Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Stay at home as much as possible to stop coronavirus spreading

 For more information here is the latest government guidance

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms
If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. 

Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. 

Saturday, 16 May 2020

The proposed commercialisation of Tooting Common Triangle by Wandsworth council

Today, St.Leonard's Councillors sent a formal objection to the Wandsworth planning department and members of the Planning Application Committee on behalf of the many residents who have contacted us expressing their concerns about the proposals for the hardcore pitch on Tooting Common.

The proposal can be found at: 
This is what we said:

The St. Leonard's ward boundary runs along the eastern edges of the common and many of our residents - families and individuals, use it for leisure, exercise, play, team sports and dog walking. Many of whom have signed the petition (more than 5000 signatures on 16th May) to end the proposed commercialisation of this wonderful green and open space. The petition can be found at:

Whilst supporting the plans to upgrade the Boxing Club and its facilities we object vehemently to the rest of the proposal on the following grounds:

The use and gradual disintegration of artificial pitch materials - which as they disintegrate will result in microplastics seeping into the soil and water course

Use of floodlights on a regular basis which will disrupt bats and other evening/nightime wildlife

This area is prone to heavy flooding and there is a lack of detail in the plans as to how this will be managed.

Loss of trees, shrubs, grassland and resulting impact on birds, insects, other wildlife, impact on air quality, wellbeing and health of common users.


We fully support the upgrading of the Boxing Club and its facilities and the proposed provision of a home ground for the children's football club, The Balham Blazers BUT these gains are totally outweighed by the losses. We support sport provision and outside activities for all, especially children and young people who are so often overlooked by council provision, but overall, these plans will result in loss of provision for young and old.

The Triangle One O'Clock Club - a free provision, much used, loved and essential Children's Centre will be closed and replaced with a cafe (there is already a cafe within 100m of the site on Cavendish Road) and a stay and play area charging £2.50/hour. Turning a fully inclusive space into an area only accessible to those who can afford it, losing all the essential services a Children's Centre provides.

The very well used hard core pitch will be turned into multiple pitches with the erection of chain mail fencing and the replacing and addition of floodlighting. The pitches will remain locked shut, available only to those who have booked and paid to use them, no longer available to residents and common users as it is now. An unacceptable proposal at a time when green/open spaces are an essential amenity due to the ongoing pandemic

The site is tucked away in the corner of the common where it is inaccessible to vehicles. There is limited parking in Cavendish Road (4 spaces); insufficient bicycle storage and lack of parking spaces in neighbouring roads.

Footfall - if, as has been suggested, up to one hundred people an hour use the site, insufficient thought has been put into how users will travel to and from the site. No survey has been provided on potential parking stress or thought given to the provision of cycle/scooter parking. Of major concern is the lack of parking spaces for disabled and Blue Badge drivers.

The site accommodates a children's playground - what provision has been put in place for children whilst the major works take place and what thought has been put into the safeguarding of children if the site becomes heavily populated by adult users.

We object to the chain mail fence - creating a caged effect and its design and visual impact on Metropolitan Open land and a Local Heritage asset.

Common land is held in trust by the council for all local people to have free access to.

In a previous case, Muir/Wandsworth Borough Council, concerning the commercial use of a building on Wandsworth Common, the Hon Mrs Justice Lang ruled that:

- the residents are the owners of the open space

- the Local Authority are the trustees of the open space

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Domestic Violence – Advice and Support

If you or anyone you know lives in fear from the threat of domestic violence please don’t hesitate to seek help. There has been an increase in the level of domestic violence during the lock down and often those suffering abuse feel they cannot leave or get to place of safety, perhaps because there are children in the home needing care or because they are unaware of the support that's available.

Refuge runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which you can be called for free, and in confidence, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. Its website provides guidance and support for potential victims, as well as those who are worried about friends and loved ones. It also has a form through which people can book a safe time for a return call.

The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them. They can be reached via 'phone at 0808 801 0327.

Galop runs the national LGBT+ domestic abuse helpline. They can be reached via freephone at 0800 999 5428 and can be emailed confidentially

More locally, the Gaia Centre, offers wrap-around services to assist anyone who is experiencing violence and abuse at home

If you are in a sitution of danger do not hesitate to call 999 - if you are unable to speak, stay silent and key 55 in to your 'phone.

How to make a silent 999 call
The Home Office has a system in place called Silent Solutions, which helps callers, such as domestic abuse victims, who cannot speak to an operator.
If you have not been able to signal that your call is an emergency by coughing after dialling 999, you will be put through to the operator.
If you are in danger, you will be asked to dial "55".

Help from Lambeth Council during the pandemic

If you need help, advice or support from the council please call the helpline number
020 7926 2999 – open 8am to 8pm every day.

There is more information available on this page of the council website helpline for vulnerable people

The council’s youth service has produced a young people’s guide to coronavirus specifically aimed at 14-18 year olds and a guide for residents which can be found here guide for residents during the COVID-19 crisis.

Information about support available to individuals, businesses and other organisation and how you can help your community is now available through this link in an easier location on our website.

Service updates can be found here -  on a new, separate page.

The Covid - 19 main section of the website is:

To get support for businesses or advice on commercial activities, such as waste or insurance:

To find out how you can help, by volunteering or making donations to local food banks and other charities:

To access the live and easy-read dashboard which sets out the current status of council services, please visit:

Ramadan Guidance

As Muslims begin to prepare for the month of Ramadan, the NHS has issued a reminder to those who observe the Islamic holy month to avoid social gatherings because of the risk of coronavirus.
Ramadan will be marked all over the world from Thursday 23 April with month-long fasting and observations of spiritual reflection set to end on Saturday 23 May. This is followed by Eid the festival of fast breaking where traditionally family and friends get together to attend special prayers and celebrate the end of the holy month.

Additional guidance and key advice has been issued to NHS managers and staff working in hospitals and healthcare settings to cover adjustments over working hours and fasting arrangements for Muslim colleagues who are not eating or drinking during daylight hours until evening sunset.

Read the full advice here.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Useful Resources Update

The National Education Union have launched a microsite to support parents, carers and students.
The site contains information on key areas of concern for parents and families, including the impact of the cancellation of exams and Government test, learning outside school and supporting children’s health and wellbeing.

Lambeth council’s helpline for vulnerable people operates from 8am to 8pm, enabling people who need help (or those caring or concerned for them) to contact the council as part of the Community Hub.

The helpline number is 020 7926 2999.

For up to date information on what the council is doing concerning coronavirus covid-19 emergency response, please go to:

Volunteer for the council

Many local residents are registering with groups like COVID-19-mutual-aid on WhatsApp and Facebook to help with contacting households at the doorstep.

For those who would like to volunteer through the council the application form is here : form

Help and advice for families living with dementia during the Covid-19 outbreak

Many of our local families are affected by dementia and, inevitably, the coronavirus outbreak has been, and will continue to be, challenging for the families and people living with dementia as many people living with dementia struggle with changes to daily routines. 
It is also important to take time to prepare for different situations such as the person with dementia getting sick or if carers get sick.

For up to date guidance please go to The Lambeth Dementia Action Alliance for residents and carers which includes helplines and ways to support someone day-to-day at home. Please see below for further details.

Telephone helplines with staff who understand family carers & can talk through options
Alzheimer’s Society: 0300 222 11 22
Dementia UK Admiral Nurses: 0800 888 6678
Lambeth & Southwark Alzheimer’s Society: 020 7735 5850
Lambeth Independent Living & Carers Partnership: 020 7095 5720
Caring4carers: 07939 221 484
Lambeth council’s  Covid19 Vulnerable person helpline: 020 7926 2999

Chat forums on dementia
To connect online with other people affected by dementia, try Talking Point at
Skype, Face Time and Zoom are some online face to face tools - and don’t forget the pleasure of getting a letter or postcard. Simply picking up the phone and making sure people are okay is extremely powerful at this time.

Information on dementia
The Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK have many information sheets on aspects of dementia with useful tips and suggestions e.g. on washing , eating , walking about, music: or

Dementia services
Many services for people living with dementia are temporarily closed to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, but resources online include:
Lambeth’s AgeUK’s My Community (directory of services)

A few tips on getting through the day

  • Try to persuade & encourage the person with dementia and to avoid confrontation with them if possible.
  • Set up a regular time for telephoning.
  • Talk about early memories. Use music and old movies to help with reminiscence.
  • For people who forget recent news - a notice by the front door can remind people about not going out and other changes due to coronavirus.
  • Set up different areas/zones in your home e.g.: watch favourite films and musicals in the living room, listen to the radio in the kitchen, do jigsaw puzzles at the table.
  • Activity box with puzzles and crafts.
  • Assistive technology can help provide reminders about eating regularly, not going out, washing hands and so on. Available at

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Advice from Lambeth Made about supporting the Emotional Health & Wellbeing of Children & Young People


COVID-19 is affecting everyone’s daily lives. Huge changes in the way society works are happening in order to manage the outbreak, reduce transmission and treat those who need medical attention.
This is bound to be a difficult time for children and young people. Some will show it soon, for some it will take some time, but all will be affected in some way. How it shows will depend on their age, their ability to understand, their home situation, what their family is experiencing and how they cope with challenge and change.
Different children and young people will react in different ways. They may be scared about their own health and their family and friends health, they may not seem worried, but be holding it inside and having trouble sleeping or have physical symptoms like stomach aches.
Whether the impact is obvious or hidden, it's really important that the people close to the children and young people look after their mental health and wellbeing during this time.

Listen to them: Everyone feels less anxious if they talk about how they feel.  Children and young people may find it harder to explain, especially if they have any communication barriers. The important thing is they are heard, their worries are taken seriously, and they get extra love and attention.

Skills for Care advice offers tips for talking about feelings.

Give clear information: They want to feel safe. Understanding what’s happening helps. They need openness, honesty and explanations about what’s being done and why it’s important. They need to know what they can do to help, like washing their hands regularly.

The Mencap website has easy to read information that works with all children and young people

Be a positive example: Children and young people watch how their parents and carers react to what’s going on. It’s important for them to see calmness, kindness and supportive behaviour. It’s important that adults take care of themselves.

Here’s some advice for adults on how to look after your own mental wellbeing.

Connect regularly: If parents and carers cannot be with their children they should make sure they have frequent contact by phone or video call and make sure they understand why they can’t meet up. 

Create a new routine: Knowing what is happening when, even if it's different from usual, helps children and young people feel safe. Give them a plan for the day or the week, so they know when they will be learning, playing and relaxing. Use online learning resources like BBC Bitesize. Keep them physically active using indoor games and activities like Change4Life. Stick to their normal bedtime routines.

Be careful with TV and social media: They could get upset by hearing too much about what’s going on, but don’t cut them off completely. They should have limited access to the news and always have someone to talk with about what they see and hear.

The age children are will have a huge influence on how they react to challenging times:

0 to 2-year olds may become distressed more easily, crying more and wanting to be held and cuddled more.

3 to 6-year olds may go back to having toileting accidents, bed-wetting, being frightened about separation, and they may be more likely to have tantrums or difficulty sleeping.

7 to 10-year olds could feel sad, angry, or afraid. They might also get false news from peers that need correcting. They might get obsessed and want to talk about it all the time, but they may want to avoid it completely. 

Pre-teens and teenagers could become introverted and cut themselves off from friends. They could be overwhelmed by emotions and unable to talk, leading to increased arguing and even fighting with siblings, parents, caregivers or other adults. Older teens might act out and indulge in alcohol or drug use, or get anxious about school closures and exam cancellations.

If they want to speak to someone else, they can call a helpline or visit websites like Shout, ChildLine and The Mix. eQuoo is a fun way to support their mental health.
Shout gives free, confidential support, 24/7 via text. They can text SHOUT to 85258 to text-chat with trained volunteers who can listen and help with problem-solving
ChildLine’s helpline is for any child with a problem. They can  0800 1111 any time for free, have an online chat with a counsellor and check out the message boards
The Mix offers a free 24/7 crisis messenger text service for anyone aged 25 or under, on 85258, a listening and signposting helpline on 0808 808 4994 and a one-to-one online chat service. More about all these services and more at:

eQuoo is a free app developed by a team of psychologists and the creators of The Walking Dead games. It combines mental health research with play and uses choose-your-own-adventure games to increase emotional fitness and teach  psychological skills. There are currently some in-app purchases, but they are not crucial to gameplay and there will soon be a code for Lambeth users that removes them:

Mental Health Resources

Anyone worried about a child or young person’s mental health should seek help from a professional. They can contact their school or college or their GP or get support from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust’s SLAM crisis line on 0800 731 2864. For more advice on where to get support for a mental health crisis visit the NHS page.

Lambeth Resources

Kooth is an online counselling service for 11-25 year olds living in Lambeth and across south-east London. Free, anonymous mental health and emotional well-being support comes from qualified counsellors in one-to-one sessions, from 12 noon to 10.00 p.m. on weekdays, and from 6.00 p.m. until 10.0 p.m. at weekends, 52 weeks per year. Young people can also log on to to access help and support for their mental well-being.

National Resources

Doctors of the World have made COVID-19 advice available in 35 languages. It's based on government advice and health information. It is also on their Google drive..
MindEd is a free learning resource about the mental health of children, young people and older adults. They also offer e-learning for volunteers, students and practitioners.
Young Minds for Parents and Carers offer advice for children and young people up to  25 and their carers. Young people can get ideas about things to do if they are anxious, concerned or stressed at Parents and carers can call their helpline on 0808 802 5544 and get advice on talking about COVI-19 at

Papyrus provide online suicide prevention support aimed at young people and adults up to the age of 35 at  

Physical Health 

Anyone worried about virus related symptoms a child or young person is experiencing should visit the NHS self-isolation advice website for information. If still worried, they can call NHS 111, but if someone is seriously ill and their life is at risk call 999. 

A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a physical health emergency.

Update for residents about Council Services

Useful Help Lines and contact details:

If you aware of any vulnerable residents including those who have no recourse to public funds,
who need help from the council there is a dedicated helpline number to call which is:
020 7926 2999 (8am to 8pm each day)

Anyone experiencing financial or any other hardship can also contact the following advice agencies:

Citizens Advice. Tel: 020 8687 8380

Brixton Advice Centre 

Centre 70. Tel:  020 8670 0070

South London refugee Association. Tel: 0203 490 3443 or email or call/text/ Whatsapp Rebekka on: 07809736493 or Semsem on: 07711198594.

Domestic violence help lines:

Freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247

Lambeth council Business helpline: Tel: 0207 926 2344, (open every day from 9am-5pm).
The team are answering any queries that businesses may have relating to both government initiatives such as grants and business rate relief, and Lambeth initiatives such as rent relief for tenants.

Rough Sleepers

Not all rough sleepers want to take up the offer of accommodation. If it’s safe for you to do so please approach anyone you see sleeping rough and ask their permission to contact Streetlink:

 Noise nuisance and ASB update

The Public Protection’s noise nuisance service has been reduced. Calls are being logged but investigations are limited to the more serious noise nuisance cases such as parties and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)
If you wish to report a noise nuisance or ASB please call 020 7926 5000 or use the webform


Prepayment meter card advice for those who are self-isolating and use prepayment meter cards for their electric and gas.  Please contact your energy provider directly or contact one of the advice agencies listed above.
There is also a useful guide from Money Saving Expert which contains good ,practical information.

Thames Water
Have said that they've increased the support available for customers who may be struggling to pay their bill with the introduction of a flexible payment period in addition to existing measures such as:
Social tariff which offers low-income households a discount of 50% on their bills
Customer Assistance Fund which offers grants to those with outstanding bills
Trust Fund which offers debt advice and grants for household appliances and other essentials
More information on the help Thames Water offer and information on how to apply is available at:

Other Resources

Home isolation resources in British Sign Language can be found here

 Community Hub

The Community Hub at Brixton Rec is being set up by Mutual Aid Groups, local Foodbanks and the council to provide food and medication to Lambeth residents who have been contacted by the NHS as part of the Shield programme. If you would like to volunteer to help please complete this form:

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Help with Council Tax during the Coronavirus crisis

If you are aware of any residents that have experienced financial hardship due to the coronavirus, they can apply for Council Tax Support online on the Lambeth Council website.

Following a request from Green councillors and many others, Lambeth council has stopped all enforcement action for council tax arrears (apart from an initial reminder).

If any resident is struggling to pay council tax, they can contact the Council's support teams to discuss payment options and possibly deferring payment to later in the year.

Residents can see their council tax account and payments, set up an arrangement to pay their council tax, change the way they pay and apply for exemptions and discounts online, either through their ‘my Lambeth’ account or the web forms.

There is also a Discretionary Council Tax Support Hardship Payment scheme for those experiencing particular financial hardship.

There are other sources of financial help available from Lambeth council too:

The Emergency Support Scheme can provide assistance with food, fuel, furniture and white goods for households facing a crisis or emergency.

Discretionary Housing Payments can help make up rent payments where benefit payments do not cover the full cost.

Streatham Common Rookery closed until further notice

Following a request from the Police, SCoop (the Streatham Common Co-operative) has been asked to close the Rookery Gardens and car park at the top of Streatham Common until further notice.

In a statement, Richard Payne SCoop's director said: "We are obviously disappointed not to be able to keep the Gardens open, but this is perhaps not surprising in the current circumstances.  In recent days the Rookery has been an extremely popular destination, and given the size of the park it is now not possible to keep everyone safe."

The most necessary staff will be kept on site to maintain the gardens and there will be additional patrols during the day to keep an eye on the site.

All events in the park have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Staff are continuing to be paid

Friday, 27 March 2020

Update for Residents about Council services (Coronavirus)

The council has launched a helpline for vulnerable people to contact as part of the Community Hub. The helpline number is 020 7926 2999

For those in immediate risk of financial hardship please contact the Emergency Support Scheme 

The Council’s volunteer form for those who want to volunteer is now live if you wish to sign up 

Parks and playgrounds
All playgrounds in parks and housing estates are now closed.
The Lambeth Country Show due to take place in July has been cancelled for this year
The Streatham Common Rookery is now closed

Waste and refuse services
Refuse and recycling services are running but now with a reduced number of staff. The household waste and recycling centres at Vale St and Smugglers Way are closed. Residents are being asked to dispose of any waste responsibly and keep any bulky waste items at home until the recycling centres can re-open. Jet-washing of pavements has been stopped. The disposal of clinical waste is operational.
We would like to extend our appreciation to our recycling, rubbish and street cleaning teams for their continued hard work keeping these essential services running.

Housing update
Choice based letting has suspended allocations. However, anyone who has already accepted a property will continue to tenancy sign-up and moving in, as normal.
There will be no transfers at the moment, only in emergency situations or those covered by other protocols, such as rough sleepers. A message explaining this will be posted on the bidding website so everyone actively bidding will be aware.
Some  housing associations have either suspended lettings altogether or only accepting urgent cases.

Markets update
Brixton Market is now limited only to fruit and vegetable stalls (and one egg stall)
There will be no Feast in April
There is no Streatham (monthly) market  
The Parks and Events department is working with traders to make clear that they are not permitted to trade, but also help them with support.
To Sign Up for email updates about COVID-19 from Lambeth – 

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Government instructrions on stopping the spread of Coronavirus

The following is the latest instructions and clarification from Government on stopping the spread of Coronavirus (you can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms).

  • Stay at home. Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (if you cannot work from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people when you are outside your home
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • You can exercise for one hour a day on your own, or with one other person if they are from your household, if you are not displaying symptoms of the virus but stay two metres away from others.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Coronavirus update for residents about council services

This is the latest update on council advice, services and information in the context of the current Cornavirus crisis.

· Following further government guidance, the council has prepared guidance from a Public Health perspective on how to volunteer in a way that reduces any potential health risks, which is available here.

· The council is putting together a shortened, special edition of ‘Lambeth Talk’, entitled 'Here for You'. This will include information for residents around how they can access help and advice.  It is hoped that it can be printed and distributed at some point next week. The edition will contain information in all of the main languages spoken in Lambeth.

· The council is putting in place arrangements to co-ordinate supplies and support to vulnerable people (The Shield) as part of the Government’s plans for councils to lead this work in the coming days.

· The Council has agreed that Adult Social Care’s fees and charges changes will be delayed until October 2020

Advice for volunteers

It is important that anyone volunteering is protected our volunteers, as well as those receiving volunteer support. To protect everyone and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the council is asking that all volunteers follow this guidance:

· Stay at home if you have a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, and follow the NHS guidance.

· Do not volunteer if you, or anyone in your household, is following self-isolation guidance because they have developed symptoms of COVID-19 (a new cough that is continuous, or a high temperature).

· If you live with an extremely vulnerable person who has been advised to following the government ‘shielding’ guidance, you should strictly follow the government guidance on social distancing.

Crowdfund Lambeth

A range of measures and community support partnerships are being put in place, including using a Crowdfund Lambeth scheme to support projects tackling the impact of Covid-19 in their communities. 

Lambeth Council already runs Crowdfund Lambeth, via helping groups and organisations across the borough to raise funds in order to help turn ideas into reality.

The funding is now being made more easily available through the platform to resource a range of groups including local food banks and those working to strengthen food supply and plan to mitigate anticipated challenges.

This could be around information sharing, signposting and logistical matters such as liaising with supermarkets to acquire surplus foods, appropriate storage for fresh and frozen produce, transport for distribution to groups or home food deliveries. 

To find out more about crowdfunding in Lambeth visit T

o apply for a match fund as part of the crowdfunding

Housing repairs

Housing Services teams are now following Government guidance and are currently providing essential emergency repairs only. Essential emergency repairs are as follows:

• Uncontainable leaks leading to flooding
• Back surging drains leading to flooding
• Blocked toilets when it is the only toilet in your home
• Total loss of electrics
• Total loss of heating
• Gas leaks
• Sounding carbon monoxide alarms
• Lift breakdowns
• Total loss of lighting in communal corridors/staircases

Other repairs where serious health and safety problems or severe damage could be caused
Calls are being taken, as usual, to report repairs in these categories on:

020 7926 6000 during office hours (weekdays 9am to 5pm)
020 7926 6666 out of hours.

Any other repair requests should be reported. These will be dealt with as soon as possible, but only once Government restrictions have been relaxed.

Refuse collection and waste

Vale Street and Smugglers Way recycling centres are now closed. The council is asking residents to dispose of any waste responsibly and keep any bulky waste items at your home until the recycling centres can re-open.