We are definitely not bringing Christmas into October but we’ve just released these beautiful collectors’ packs of first editions which will make ace presents (any time of the year). They are uncirculated, in mint condition and therefore extremely rare. When they’ve gone, well, yes, they’ve gone. The pack contains an Olive Morris note, a James Lovelock note, a CLR James note and a Vincent van Gogh note. And they’re just £25. Email email@example.com if you’d like one.
Come along to our free film night at the Brixton Pound Cafe. The event is free but please consider giving us a donation to cover our costs.
In Our Hands
In Our Hands explores a quiet revolution that is transforming the way our food is produced and distributed. Our current industrial food system is a vast and wheezing giant that is only upheld by a stilted subsidy regime that pays out to landowners and leaves many farmers by the wayside.
But from the hedge-rows and by-roads, the fields and furrows can now be heard the stirring of change! Stories from the global South have inspired farmers and food workers in our snug little island, with the idea of food sovereignty and a global movement to take back control of the food system.
From the grazier reviving the art of pasture, to the grower erecting a poly-tunnel in the heart of East London or the farmer saving a handful of ancient grain, a new agricultural landscape is emerging. Here rural traditions meet modern innovations in a new food system that will bring back life to the soil, a fair wage to the farmer and a flavour to the tomato!
Throughout the tumultuous summer of the Brexit referendum the Landworkers’ Alliance joined forces with two film-makers, to unearth the farms and faces that are making this change happen.
We stand on the brink, the future is uncertain, but the seeds of a better food system are In Our Hands!
The film is being shown on Wednesday 3 October at 7pm at the Brixton Pound Cafe at 77 Atlantic Road. One of the producers of In Our Hands, Holly Black, will be attending the event. Please donate what you can so that we can continue to run progressive film nights at the cafe. Please register for your free tickets.
From the end of August 2018, we have retired the ability to pay by text in Brixton Pounds as we explore other innovative ways of paying with local currency. The paper Brixton Pounds remain a great way of boosting our local economy and strengthening our community.
If you are a business or individual who opened a pay-by-text account in the past, we wanted to say a huge thank you for your support. It’s been so important for us. We have sent emails to everyone with an account to let them know next steps. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like us to send it again.
You can use our paper currency in many shops and restaurants in and around Brixton, including the Brixton Pound Cafe. We know it encourages local trade, maintains the diversity of the high street and sustains pride in Brixton.
We rely on the support of people like you to continue our progressive work. Whether it’s eating a delicious pay-what-you-can lunch made from surplus food, hiring space or taking part in low-cost reiki, yoga, film nights or supper clubs, your involvement in our work is hugely beneficial. We will be consulting the wider community when we develop our new payment platform. Thank you once again and we look forward to seeing you at the cafe very soon.
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:
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.
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!
Would you like to get involved in the first pay-what-you-feel cafe in South London, run by the Brixton Pound? We’re looking for volunteers to help out on weekday afternoons or weekends – be part of a unique local community project!
- The B£ Cafe was set up in July 2016 at 77 Atlantic Road. From the start, it was operating on a pay-what-you-feel basis: meaning customers could decide how much they want to pay for their food and drink. This system means all customers have an opportunity to be generous, or have an affordable experience.
- We have partnered up with local organisations and businesses to source the Cafe’s food and drink from local surplus – perfectly edible food that would otherwise be wasted – and turn it into delicious and healthy meals.
- The Cafe has also become an art space, hosting exhibitions and shows by local artists, as well as plenty of other community events.
- As with all our initiatives the cafe is a not-for-profit, with all revenue supporting the local community via the Brixton Fund.
Would you like to volunteer some of your time to the B£ Cafe? We are looking particularly for people available during afternoons and weekends who could help with preparing food and drinks, serving customers, and telling them more about the B£. Cafe experience would be a plus, but we provide full training + travel and childcare expenses if you need them.
If you’re interested, come to the Volunteer Welcome Evening on Wed 1st Feb, from 6.30pm at the Cafe. It’ll be a chance to find out more about the opportunity and meet other volunteers.
If you can’t make it on the evening but would still be interested in getting involved, drop us an email at email@example.com or come by the Cafe for a chat (opening hours are Mon 8am-5:30pm, Tue-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm).
Please spread the word among your friends and networks!
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.
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? 🙂
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!
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.
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.
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
Mon – Fri 8am – 7pm
Sat 10am – 6pm
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…”
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!
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!