Bling ya bike – Olympiad style

Way back in February Effrablog reported on the Bling ya Bike workshops that take place on a Sunday afternoon at the Brixton Community Base on Talma Road. The sessions are to encourage young people to learn basic bicycle maintenance and decorate their bikes in the process.

We’re now delighted to report that funding has been secured for the summer phase of the project, thanks to Brockwell Park MAC, and Brixton Community Base with funds from 95.8FM Help a Capital Child

This so-called Olympiad Bling Ya Bike Programme runs from 1-4pm on June 3rd, June 10th and June 17th at Brixton Community Base. The Programme then transfers to Brockwell Park for a further four weeks between 24th June and 15th July. All are Sundays.

You can just come along, or email Lamonte Johnson on to register. If you want to see it in action, check these clips out on youtube

Funding available for local community projects: apply now

The Coldharbour Community First panel has matched funding to distribute to community projects in the area covered by the effrablog website, indeed in the whole of Coldharbour ward in Lambeth. The funding comes from the government via the Community Development Foundation. Effrablog is represented on the panel so we’re keen to use this, our website to solicit applications both from our area and the whole ward.

The deadline for applications for the first £5,500 of funding for the year 2012-13 is Friday 15th June prior to the decision meeting on Sunday 17th June at the Brixton Community Base on Talma Road.

Funds are available between £250 and £2,500 and can be matched with volunteer time valued at around £11 per hour. Visit for the full eligibility criteria and an application form.

Please do circulate this blogpost around any community groups in the coldharbour ward that you think might be interested. If the panel doesn’t get enough eligible applications, the funding will be lost.

New playground in Brockwell park to open on Thursday

At last Effrablog hears from our contacts on Lambeth council that the smart new playground in Brockwell Park, near the Arlingford Road entrance, is due to be formally opened at a ceremony on Thursday this week at 11am. No longer will children have to climb over the railings to get in….just a pity that the weather is forecast to rain on that day, but expect swarms on the slides at the weekend….

Here’s a little picture of them finishing it off this morning.

Chickpea the cat returns home!

Good news – following massive efforts from the Brixton twitter and bloggerati, and many posters on lampposts, the small black female cat called Chickpea (pictured) that we reported lost from Dalberg Road last Saturday night, has returned home. Phew.

The owners said: “we think a Ginger Tom was keeping her out of the garden. She was thin and thirsty and a bit shaky but is fine. We would love to thank everyone for looking out for her and so many lovely people for being in touch with sightings. ”

This means that all the lost cats reported to Effrablog are now reunited with their owners, namely this one and this one in addition to Chickpea. Effrablog now considering setting up cats reunited service as a sideline….

Brixton’s Jubilee picnic: Monday 4th June at the Brix – latest info

Brixton will be celebrating the jubilee on Monday, 4th June from 12-5pm, with a community picnic in Peace Garden at St Matthew’s – that is, the bit of green next to the old church in the middle of the big roundabout right in the middle of Brixton. You can’t miss it, basically.

The picnic is being organised by the building’s management team. Everyone is invited – particularly people who live nearby. Although there will be some food available to purchase and Sainsbury’s are sponsoring some nibbles, residents are encouraged to bring their own food, drink, rugs and decorations.

There will be a jazz singer, and a games area – with hula hoops, croquet, boules and other traditional activities such as egg and spoon race etc. There’ll also be a face painter for the children and the organisers will put on two tours of the building – one at 2pm and again at 3pm – so local residents can have a look and find out about the facilities and services they can utilise.

If its raining, the event will move inside the building, so come rain or shine its going to be good.

For more, see the organisers’ Facebook page or email

Effra nursery children raise £119.80 from plant sale

Children in the over-threes section of Effra nursery raised £119.80 by planting seeds and raising herbs and vegetables to sell to parents and visitors at a stall last week. The children were also able to pick, prepare and eat their own courgettes, carrots, tomatoes and rhubarb. The funds will go towards sustaining the work of the Childrens Centre.

This is part of a number of activities that have led to Effra being awarded the Gold level of the Eco-Schools Green Flag Award which recognises the commitment of the whole Centre to sustainability and increased awareness of environmental issues. They have also introduced Forest School sessions for the children that include sawing wood using a bow saw or hack saw, making dens, whittling using potato peelers and making hot drinks using a kelly-kettle. The children have also learnt about composting and recycling.

The full report of the Effra governors to stakeholders is here

Dalberg/Morval/Barnwell junction improvements: road closed

After weeks of preparatory works, the substantive alterations to the layout of the junction between Dalberg, Barnwell and Morval Roads are now being carried out. The top of Barnwell and Dalberg Roads are closed to traffic with diversions in operation.

The traffic island has been taken out and the angles of the junction are being altered to make it harder for cars travelling down the one-way system of Morval Road plan to turn into Barnwell and/or Dalberg Roads without indicating.

See our earlier story here for more

Olympic threat to local policing?

At the recent Effra Neighbourhood Watch meeting, local policeman Sgt Bertrand Ravenscroft (pictured) told local residents that although the official line was that local policing would not be affected by the Olympics, in practice it was the case that our local police officers would be instead moved to Olympic duties. This would mean that usual non-emergency services would probably suffer. He also said that because all police holiday leave was cancelled during the Olympic period, there would be a  knock-on effect of lower police capacity for many months afterwards as people took their normal summer leave later in the year.

However a potential upside was that if the Olympic games went off well, such that the large numbers of police that were deployed there didn’t have much to do, then some of them might be used locally to increase police presence in nearby high-profile areas that could include Brixton town centre.

What do you think about this? Effrablog has recently added to our events page the times when the local police make themselves available to residents in Windrush square – so go along and have your say, or comment on this story.

Black Cultural Archives builders go bust

The timing of plans to build a new site for Britain’s national Black Cultural Archives on the site on the corner of Saltoun Road and Windrush Square has been thrown into confusion by the building company doing the work going bust. The construction firm that was contracted to deliver the project, Kilby & Gayford went into administration on 18th April.  According to a report in yesterday’s Guardian newspaper, this could delay the opening by a further three months. It was orginally planned to open in time for the Olympics, but its now looking more like mid 2013.

Effrablog had previously already contacted the Black Cultural Archives – on 23rd April –  to find out more about their vision for this site on the edge of our catchment area, and has been told the person to speak to is “away until 14 May”. Hopefully on their return they’ll see the advantages of keeping local residents informed….

Burglaries in Morval Road recently

The police have notified the Effra Neighbourhood Watch that there has been an increase in burglaries and attempted burglaries around Morval Road at the edge of our area in the last few weeks.  So if you live round there, be extra vigilent. They have been particularly targetting electrical items, so keep anything valuable out of sight and make sure your door and window locks are robust and there are plenty of lights on, with timers as needed.

Here’s the latest edition of the police Safer Lambeth presentation, that has more details.Safer Lambeth Presentation – 2012 – 04 – 2 (1)  And do come along to tonight’s neighbourhood watch meeting to find out more.