Forster Park gets digging

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Forster Park pupils with Carol Klein and learning mentor Graeme Slate

Summer is here and, to help residents keep their gardens watered, we have a few water butts to give away while stocks last. These work by collecting rainwater from the guttering outside your property – all you need is a plastic downpipe to connect the water butt to. If you’d like a free water butt, please send your name, address and a telephone number or email address before 30 June to: Water Butts London Borough of Lewisham, ECD, Wearside Service Centre, Wearside Road, London, SE13 7EZ

waTer buTTS

Forster Park gets digging
Pupils at Forster Park Primary School have been getting their hands dirty as part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Campaign for School Gardening. They’ve reached the highest level possible, level 5 – one of only six UK schools to do so, and the only inner city school. The RHS campaign teaches children about plants and gardening, and provides resources and lesson plans to help schools make the most of their garden, regardless of its size. The front of the Lewisham school, which was previously neglected with planters filled with cigarette butts, drink cans and crisp packets, now displays beautiful spring bulbs and plants. Pupils also transformed a derelict corner of the school’s grounds into a thriving allotment, which won best school allotment in 2008’s Lewisham in Bloom. Their allotment project has also been chosen to take part in BBC2’s Gardeners’ World as part of the BBC’s Dig In campaign, which aims to get the nation growing fruit and veg. They were on the programme on 10 April, and expert gardener Carol Klein is visiting them every three or four weeks to see how they’re getting on.
To find out more about the Campaign for School Gardening, visit schoolgardening. For more on the Dig In campaign, visit

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aCT To make ChaNGe happeN
A new Act of Parliament allows communities and councils to propose changes to legislation, a new national policy or a transfer of responsibilities from one public body to another, where they believe these changes will improve their local areas. Using the Sustainable Communities Act anyone, as an individual or on behalf of a local organisation or forum, can submit proposals through the Council. Proposals must meet criteria set by the Government and will first be considered by Lewisham’s Mayor and Cabinet. Proposals will then be submitted to an independent representative panel for the borough, which will agree a final shortlist of proposals to submit to the Government. You have until 26 June to submit your proposals.
To find out more, including a full list of criteria and how to submit your proposal, visit or call 020 8314 7073.

NewS IN brIeF
St Mungo’s walk
St Mungo’s, London’s largest homelessness charity, is organising a five-mile sponsored bridge walk, which goes across different London bridges, on Sunday 5 July. If you’d like to take part, call 020 8600 3000.
Some schools offer yoga classes


Help for disabled people

Protect garages and sheds
Sheds and garages are often full of expensive equipment such as garden and DIY tools, which is why they’re frequently broken into. Also, if there is a connecting door from your garage to your house, a thief could get in and work on the inner door in privacy. We therefore suggest you: ➧ Never leave a garage or garden shed unlocked – fit a strong padlock. ➧ Make sure that the doors are solid enough not to be kicked in. ➧ Lock ladders inside the garage or shed to stop a thief using them to reach windows. If there is no room inside, chain or padlock them horizontally to a sturdy bracket on an outside wall. ➧ Don’t leave garage or shed windows open. ➧ Don’t tempt a thief – keep valuable items out of sight. ➧ Property mark your valuables.

Schools in the community
As part of a government initiative, schools in Lewisham are working towards increasing the services and facilities available for use by local communities. Spearheading this is Edmund Waller School in Telegraph Hill, which is due to start construction of a new space for parents and the local community in September. The school is currently consulting with parents and the community to find out how people would like to use this space. You can take part in the consultation by calling Debbie on 020 7639 0436. The school already runs a number of classes for the community including keep fit, aikido and yoga as well as a range of adult education courses. The school also has close links with Millwall Football Club, which runs free football training sessions on site every week for children aged 12-16. In addition, Edmund Waller has a multi-use sports games area for hire after school hours.

Lewisham Disability Coalition is a non-profit organisation funded by the Council providing free advice to disabled people. It gives advice on benefits, housing, council tax and debt. You can either drop in to their offices at 2 Catford Broadway SE6 or call their helpline on 020 8314 1414 from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. You can also email them on

New Cross seminar

Don’t leave shed windows open

New reCyClING labelS
A new labelling system is to be rolled out over the next few months giving consumers standardised ‘on-pack’ recycling information for the first time. Packaging from most major retailers will feature one or more of three standard symbols showing whether each major component of its packaging is ‘widely


Call on 020 7639 0436 or visit www.

recycled’, ‘not currently recycled’ or only recycled in some areas (in which case the instruction is to ‘check local recycling’). Lewisham recycles paper, cardboard, food and drinks cans, glass bottles and jars and plastic bottles. Kitchen foil is accepted if cleaned, and shredded paper needs to be inside a paper bag or envelope.

The Friends of Hilly Fields group is applying for funding to improve the playground in Hilly Fields Park. As part of this, a constitution will be formed to represent Hilly Fields. A general meeting is being held on 10 June to appoint key committee members and sign the constitution. The meeting will take place at 8pm at the Park Ranger’s office (red brick building near the tennis courts). For more information, contact Rachel Moody at or visit

If you live in New Cross and are interested in community cohesion, the Moonshot Centre is hosting a seminar featuring key speakers in the fields of child psychology and community development. The event takes place on 18 and 25 June from 6pm to 8.30pm. A crèche will be provided, plus refreshments. To book a place, call 020 8694 9727 or 020 8694 2753.

Open Studios


For more information, contact Callpoint on 020 8314 7171.

Next month, 42 artists will open their studios in Brockley to the public. Brockley Open Studios 2009 takes place between 4 and 6 July from 2pm to 8pm at the weekend and 2pm to 5pm on the Monday. Entrance is free. For further information, see 7



GypSy roma TraVeller hISTory moNTh
The history of gypsies in England goes back to the 16th century, when they lived by the roadside and in encampments. There have been gypsy Roma travellers in Lewisham for many years, originally stopping here on the way to Kent for seasonal work. A nomadic people, travellers are a recognised ethnic minority, with strong traditions as storytellers, artists, musicians and crafts people. Today, most traveller families in Lewisham live in bricks and mortar. June is Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month, and there are several events going on in Lewisham to mark the occasion: 17 June 10am–4pm, Civic Suite. Living, working, learning together – gypsy Roma travellers in Lewisham. Plus the launch of the Lewisham Traveller Forum. Contact Andy Thomas on 020 8314 6000 19 June 7.30pm, Blackheath Halls London Gypsy Orchestra. Contact Hilary Dowber on 020 8314 6477 20 June Music event, Lewisham Irish Community Centre. Contact Brenda Downes on 07931 638775 There will also be various events in Lewisham libraries – check with your local library for details.

Win tickets to see War Horse
Following two sold-out seasons at the National Theatre, War Horse is now playing at the New London Theatre. Based on the celebrated novel by Michael Morpurgo about a young boy and his horse at the outbreak of World War One, War Horse takes us on a gripping journey through history. Actors work with magnificent, life-sized puppets by the internationally renowned Handspring Puppet Company. You can buy tickets online from or call 020 7452 3000. This production is suitable for ages 10+. For your chance to win a pair of top-price tickets to War Horse, answer the following question: in the play, what is the name of the young boy’s horse? A Ned B Joey C Eeyore

If you enjoy the convenience of having your own car but don’t want any of the associated costs and administration, why not join a car club? Operating on a pay-as-you-go basis, you can book a car online or by phone whenever you need one, picking up and dropping off at a dedicated parking bay near you. Lewisham Council has been working in partnership with car club Streetcar since August 2006. There are numerous Streetcar bays across the borough, and 10 new ones have recently been added at l Lewisham Hill SE13 l Elmira Street SE13 l Aitken Road SE6 l Bonfield Road SE13 l Doggett Road SE6 l Fernbrook Road SE13 l George Lane SE6 l Holmelacey Road SE12 l Jutland Road SE6 l Reginald Road SE8 l Springbank Road SE13 l Waldenshaw Road, SE23.

More Streetcar bays
There are 10 new Streetcar bays in Lewisham

To find out more and to see if there is a car in your area, visit or call 0845 644 8475. For more information, or if you are interested in having a Streetcar bay in your area, please contact Jacqueline Short on 020 8314 2187 or email


Free aDulT CyClING CourSeS
If you are aged 16 or over, and want to increase your cycling confidence, you can take part in a free six-week cycling course. Run by the Lewisham Road Safety Team in partnership with The Young Lewisham Project, the course runs every other Saturday at 9.30am. Participants meet at the Young Lewisham Centre, 124 Kilmorie Rd, Forest Hill SE23 at 9.30am. To book your place, call Nick Harvey on 020 8314 2216 or email

lewISham lINk
Lewisham Link stands for Local Involvement Network. It’s an independent organisation that gives everyone the chance to say what they think about local health and social care services. Link passes this information to the people who plan and run services and suggests ways in which things could be improved. You can feed back to Link either as an individual or on behalf of an organisation, forum or group. For more information, visit or call 020 8690 3900.

Send your answer by 10 June to: Lewisham Life, Fourth Floor, Town Hall, Catford Road SE6 4RU. Remember to include your address and a daytime telephone number. Terms and conditions: the prize can be redeemed on the evening performances on Thursday 6 August, Wednesday 12 August, Friday 21 August and Friday 28 August. Winner’s tickets will be held at the box office for collection. No cash alternative. The prize is subject to availability.

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