Tag Archives: event

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!

Volunteers from Lambeth Council and other Brixton locals bring Christmas cheer to older people

With the help of local volunteers and donors, the Brixton Pound ran a collection and gift wrapping session at the B£ Café to give isolated older people gifts and treats to help warm their Christmas. 

A lunch was hosted at the Vida Walsh Centre in Windrush Square on Christmas day for older people who would otherwise be spending Christmas alone. When we think of Christmas we think of warmth and merriment, family and friends, but that’s not always within reach for everyone, whether because of geography, absence of family or friends, physical or mental disability, or other challenges. Older people in particular can find themselves isolated and lonely at Christmas.

Previous recipient of a Brixton Fund grant, Age UK Lambeth, asked us whether we could help them in sourcing donations of food and gifts to be distributed at the lunch, so we sent out a call to our network of Brixtonites and other loyal supporters.

The response was overwhelming. Thanks to you lovely people, and in particular thanks to staff of Lambeth Council, we received several large bags of fruit, biscuits, chocolate, and assorted gifts.

A group of cheery volunteers transported the donations, sipped teas and coffees and diligently helped to wrap presents at our café on Atlantic Road. Here’s the team:

Heartwarming stuff. Thanks guys!

As well as collecting an impressive pile of gifts for the event, with the help of the Lambeth community, Age UK Lambeth managed to raise more than £3,000, massively exceeding the target of £750. The money not spent on the Christmas lunch will be used to upgrade the services they provide for users in Lambeth.

Age UK research suggests that there are 2,550 lonely older people in Lambeth, and that 1.2 million older people in England are chronically lonely. That’s an awful lot of loneliness that can be alleviated with just small actions from the people around. If you feel you could offer an hour or so a week to befriend an older person, or make a small donation, Age UK Lambeth will match you up with someone. Apply to be a befriending volunteer and help make someone’s New Year here: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/lambeth/getinvolved/

To keep up with any Age UK Lambeth updates, events and developments, follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Volunteer at the B£ Cafe!

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 info@brixtonpound.org 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!

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'”

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!

Introducing a new regular event… No Kidding!

This is a guest blog post written by Rachel Segal Hamilton, Brixton creative, journalist, and mum.

Introducing… No Kidding

My dad used to live in Brixton in the ‘90s so, as a kid, I was here every other weekend. I remember Saturday morning trips to buy veg at the market and summer days dancing to reggae at the Country Show. I moved back just over three years ago and just over three months ago I became a mum.

Since my daughter was born, I’ve discovered there are great activities in the area for young children. But the conversations I have at these places always seems to come back to the same subject: our kids. We analyse, in unhealthily obsessive detail, how much they’re sleeping (or not), how frequently they feed, the precise Pantone shade of their poo…

RandSka

Don’t get me wrong, I love my girl, and I’m as preoccupied with these things as the next parent but I’m also interested in what’s going on in the world beyond my own baby bubble. And it’s all too easy to lose touch with your own identity when your focus is constantly on the needs of a new person.

That’s why I decided to start No Kidding, an alternative group for local parents like me to come along, nipper in tow, drink tea, and speak about more than just our offspring. Whether you want to talk about life in Brixton, life before maternity leave or life on Mars – the discussion is up for grabs.

I’m hoping it will be informal and inspiring, a chance to share your opinions, ideas and experiences with a bunch of friendly fellow Brixtonians, who happen to have kids.

Our first meet-up is 10.30-11.30am on Wednesday 17th February at the B£ Shop (formerly A&C Deli), 3 Atlantic Rd, London SW9 8HX.

See you there!

Rachel x

Any questions? For more info, contact Rachel rachelsegalhamilton@yahoo.com or @rachsh on Twitter 

First Brixton Bonus draw happening at Lambeth Country Show!

Lambeth Country Show is a FREE festival taking place in Brockwell Park, with attractions such as horticultural shows, home grown vegetable and flower competitions, numerous craft & food stalls and even an on site farm. Plus lots of great South London vibe music. And you know what? This year another great attraction is added to the bill: the first ever Brixton Bonus draw! We’ll announce the winner of the main prize: B£1,000 and the 12 runner-up prizes from the main stage at 6pm on Sunday 19th July.

Brixton Pound_Campaign_A3

Brixton Bonus is a community prize draw with two winners: you, and Brixton. You can buy tickets for as little as £1/B£1 and you have a chance to win a whole Brixton Grand – B£1,000! Whether it’s a new bike you’re after, some massage therapy or a year’s worth of yams – you won’t be left wanting, and the money you spend will support Brixton’s famous independent shops and strengthen the local economy. 

The inaugural draw also includes 12 excellent runners-up prizes to increase your chances of winning:

  • Massage, shiatsu and osteopathy sessions from Brixton Therapy Centre.
  • A £50 voucher to spend at Seven@Brixton.
  • A full day’s venue hire at Tulse Hill Estate worth £200.
  • A £50 voucher to spend at Lowie.
  • A £50 gift bag from 20 Storey.
  • 5 X B£20 cash prizes to spend however you like!

But that’s not the end of it! Whether you’re a lucky winner or not, Brixton wins every time. Funds generated by the Bonus will be split between the Brixton Fund – a local micro-grants scheme – and the Brixton Pound, enabling us to continue our work supporting Brixton’s businesses and local economy. It’s really a win-win situation!

In short: what are you waiting for?!

 

Tickets are on sale online (click here if you have a B£ account already, or here if you’re new to this whole thing) until noon on Sunday 19th July. You can buy up to 10 to help your luck.

They will also be on sale at Lambeth Country Show throughout the day on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th July, up until the big draw on the main stage at 6pm!

We hope you can join us there for the big moment – and good luck if you’re playing! (If you’re not, GET ON IT!)

Join us for a celebration – this Wednesday!

Come and help us celebrate the launch of B£’s special limited edition B£5 note created for Brixton by a very special Turner Prize winning artist. The note will be nothing short of a work of art and is guaranteed to blow your minds!

Wednesday 8th July Windrush Square 6-10pm

Bring your friends and family and join us in a huge evening picnic on Windrush Square and be the first to see the most magical money – probably in the world!

We will also be hosting a Give & Take market, so come and swap your unwanted items with us.  In the spirit of free exchange, we’re encouraging Brixtonites to donate items they don’t want or need anymore, and creating an opportunity for others to take them – for free! Clothes, books, toys, household items, decorations, all kinds of miscellanea.

Norwood and Brixton Foodbank and Brixton Soup Kitchen will also be collecting tinned and dried food, so bring that as donations too! Here’s a handy shopping list for what items you can donate.

We’ll be collecting from early morning (7:30am) on the day, so you can just drop them off with us on Windrush Square on your way to work – there will be a visible B£ stall. And then in the evening, come see if you can find any treasures others have donated!


It will be a big celebration, and also a chance to:

  •  Be the first to get your hands on the special new B£5 note! It will be so worth it.
  •  Get rid of your surplus stuff! Have something gathering dust at home, or don’t use an item anymore? Pass it on!
  • Get free stuff! One person’s unused item is another’s treasure – and all donated items will be available at the market FOR FREE.
  • And of course, have some fun!

This is a free event – make a picnic, pick up a take away, bring your loved ones and indulge in a bit of midweek celebration – it could only happen here!

The fun begins at 6pm – see you next week on Windrush Square, Brixton!

Tell us if you’re coming on Facebook or Eventbrite!

B£5-PARTY POSTER

Remembering Olive Morris

The Remembering Olive Collective (ROC) is holding a rally on Friday 26 June on Rush Common, Brixton Hill, to celebrate the life of Olive Morris and to call upon Lambeth Council to ensure that Olive’s memory does not become erased from the history of Brixton. Brixton Pound had put Olive on its first edition notes, so we wholeheartedly support the celebration and memory of Olive’s life and activism. Below are a few words from B£ Director Susan Steed.

Olive Morris on the Brixton Pound

This Friday the Remembering Olive Collective (ROC) are hosting a rally to celebrate the life of Olive Morris and to call upon Lambeth Council to ensure her memory is not erased from the history of Brixton.

Several people asked how Olive Morris came to feature on the first edition Brixton Pound note. The reason for this is very simple. When we began designing the currency back in 2009 we asked lots of people from Brixton who they thought should go on the notes. We had a stall at the Lambeth Country Show and on online voting poll. Olive’s name kept coming up.

As we looked into it more, it seemed Olive Morris was a brilliant choice to be the first person to go on a Brixton Pound. She was an activist – campaigning on many social justice issues including racism, unemployment, police violence and squatters rights. She was also a member of the British Black Panthers and a socialist and she supported anti-colonial struggles internationally.

Money and power are at the heart of many of the issues that Olive campaigned on. Just take a look at our national currency, sterling, and look at the images that are chosen and the symbols they represent. If you go to the British Museum you can also see notes issued by the British Government in the British Colonies and they look very similar to the notes that we still use today.

The Brixton Pound deliberately chose images and symbols that break tradition with this colonialist past. Olive Morris was a disrupter and we are proud to put her image on the first issue of the notes in the place that is usually reserved for the Queen. We hope this may encourage more people to look at the inequalities sustained and perpetuated by our current financial system and challenge them, just as Olive Morris did.

Since putting Olive Morris on the Brixton Pound we have had many people come and talk to us who remember Olive. They have told us a bit about her and her life. We hope that, alongside organisations like the Remembering Olive Collective, we can help keep her legacy alive.

More information on the rally is available here.

Please tell your friends, sign the petition to retain a public facing memorial to Olive, and see you at the rally!

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