Art in the Park
Art in the Park is an organisation that encourages people of all ages and abilities to engage with organised creative projects – most of which take place in the great outdoors. They specifically try to reach people who are isolated and vulnerable, introducing them to relaxing and empowering creative activities.
The specific project which Art in the Park has won funding for, will enable their artists and volunteers to reach out to the wider community surrounding Elephant & Castle. Groups will then be treated to a series of art workshops which explore different art processes, using local history as the subject matter. Local historians Julia Honess and Diana Cochrane will uncover stories about the Newington Estate, African fabric shops and Jewish tailoring on Walworth Road and historic music venue the Trocadero.
The workshops will run throughout July and August and once finished the artwork will be published in a booklet, with an intergenerational event then held for all groups of participants to come together.
Citizens UKParents and Communities Together (PACT), a Citizens UK project, works to improve children’s early developmental outcomes and maternal wellbeing. Their grant will enable Espacio Mama, a Spanish language group created in response to a need from Spanish speaking parents in the Elephant and Castle area, to offer weekly group meetings for peer support, signposting and workshops.
Colab is an immersive theatre experience, working with local communities on themes that are relevant to their own history and neighbourhoods.
The specific project that Colab will carry out is a year-long youth workshop for people in Elephant & Castle. Groups of young people will have the chance to join one of a few 12-week programmes, each of which results in a community performance.
Pembroke house is a community centre which offers a number of activities and groups, all which aim to bring local communities together. At Pembroke House you can visit the café with friends, take an ESOL class or join a lunch club to learn something new.
The Elephant Park funding will go towards expanding the range of courses to include dance classes. These dance classes will seek to engage local children who may not otherwise have the opportunity to join a dance class, providing them with a regular social experience outside of the school setting.
A free service for all carers living in the borough. The group offers advice, emotional and wellbeing support, training, counselling, advocacy and access to peer activities. The grant will help transform a rooftop space at the Carer’s Centre into an inner-city allotment and nature area to deliver activities and development opportunities. Visit their website to find out more about what Southwark Carers do.
The Listening Place
The Listening Place is an organisation that provides face-to-face support for individuals suffering from suicidal thoughts. Based in the area surrounding Elephant Park, funding will go towards continuing their vital work.
The centre at Meade Mews homes a number of specially trained volunteers who man the space from 9am – 9pm, 7 days a week.
Once someone visits The Listening Place, they can then build a relationship with a mentor, creating a safe and trusting relationship, someone with whom they can share how they’re feeling.
Over 1,000 people per year visit The Listening Place; people of all ages and from all backgrounds. If you would like to find out more about volunteering there, visit the website.
A spokesperson for Pembroke House said: “It is with great appreciation that we receive this grant from the Elephant & Castle Community Fund. dt17, our dance-theatre programme for young people will be able to continue to provide free dance training for children in the local area. In particular, we are very excited to be focusing attention on building and nurturing relationships with local schools, the long-term benefits of which will go far beyond this funding period.”
Lendlease’s Project Director for Elephant Park, Kristy Lansdown, said: “We are committed to creating a thriving, inclusive and sustainable community at Elephant Park, and are pleased to support community projects which directly benefit those who live, work and study in the area. There are some superb initiatives this year which we’ll be supporting, in addition to the broad range of projects which have already benefited from funding through the scheme.”
Cllr Helen Dennis, Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency and Sustainable Development at Southwark Council, said: “Over the last eight years, a diverse range of groups and activities have received funding from this scheme which have delivered real benefits for thousands of local residents. We look forward to seeing the contribution this year’s projects will make towards creating a vibrant and sustainable neighbourhood at Elephant and Castle that new and existing residents can enjoy.”