Latest Posts

The Last Word: Helen Anderson, womenswear designer

My name is Helen, I am a local womenswear designer and I have recently launched my first collection. I have designed a range of clothes that are aimed at being flattering and comfortable but also stylish, with colours and high quality fabrics specifically combined to achieve this. All of the manufacturing for which has been done in London.

How long have you lived here?

I’ve lived in SE London for over 30 years and in Forest Hill for the past 15 years.

What brought you here?

Before moving here I was a fashion student in Manchester.  My ambition was to pursue a career in costume making/design implementing my fashion training, which brought me to London. I worked in the West End at the Piccadilly Theatre, National Theatre and Sadlers Wells amongst others. When I first arrived in London I visited friends in South East London and never looked back.

What one thing would you change?

More clothes shops!

Do you know your neighbours?

Yes, I feel lucky to have friendly neighbours who even feed our cat when we’re away.

What’s your favourite place for a night out?

Sfizio restaurant behind Forest Hill station is an inviting venue which stands out from other places in the area, having a unique combination of a good menu and cosy atmosphere.  

What is your favourite place to eat?

It has to be The Dartmouth Arms, they have the most interesting vegetarian options on their menu.

Coffee or tea? Where?

When going for business meetings I like to grab a coffee at Canvas and Cream, also they do a great halloumi breakfast. I’d definitely recommend it.

What’s your favourite place to go for a drink?

The All in One is more than just a pub it has a community feel about it and hosts a lot of events. I went for a work Christmas dinner there once, we hired a private room, the food was excellent and we danced until the early hours.

Where’s your favourite place to walk?

The Horniman Gardens has a fantastic view of the London skyline and is a pleasure to walk around in all seasons. It is beautifully maintained and the planting is stunning.

If money was no object…

I would open my own clothes shop, preferably on Dartmouth Road where it is a little more pedestrian friendly and there are a few interesting and unique shops.

My perfect holiday…

Would have to have the sea, sun, a beach and plenty of sangria.

My secret ambition…

To design clothes for Tess Daly on Strictly Come Dancing! 

www.helencatherine.com

Six tips to help you through uncertain times

With Toni Horton – Life Strategy Coach

I don’t have to tell you that we are living in very weird times right now. Things are changing every five minutes and it’s very disconcerting. Uncertainty fuels anxiety and when things come out of the blue like this, we are not prepared for the amount of upheaval we are going to feel and we are not always sure what we need to do, in this case because it is completely unprecedented, for us and for the wider world.

Worry and anxiety can be very similar feelings but the basic difference is worry normally takes place when something is actually happening, when you know what you are dealing with and you can start to plan how you are going to respond. Anxiety is fear of the future, in a nutshell the unknown feeling about what might happen, how big it might get and what are the repercussions. This is what a lot of people are currently experiencing. Even if you are not normally an anxious person, It feels like a lot is going on right now and it’s very easy to get pulled along with the collective fear that is surrounding us.

I just want to share a few quick tips with you to help you look after your mental health, as when something like this outbreak happens, it’s so easy for us to feel that everything is out of our control and that’s when we can become very anxious.

1) Tune Into Official News Channels

We know that there is a lot of incorrect information about coronavirus out there right now. When you are on social media it’s very easy to start out watching a fluffy kitten video and suddenly you are clicking on all kinds of links, each one with a worse headline than before. Switch off your notifications so that you don’t get bombarded and only stay up to date with the main news channels, they will carry all the latest guidelines and you can trust that the information has come from a good source.

2) Unfollowing People On Social Media

It’s not just the media sites that can trigger anxiety, it’s certain individuals. They might be family, friends, colleagues or random people that you follow. They might be talking in a way that you feel uncomfortable with so do not feel bad about unfollowing them. Instead find some uplifting accounts that help you feel calmer and more in control of your situation.

3) Boundaries

As much as the news is changing every five minutes, it doesn’t mean that we have to talk about every little detail constantly. If you are finding it hard to listen to somebody going on and on, don’t be afraid to ask them if you can talk about something else. Or leave the conversation if that’s preferable to you.

4) Understand Fear

Everybody is different and everybody deals with fear in different ways. We all react differently – some people panic through fear in order to feel safe, hence the current panic buying of the pasta and toilet rolls and some people minimise and that is how they feel safe, they make light of the situation and can almost appear to be in denial.

5) Sit With Uncertainty

This is the hard bit if you haven’t done it before. Sometimes we have to learn to live with uncertainty, we can’t always know the outcome and we can’t always choose the outcome. Very much like living with illness or going through a relationship breakdown, the outcome is not always ours to decide. What we can do in this instance is work out what we can control, in order to feel as strong as we can. For this outbreak, we can decide to follow all of the health instructions that are accessible to all of us, like proper handwashing etc.

And as further measures are introduced, we can take back the control by taking action to implement those measures, knowing that we are doing all we can.

6) Seek Help

If you already have an anxiety condition or maybe OCD that’s being triggered by the news or if you don’t but you are finding the news just too overwhelming, do reach out for support. Decide where you need that support to come from, work out whether you want to see a professional or whether you want to speak to a trusted friend who you know to be supportive.

These are just a few tips to help you feel more in control and a bit stronger about the situation. Please know you are not alone in this and it’s definitely not silly or a sign of weakness to be worried about this.

You can sign up for Toni’s newsletter at: tonihorton.com/contact-me

Support Kings College Hospital Healthcare Heroes

A group of local residents are looking to raise funds from our local community to show support and care to the Kings College Hospital Healthcare heroes on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis.

It started with a simple idea; providing community funded support to healthcare workers in local communities.  Already off the ground in Sydney, Australia where a strong cup of coffee was the initial ask of local healthcare workers , they are now trying to mobilise the same community spirit and support for our South East London professionals during the COVID-19 crisis.

Jill Orr, who started the initiative, said: “I was sitting at home feeling like locals should come together to do something for Kings College Hospital front line workers, who are so much part of our community.  I connected with my friend in Australia who had kicked off a similar campaign and reached out to Kings College Hospital to find out what they most needed.  After speaking to Kings College Hospital administration staff I was put in contact with four amazing people who are running newly devised “WellBeing Centres” at Denmark Hill and Princess Royal King’s sites.  They quickly outlined that they need fresh fruit, groceries and toiletries for staff on shift, finishing shifts and staff who are taking breaks in the Wellness Centres.  Their support, guidance and quick decisions have been invaluable in ensuring that our efforts are well placed.”

In the current environment, all the work has done been remotely. Jill is co-ordinating the campaign from home, but couldn’t do any of it without the ideas and support of local companies and the community of people who are sharing this initiative and donating!  In particular Jamie Younger from the Begging Bowl; Suzanne James at Suzanne James Catering; the team at Smith and Brock (who delivered the first 30 boxes of fresh fruit at 8am yesterday morning) and other hands on locals like Carolina Harvey and Alison Rawlings who have been targeting specific initiatives.

The group is finalising the delivery of take home grocery boxes with Smith and Brock; and the teams behind Suzanne James, DoorStep Deliveries and Ayres Bakeries will be delivering some much needed donuts and brioche to the front line staff soon.  Behind all of this is the community of people donating money – the campaign is currently half way to target in just 2 days!

Please note: Buy Them a Coffee is not associated with local providers or the Healthcare Industry – they are simply looking to mobilise our community to help in a small way and are starting here… to follow along please visit: www.instagram.com/buythemacoffee_kch/

Beyond fundraising, if you would like to get involved or want to start a “buy them a coffee” initiative for your local hospital, please get in touch.

www.gofundme.com/f/buy-them-a-coffee-kch

www.instagram.com/buythemacoffee_kch/

Pub in the Park Statement

Tom Kerridge has announced the decision to reschedule this year’s Pub in the Park Summer tour following advice and in the interest of everyone’s health, well-being and confidence.

The revised schedule of the Pub in the Park 2020 tour is:

  • Chichester, venue TBC, 14-16 August
  • Tunbridge Wells, Dunorlan Park, 21-23 August
  • Chiswick, Chiswick House & Gardens, 4-6 September
  • St Albans, Verulamium Park, 11-13 September
  • Bath, Royal Victoria Park, 18-20 September
  • Warwick, St. Nicholas Park, 18-20 September
  • Marlow, Higginson Park, 25-27 September
  • Dulwich – dates & venue TBC

The vast majority of the music, including headline acts, chef and restaurant line-up will remain the same. Any minor alterations will be announced in due course.

 “We would like to thank the chefs, restaurants, venues, local authorities, artists and many of our other contributors who have shown their unwavering support of Pub in the Park to enable us to rearrange our plans. In the meantime, we want you all to keep healthy and look after each other.” – Tom Kerridge

 

TICKET INFO

All ticket holders to venues with a change of date will have their tickets automatically transferred to the new dates. Anyone who can no longer make their rescheduled date can swap their tickets for another day and/or location subject to capacity or transfer to next year. If you are unable to attend, a refund will be processed.

For more ticketing information, visitors are asked to visit the FAQs section of the event website, but any specific ticket queries should be sent by email at tickets@pubintheparkuk.com.

COVID-19 Community Raffle

 

East Dulwich resident, Victoria Rennison, has set up a community raffle as a way of showing support for all our brilliant local businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Victoria has lived in East Dulwich for three years and moved here because of the wonderful atmosphere in the area, with so many independent shops and businesses, friendly people and a real sense of community.

She said: “With the latest government advice meaning so many of these local businesses have suddenly had to close, the impact was immediate and palpable. I saw online how they were trying to innovate and offer what they could but worrying what might happen to their shops, restaurants, cafes, gyms etc. so I wanted to do something which helped them financially in some way but also raised awareness of their plight and encouraged people to support them, shop and spend locally and help them get through the other side.”

The idea of the community raffle is to sell raffle tickets all over East Dulwich and the surrounding areas, with all proceeds raised being used to buy gifts, vouchers, hampers and experiences from independent businesses. Tickets can be bought online for £1 and there are 10,000 tickets available. For every 50 tickets purchased, a new prize will be added to the raffle. The draw is on Easter Day and the more tickets sold, the more support we can give to our local businesses during the pandemic.

Here’s how you can help:

1) Dig deep and buy raffle tickets at tinyurl.com/smtsvpr

2) Spread the word – tell everyone you know and shout it from the rooftops if you have to

3) Don’t forget your favourite local businesses – the restaurant you want to go to may not be open, but can you still buy a takeaway? The place you get a manicure has temporarily closed their doors, but can you buy a gift voucher?

You can follow Save East Dulwich on Instagram @saveeastdulwich, Facebook.com/saveeastdulwich, Twitter @DulwichSave and use the hashtag #saveeastdulwich.