We started with just a cafetiere and a toaster. In a short space of time we’ve become home to people wanting to find out more about the area, launch a new group, put on an experimental night, or host a workshop. Since opening we’ve hosted over 100 free events and saved over two tonnes of food, feeding over a thousand people in the process. It’s also the Bank of Brixton, where people come to get hold of local currency. We’ve done this on a limited budget and without the resources to fulfil every request that we receive from people and groups who want to use our space for community good. With better facilities and dedicated resourcing, we will be able to put on breakfast clubs, provide food training workshops, host regular community meals, provide space for performers and artists, and actively engage more people to become involved in the local area.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
When we set up the Brixton Pound currency in 2009, we wanted to encourage local trading while also celebrating our community. Since then, over 10,000 people have used the currency in over 200 businesses. However, we have realised that we have more than just a currency here in Brixton. We have a community of businesses, residents, voluntary organisations, and visitors who want to take part in a different kind of economy where people and place matter as much as money. The Brixton Pound Cafe gives them a home, a place to connect, and hopefully become more actively involved in the area. There are no spaces in Brixton where anyone can walk in and leave more engaged in what is happening locally - and empowered to be part of it. Whether it’s coming to our cafe with an idea, or with time to contribute to a local cause, or spending the Brixton Pound, we take the desire to do something good and make it real.
Steps to get it done:
Brixton has transformed over the past few years. The pressures of gentrification have led to a loss of traditional meeting places like pubs, community centres and affordable cafés. At the same time, people moving to Brixton have brought energy, skills, and a desire to become more involved in the area. In an area experiencing rapid change, an accessible platform for social exchange between new, old, disenfranchised, engaged, businesses, residents and community-facing organisations is vital. Our cafe, currency and fund means that we can reach everyone, and provide a bridge between different groups. Funding at this moment in time is crucial to helping us with this, and ensuring that we stick around for the long haul. We have two years left on our lease. If we make a success of this, we will be in a stronger position to secure a permanent home for us in Brixton and keep community on the high street. Come and help us make it possible!
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