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Archive for November, 2008

On Saturday 29th November I attended the Street Pastors 5th Annual Celebration accompanied by Councillor Christina Valcarcel. The event began with a Graduation ceremony at St Marks Church in Kennington followed by a dinner at the Hotel Ibis in Earls Court.

Street Pastor from Lambeth Graduating

Throughout the day we heard about the great work by Street Pastors who are an inter-denominational Church response to urban problems, engaging with people on the streets to care, listen and dialogue.

The graduation ceremony followed trainees attending a comprehensive training programme is designed to fully equip new Street Pastors to respond to the needs of all the people that they engage on the streets.

Deputy Mayor of Lambeth and Councillor Christina Valcarcel

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On Saturday 29 November I visited St Mary’s Church Christmas Fayre in Clapham Common. I was shown around the stall where I met all the volunteers who had given up their time to man the stalls, prepare food and organise the event.

St Marys Church

I was pleased to be asked to open the event which quickly filled with local people who flocked to the wide array of stalls.

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On Thursday 27 November I attended the Clapham Park Project Annual Celebration at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton.

Clapham Park Project event

The purpose of the event was to celebrate the achievements of the organisation over the course of the last year, as well as to launch their Annual Report for 2007/2008.

Clapham Park Project

Guest speakers included Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee and the Rt. Hon. Keith Hill MP with introductions from the Clapham Park Project chair Donna C Henry and a review of the year by the Chief Executive Angus Johnson.

Awards were presented to a number of residents who have shown themselves to be real community champions over the past year.

Clapham Park Project

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On Thursday 27 November I attended a memorial services for all the children lost to youth violence and the families that they have left behind.

The theme of the memorial brought together The Prime Minister, The leader of the opposition and the Mayor of London to join the Mayor of Southwark and the police commander of all 32 boroughs in addition to 30 bereaved families in a unified stand against gun, knife and gang crime.

The Archbiship of York presided over the service with the Dean of Southwark and supported readings came for Sir Trevor Macdonald, Dame Kelly Holmes. The Gospel Choir of St Saviour and St Olave’s Girls’ School sang speak to me and there was a poem written and read by Ashley Walters about the horrors of youth violence.

Damilola Taylors father, Richard Taylor, addressed the congregation and spoke of how his son died at the age of 10 and that this year he would have been eighteen and entering university to become a doctor. He called on everyone to give their help to empower the country to become acutely aware of this mindless activity.

Rememberance service

Afterwards I met with some of the families who had lost children to youth violence, and from those working in organisations that work with young people and campaigners working to stop the senseless loss of young lives through youth violence.

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On Wednesday 26 November I attended the Spring Forward Showcase event which marked the culmination of the artistic achievements of borough wide arts groups, artists, school children and residents featured in the Arts Trail map for Lambeth.

Deputy Mayor of Lambeth with Dance Group

This was a fantastic celebration of how arts and being creative can benefit the well being of individuals and communities.

Spring Forward Arts Trail is a unique collection of creative events that ran throughout October and November in Lambeth. The arts trail highlighted some of the events happening as part of world mental health day. The events were many, varied and cross generational, ranging from, a stunning performance of Mind and Soul choir at Southwark Cathedral as part of a service for well being and Black History month, to a walk for well being and many participatory arts workshops.

Now in its third year, this project fulfills one of the statements in Lambeth’s mental health and well being promotion strategy. This emphasises the importance of supporting the develeopment of arts and creativity as a means of promoting well being. Our mental well being is at least as important as our physical health. The event showed how getting involved in the arts, activities or being creative in some way can have a hugely positive effect on how we think and feel what ever our age and background.

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Black Cultural Archives fundraising event

On Wednesday 12 November I attended an event, hosted by Kwame Kwei Armah, to launch a campaign to raise funds for the planned Black Cultural Achieves building in Brixton.

Held at The Deck, National Theatre at the South Bank this was an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Black Cultural Archives which will be the first national black heritage centre in the UK.

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Pan London Citizenship Ceremony

On Friday 21 November I attended a London Citizenship Ceremony to be held on 21st November at City Hall.

The event was an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of the city and welcome individuals as citizens of London and their local areas.

I attended to welcome a Lambeth resident Ms Lina Maria Lievano Rodriguez, who I chatted with following the event. It was a great pleasure to meet Lina and her parents and to talk to her about life in Lambeth bringing up a young family.

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