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Brixton Advice Centre staff in fundraising tee shirts

Advice providers in Brixton are working with Lambeth council to pick up the pieces after the announcement yesterday (16 July) that the Lambeth Law Centre is to close with immediate effect.

Brixton Advice Centre (BAC) on Railton Road is expected to try to help maintain continuity, but workload pressures are bound to increase.

The London legal advice charity Advising Communities went into liquidation with the loss of more than 20 jobs earlier this year.

“It’s really tough for everyone, and the impact on BAC as well as the few other advice providers left in Lambeth, will be significant,” said BAC director Patrick Torsney.

“This is a real wake-up call to local and national government about the pressures the advice sector is under right now.”

Half of all law and legal advice centres in England and Wales have closed in the past six years, according figures released by the ministry of justice to Labour party justice spokesman Richard Burgon.

Government funding for law centres has fallen from £12.1 million to £7.1 million over the past seven years.

The trustees of Lambeth Law Centre, that was based in Mowll Street off the Brixton Road, said it had faced financial pressures caused by legal aid cuts and increased operating costs.

Support from charitable had helped the centre to address these pressures, but the funding shortfall, and issues with VAT calculations had put the law centre in an impossible financial position.

“Having failed to secure emergency funding to keep the law centre going, we were left with no choice but to decide on closure,” the trustees said.

The centre team is working to notify all current clients and are to transfer cases to other advisers in the borough or nearby.

Transfers of staff to other advisers like BAC which is based on Railton Rad are being discussed.

In December 2017 the Lambeth Law Centre’s Public Interest Law Unit won an important case against the Home Office when a judicial review ruled that it had been acting unlawfully to deport rough sleepers from the European Union.

Lambeth Law Centre began life as North Lambeth Law Centre in 1981 and changed its name after the closure of other law centres in the borough in 1997. It registered as a charity in 1998.

It employed 18 people and provided free advice, casework and representation in areas including housing, immigration, money, welfare rights, employment and discrimination.

It was managed by a board of directors, elected from individuals and representatives of Lambeth organisations.

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Windmill Gardens in Brixton has been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme  as one of the very best green spaces in the UK. Windmill Gardens joined 16 other green spaces awarded recognition in Lambeth.

The historic heritage site is among 1,970 UK parks and green spaces and 131 in thirteen other countries around the world that, today (16 July), received a prestigious Green Flag Community Award – the mark of a quality park or green space.

The Green Flag Award Scheme is run by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.

Jean Kerrigan, Friends of Windmill Gardens Chair said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Community Award. We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining Windmill Gardens to such a high standard.”

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “It’s fantastic that we have more Green Flag Awards in the UK than ever before, joined this year by 131 International winners.”

“Each flag honours the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. We congratulate each and every winner on their fantastic achievement.”

The Friends of Windmill Gardens are also working with Lambeth council on building an education facility for schools and the local community, that will put the windmill and its history into context. Funding was successfully secured to commission the new building which is being developed with Brixton-based architects Squire and Partners.

Windmill Gardens will be open to members of the public across the summer and invites members of the public to attend one of the free windmill tours (more information can be found here).

Other events Windmill Gardens will be running include:

  • Sunday 11August: Art in the Park, 14:00-17:00
  • Thursday 19 September: Bat Walk, 19:00
  • Wednesday 25h September: Windmill Annual Lecture – Rising up: exploring real bread and its social benefits, 19:00

For more information on events: https://brixtonwindmill.org/whats-on or email info@brixtonwindmill.org.uk.

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The Lambeth Food Partnership is working with the Lambeth Country Show team to reduce the amount of food waste going to landfill from the Country Show.  With the partnership’s support the Lambeth Country Show has partnered with the food sharing app OLIO to collect and redistribute unsold and surplus food from the vendors to individuals and community organisations across Lambeth.

How does it work?

Food vendors can sign up before and throughout the show to donate unsold or surplus food, reducing the food waste.

OLIO’s volunteers will collect any unsold or surplus food at the end of the day.

The food will be distributed using the OLIO app. The food will go to any person or organisation signed up to the app. Pick up or delivery is arranged with the OLIO volunteer.

A spokesperson said: “We want to make sure that no food is wasted – there are some great organisations in Lambeth who are helping to facilitate this.

The Healthy Living Platform has been signing up people on low incomes in advance of the show. Brixton People’s Kitchen will be in the Food Rescue area of the Eco Village, giving advice on cooking with leftovers and helpful ideas on how to reduce your food waste. Compliments of the House who provide surplus food to over 40 guests daily at Market Row will be in the Food Rescue area with OLIO and The Lambeth Food Partnership.”

How to get involved!

Individuals  if you love food, hate waste, care about the environment or want to connect with your local community then download the app to give and get free food or take it a step further by becoming an OLIO volunteer.

Community organisation  if you can use food for your community or a project, sign up to OLIO and indicate where you’d like the food delivered to.

Businessessign up to OLIO so that volunteers can pick up and redistribute your unsold/ surplus food. Become a member (its free) of the Lambeth Food Partnership to keep in touch with local news and opportunities.

Have an idea? Get in touch!

If you have an idea about how to contribute to the Food Rescue Revolution, contact lambethfood@gmail.com. Everyone can be a #lambethfoodcitizen!

Organisations in the Food Rescue area:

The Lambeth Food Partnership works to improve the food system across Lambeth so that everyone can eat well. The partnership works with other organisations so that healthy, sustainable food is accessible to the residents of Lambeth.

OLIO is a free app (mobile & web) that connects neighbours with each other and volunteers with local businesses, so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away.

The Healthy Living Platform works with City Harvest to distribute vegetables that would otherwise be wasted to families on low incomes living in some of the most deprived areas of Lambeth. HLP also works with residents to up-skill them to run their own cook & eat activities, as well as food growing and physical activity sessions.

Brixton People’s Kitchen has been collecting surplus food, creating third spaces using their innovative mobile kitchen bicycle and inviting local people to cook and share a healthy vegetarian dish and ideas worth sharing since 2011. #SharingTastesBetter

Compliments of the House  saves and redistributes, for free, all of the incredibly delicious and nutritious food that would otherwise go to landfill whilst serving it with a smile and fostering a community environment.

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said today that poverty, poor mental health and school exclusions, exacerbated by Tory cuts, are connected to the rise in serious youth crime including stabbings and shootings.

Addressing an audience of families of victims of knife crime, charities, the Met Police and those from the education, faith, health and community sector the Mayor said:

“The truth is if we allow children to be brought up in deprived conditions as a country, if we accept high rates of school exclusions, if we fail to tackle domestic and sexual violence, if we leave people in bad housing with a lack of employment and training opportunities, and if we decimate the very public services designed to support those most in need – as this government has systematically done – then crime is quite simply much more likely to flourish.”

Pastor Lorraine Jones with Brixton PCs Joe Farrell (left) and Jake Crowther

Joining the Mayor at the Salmon Centre in Bermondsey, Pastor Lorraine Jones, director of Brixton Boxing Club Dwaynamics said: “We are dealing with young children that are frightened.  They are stressed, and they are going through trauma because this is violence that has now got so out of control.”

“It is a very painful and traumatising time with yet more lives being taken on the streets of London, but I am confident because of the Mayor’s response that we will not give up but be relentless in working together with one mind  to end youth violence using the public health approach.”

The mayor added: “We know that the greatest time of day when there’s most likely to be serious youth violence is between 3 and 6 pm. It beggars belief that with government cuts we’ve closed down youth clubs and cut youth services.”

London’s Violence Reduction Unit’s research found that the boroughs worst affected by violent youth crime had more children living in poverty than the average for London. The unit is led by Lib Peck (left) former leader of Lambeth council.

“The lesson we must all learn is that you can’t cut police officers, public services, preventative measures and ignore the most vulnerable people in our country at the same time as keeping crime low. These things are fundamentally incompatible”, said Khan.

He added that “There’s never any excuse for criminality”. “Those who commit crimes must pay for their actions. But we have to face the reality that for some young people growing up today, violence has become normalised.”

The research shows that for victims aged 10 to 16, attacks were linked to school finishing times, whereas for the victims aged 18 to 24, violence happened later and reflected the night-time economy.

Measures Khan announced include increased after-school provision in high-crime areas, action to lessen school exclusions, and support for vulnerable parents who have suffered abuse or domestic violence.

Ahead of the school summer holidays the Mayor also announced £360,000 funding projects to provide opportunities for young people at risk of getting involved in crime.

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Lambeth council is to make an agreement with a specialist charity that it says will protect Brockwell Park, with some exceptions, from development and as an open space for the foreseeable future.

It will sign a “deed of dedication” with Fields in Trust that means the charity will need to give permission if more than a fifth of the park is to be sold or buildings erected on it that are not part of its role as a park.

The initiative came from the Brockwell Park Strategic Partnership Board, the official body for strategic decisions about to the park.

A council report released yesterday (11 July) says: “There are risks associated with any decisions made in perpetuity. However, the deed would still permit development on 20% of the park and in fact permits any level of development provided that compensatory provision is made locally.”

The park’s strategic partnership board includes two local councillors and two committee members of Brockwell Park Community Partners. This group is responsible for representing all local groups with an interest in the park.

Brockwell Park, the main open space for Brixton, was acquired by the London County Council and opened as a public park in 1891 after a campaign led by local MP Thomas Lynn Bristowe to save the land from development. It had been a private estate.

The Conservative MP for Norwood, a stockbroker, tragically died of a heart attack on the steps of Brockwell Hall during a grand opening ceremony in June 1892, aged 59. He is buried in West Norwood cemetery.

Brockwell park currently has protection as “metropolitan open land” – equivalent to the Green Belt – but the council says that this protection could be watered down or removed in the future.

Fields in Trust has worked with local authorities and other organisations for more than 90 years and protects more than 2,700 green spaces in perpetuity.

The council says the deed would not alter the management of the park in any way and would not prohibit the erection of temporary structures for events or concessions.

The deed will not apply to any buildings in the park, meaning that the council would not have to consult Fields in Trust over leasing arrangements. It also allows for “small-scale works” that remove public open space – up to 20 percent of the park’s area – so would not stop the construction of new changing facilities, for instance.

The deed would still allow the council to dispose of Brockwell Park, provided that “alternative green space provision of equivalent quality” was made locally.

Other local parks protected by deeds of dedication include Dulwich and Peckham Rye parks in Southwark.

The Brockwell Park deed is due to be completed in October this year.

Council report

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Local Herne Hill picture framer, Jim Davidson (65 today), showed uncommon grit and determination on Saturday 28 June when he completed the 350 plus miles of the St Christopher’s Hospice London to Amsterdam sponsored cycle ride while sporting two broken ribs.

Jim picks up the story. ‘We were on our last day cycling the last 80 miles from Breda up to Amsterdam. I was tired from the previous day’s 100 mile exertion and the heat was rising steadily to mid thirties. The tail enders, me included, were struggling. I was slip streaming the bike in front when the rider suddenly braked left taking my front wheel with him and somersaulted me up into the air and onto my back. As I struggled to breathe I dimly remember a Dutch lady peering over her fence and asking if a doctor was required. My companion crawled out of the bush I had propelled him into, and assured her that I was all right.

I checked I could still feel all my fingers and toes, climbed back on my bike and we pedalled off to the lunch meeting point where a medic applied bags of ice to reduce the swelling. I rejoined the riders at the next water stop and cycled the next 25 miles into Amsterdam. But the pain of the last 5 miles of cobbled streets defeated me and I worried I might put the other riders at risk so I called it a day. Later we had our celebration meal and returned to London on the Sunday.

It was only on Wednesday the following week my sister persuaded me to get a proper X-ray done and the true extent of the injury became all too apparent.

Well done Jim. If you want to contribute to Jim’s heroic ride for an important cause he would welcome your donations at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/James-Davidson40

Brockwell Art Services are celebrating 40 years of picture framing in Herne Hill brockwellgallery.london

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Cressingham Gardens

Central government has told Lambeth council that it must cooperate with a proposal to transfer the demolition-threatened Cressingham Gardens to an organisation of residents.

It announced today (10 July) that it has overruled council objections – made in September 2016 – that the plan would have a “detrimental effect” on regeneration of the area.

The announcement was welcomed by campaigners as the start of a long and staged process to transfer the estate to community ownership.

A Lambeth council spokesperson said: “This announcement was based on information submitted in 2016 and we will need time to consider the implications.

“We are, however, pleased that the government has recognised the council’s plans to rebuild the estate will have a “positive impact on the area covered by the estate” and we remain committed to rebuilding Cressingham Gardens to provide better homes for existing residents and more homes for people on the council house waiting list.”

In April 2016 the Cressingham Gardens Community (CGC) organisation asked the council to consider transferring the estate to an organisation run by its residents.

This was part of the “People’s Plan” for the estate – a thoroughly researched and detailed alternative to the council’s scheme to demolish and rebuild the entire estate near the top of Tulse Hill that overlooks Brockwell Park.

The council was quick to reject this plan. It also asked the central government housing ministry for a “determination” saying that the residents’ transfer plan would “have a significant detrimental effect on the regeneration of the area”.

But housing minister Kit Malthouse today told the council that he agreed with a report written for the government that rejects the council’s view of the transfer application.

“The outcome of my determination … is that the stock transfer process in relation to the CGC should continue,” he told the council.

Gerlinde Gniewosz speaking at a protest outside Lambeth town hall in 2017

Cressingham Gardens Community Ltd is a company set up in August 2014 by Gerlinde Gniewosz, a leading campaigner against the demolition plans, and other estate residents.

The report on which the minister based his decision was completed in December 2017, but there is no explanation why the government took so long to announce its decision.

Cressingham Gardens campaigner Jo Parkes said: “Residents worked extremely hard to develop the People’s Plan to find a way of improving the estate in a way that is both sustainable and as something that the whole Cressingham Gardens community can get behind.

“So we are obviously delighted that the government has rejected Lambeth’s accusation that our proposals would be detrimental.

“The government report also notes that Lambeth did not provide evidence to back up its claim.

“We can now move forward with our proposal to transfer the estate into community ownership – this is the start of a long and staged process.

“Next steps will involve feasibility work, further development of the business plan and a ballot of residents.

“Similar to our use of right to manage legislation, it will only happen if residents want it to, and we are looking forward to eventually balloting residents on how to proceed with the proposed transfer.

“After residents voted overwhelmingly to take over some of the management of Cressingham Gardens last year, we have recently appointed a new estate director.

“We are very much looking forward to him overseeing a much improved repairs and maintenance system on the estate, starting in the coming months.”

Background

The Housing (Right to Transfer from a Local Authority Landlord) (England) Regulations 2013 require local authorities to co-operate with a group of tenants who wish to explore transferring their housing stock to a new social landlord, and then to arrange a transfer if proposals are supported by a majority of tenants voting in favour in a ballot.

The regulations allow a local authority to apply to the government for a “determination” to halt the process if it believes the transfer would have a “significant detrimental effect” on their housing services or local regeneration.

The report prepared for the government by Peter Brett Associates and dated December 2017 says that the council “has made little concrete progress” towards estate regeneration and that the Cressingham estate represents only about 1% of the council’s housing stock.

It says it “is highly unlikely that the proposed transfer would have a significant detrimental effect” on the council’s ability to provide housing services to its remaining housing stock and that “there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the proposed estate transfer would have a significant detrimental effect on the regeneration of the local area”.

Download the ruling and the report on which it is based.

Brixton Blog coverage of the Cressingham Gardens plans.

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Scheme organisers and Lambeth council leader Jack Hopkins pose for pictures outside Brixton Tube

A new voluntary youth service on the streets of Brixton was launched yesterday (10 July) when organisers leafleted passers-by outside the Tube as they began to recruit 50 volunteers to train to take part in the project.

Backed by the Brixton Business Improvement District (BID) and the Green Man Skills Zone in Loughborough Junction, the Lambeth Schools Patrol is planned to start when schools go back in September.

It will focus not on the issue of violence but on positive engagement and communication.

Trained volunteers will work on the streets of Brixton between 3 and 5pm on school days “providing a positive befriending opportunity” for young people.

The plan is that they will “positively interact, guide support and befriend young people outside of the context of a problematic intervention”.

In winter, volunteers will work with schools to promote the project, recruit parent volunteers, and ensure that young people are fully aware of the support they can get from the volunteers.

Catching them young and not so young – Lee Jasper, former senior policy advisor on equalities to the mayor of London

The project originated with Code 7, a Lambeth-based charity set up in 1996, that provides troubled young people with development through music and performance.

Headed by former local reggae star Asher Senator, a colleague of the late Smiley Culture, and author of the book Smiley and Me, Code 7 has supported thousands of young people in their careers, educational achievement and personal development.

Asher Senator (right) of Code 7 talks to Lambeth council leader Jack Hopkins

Asher Senator said: “This is a community-inspired project developed as a result of broad public consultation in partnership with the Brixton Improvement District and the Lambeth Green Man Skills Zone.”

The project and its call for volunteers will be highlighted in shops and venues in central Brixton.

Volunteers will go through an in-depth training programme and be checked and cleared before starting work.

Among the volunteers was Courtney Melody of Vibes FM reggae station

They will be able “to signpost young people to a range of opportunities to support their continued education and development”.

Code 7 says consultations throughout 2017 and 2018 around a number of community health, safety and development themes led to the idea for a Lambeth Schools Patrol.

“This is a project with a difference,” said Code 7. “The community was quite clear that, whilst most youth intervention projects were focused on violence, the community demanded that a more positive engagement be considered that would provide an opportunity to develop good relations and communications with young people outside of the problematic context of ‘youth violence’.”

According to Transport for London, more than 20,000 young people of secondary school age, travel through Lambeth each school day.

“This is an opportunity for us to positively interact with young people in a constructive context,” said Asher Senator.

“This is an incredibly innovative project that was born out of community consultation and conversation.

“We want to offer young people in Lambeth every opportunity to fulfil their ambitions and dreams by providing a standing youth service, an information resource on Brixton High Street.

“We will offer advice on everything, and all our volunteers will be trained to either provide the information or the ability to identify and access the information and pass on to the young person concerned.

“More importantly, we offer an opportunity for intergenerational contact, the development of relationships with positive people, the ability to broaden and deepen a wide range of relationships and opportunities.

“We wish to work with schools and parents to provide some visible support to young people out there where it matters most, on the streets.”

Michael Groce of Green Man Skills Zone said: “We are delighted to be working with Code 7 in recruiting and training volunteers for the establishment of Lambeth Schools Patrol.

“This is community spirit in action and working together we can provide more opportunities to young people than when working alone.

Ferndale ward councillor Irfan Mohammed greets Lee Jasper at Brixton Tube station

“We will be training volunteers to ensure that they have all the information they need to respond to young people’s interests, concerns, anxieties or ambitions.

“It’s an exercise in community love that we hope will be an inspiration to many. The community is volunteering its time and with a little support from businesses we can hopefully make a real difference to some young people who need the support of others to successfully negotiate the challenges in life”

Michael Smith, director of the Brixton Business Improvement District said: “It’s been a real pleasure to help sponsor and fund this project, one that has genuine support, addresses the issue of youth engagement and provides a trained community resource, that can help signpost and support young people throughout their school life.

A passer-by stops to thank Lee Jasper for the Lambeth Schools Patrol initiative

“Local businesses are keen to support projects which are great importance to local communities and there can be nothing as important as providing a safe place for our youth, and at the same time ensuring that we provide the best support we can, in signposting young people to their future ambitions and dreams.”

Paul Canoville, who was Chelsea football club’s first Black player, said: “I think that Lambeth Schools Patrol is a great idea.

“I’m working in schools a lot in Lambeth and I’m always bowled over by their passion and enthusiasm to achieve, seeing a whole community come together like this to keep them safe is close to my heart and I’m looking forward to joining the launch.”

To enquire about volunteering, contact Code 7 on 020 7998 1531 or visit its website.

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Lambeth equality commissioner Dr Miranda Brawn won two awards for outstanding achievements at the fifth annual Women in Finance Awards held on 26 June 2019. The award recognises high-achievers, advocates, and role models for women in the sector and is one of the most prestigious in Europe in promoting diversity.

Dr Brawn’s two awards on the night were Ambassador of the Year and the main award of the night Woman of the Year. The awards are in recognition of her work in the finance industry and in promoting and encouraging diversity through the work of the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation. The charity offers scholarships to empower women and young people from black and minority ethnic communities. Applications are open until 1 August and you can find out more here.

She said: “I am delighted to be recognised for my diversity work across all strands including gender and my contribution to the finance industry over the past 20+ years. Last year I was a finalist for the Banker of the Year Award and Lawyer of the Year Award hence it is wonderful to win two this year. Ambassador of the Year and the main big one of the night – Woman of the Year!”

The awards recognise her work with The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation, a multi-award winning charity.

“Our work includes 40 scholarships this year (including Women Empowerment) and has impacted on nearly 50,000 young people.

“Our scholarships are not just about funding, work experience and mentoring. We offer networking opportunities and teach you how to fish in the real world! Our winners have met royalty like HRH Prince Charles, HRH Countess Sophie Wessex and of course the Speaker of the House of Commons Rt Hon. John Bercow MP plus many many more top UK leaders across different sectors. Get the young person or yourself to apply for our scholarships by 1 August 2019!”

“I would like to thank everyone who supports our work and to everyone who has helped me in my financial career thus far including my parents and one of my mentors who sadly passed away last month Mr Robin Saunders.”

Six hundred leaders and advocates in the finance sector gathered at the Women in Finance awards held at Grosvenor House in London to celebrate the achievements of 130 finalists out of over 400 nominations.  Those nominated were from a broad range of sectors, including financial services, corporate law, banking, and accountancy. The event helps to identify much-needed role models and raise awareness of the need to diversity the talent pipeline and narrow the pay and promotion gender gap.

Women leaders in the financial services sector globally remains stubbornly low at 12% – despite a sizeable number of organisations claiming to have diversity initiatives.

Organisers said stereotypes surrounding the types of roles available in the finance industry have played a part in discouraging women to enter the workforce. The Women in Finance Awards series aims to tackle this issue and redress the gender imbalance, by showcasing the achievements of women in the sector and identifying new role models. The Awards are organised by http://GrowthBusiness.co.uk , consumer investment magazine What Investment, and BonHill Group plc.

Presenting the ceremony were Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh gold medalists in field hockey for England in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Tania Ferreira, senior conference producer at Bonhill Group plc, said: “The professionals being honoured at the Women In Finance Awards are innovators, real game changes and they are invaluable assets to their organisations and to the industry. They are the role models that will inspire the next generation of female professionals.”

This year’s Women in Finance Awards were supported by UK Business Angels Association, London Stock Exchange, Women’s Enterprise Scotland, CISI, Voice at the Table, 30% Club, and Wealthier Network.

You can view Dr Miranda Brawn’s TEDx Women Modena Talk here here

Further information about The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation here.

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Project volunteers will work in central Brixton

A new voluntary youth service on the streets of Brixton will launch on Wednesday (10 July) as it seeks 50 volunteers it can train to take part in the project.

Backed by the Brixton Business Improvement District (BID) and the Green Man Skills Zone in Loughborough Junction, the Lambeth Schools Patrol is planned to start when schools go back in September.

It will focus not on the issue of violence but on positive engagement and communication.

Trained volunteers will work on the streets of Brixton between 3 and 5pm on school days “providing a positive befriending opportunity” for young people.

The plan is that they will “positively interact, guide support and befriend young people outside of the context of a problematic intervention”.

In winter, volunteers will work with schools to promote the project, recruit parent volunteers, and ensure that young people are fully aware of the support they can get from the volunteers.

The project originated with Code 7, a Lambeth-based charity set up in 1996, that provides troubled young people with development through music and performance.

Headed by former local reggae star Asher Senator, a colleague of the late Smiley Culture, and author of the book Smiley and Me, Code 7 has supported thousands of young people in their careers, educational achievement and personal development.

Asher Senator said: “This is a community-inspired project developed as a result of broad public consultation in partnership with the Brixton Improvement District and the Lambeth Green Man Skills Zone.”

The project and its call for volunteers will be highlighted in shops and venues in central Brixton.

Volunteers will go through an in-depth training programme and be checked and cleared before starting work.

They will be able “to signpost young people to a range of opportunities to support their continued education and development”.

Code 7 says consultations throughout 2017 and 2018 around a number of community health, safety and development themes led to the idea for a Lambeth Schools Patrol.

“This is a project with a difference,” said Code 7. “The community was quite clear that, whilst most youth intervention projects were focused on violence, the community demanded that a more positive engagement be considered that would provide an opportunity to develop good relations and communications with young people outside of the problematic context of ‘youth violence’.”

According to Transport for London, more than 20,000 young people of secondary school age, travel through Lambeth each school day.

“This is an opportunity for us to positively interact with young people in a constructive context,” said Asher Senator.

“This is an incredibly innovative project that was born out of community consultation and conversation.

“We want to offer young people in Lambeth every opportunity to fulfil their ambitions and dreams by providing a standing youth service, an information resource on Brixton High Street.

“We will offer advice on everything, and all our volunteers will be trained to either provide the information or the ability to identify and access the information and pass on to the young person concerned.

“More importantly, we offer an opportunity for intergenerational contact, the development of relationships with positive people, the ability to broaden and deepen a wide range of relationships and opportunities.

“We wish to work with schools and parents to provide some visible support to young people out there where it matters most, on the streets.”

Michael Groce of Green Man Skills Zone said: “We are delighted to be working with Code 7 in recruiting and training volunteers for the establishment of Lambeth Schools Patrol.

“This is community spirit in action and working together we can provide more opportunities to young people than when working alone.

“We will be training volunteers to ensure that they have all the information they need to respond to young people’s interests, concerns, anxieties or ambitions.

“It’s an exercise in community love that we hope will be an inspiration to many. The community is volunteering its time and with a little support from businesses we can hopefully make a real difference to some young people who need the support of others to successfully negotiate the challenges in life”

Michael Smith, director of the Brixton Business Improvement District said: “”It’s been a real pleasure to help sponsor and fund this project, one that has genuine support, addresses the issue of youth engagement and provides a trained community resource, that can help signpost and support young people throughout their school life.

“Local businesses are keen to support projects which are great importance to local communities and there can be nothing as important as providing a safe place for our youth, and at the same time ensuring that we provide the best support we can, in signposting young people to their future ambitions and dreams.”

Paul Canoville, who was Chelsea football club’s first Black player, said: “I think that Lambeth Schools Patrol is a great idea.

“I’m working in schools a lot in Lambeth and I’m always bowled over by their passion and enthusiasm to achieve, seeing a whole community come together like this to keep them safe is close to my heart and I’m looking forward to joining the launch.”

To enquire about volunteering, contact Code 7 on 020 7998 1531 or visit its website.

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