Tag Archives: Lambeth council

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.

#BrixtonFund – Local Group of the month: Afewee

Every month the Brixton Bonus provides revenue for the Brixton Fund, our new micro-grants scheme in Brixton for projects looking to create employment, challenge injustice and create community benefit. We have recently finalised the first round of funding, so next year we will be telling you more about the groups we supported. But today, we’d like to introduce you to Afewee Training Academy – a local group who would be eligible for support from the Brixton Fund.

The Afewee Training Academy hosts football and boxing classes in the Brixton Recreation Centre, run by volunteers giving up their own time to run the academy. Originally started by Steadman Scott, a Brixton resident for 50 years, and fellow coach Tony Goldring. The team has since grown to include Peter Armstrong, Bobby Miltiadous and Laurie Cooper. B£ caught up with Steadman who told us a bit more about his story and founding Afewee.

“When I was released from prison in 1997 a friend of mine was working for Crystal Palace F. C. and asked me, “Do you want to come to one of the sessions?” I said yes because being a person with a criminal conviction I thought I wouldn’t be able to get a job – I had tried to get a job before I went prison and wasn’t very successful… But I wanted to see what these clubs were looking for, and at the same time use this opportunity to recreate myself, break away from my past. So I came to a session once, and ended up getting a part time job with Crystal Palace!”

“I realised since I got a good reputation working for Crystal Palace F. C. we should be able to rent a place at the Brixton Rec. And for the first two years me and my friend Tony paid out of our own pockets for it. During that time I was going to schools, working for Crystal Palace, and saying to the boys: we are doing extra football in Brixton Recreation Centre, you should come along. We continued to work with Crystal Palace until they were relegated.”

Steadman Scott

Steadman Scott – Co-Founder

The Afewee Football Academy has since gone on to work with likes of Fulham and Arsenal, providing members of the Academy with the opportunity to prove themselves at professional clubs – and a number of its players have go on to play professionally. Five of its alumni have played for Premiership sides, and one – Nathaniel Clyne – plays for England. In addition, the Academy boasts 30 players in the professional game or in academies, including one in every league in the country and one in every London-based Premiership club.

Afewee’s Boxing Academy was started more recently, in 2014. It now offers 8 classes a week for both experienced and recreational members who are coached by Bobby and Laurie. Last month the club had its first boxer to compete for the club, Nyesco Okpako, who won against a boxer from Balham boxing club. Three more competitive boxers are signed up to compete this year.

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Bobby Miltiadous- Head Boxing Coach

Afewee is not just about sports, as Steadman explains: “It is about helping kids to realise their dreams. We are the ones that have to change our youngsters in the community. I don’t see no politician who would have the same kind of experience as us. You need people like us who know the other side of the road.”

“I say to the boys, I know they say to you fun comes first. But in Afewee, if you are going have fun, you won’t go to the top. If you want to be a winner, a star, you have to know passion, you have to love it. The fun is when you achieve your goal. And to learn about what you are passionate about, you have to work for it.”

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The Afewee team, starting from the left – Peter Armstrong, Steadman Scott, Tony Goldring, Bobby Miltiadous and Laurie Cooper

“Let’s get it right, fun means you are successful, and to be successful it means you have to work hard. The fun comes in when you go on the pitch and you are performing, and you see all the hard work you have put in. It’s because of the passion and the love they have for it that they go to the top.”

“Even if they don’t get in to the football or boxing, what they learn through Afewee is discipline, and how to be successful. They learn how to apply themselves when they find something they are passionate about, which can be applied anywhere in life, not just to boxing or football. So Afewee is a way of life. We are here to motivate and uplift our youngsters.”

“These kids have helped me change my life – they have given me a new start. Because I got a second chance, I’m going to use my drive to help these kids become successful. When I’m watching Liverpool play the last time against Southampton, I’m watching Clyne play. If you asked me 18 years ago, would you be sitting in your front room watching boys from your program play? I would say: rubbish! But now to get to see it, and think – bloody hell! You have a responsibility son, so use your past and your drive to help the youngsters in the community. So that’s what I do here.”

Afewee Football Academy

Afewee Football Academy

“The council are thinking of giving the private company GLL total control of the Recreation Centre. If they do that, GLL will be the sole decision-maker. If they are in charge, programs like ours will be in jeopardy. The council should make sure there is a place in here for the community and the unemployed. Afewee Academy should be involved in the Rec, we should have our own base in here to represent the interests of the community and our youngsters, keep their interests in these classes. We know what they need, and we have proven it by the work that our volunteers here have done. And those young people – they are the future.”

Head over to Afewees website for more information regarding the Academy and times for boxing and football sessions.

This post was researched and written by B£ volunteer Fabien Piesakowski-O’Neill.

Payroll Local: UK first for local currencies

For the first time next month some Lambeth Council employees will be part paid in Brixton Pounds. Back in June we announced plans for its launch and we’re excited to say that the scheme is now live! The scheme gives all Lambeth Council employees the chance of receiving a portion of their salary in electronic Brixton Pounds (B£e).

Employees can then spend their B£e with local, independent businesses or donate to local charities and social enterprises. Employees who wish to be part of the scheme will receive an additional 10% on the proportion of salary they put into their online B£ account.

Over 120 members of staff have already pledged to receive a portion of their salary in Brixton Pounds, which is excellent news for local, independent businesses who are likely to see increased trade as a result. It is also great news for our community, as more money will stick to Brixton, directly benefiting local residents. That’s not all! The scheme will offer a convenient way to donate to local charities, social enterprises and community groups that may not be reached by corporate payroll giving schemes. Details of the charities involved can be found here.

If you work for Lambeth Council and would like a portion of your salary in Brixton Pounds, please sign up here. Detailed questions and answers can be found here however if there is anything else you would like to know, please email us on info@brixtonpound.org.

We’re grateful for funding from Nesta from their innovation in giving fund without which this project would not have happened.

Once again, this is a U.K. first. Something that Brixton can be really proud of. If you’re not yet using Brixton Pounds, there couldn’t be a more exciting time to get on board. There are now 92 businesses using pay-by-text. Open an account today!


Business Rates are live!

Brixton Pound businesses are now able to pay their business rates to Lambeth Council using electronic Brixton Pounds. This will give local independent businesses an additional way to spend their B£e balance. The first business to do this was Casa Morita . Watch the short video of Sarahgwen talking about her business and about the Brixton Pound.

We’re excited to be the first local currency in the U.K. to be accepted by the council in payment for business rates. Thank you to Lambeth Council for working with us to make this possible!

Keep an eye out for more exciting announcements in the near future!

Payroll Local to launch in September!

Today we announced a new way for Lambeth Council’s 3,000 staff to support their local community – Payroll Local will launch this autumn. Payroll local is a scheme that will allow all Lambeth Council employees to receive a small portion of their salary in electronic Brixton Pounds (B£e). They can then spend their B£e with local, independent businesses or donate to local charities and social enterprises. Employees who wish to be part of the scheme will receive an additional 10% on the proportion of salary they put into their online B£ account.

Derrick Anderson (pictured), Chief Executive of Lambeth Council, has already committed to receiving part of his salary in B£es.

This is excellent news for local, independent, Brixton businesses who are likely to see increased trade as a result. It is also great news for our community, as more money will stick to Brixton, directly benefiting local residents. In additon, the scheme will offer a convenient way to donate to local charities, social enterprises and community groups that may not be reached by corporate payroll giving schemes.

The Brixton Pound’s managing director Simon Woolf commented “Payroll Local is one of a number of innovative schemes that we’re launching this year – It’s vital for the Brixton Pound’s ongoing success that we don’t stand still. We’re absolutely delighted to have support from Lambeth Council at the highest level, as they are one of the most important financial players in our community.

You can find out more about Payroll Local by watching this short video or by checking out our frequently asked questions page. Note that the video was put together a few months ago and there are now 72 businesses accepting pay-by-text, with more joining the scheme every week!

FREE energy efficiency support for businesses

Could your business do with lower energy bills? Are you throwing away valuable resources? Would you like to find out more about ways you can reduce your waste, save yourself some money and help the environment too?

Help is at hand! Lambeth council are looking to support Small and Medium size enterprises (SMEs) to do just that.

The service is FREE and is delivered by a team of business advisers who visit your business and carry out an energy and waste audit. The project is tailored to each individual business needs and help is provided also with drawing up an action plan.

SMEs in Lambeth qualify for this support, and if your business is within the Low Carbon Zone (map here) an additional £500 grant may also be available to help you implement any energy efficiency measures.

If you are interested, get in touch with Jeremy Keates, Enterprise Officer – jkeates@lambeth.gov.uk. Tel 020 7926 2702.

But do not hesitate, as this project will wrap up at the end of March.

Lambeth Country Show this weekend

Judging rhubarb in the Flower Zone

Judging rhubarb in the Flower Zone

This weekend the Lambeth Country Show is coming to town! A well-established annual event (this is its 36th year), the show brings a little taste of country life to the urban wilds of Brockwell Park. From 17-18 July the park will be taken over by an eclectic mix of musicians, fairground rides, farmers, artists and er… an alpaca. With a seemingly endless choice of activities spread across Saturday and Sunday the Lambeth Country Show promises fun for all the family. You can try your hand at something new with skills classes including building a scarecrow, baking bread, jousting and even sailing. Or go all doe-eyed over the animals in the petting zoo, on loan from Vauxhall City Farm. And with food stalls offering dishes from around the world you won’t need to bring a picnic. For a full list of events, including a map, download the Lambeth Country Show programme here.

The Brixton Pound team will be out in force on both days. Make sure you stop by our stall in the Charities Zone and get hold of some B£s, which many stalls will be accepting on the day. We will also have for sale a range of locally-sourced merchandise, including our Brixton Power T-shirts, with discounts for those paying in B£s. There’ll be badge-making and kids’ activities too. Just in Brixton for the day? Come and chat to our friendly volunteers for recommendations on what to see and do in the area.

Carnival dancers at last year's show

Carnival dancers at last year's show

Photos ©2009 Lambeth Council.

Opening of Windrush Square

Windrush Sq

Good afternoon fellow -ers, 


Just a very quick reminder that the much talked about [and somewhat delayed] Grand Opening of Windrush Square is happening this weekend. The weekend promises to be a lively one packed with live acts, dance and of course in true Brixton style… plenty of live music.


ChildrenledLanternProcessioThere’ll be lots of opportunities to get involved in during the day with art workshops… and later a lantern-lit procession will parade through Brixton leading to a spectacular firework display including a magnificent Phoenix and a human Catherine Wheel!! 


“The Windrush Square scheme has linked Tate Gardens and Windrush Square as a pedestrianised open space which has been designed with safety in mind and includes improved lighting, better sightlines and CCTV coverage. World class design that includes a new water feature, 21 new trees, new lighting and a sculptural granite seat have contributed to creating a brand new civic space.” Lambeth Council


The Brixton Pound team will be out in force from 1pm on Saturday 27th February. You’ll find us in a marquee by the stage; do pop in and introduce yourself. We will have:


  • £: exchange point available all day
  • all the latest promotions and discounts you can receive when paying in Brixton Pounds
  • badge making!!
  • video and documentary screening
  • pedal powered music – bring along your ipod
  • lots of information on how works and friendly, knowledgable people to answer your questions
  • Ways that you can get involved in the project
  • raffle with some great local prizes


Fingers crossed for fine weather. Hope to see you on Sat!

Olive Morris House to issue B£s!


Brixton Customer Centre, Olive Morris House

We are delighted to announce that the council has agreed for Olive Morris House (Benefits centre, 18 Brixton Hill, SW2 1RL) to become a B£s issuing and exchange point, thereby making the currency ever more accessible.  B£ user guides will also be available on site, thus helping the B£ make further inroads within our community. Keep an eye on this site to find out when you will be able to buy your B£s at Olive Morris House.