A number of young carers in Southwark, aged between eight and 16, have taken part in an online multi-arts project over the past few months.
The art:space project was developed by creative arts charity, Create, and supported by British Land, investor and developer of the 53 acre Canada Water masterplan, which includes Surrey Quays Shopping Centre.
With many young carers in Southwark, and across the UK, faced with increased pressures and hours due to Covid-19 this year, the interactive project aimed to help alleviate feelings of loneliness and offer young carers time away from their caring responsibilities.
Recent research from Carers Trust found that 69% of young carers are feeling less connected to others since the pandemic, while 31% reported a weekly increase of 30 hours or more in the time spent caring.
The art:space project explored three different art forms including drama, visual art and music, and took place virtually for the first time. Activities encouraged the young carers to develop a variety of interconnected artistic and technical skills, while also boosting their self-esteem and wellbeing, and reducing their sense of isolation.
Around 20 young carers from Southwark took part this summer. All were members of Imago, a local charity that provides support services to young carers in Southwark, based in the shopping centre at Surrey Quays.
The project has been run in conjunction with Surrey Quays since 2013, and this digital pilot ensured that local young carers could still participate at a time when needs were likely to be even greater.
Ian Moore, Centre Manager of Surrey Quays at British Land, said: “We have built a great relationship with both Create and Imago over the years, which has helped hundreds of local young carers take a break from their caring responsibilities through the arts. This year was no different and we enjoyed bringing even more young carers on board, especially at a time when interacting with others and supporting those in our local communities has never been so important.”
Nicky Goulder, Founding Chief Executive of arts charity Create said: “We love working with British Land on the art:space project. This creative project has been especially important this year, when the pandemic has made the lives of young carers across the UK even tougher. By reaching these young carers in Southwark with the power of the creative arts, we were able to give them time and space to express themselves, meet other young carers, and boost their sense of wellbeing. It is vital that, together, we make our young carers feel valued and supported, as they deserve.”
Local Scout leader Eddie Langdown recently made this video to raise awareness of volunteering opportunities to help young people in the Bermondsey and Rotherhithe area, in Scouting, Guiding and other youth organisations:
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan launched a new £45 million Young Londoners Fund while visiting the Salmon Youth Centre in Bermondsey this week.
“Salmon has been reaching out to young people in inner city London for over a hundred years,” said Sam Adofo, Director of the Salmon Youth Centre.
“We believe every young person has potential and we work intensively to inspire young people to reach this potential by improving their Health & Wellbeing, involving them in positive Community Engagement, and preparing them for Education and Work. We very much welcome The Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund as it means youth centres like ours will be able to continue the work we do and impact many more young lives.”
19-year-old youth work apprentice Gabrielle Famobio said: “I’ve been coming to Salmon since I was 7 years old. Salmon is an amazing place. I’ve grown so much here, I’ve learnt so much, and most recently I’ve become an Apprentice here. I really don’t know where I would be without Salmon – I probably won’t have a job, income, or even a home! The staff here are like family to me and I love the young people and the work I do here as an apprentice.“
Rotherhithe’s London Bubble theatre company is preparing for its new term which starts in the week of 11 September.
The company offers fun, friendly, creative sessions for children, teenagers and adults.
These weekly classes give the opportunity for a wide range of people to make theatre together, assisted by experienced theatre practitioners who share the vision that people make theatre.
Classes held at 5 Elephant Lane, Rotherhithe, SE16 4JD
For 6-8yrs, 9-11yrs, 12-17yrs (youth theatre) and adults.
Fees: £60 (£30 concessions) for under 18s. £80 (£40 concessions) for adults. Taster classes available at start of term.
11-year-olds in Southwark will be given a helping hand with their finances, thanks to a new Southwark Council initiative, believed to be the first in England.
This spring, every child aged 11 in the borough will be offered the chance to set up their own bank account with the London Mutual Credit Union. All those who do so will find £10 in their account, to help them get their savings under way.
The scheme, which will cost the council £60,000, has been designed to help young people understand the concepts of banking and saving from an early age, giving them the tools to manage their money into adulthood.
Cllr Fiona Colley, cabinet member for finance, strategy and performance, said: “For many of us, opening a bank account was a rite of passage, but there is still a surprising number of people who don’t have a bank account, and who therefore are limited in their options for saving and borrowing.
“This great initiative will encourage young people to think about their finances, to plan for the future, and hopefully avoid the lure of payday lenders as they get older.”
As parents must accompany their children to the credit union to set up an account, it is also an effective way to introduce many adults to the benefits of saving with a credit union. It is estimated that as many as 5 per centof people in the UK have no bank account at all. In a climate where many residents are turning to extortionate payday loans to pay their rent or buy clothes for their children, the council is determined to help residents find positive alternatives.
Cllr Stephanie Cryan, deputy cabinet member for financial inclusion, added: “Southwark Council has been working hard for some time to help alleviate the severe financial problems some of our residents experience, by supporting local food banks, clamping down on payday lenders, and offering short-term financial support.
“However, we wanted to do something more long-term to help nip some of these problems in the bud and help our residents take control of their finances. If we can get people back on their feet financially, not only do we give them confidence but we also reduce their dependence on the council and other services – a real example of invest to save.”
The council has written to the parents of all eligible children to invite them to set up an account and claim their £10. Schools have also been encouraged to teach pupils about personal finance.
Plans to redevelop the headquarters of Southwark Scouts next to Southwark Park in Jamaica Road have been submitted to Southwark Council.
From the design & access statement prepared by Michael Trentham Architects:
The Scout House consists of 2 three storey 19th Century terraced houses with a scout hall behind. It has a street frontage onto Jamaica road and steps down to a long rear addition occupying the full footprint of the site, forming the boundary with the Grade 2 Listed Southwark Park. The rear addition is the main assembly and activity space for the Southwark Scouts and other local community groups. It is in a severe state of dilapidation with a series of leaks in the roof, which have proved impossible to seal and have resulted in a number of the activity spaces being unusable. Recently, the Southwark Scout indoor camping had to be cancelled as the roof was crumbling down.
The proposed development will include new facilities for the Scout movement and other community groups, funded by the sale of eight flats in the new six-storey building.
See full details of planning application 15/AP/1074 on the Southwark Council website.