All posts tagged: community

The Last Word: Laura Swidzinska – co-founder, Gather

Laura is one half of the duo behind Bellenden Road’s, Gather, the first refillery and sustainability hub to open in the area. Alongside her Peckhamite co-founder Tash Gorst, they’ve opened Gather to make it easier for local people to live a life which produces less waste and harm to the environment. How long have you lived in the area? I’ve been a South Londoner all my life. My Babcia (grandma in English!) has been in the same house in Balham for 70 years. I took the ‘big’ leap from SW to SE 3½ years ago. What brought you here? The greenness, shops run by locals rather than big corporates, and a quick train ride to my parents. What do you value most about the area? The community – it’s super strong here. People really care about where they live and do things together to make it better. Take the East Dulwich Forum for example – that’s where I met my friend and business partner Tash, and Gather was born. What one thing would you change? I’d …

The Last Word: Hayley John-Charles, personal travel consultant

I am a personal travel consultant and run my own franchise of Not Just Travel, I love finding the ideal holiday for my customers and hearing all about their travels on their return. I am also BNI ambassador that supports members in growing their business. How long have you lived in the area? I have lived in Lewisham Borough all my life and I have lived in SE23 for 31 years. What has changed most during that time? Forest Hill has a handful of shops and I have seen them change ownership so many times. The biggest change is no longer having any banks in the area. What do you most value about the area/street you live in? My neighbours. We don’t live in each other’s pockets but whenever we need to come together to support each other we do. It’s a real sense of community. Kids can play safely on the green areas. What one thing would you change? To end online businesses that rip people off with cheap alternatives and make it harder …

SE22 Councillor Jon Hartley

By Jon Hartley, Dulwich Hill Ward At the most recent Dulwich Community Council meeting, my fellow Dulwich Hill Councillor Maggie Browning and I were able to assign funding to local projects via the Cleaner Greener Safer fund, Neighbourhood Fund and Highways Capital Investment fund. These snappily titled local council budgets are a really important way for us as your representatives to be able to support good ideas from the community and protect and enhance some local services that are under increasing pressure. This year we were able to provide funding towards improvements in Goodrich School playground and St Clement’s orchard, support the Plastic Free Dulwich initiative, and resources for the local Police team. We also reserved funds to deal with any extra street cleaning that’s required in the area, supported developing local resident groups, promoting links between different generations and funded traffic speed restrictions. Adding to an initial grant last year, we were glad to be able to fully fund improvements to the pathways in Dawson’s Hill park, making them safe and accessible. The need …

The Dulwich Festival returns this May

The Dulwich Festival returns this May with its annual celebration of Art, Music, Theatre, Literature and Walks for all. In a time of uncertainty, this year’s theme is ‘Belonging’ and the community event has something to appeal for everyone aged 0-100 years! As always the Festival also celebrates the local artistic community with the ever-popular Artists’ Open House taking place across both weekends when over 200 artists invite the public into their homes and studios, providing a close up and personal dialogue and insight into their art. The Festival is also a celebration of the local history and architecture as local treasures such as the Dulwich Picture Gallery, Bell House, Dulwich College and Christ Chapel, amongst others, play host to the events. For music lovers, The Harlem Meer Cats are back! Recreating the music heard at the Cotton Club in the 1920’s and 30’s, these musicians play the great hits of Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway among others. The sounds are infectious, mysterious, seductive, at times menacing, yet always swinging! Dancers will be most welcome, …

The Last Word: Alice Godfrey, Nutritional Therapist

Alice Godfrey is a Registered Nutritional Therapist who lives in Forest Hill with her partner and their two children.  She specialises in anxiety and menopause and is keen to spread awareness of the importance of nutrition for mental health.  She does consultations from her home clinic and online. How long have you lived in the area? I’ve lived in Forest Hill for 3 years but before that I was in Sydenham for 8. Sydenham has changed far more in 3 years than it did in the 8 I was there! What brought you here? I’ve always felt at home in South London as my grandmother lived in Brixton.  I started there after university and then moved to Herne Hill then to Penge to afford a tiny flat and then came further east. I love this area’s leafy-ness. What do you value most about the street you live in? We live on Sunderland Road which is a lovely wide road which has some beautiful old houses on it (ours isn’t one of those unfortunately!). I like to imagine horse-drawn …