in Windrush Square, as well as other bonuses including free BCA branded tote bag, 10% discount in the BCA cafe and shop, and priority booking on events.

  • 7 December: £20 framing voucher from Studio 73

    The craftspeople at Studio 73 will expertly frame your beloved print or photo.

  • 8 December: Brixton Brewery tour and tasting
  • 9 December: Sunday lunch for two with wine at Salon
  • 10 December: Tagua Nut necklace from Diverse Gifts 
  • 11 December: Bottomless brunch at 384

Bottomless brunch for 2 people at 384 in January! A 2 hour sitting, with any bunch dish and bottomless prosecco, coffee and Bloody Marys. Whew.

  • 12 December: evening meal at cafe Van Gogh

Candelit evening meal for two at Cafe van Gogh on Brixton Road. You’ll get to sample their gourmet creative plant-based recipes.

B£ is also offering some very special prizes for this Bonus round – here are 10 more prizes you could win:

  • Free meal for 2 at the B£ Cafe
  • Free coffee/tea at the B£ Cafe for a week
  • B£ note set in presentation wallets (featuring all 2nd edition notes and the anniversary Deller note) (2 prizes)
  • The Great Brixton Book (2 prizes)
  • B£ mug + 2 t-shirts (2 prizes)
  • B£ bag + 2 t-shirts (2 prizes)

Have a look at our online shop for more details of each item, and good luck!

Buy your tickets at the B£ Cafe or online: brixtonpound.org/bonus-play

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Could you donate a small gift for an older person who will be alone over the Christmas period?

The winter months are kicking in, and it’s time for mulled wine, carols, festive headgear and parties accompanied by barely tolerable Christmas pop songs. But not everybody in our community is fortunate enough to have friends or family around to enjoy the season with. We’re teaming up with Age UK‘s No one should have no one at Christmas campaign – and you, Brixton residents, B£ users, B£ Cafe customers – to try and bring a bit more warmth to older Lambeth residents this year.

Age UK, one of the organisations which received funding from our local grant scheme the Brixton Fund, is hosting a Christmas lunch on 25th December at the Vida Walsh Centre, just off Windrush Square, for older people who would otherwise not have someone to spend Christmas with. At the B£, we’re asking our customers and supporters whether they can donate a small gift, perhaps something you no longer have a use for, something you’ve made, or something bought at a local B£ business that can be wrapped and given as a small token. Please bring your donations to the B£ Cafe at 77 Atlantic Road – thank you!

We will also gladly accept any donations of wrapping paper, and if you could offer some of your time to help us wrap the gifts too, we’d be overjoyed. We’re planning to do that at the B£ Cafe on 21st and 22nd December.

Gifts don’t need to be large. Even a small thing can make someone’s Christmas. Some suggestions are:

  • Small packets of sweets/chocolates
  • Small packets of biscuits/crackers
  • Pots of jam/marmalade/honey  
  • Fruit: tangerines and oranges  
  • Dried fruit  
  • Hot chocolate/tea/ovaltine  
  • Gloves  
  • Socks  
  • Toiletries/soaps/shower gel  
  • 2017 diaries  
  • Small notebooks  
  • Small calendars  

You can also donate B£s to the Vida Walsh Centre ran by Age UK Lambeth – if you already have a B£ account, you can simply text “pay vida [donation amount]” to the B£ pay-by-text number (07926200421). Or if you prefer donating pounds sterling, you can text AUKL16 £4 to 70070 to give £4 to help buy Christmas lunch for an older person.

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Brixton Bonus: Meet the Winner – Max

You may recognise Max’s face from lots of the pictures featuring previous Bonus winners… as the one who was handing them their cheques for B£1,000! That’s right, Max used to work at B£ and he was the one who set up the Brixton Bonus and Fund. As an employee and the one responsible for Bonus he naturally wasn’t allowed to play – but when he left, first thing he did was setting up a recurring entry for 10 tickets a month. And boom – he won the Brixton Grand! The generous person he is, he donated more than half his prize to the Brixton Fund straight away. Our apprentice Dominic caught up with Max to ask him what his designs for the rest of his prize money were, and what it felt like to be on the other side of Bonus.

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Having set up the Bonus as an employee of the Brixton Pound, how does it feel to be on the other side and playing it yourself?

Pretty jammy! I set up my entry as a way of continuing to support the B£ and the Fund, that was my primary motivation and luckily it paid me back – but I don’t think I’m allowed to win again! 

What are you going to do with your winnings?

I took my girlfriend out for dinner, we went to Salon. It was delicious. I’ve basically just taken everyone out for food, that’s the only thing I’ve done. I have a friend coming down from Bristol who’s going travelling for a few months so I thought I’d take him out for dinner as well. I have enough physical things so I’m just eating my way through the money.

What is your favourite place in Brixton?

It’s hard to say – I had some favourite places but some of them are gone now: Kaff was a great place, also the Phoenix Cafe. I’ve got a lot of love for Healthy Eaters restaurant, Brockwell Park. Obviously the Brixton Pound Cafe is a hotspot. Brixton is great fun, one of the more lively bits of South London.

What was your main motivation behind setting up the Bonus and the Fund?

I was recruited specifically to set up the Bonus and the Fund, but they weren’t fully formed ideas. I’d say with Bonus, we knew roughly what we wanted it to be – a local prize draw, so I went ahead and set it up in that mould. With the Fund there was a lot less of a plan, so I had a lot more input into what that ended up looking like – that was the bit for me that was really interesting. Bonus is a bit of fun, but the Fund actually has the potential to do some really good stuff. I borrowed a lot from something called the Edge Fund which I’m a member of: it’s a more democratic funding model. And particularly because the Brixton Pound is place-specific to Brixton, while a lot of traditional funding is much more top-down, it seemed like a good opportunity to work up a new model where there was a lot more input from local people to how money was being spent, and also build links and networks in a place like Brixton.

Over a year or so we tried to develop it from being at first quite a standard model of “write your application, a panel will look over it, then make a decision whether you get money or not” into one where it’s not just the money, it’s the contacts you’re making and the networks you’re building. In terms of how the money is distributed there’s a lot more creative ways where input is fed from the public. I was very pleased with the big event we had in June at Brixton East: it was a really positive evening, lots of people came along, and it felt like a success in terms of creating a space where people were having the right kind of conversations, and at the same time we were collectively deciding how to fund some great projects.

So what’s life been like for you after Brixton Pound?

There’s been a B£-shaped hole in my life, I had a lot of fun when I was working there. But I still keep up with the people I used to work with so that’s nice! I come down to Brixton from time to time to hang out in the new B£ Cafe. I’m just as busy as I was, but I’m working on different stuff with new people, doing new projects which is exciting. (Follow Max’s work at climate change charity 10:10 and his own project Demand Energy Equality, it’s great stuff!)

Finally, what would you say is the best reason for playing the Bonus for a newcomer – why should they play it?

There are so many good reasons! One is that you can win some money, but that’s the simplest reason. Two, is that it’s a really easy way to be involved in the Brixton Pound. It used to be all about the currency – and a lot of people still use it to buy their groceries or gifts or what have you, but it’s also a lot bigger these days and the Bonus is a way to be part of it. Thirdly, by playing you are supporting great local projects through the Fund – it’s a way of finding out about these projects which may just be on your doorstep but you’ve got no idea, and then once you’re part of the Bonus family you’ll get updates on funded projects as well as other worthy initiatives and social projects people are setting up in the area. What more could you want? 🙂

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So, how can I be a winner?

Ticket sales for the next Bonus round will open on Monday 31st October, and the big winner will be announced shortly after 5pm on 16th December. This is slightly different from the monthly format we’ve used so far. The reason we have decided to run Bonus less frequently was to make it more of a special event –  so in this Christmas draw, apart from the main prize of B£1,000, there will be lots of runner-up prizes donated by Brixton’s independent businesses. We are keeping those a surprise for now, so keep an eye out for announcements – but they are guaranteed to be amazing!

Once the draw opens on Monday 31st October, you can buy tickets through your Brixton Pound online account, via an online form (which will automatically create a B£ account for you by the way!), or at the B£ Cafe at 77 Atlantic Road.

In 2017, we will continue to run special Bonus draws seasonally. Making Bonus seasonal will also help us make sure that the Brixton Fund continues providing small grants for the local community – we were blown away by the amount of interest in the past year, and want to make sure the next funding round in spring 2017 is bigger and better than ever.

In the meantime, we would massively appreciate it if you continued to support us through playing the Bonus, using B£s, or visiting our pay-what-you-feel cafe at 77 Atlantic Road, where we’re serving drinks, cakes, and delicious food sourced from local surplus as well as providing the space for bookings ranging from art exhibitions to activist meetings. Your support means a lot to us – hope to see you soon!

Art opening and poetry night at the Cafe this Friday!

The Brixton Pound Cafe will be opening late this Friday for an evening of cultural immersion! 

Featuring an exclusive pop-up show from Liu Huiting, contemporary artist on the rise, followed by provocation and wit in equal parts with the performance poetry of Laura Taylor and friends.

It all kicks off at 6pm – get there by 7 for an artist talk and to guarantee a seat at the poetry slam.

As ever, fine local drinks and eats available from the Brixton Pound Cafe – and since it’s a Friday night we’ll add the best of local beer & wine…

Hope to see you there!

“Only the Memory Remains” – is running for one week only, a pop up exhibition from Liu Huiting, a contemporary Chinese artist on the rise after a much lauded MA Show at chelsea this year:

“Kaleidoscope – On Tour!” – one of an exclusive few stops on a book tour of Laura Taylor

A passionate challenge to authority and the ‘politricks’ of power from one of the UK’s most incisive performance poets.

With Very Special Guest Joy France: “Witty and wise and with a natural talent for rhythm and rhyme, La France has that ‘je ne sais quoi'”

Welcome to the Brixton Pound Cafe ☕️

The first pay-what-you-feel cafe in Brixton! 

Brixton Pound is excited to announce its newest project: the Brixton Pound cafe! Opening in July 2016 at 77 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU, it is the first cafe in Brixton where all food and drink will operate on a pay-what-you-feel basis.

This idea (used by many projects, from cafes like ours or The Real Junk Food Project‘s all the way to commercial giants like Radiohead) fits perfectly into Brixton Pound’s ethos and its practice of questioning the traditional money systems and showcasing that viable alternatives exist. A more social economy is possible!

Additionally, we will be sourcing our food from local surplus – perfectly edible food that would otherwise be wasted – and turn it into delicious and healthy meals. We have partnered up with the People’s Fridge, a project run by residents and local food activists from Open Project Night, and with them will lead on food waste and food poverty reduction in the area. We will be collecting surplus from local traders, such as greengrocers Nour Cash & Carry and Faiz Fine Foods who have already pledged their unsold edible produce. If you’re a local business owner and would like to take part in the scheme, please email us at info (at) brixtonpound (dot) org or come by the cafe for a chat.

As part of the Brixton Pound Community Interest Company, the cafe will be a not-for-profit, and all revenue will support our local grants scheme Brixton Fund.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you at 77 Atlantic Road – come along to say hello, have a drink and a bite to eat, use the free wifi, or just hang out in a friendly space.

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Brixton Pound HQ

In the cafe, you can exchange your sterling cash for Brixton Pounds, set up a B£ pay-by-text account, play the Brixton Bonus, buy B£ merchandise (every sale supports the Brixton Fund!) and find out more about B£, its local projects, and Brixton itself.

Community space

Our new space at 77 Atlantic Road allows us to continue the mission of the B£ Shop (which we ran out of one of the Brixton Arches earlier this year) – giving the community an outlet for activity at the very heart of Brixton.

Aside from the cafe space, we’ve got a beautiful and spacious basement downstairs which can be used for meetings, events, workshops, pop-ups, performances, yoga, dance, rehearsals, you name it!

In our previous space we’ve welcomed regular free art classes, young parent groups, gigs, book launches, campaign meetings, social research launch parties, poetry and spoken word nights, youth education sessions – and much more – into the space.

The space is available to rent on a sliding scale, with the option of using it for free. The whole idea of the community space concept is to open up space that’s normally off-limits to community groups to help them do what they want to do.

“Thanks for the opportunity to use the space as it has definitely allowed me to raise my profile and confidence. Other places have requested my workshops for future projects” – Kes, Heart in Art mosaic workshops

“The Brixton Pound shop has been a game-changer for us…Our participants, all of whom are young people from the borough, love learning and planning there. B£ has given us a home in the centre of our town, where we before we had to look outside of our community.” – Amelia, Advocacy Academy

Host or suggest an event or activity

We’re only a small team – so we need your ideas and energy! If you’d like to host an event, or have an idea for something that could happen in the space, come in for a chat or email us at info (at) brixtonpound (dot) org

Opening hours:

Mon – Fri 8am – 7pm

Sat 10am – 6pm

#BrixtonFund: Local Group of the Month – Hero’s Journey

Over the last nine months, Ciaran Thapar and Rory Bradshaw have been volunteering at their local community centre in Loughborough Junction. Backed by the Brixton Fund, the Brixton Pound’s micro-grants scheme, they have established Hero’s Journey – a weekly discussion group for teenage boys. Here, they explain the story so far.

How did Hero’s Journey start?

Our involvement at Marcus Lipton Community Centre (MLCC) began in September 2015, when we were first buzzed through the front door. It is a single-floor building next to the weathered railway arches in Loughborough Junction, resting in the shadows of Loughborough Estate’s huge white tower blocks, whose lights are visible from our living room window at night.

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Ira, Ciaran and Rory outside Marcus Lipton Community Centre. Photo credit: Tristan Bejawn

We spoke at length with Ira, the warm, pragmatic man in charge. Over a series of visits, he told us stories about growing up in Brixton, from the 1970s to the present day – the gangs, police, raves and racism.

That month, the Evening Standard launched their regeneration initiative, ‘The Estate We’re In’, aiming to drive attention towards London’s housing estates. The first article was written by a journalist who had spent a week living in Angell Town estate, and the consensus at MLCC was that the voices of the people interviewed had been misrepresented. It was seen as another case of the British media perpetuating negative stereotypes about black young men in the inner city.

Tragically, in the same few weeks, a 16-year-old boy, Jarrell (who we unfortunately never had the chance to meet), was killed on the road outside the centre. The flowers arranged on the pavement in commemoration, weathered and untouched, are still there today.

It was a sensitive time, and whilst welcoming our interest in volunteering, Ira warned us that we would not become embedded overnight. Sure enough, the first few months mainly involved just hanging out at the centre, building trust, reassuring everyone that we were neither journalists (the Evening Standard had made people paranoid), nor undercover policemen.

In November, with help from Jacqueline Gomes-Neves, the former youth mayor for Lambeth, we won £1000 from the Brixton Fund to develop the ‘Brixton Youth Forum’. This is an umbrella term for all youth activity at MLCC (including the pre-existing girls’ group), within which Hero’s Journey functions.

What is Hero’s Journey?

Every Friday evening we hold an hour-long session (a ‘journey’), each time sparking a conversation about a selected topic. Our simple aim is to get the boys (‘heroes’) to talk regularly, openly and critically about things that relate to their lives. We frame each discussion around a cultural resource – such as a book, item of food, photograph or newspaper article.

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In one journey, we brought Asian snacks – pakora, sushi and a bright selection of Indian sweets – and discussed London’s cultural diversity, challenging the heroes to compare and contrast their own respective eating norms at home (most the boys are from Jamaican households, some West or East African).

During others, we used photography books Don’t Call Me Urban (Simon Wheatley’s documentation of the roots of grime music amidst London’s council estates between 1998-2010) and the Great Brixton Photobook (a collection of images depicting moments of local history), to spark discussions about topics such as stereotyping, ‘stop-and-search’ and gentrification.

In our most recent journey, we held a debate about the EU referendum, which inspired some insightful commentary on the pros and cons of immigration, as well as some less concrete reasoning – “apparently if we leave the EU it’s gonna cost £35 for a trim!”, one of the boys claimed.

Week after week, we encounter new, curious faces, eager to participate and voice their thoughts. The group is always different (it’s size ranges from 3 to 12); most heroes attend different schools, some claim not to attend at all. Some come from stable homes, others from more challenging circumstances. Although the sparse room the group occupies each week might not have the sheen of polished oak and the comfort of green leather seats, the debates that unfold offer a more acute window into the perspectives of ordinary young people than those in the Commons Chamber ever could.

We are using the bulk of our £1000 funding to run a three-day programme in August (we have already used some of it for refreshments and attendance rewards at each journey). Our plan is to visit different places across London, enabling the heroes to engage in new experiences around the city. As part of the programme, we are also working with the Black Cultural Archives on Windrush Square to develop a journey about local history.

What problem are we trying to solve?

On top of giving the heroes space to discuss their ideas, Hero’s Journey also allows us, as newcomers to the area, to learn from, and become part of, our local community. In other words: it’s as much about our own learning curve – our own journey – as it is the boys’.

Our view is that some of the current unease with gentrification stems from the way that gentrified areas become split across the fault-lines of class and race. If you walk along Coldharbour Lane, from the backstreets of Loughborough Junction towards central Brixton, you will notice an obvious shift in atmosphere as the feeling of neglect evaporates. The various eateries in Brixton Village and Pop Brixton now appear to exist for a particular type of customer: (predominantly) white, monied twenty-and-thirty-somethings – not those who are likely to ever set foot in MLCC, even though it is just up the road.

The reality is that many of our fellow newcomers to Brixton are leading detached lives from the longstanding communities around them. They socialise at different bars and restaurants. They buy their fish, meat and vegetables at Sainsbury’s instead of the market. And in the week, they commute to and from jobs across the city, barely engaging with the civic space they live in. Through Hero’s Journey, we have been trying to disturb this status quo.

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Ira, Ciaran and Rory outside Marcus Lipton Community Centre. Photo credit: Tristan Bejawn

Since our initial contact with Ira, we have formed strong, organic relationships with other staff members and many of the young men and women, boys and girls, who treat MLCC as their second home. To them, the centre is a safe haven: they know they can spend their Friday nights there, under the wing of Ira and his staff. For the Hero’s Journey boys in particular, they also now know that both of us will be there each week to hear them out.

We believe that our achievements so far, more than anything else, demonstrate that with the right approach it is possible for people like us – young adult graduates, moving into an evolving urban area – to become part of our local community. The bonus is that each journey is the most enjoyable part of our week.

Ciaran and Rory

Please get in touch with Ciaran and Rory at herosjourneyml[at]gmail[dot]com if you would like to support Hero’s Journey in any way  (e.g. with ideas for the summer programme, to tag along for a session, or host a session!) or if you just want to meet up locally to discuss it in greater detail. 

Hero’s Journey’s logo was designed by Benjy Nugent, who kindly did it for free. It’s inspired by a tribal mask using the aesthetic of inner-city life. The photos were taken by Tristan Bejawn who will be tagging along to the next few journeys and on the summer programme to get portraits of the participants – so watch this space for more visuals from Hero’s Journey!

Ciaran talking about Hero's Journey at the Brixton Fund event in June. Photo credit: Mike Urban / Brixton Buzz

Ciaran talking about Hero’s Journey at the Brixton Fund event in June. Photo credit: Mike Urban / Brixton Buzz

In November 2015, Brixton Youth Forum / Hero’s Journey received £1000 from the Brixton Fund, the Brixton Pound’s local micro-grants scheme. The Brixton Fund is funded by Brixton Bonus ticket sales, sale of B£ merchandise in the Brixton Pound Shop, and a 1.5% business transaction fee on pay-by-text B£ payments. So – whenever you play to win B£1000, grab yourself a snazzy B£ T-shirt or simply do your weekly shop in B£s, you’re helping to fund local groups like Hero’s Journey.

#BrixtonBonus Meet The Winner: Miss South

Congrats to the latest Brixton Bonus winner, Miss South! A Brixton food blogger and food and drink editor at the Brixton Blog and Bugle, she is also the author of the amazing Recipes from Brixton Village, a collection of recipes contributed from traders as well as her own recipes showcasing Brixton produce.

Miss South was actually one of the first to start playing Brixton Bonus when we launched it last June – read her article from back then on what she’d spend her prize on if she won. 12 months later, she is actually a Brixton Bonus Thousandaire, and wrote another piece for us now that she actually has B£1,000 to spend! 

“I’ve been a big fan of the Brixton Pound since it started over five years ago, but to my eternal shame I never used it that much. I kept forgetting to go to Morleys for paper notes and I blew all the credit I put on the text account on wine at a party B£ hosted the same night and never topped up again.

Then the Brixton Pound launched the Brixton Bonus and I decided this was an excellent time to get involved. In signing up on the website, I discovered I had £14 in my text account from someone buying Recipes from Brixton Village from me at the Lambeth Country Show two years ago in the pouring rain. 

Perfect for a disorganised person, I set up a standing order for two tickets a month by the magic of the internet and forget about it. Until I got an unexpected phone call to say I’d won the £1000 prize and then I definitely remembered I’d played!

Registered in my real name, this was the genuine luck of the draw and I was thrilled. The beauty of the Bonus for me is that’s all disposable income to spend with local independent traders in my own community. I can’t accidentally fritter it away on the gas bill. I’ve got to go out and spend it proactively instead.

I’d done a piece for B£ when they launched the Bonus as to what I’d spend it on if I won and interestingly I haven’t done a single thing off that list yet. Partly because the list of traders who accept B£ has increased so much, and because I also realised it was a good way to do things locally that don’t just involve me eating for once.

Instead I wanted to finally get some stuff framed that’s been sitting round my flat for years looking forlorn, and need to go in to see Studio 73 about that. I’ve been having a few niggling health issues and immediately booked in with both Brixton Therapy Centre and Brixton Community Acupuncture to ease those (or kid myself I’m not just getting old!)

I plan to make a donation to both Brixton Advice Centre and Brixton and Norwood Food Bank who both do fantastic community work and very rarely have disposable income or choices on how to spend their money.

And then I might just eat my way round Brixton. There’s always somewhere new to try round here and it would be a shame to not to stuff myself for the good of the community…”

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How can you be the next winner?

It’s very simple: buy a ticket online or at the B£ Shop for £1 – you can get anywhere between 1 and 10 tickets to help your chances – and on Friday, 1st July you can walk away with one of the following:

  • A Brixton Grand – B£1,000 all of your own to spend on whatever you fancy!
  • 4 cocktails to share with a friend at the snazzy Seven at Brixton, official Brixton Fund partner.
  • One of 5 B£20 runners-up cash prizes to treat yourself with

And if you fancy some extra rewards, we give them out to anyone who sets up a recurring monthly entry, starting at £1/month – more details here. Most importantly of all, all revenue from the Brixton Bonus goes into the Brixton Fund!

Brixton Fund gives out grants for the second time!

On Tuesday 7th June we held the first ever public Brixton Fund event at Brixton East 1871, and together with Brixton’s community made the final decisions for this round of grants. Our idea was to make the grant-giving process more transparent, participatory, and democratic, so the public’s involvement was absolutely crucial! Thank you to everyone who came along, supported the event, spread the word, or got involved in any other way.

Out of all 60 applicants to this round of funding, with the help of our Fund Panel, we shortlisted nine. Representatives of these were present at the event and everyone had a chance to speak to them about their project and the work they do. Then, each person was given 10 chickpeas with which they could vote for the projects – all were guaranteed some amount of funding, but the public vote helped decide on its distribution between the projects. After we counted up the chickpeas, the final results were:

Keep an eye on our blog and Funded Projects page for more information and features about this cohort of Brixton Fund grant recipients, and check out the projects we funded previously too.

Photo credit Mike Urban/Brixton Buzz

Advocacy Academy got £2,000 to fund a 4-day residential programme for young leaders. This one and above photo credit Mike Urban/Brixton Buzz

Brixton Buzz and Brixton Blog both published nice write ups about the event and the feedback we got from community members was overwhelmingly positive (if you were there on the night and would like to let us know what you thought, please do fill out this short survey!) More pictures are on the B£ Facebook page. If you took photos on the night we’d love to see them too!

The future of community activities in Brixton

Photo credit Charlie Waterhouse / This Ain't Rock'n'Roll

Photo credit Charlie Waterhouse / This Ain’t Rock’n’Roll

While we were busy counting up the chickpeas, the main floor was given to a discussion on the future of community activities in Brixton. The Panelists included:

  • Binki Taylor (chair) – Chair of the Brixton Pound
  • Cllr Donatus Anyanwu – Lead Member for Community Relations, Lambeth Council
  • Rebecca Trevalyan – Head of Partnerships, Impact Hub Brixton
  • Mike Urban – Editor of Urban75 and Brixton Buzz
  • Sue Sheehan – Green Champion, Lambeth
  • Kwesi Shaddai – Regional Organiser, London, Edge Fund

With many questions from the audience the discussion was very lively, and we all agreed it needs to continue. That’s why we wanted to point you in the direction of Open Project Nights which happen every Monday 18.30-22.30 hosted by Impact Hub Brixton and Transition Town Brixton. The sessions are free and open to all, and can be used for working, networking, holding meetings, themed events, and you can experience the immediate benefit of engaging with inspiring community projects and enterprises. Current projects include Bank of Lambeth and The People’s Fridge, a community fridge that Impact Hub and TTB are currently crowdfunding for. Get involved!

Join the Brixton Fund Panel

As we asked on Tuesday night, we are looking for community members who would like to join the Fund Panel who scores applications to the Brixton Fund. It would require scoring up to 10 applications (2-4 pages long) twice a year. If you or anyone you know would like to get involved in this way, please email us on info(at)brixtonpound(dot)org with your or their name, email, and phone number.

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How you can support the Brixton Fund

The next round of funding is planned for autumn, and we’d like to make it even bigger than this one! If you’d like to support the Brixton Fund, you can do so in a number of ways:


Once again, thank you to all involved for your trust, enthusiasm, and participation in the Brixton Fund. The next round opens in October and we hope that with your support it can be even bigger and better!

Brixton Fund – shortlist for round 2, and how to get involved

The Brixton Fund is the Brixton Pound’s local grants scheme, introduced last year to increase the resources available for community and socially-minded activities in the area. For the current round of funding we have received a huge and unprecedented number of applications from people wanting to do good things in Brixton, which shows how crucially needed this kind of support is in the local area. All of the applications were scored by members of the Fund Panel, who voluntarily give their time to help us decide which applications to take forward.

Though we are not able to fund everyone, we endeavour to stay in touch with all applicants and facilitate support from other avenues, either through using the Brixton Pound shop space or the Pop Brixton Community Investment Scheme.

Nine projects were shortlisted, which means they are all guaranteed to receive some support from the Brixton Fund in this round:


 This is where you come in!

We want to bring people together to help us decide how the Fund money should be distributed between the shortlisted projects: please join us on Tuesday 7 June at 6.00pm (6.30pm start) at the beautiful Brixton East, just off Coldharbour Lane.

At the event, you will be provided with information about each shortlisted project, and given a certain amount of tokens to “fund” the projects according to how you think they should receive support. At the end of the night we will count up your votes and allocate funding to each project accordingly.

We’ll also hear from people who we’ve previously funded, as well as present the Brixton Exchange – our social programme which, in addition to the Brixton Fund, creates new resources for community activities in Brixton.

We will also be hosting a panel discussion that addresses the question: how can community activities exist, let alone thrive, at a time when London’s development creates increasingly difficult conditions for it. It is a big question that is worthy of proper debate, and we hope to have a frank and hopefully productive exchange of views, reflected by the panel we have put together:

  • Binki Taylor (chair) – Chair of the Brixton Pound
  • Cllr Donatus Anyanwu – Lead Member for Community Relations, Lambeth Council
  • Rebecca Trevalyan – Head of Partnerships, Impact Hub Brixton
  • Mike Urban – Editor of Urban75 and Brixton Buzz
  • Sue Sheehan – Green Champion, Lambeth
  • Kwesi Shaddai – Regional Organiser, London, Edge Fund

Among music, nibbles and drinks (Brixton Fund sponsor three eight four will be joining us for the evening) we’ll also be running a raffle where someone will be going home with a highly-coveted limited edition David Bowie Brixton Pound print. The first one went for over £1000, so this is a seriously hot piece of property!

Register for a free ticket here: brixtonfund.eventbrite.com Please share the invite with your friends and networks!

#BrixtonBonus Meet The Winner: Urszula

Urszula won the April draw of the Brixton Bonus. She joins the growing crowd of winners, who are featured in our Winners Gallery – have a look! And make sure you get some Bonus tickets before the next draw on 27th May – who knows, it could be you next time! Better yet, set up a recurring entry to never miss a chance for a Brixton Grand – and get some extra goodies as a reward from us.

“I read about the Bonus in the Bugle where there was an article about it. And I thought that you stood a better chance of winning the Bonus than the National Lottery! I had been playing for a few months before I won, and thought that whether I win or not, it’s really good that the money raised goes towards funding local groups around Brixton. Giving a chance to people who perhaps would find it hard to get funding otherwise. Everyone deserves a chance, and when you work hard and have an idea sometimes you just need a little bit of help to keep you going and spur you on. And then winning was just a surprise!”

“I would like to take my family out for a meal when everyone’s at home! Other than that I have been to my favourite shop Market Row Wines, I think that was the first place where I bought something with my winnings. Then some pizza from Franco Manca. And also new gloves from Brixton Cycles! It has made me more aware of which shops take B£ and which do not. I do think it would be really good if more shops joined in the scheme. People want to spend their money locally; more shops just need to be convinced. But yes, it has made me find out more about spending in local shops.”

“I’m also going to donate some of my winnings to the Ebony Horse Club in Loughborough Junction. I think opportunities for people to have a go at things they normally wouldn’t get the chance to do are great!

“I do think it has been really good that B£ has had a physical embodiment on the high street. It makes people much more aware of them. Because it is on the high street it meant I could go in and talk to a real person and find out more about the Bonus and what it does.”

“I’ve lived in Brixton for 30 years now, and I’ve always shopped in the market, the health food shop, the fabric shop, veg shop, Franco Manca… And just the covered markets in general. Before that I used to come here when I was a student, the markets have always been a really good place to shop: I would come to buy fruit and veg here because there was no market near where I lived. You get all kinds stuff: fish, fruit, fabrics… You could always buy unusual things too – the Reliance Arcade was a great place for that! Even my mum in the 50s used to shop in the market when she first came to London. All you need in a neighbourhood is a park and a market.”

Would you wanna win B£1,000 while supporting the local economy and the Brixton Fund too? Go ahead, play the Brixton Bonus!