Council meetings

Agenda item

Assembly Fund - project presentations and voting


Sydenham Garden: Tom Gallagher outlined the work of Sydenham Garden which supports people recovering from mental illness and also runs a project with people with dementia.  Annually they receive around 400 referrals, about 20% of which are from Sydenham Ward.  They also offer “twilight” volunteering sessions for people not referred by a GP. The project is to design and build a new garden area.


Q: How long has Sydenham Garden been operational?

A: 15 years

Q: How much are you requesting?

A: £1,300

Q: how many people has the project worked with so far?

A: we work with over 300 people per week and have 80 regular volunteers.  Over the course of a year we would involve approx. 1500 different people in community activities.


Single Homeless Project: Tara Carty presented on the services SHP offers to young homeless people in their hostel in Kirkdale.  SHP was started in 1974 by three single men, in a bid to make hostels more appealing.  Tara is the Learning and Activities Coordinator. SHP are a relatively small charity who cover 22 local authorities in London. 


The project for which they are seeking funding is to convert their basement at Farnborough House into a social and inclusive area.  They have received help from 200 FCA volunteers and many donations in kind.  They are requesting £1,200 to help complete the project.


Q: What type of training to you offer the service users?

A: We offer regular activities such as fitness, cooking, IT, help looking for work. All residents are aged 16-24.

Q: How many service users do you have?

A: The Sydenham-based facility - Farnborough House – has eleven beds, and we continue supporting service users after they leave, via Floating Support – helping them with, for example, budgeting.

Q: Where do referrals come from?

A: GPs, social services, etc.

Q: Do you have any links with TNG?

A: We have to be careful due to the risks of gang involvement, however we have set up a link with Deniz at TNG, who is helping us get the music studio operational.

Tara noted that she is based in Kings Cross, so is only involved in Sydenham for part of the week.


Sydenham Arts: Ron Warshow from Sydenham Arts introduced James Hodge who is working with them on the Sydenham Lens project.  Pop up portraiture started today (3rd December) as part of their “preview” events.  The main events of the project will take place in February and March 2017.   The aim is to inspire people to celebrate Sydenham – its people and places.  Photography has been chosen as one of the most accessible art forms, since today very many people have access to a camera on their phone.  Those who don’t can access a camera through taking part in one of our workshops.  The project will enable people to create memories and pieces of art.  We will work in schools and with older people, breaking down the barriers to participating in art.

Q: How will it be marketed?

A: We will produce 10 – 15,000 copies of a brochure, use social media and digital marketing, engage with local businesses, and L&Q are texting their residents.

Q: What are the dates of workshops?

A: Dates are on the flyer available today.

Q: When does the photo exhibition end?

A: 31st January is the competition deadline, 23 Feb – 5 March will be the exhibition.  We may hold a public vote to determine the winners.


Jimmy Asher Foundation: Joe Maye thanked the Assembly for inviting him to speak on the project, which is 6 weeks boxing culture sessions, based at TNG.   The aims are to work with young people to improve stamina, health and wellbeing, core strength and boxing technique.  To give them a positive activity in a safe environment and create greater community cohesion among YP.  This is an extension of current provision at TNG.

Q: where will you find the young people to participate?

A: Local schools, on the estates

Q: will it include girls?

A: Yes

Q: We hope that the project will result in good relations with SNT

A: we will link up with SNT.


Hear to Help: Steve Bell introduced the Hear to Help project, which aims to increase its capacity in Lewisham.  The project supports people on ear health, how to obtain hearing aids, tinnitus, and community support.  We encourage people with hearing loss to take more control and get more support with their everyday life.  More information also helps their family and friends, e.g. with managing hearing aids, accessing better equipment (such as phones, doorbells).  It helps reduce social isolation. The project has benefitted 120 people in Sydenham alone in the past year.  Across Lewisham estimate 550.  Information will also be sent to professionals.


No further questions.


SEE3: Cllr Chris Best showed the SEE3 Christmas Calendar which is a listing of the December events in Forest Hill, Kirkdale and Sydenham. The print run is 15,000 and is delivered door to door in Sydenham and Forest Hill wards with the Assembly Newsletter to save on delivery costs. The booklets are also available in the high streets of Forest Hill, Kirkdale and Sydenham.


With the funding from the Sydenham Assembly SEE3 organises a range of events under High Street Happenings including the entertainment on market day, Easter Bonnet workshops and parade, Halloween and a Christmas event. Cllr Best asked people to support the project, engage with SEE3 and share ideas to improve the high street Sydenham.


No questions


Friends of Sydenham Community Library – Adults Craft Sessions: Ilse Towler explained the craft sessions project, which will provide 28 sessions, which support people to make new friends whilst learning a skill and developing their confidence and self-esteem.  The craft sessions take some people from the Sydenham Gardens dementia project after they finish there.  They now have an offer of time from a tutor who works out of Bellingham Church.  The sessions are timed to fit in with school runs which helps parents of young children who may have limited opportunities to socialise and meet people.

Q: Do people contribute financially to the classes?

A: Yes, they pay for extra tutor time and have contributed to the library


Friends of Sydenham Community Library – Rhyme time for under-fives: Ilse spoke on this project which serves under-fives and their parents and carers.  It is attended by up to 20 adults and 30 + children each time.  Its popularity has led to new developments such as a parent’s choir.  They have received part-funding from Bellingham Assembly, and are asking Sydenham Assembly to top this up to complete the project.

Lewisham Carers – girls club: Luisa Depaoli introduced this project.  Lewisham Carers serves 7,000 unpaid carers in the borough, of which approx.. 600 are young people age 5 – 18 years old, catered for by the Young Carers project.  They are requesting funding for a girls club in Sydenham because this part of the borough has a very high proportion of young girls caring compared to other wards.  They aim to have a club in every ward to make it accessible.  It’s an 8 week project, 1.5 hours per week.  Caring can cause young people to have anxiety/depression and lack confidence.  This is about empowerment, giving the girls a toolkit for life, and a break from caring.

Q: what venue will you use?

A: Looking for one in Sydenham

Q: Do you start from 5 years old?

A: Yes

Q: How many young people will be served by the project?

A: We expect 12

Q: Is finding a venue dependent on funding?

A: Yes, we will not be able to deliver the project without funding.

Q: Could the activity be held at the library

A: Possibly.  The young people need privacy.

Q: What times of day does it run?

A: After school – so 4 – 5.30 pm.

Q: How will you identify the 12 girls?

A: Based on our existing database.  We will try to involve more than 12, if more ask to join we will accommodate them.

Q: Will it include boys?

A: Not this one, (see above) but we run many other clubs that do include boys.

Q: There seems a high proportion of the budget on a residential break

A: We prioritise this because it gives the YP a complete break from caring.


Cllr Onikosi summed up the bids by reminding the Assembly that the Co-ordinating group supported all of them.  She explained that an amount of £389 had been set aside after funding all the bids, by the Co-group to support improving the Xmas tree and lights for 2017.

Q: If all projects are to be funded, why hold a vote?

A: It is important that the Assembly expresses its view to ensure the decision is democratic.  If there wasn’t 51% support at the Assembly for a particular project, that project would not receive funding.