Tag Archives: brixton

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!

We’re hiring

Are you motivated, outgoing, and committed to community development? We’re looking for a values-led part-time Project Manager to join our small but high-output team and continue our work helping build a more social economy in Brixton.

The role will involve overall work and development of the Brixton Pound, with primary responsibility for our non-currency management projects: the Brixton Fund, the Brixton Bonus and managing the Community Investment Scheme at Pop Brixton. The role will also include regular local business engagement.

Download the full job description and person specification

Download the equality and diversity monitoring form

Download the guaranteed interview scheme declaration form

To apply: please send a CV (ideally no more than 2 pages) and covering letter explaining why you are interested and how you would fit the role (ideally no more than 1-2 pages), as well as a completed equality and diversity monitoring form to info (at) brixtonpound (dot) org before 10:00am on 31 May 2016. To apply under the guaranteed interview scheme please also send a completed declaration form.

If you have any questions, please come by the B£ Shop (3 Atlantic Rd, SW9 8HX) or email us at info (at) brixtonpound (dot) org.

The first local currency cash machine opens in Brixton today

Today we are unveiling the world’s first local currency cash machine! Designed and produced by Kind Studio, it is situated in Market Row and available in the market’s operating hours: 8am – 11:30pm Tuesday to Sunday, and 8am – 6pm on Mondays. Which means you can get your hands on paper B£s at almost any time of the day!

001 The cash machine will aid Brixton Pound in furthering its mission to showcase what a social economy might look like in Brixton, and will give local residents an increased opportunity to spend paper B£s to support these values and imagine a better world. It will also help us achieve our vision – that a different high street is possible.

002

The cash machine is funded by The Mayor’s High Street Fund, and forms part of a wide range of initiatives in Brixton supporting businesses in the town centre. The High Street Fund is helping Brixton and its existing and emerging traders, hand in hand with the innovative Brixton Pound project.

B£’s Tom Shakhli said:

“Our cash machine is the latest in our challenge to the conventional view that we’re moving towards a cashless society, and gives locals and visitors to Brixton an opportunity to experiment with money that celebrates community and creates conversations rather than closes them off.”

If you check it out, let us know what you think! #brixtoncashpoint

003

Brixton Fund: Local Group of the Month – AGT social

Located in Loughborough Junction, AGT Social was set up by Karl and Vicki after running a computer repair clinic at the Lambeth Country Show. They aim to provide much-needed affordable/free IT services to lower income communities as well as offering training, with the aim of increasing social, employment and educational opportunities.

In November 2015, AGT Social received £250 from the Brixton Fund, the Brixton Pound’s local micro-grants scheme. The Brixton Fund is funded by Brixton Bonus ticket sales (our monthly community lottery), 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 fund local groups like AGT Social!

Vicki: AGT Social has been incorporated as a social enterprise for nearly three years alongside AGT UK which is our commercial company.

Karl: We are like the one stop shop for people looking to cover their IT requirements. We host websites, run off-site back ups, host cloud conscriptions, all kinds of stuff as well as repairing broken screens installing servers and so forth.

Vicki: Our ethos is that we don’t want to chuck things away. We want to reuse.

Karl: We are very conscious of consumerism and the impact it can have on the planet the economy and the community.

Vicki: And we have a big community we can tap into here. The Lougborough Junction community is crying out for new things, for people to fix their computers and opportunities for apprenticeships and training.

AGT1

Vicki: The idea behind AGT Social came about in the first year you (Karl) were running AGT.

Karl: So I had already set up AGT and I had an idea to promote the business based on a free bike repair clinic I saw one year at Lambeth Country Show. In fact I got my bike repaired there and had to queue up for a long time. I thought: OK, this is a good idea, and wondered, could this work for computer repairs? So the following year I decided to get a pitch at the Country Show.

Vicki: The idea was to set up a free laptop repair clinic for people to be like, oh, who is AGT, maybe if I can’t get my laptop repaired there this time I can phone them up and this would bring business in for us. Purely commercial.

But it was soon apparent that people started to anticipate we would be there for the following year and people that couldn’t afford to get their computers fixed were waiting for the next year to bring them along for something as simple as removing a virus.

That inspired us to turn it into something bigger than an annual laptop repair clinic. It led to us turning it into a social enterprise (AGT Social).

AGT2

Karl: The whole point of AGT Social really, as Vicki said, is to provide trustworthy and affordable services to communities and individuals who may not otherwise be able to access these services. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to go down to the Apple Store and part with £300 to get their computer repaired. Also what you realize is that those who do not have much disposable income are the ones that need their computers most in the first place. To look for jobs, manage finances and communicate with family aboard.

Everything we have done in the arch has been self-funded so far. And that’s been really difficult. We approached Lambeth Council to get some support but didn’t get much and submitted some applications for a few local grants and again we didn’t get anything from that.

Vicki: Even with the Brixton Fund money, we are going to have to raise some more, but it does show that we can be successful in applying for funding. It boosts our own confidence in applying for funding and shows that there are people out there that recognize the value of what we are doing. It means we can now go to other people and get them to help us out in building our training room.

AGT3

Karl: We feel a sense of obligation of pride to not let B£ down and show that their investment, no matter how big or small, was entirely justified. We want to prove that we know what we are talking about and provide solutions.

We have already run some training courses with a few local charities. One of the courses we put on was called IT essentials and it basically was a course designed to give anyone and everyone the confidence to be able to repair a machine. So right from the basics to switching between operating systems, removing viruses and how to diagnose and fault find. Really, we are teaching the logic, not the solution to every problem out there, because that’s impossible. As soon as that student grasps that knowledge, their confidence and ability multiplies. So that’s what we are going to be doing here, running courses for professionals and for people that are looking to improve their skillsets. 

Contact 

For more information on apprenticeships, training and repairs head to over to AGTsocial.uk.net

And for business and personal IT support, AGT.uk.net have got you covered.

 

Brixton public art: Lucy Casson ‘Foxes and Cherries’

‘Foxes and Cherries’ by Lucy Casson  is a sculpture over Electric Avenue, Brixton. It is featured on the B£20 note. This is a guest blog post written by Lucy about what inspired her to make the piece of public art.

foxcherryaziz   B£20 square
Foxes and Cherries on Electric Avenue and as featured on the B£20 

Halfway along Electric Avenue ‘Foxes and Cherries’  is situated high up on a roof. I wanted to make something inspired by the fruit market – cherries are such wonderful fruit, and that year the cherry tree in my garden in Brixton had a bumper crop of cherries, so it had to be cherries; and for me the foxes that live among us represented the cheeky side of Brixton as they dive in and out of sight.

foxworkshop
‘Foxes and Cherries’ in the making

As well as making art works for public places I create smaller works for gallery exhibition.
I have created a world of ‘beings.’ They are cartoon like, part animal, part human. These characters become part of narratives and scenarios gleaned from observations of everyday accuracies, surreal encounters or imagined stories.

Tin Plate Beings
cherries 2  small1  small2
Cherries                                           Fire                                                The Inspectors

animal looking  red ball and spoon
 Animal Looking                                                         Red Ball and Spoon

For the past two and a half years I have been the lead artist for the newly opened New Alder Hey children’s hospital in Liverpool, creating a number of large sculptures, graphics, curtain/glass design, etc. I am currently working on a small sculpture for Brockwell Park.

Works from the New Alder Hey children’s hospital
alderheyfox
  alderyheybirds  bird 100 closeBronze Fox                                     Roost – A Hundred Birds              Bird Close Up

Head over to Lucy’s website for of her work: www.lucycasson.co.uk. To discover other public art featured on B£ notes, click here

#BrixtonBonus – Meet the Winners: Ashleigh and Paul

Stop us if you’ve seen this picture before… isn’t this the September Bonus winner, Paul? Guess what – Ashleigh, who won two Brixton Bonus runner-up prizes before, and who happens to be Paul’s wife, took home the jackpot B£1,000 in February! Congratulations ?

If you think the pair’s luck is a little too good to believe, here’s their secret: they are both “Brixton Bosses” – they each have an indefinite recurring entry for the maximum 10 tickets a month for each Brixton Bonus draw. Which, as evidenced by the results, definitely helps your chances to win! And if you sign up for a recurring entry with any number of tickets, you will receive very special rewards as a thank you from us.

All proceeds from Brixton Bonus go to the Brixton Fund, from which we give grants to local organisations of community benefit – see who we’ve funded so far. You are also supporting the Fund every time you spend electronic B£s (pay-by-text) or buy B£ merchandise at the B£ Shop or online.

IMG_20160309_100903

Ashleigh said she was delighted to win, and that the first thing she was going to do with her prize was make a donation to Brixton Soup Kitchen and the Brixton Fund. Amazing generosity, thank you!

The Gills have been regular and loyal B£ users for years. Paul was the first person we introduced in our Meet the User blog series: have a look at a guest blog post he wrote for us in September 2014, where he talks about why he uses B£ and all the personal connections to Brixton traders he’s made through using the local currency.

At the time when Ashleigh and Paul set up their 10 ticket/month recurring entries for Brixton Bonus, the top reward for being a Brixton Boss was a B£ t-shirt and lunch on us, but because of scheduling issues we opted for a breakfast instead, and one chilly October morning we met Ashleigh and Paul at Rosie’s in Market Row. They have been living in Brixton together for over a decade – and Paul, who grew up in South East London, for over two decades now. He told us when he moved here it was because he wanted to live somewhere with a tube station, which he finds amusing now as he cycles to work every day. 

As a regular B£ user, Paul first heard of the Brixton Bonus through our online communication channels: “The idea of the lottery and the message behind it was really inspiring, so we wanted to be a part of it. And it’s so easy to have the 10 tickets bought automatically each month, all I need to do is keep my balance topped up. We appreciate not everyone can afford that £10 each month, so we have donated winnings locally as we have always done via B£, just considerably more than our usual monthly donations.”

“Using B£ is definitely a Brixton badge of pride. Whenever I see the sticker in the window I am confident they will treat me as a regular, that even if there’s a new staff member who may not be familiar with it, the owner will be comfortable taking a pay-by-text payment. And so many businesses still offer 10% off when you pay in B£s. For small businesses working on small margins it’s difficult to do discounts like that, but even if it’s a seasonal or temporary or lunchtime-only promo, it’s hard not to be incentivised. For that reason we’ve always supported Rosie’s, or used to go to the Breadroom (which is now sadly closed) every weekend with our kids.”

“B£1,000 is a lot of money! I was at Market Row Wines and the owner Dave looked at my phone, saw my B£ balance with the prize money included, and was like, “hey, I should get a ticket too!” Knowing someone who won makes it seem more real I guess! I still have my regular standing order for B£s every month. I’ve given some of the prize money to Brixton Foodbank and Brixton Soup Kitchen. We bought some wine at Market Row Wines, we’re going to go out to dinner this week. Other than that the prize means our Christmas is sorted – we’ll buy all our gifts in B£ businesses. I will also definitely spend more at Brixton Cycles now that they take pay-by-text. It’s great that they managed to find a new premises and stay in Brixton, it would’ve been such a loss for the locals to see it go, and especially because cycling is such a big thing now, it’s a no brainer to use your local co-operative bike shop!”

“B£ could expand to a mile radius – there are so many small businesses that aren’t located in the very centre of Brixton. Last Sunday we went on a walk and popped into this coffee shop near Loughborough Junction, Blue Turtle Oasis. We didn’t realise they took B£, but they do, and that was a very pleasant surprise.”

“Our kids love B£ too. They’ve got all the B£ notes which they received as gifts – they are real pieces of art, too beautiful to spend. They see us spending pay-by-text all the time though, and understand that it helps independent businesses, understand the reasons behind the currency. Maybe this is something you could encourage more, to have parents give their children B£s as pocket money, to promote local spending? You could even branch out into schools! Corpus Christi Primary School is listed on your Directory, I wonder how they use B£s. The Parent Teacher Associations could benefit from it, ask for donations, or use it to source stuff locally. I love the idea of local business intersecting with schools, offering work experience. Our primary school PTA produces a school calendar every year with pictures done by children and parents. This year the theme is food, and many pages are sponsored by local food businesses. All the money raised is going back to the PTA to be used for school trips, inviting people for talks… This could definitely work together with B£ somehow.

So many people move to Brixton, and they could benefit from knowing more about the local area, local businesses. And it would be important for them too to support the community assets which have been here for years. It’s so sad to see places like A&C Continental go, although great that the B£ Shop can keep using that space for now. But it’s a shame when business owners who worked so hard on these places are forced to move, like Kaff Bar – they put so much effort into that space. The B£ should be making local businesses more visible – to discover some of them you have to be “in the know”, not every place has a sign. The Brixton Fund could give advice or surgeries, even TEDx format talks, on how to set up a business. You can get small business advice when you open a business account with a bank, but not much independent advice is offered. And this could help with jobs for young people too – right now unless you know someone, you can’t get work experience, and you’re a lot more likely to know a small business owner – they might be your neighbour, or another member of the local community.”

#BrixtonFund – Local Group of the month: Young People Matter

Young People Matter (YPM) are a charity based in Stockwell Gardens. They create and run programs based around the needs of youth and the community. Aiming to provide a variety of different programs from after school clubs and summer camps to helping with employment and skills training.

In November 2015, YPM received £400 from the Brixton Fund, the Brixton Pound’s local micro-grants scheme. The Brixton Fund is funded by Brixton Bonus ticket sales (our monthly community lottery), 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 fund local groups like the Young People Matter.

We spoke with two members of YPM: Kemi, the group’s founder, who started YPM in 2007 through setting up and running a 4 week summer program for kids, and Marcus, who has been part of YPM from the beginning, first as a director and then stepping down to have a more hands on role.

Kemi
Whilst I was at university studying psychology and sociology, I was doing some work with a youth club in Kingston, and later in Thornton Heath. At the time I used to put together booklets of things I wanted to do when I was older, for example activities for young people, basically things that where missing from what I was doing. But I had always wanted to wait till I was older to put on something myself.

However at the time there were a lot of things going on in my estate, five young people had been killed in the space of a week. And so it was like, do I wait or do I do something about it now. We applied for some money from the youth opportunity fund and found out two weeks before that we had got it. We had to rush around a bit to get it together but we had a really good turnout with about 50 people signing up for the first session. Eventually I decided to leave my job and pursue YPM full time as I saw there was a real need for something like this.

 ypm1

Marcus
At the time in 2007 when YPM started a lot of gun violence was happening and it was still big in the news. We weren’t as desensitized to it then as we are now. We take it for granted even though we hear about it so much. But back then in 2007 it was still shock news. So Kemi applied for funding to do something with the kids on her estate because the kids just said: we don’t have anything to do. And from there it just grew.

More people heard about it, more programs came from it, and eventually it turned into this. With a premises on Stockwell Garden estate, seven full time employed staff, and moving on to maybe twenty staff when we are busier.

ypm2

Kemi
What we do has always depended on what the needs were within the community at the time. So when we first moved here we came to do a youth club and a drama program. From there, there were a lot of people who couldn’t speak English as their first language and wanted a homework club for their kids to support them. It started out as homework club, and then it developed into an after school club and to include different schools and areas. Another example – some girls who wanted to do a youth club for just females, and that’s how girls night and boys night developed. So it all comes from things people have said or what was needed.

Marcus
All of our programs go hand in hand and help to service the other programs. For example our employment program helps to move people from long term unemployment to employment, but some of the barriers in the way of this were: if I do get a full time job, what do I do with my children?

So our after school clubs came about because there are working parents that wouldn’t be able to work without it, and it benefits the children themselves by providing them activities. Another example is the summer camps that we run. We had one and it was very successful, from there it spread from school to school and we are at four now. Everything we do just grows organically.

It’s hard to monetize it and grow when you do this kind of social work – it doesn’t work like that. The community tells us their needs and if it fits into our ethos, then we will work together. We have been going for nine years now, and even in a time when there are big budget cuts we are still here now and are grateful for that.

ypm3

Kemi
The Brixton Fund money is going to be used to offer young children free space and access to the after school club. For parents who don’t work, their children wouldn’t usually be able to access the after school club, so this allows for them to do so. Just because their parents don’t work it doesn’t mean their children don’t need to use it. Kids need to have something to do, and their parents might not be able to afford this for their kids normally. Parents themselves need some spare time and a break from childcare.

Marcus
We have three different after school clubs however; I was thinking, what about the kids who I see after school with their parents that don’t get to attend the after clubs. They are kids that we might not to be able to engage with because they don’t get this opportunity. So I looked at the barriers to this and the possibility of funding to see how they could get the opportunity to do this. It was great to be successful in this funding application, its going to have a big impact.

Click here to support Young People Matter, or check out their website for more information.

Whenever you buy a Brixton Bonus ticket, spend electronic Brixton Pounds, or buy from the B£ Shop, you are contributing to the Brixton Fund which supports groups like Young People Matter. One more reason to get involved!

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

 

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 

#BrixtonBonus – Meet The Winner: Linda

The December Brixton Bonus was already our 6th draw, and a very special one at that – on Christmas Eve we drew the big winner and 15 runner-ups – so an extra ten people got brand new B£ merchandise as an early BriXmas present! (If you weren’t one of the lucky ones, fear not – we’ve got some left at the B£ Shop!)

Gabor Erdos

BriXmas Bonus runner-up winner Gabor entered the draw when he was buying his wife a Christmas present – and ended up winning a few more goodies!

Mark Picksley

This was the second time Mark has won a runner-up prize in the Bonus

But surely it was the person who scooped the Brixton Grand whose Xmas was gonna look particularly merry and bright…

image2

The big winner this time was Linda Quinn, who happens to be the editor of the Brixton Blog and Bugle. We contacted Linda to let her know she’s won… only to hear that she’d like to donate the whole sum to the Brixton Fund! Talk about a BriXmas miracle (and amazing generosity)!

Many of our previous winners have been amazingly generous and donated large portions of their prizes to the likes of Brixton Soup Kitchen and Brixton Foodbank, but it was the first time in Brixton Bonus history that the winner has donated an entirety of their B£1,000 prize. Needless to say we are amazed, and immensely grateful!

Linda, who became Brixton Blog and Bugle’s editor in September, has lived in Brixton since 1975. She has a background in local and national journalism and PR, and what was of particular interest to us, she used to work at the Big Lottery Fund for 15 years! We took Linda out for lunch to thank her for her amazingly generous donation, and to talk about how Brixton Bonus differs from the National Lottery. Well, for starters, it’s the odds that are different! Linda told us:

“It used to be 14 million to one to win, but now it’s more like 60 million to one. And with Brixton Bonus? For this draw I bought ten tickets, which is the maximum monthly amount. I think I saw an ad on the Blog or in the Bugle, and decided to enter. When I first found out that I won, I thought I’d buy the Blog and Bugle office some new equipment, but then I decided not to. I knew about the Brixton Fund, and I decided I wanted my B£1,000 to help some small local community group – that will be a good use for it!”

During our lunch at Parissi we told Linda more about the community groups we already funded through the Brixton Fund: Brixton Youth Forum, Healthy Living Club (which you can read more about in our recent blog post!), Young People Matter, and AGT Social. She said it would be great to have more coverage about their activities on the Blog and in the Bugle – we’re hoping that it will indeed happen and those amazing groups get the exposure they deserve! We also chatted to Linda about the complex and diverse history of Brixton (did you know that the facade of the Eurolink Business Centre on Effra Road is a remnant of a synagogue that served Brixton’s Jewish population for most of the 20th century?) and discovered she was a big Bowie fan:

“I was amazed at the outpouring following Bowie’s passing – I have never seen anything like it happen for a pop star. He made art music, it transcended generations.”

Read more about all the Bonus winners to date in our Winners Gallery, and if you fancy joining their ranks – get some Bonus tickets before the next draw on 29th January – 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 – including the famous Bowie tenner.