Leaf & Groove will take a long-disused shop space in Forest Hill and turn it into something wonderful. A second hand bookshop of distinction, also selling vinyl, donating profits to the community library scheme. Not only that, but also an underground lounge space for secret meetings & speakeasies; robotic engineering & art lessons; a writing group & a gin club; board games & tai chi – unbounded possibilities.
This shop has been empty for 6 years, everyone is keen to see it turned into something useful, rather than yet another estate agent or bookies. Libraries are inundated with book donations, not all capable of fitting on their shelves. But from their sale great things can be done: more shelves bought & books to fill them, more events for children, senior citizens and those on the fringes of our society that visit daily.Then there is the lounge, large enough for 30, a new home for cultural activities, creativity and learning new skills.
What we'll deliver:
- Totally refit a long abandoned shop on Dartmouth Road.
- Open the ground floor space as a book shop with all profits going to the community library.
- Turn the basement into a community function space.
Why it's a great idea:
We are rejuvenating a disused space and turning it in to a benefit for the community - whats not to like? No want wants grubby old disused buildings just being a waste of valuable space - but this building needs a great deal of love to get it back on its feet. Between us we can create something engaging and vibrant - with events that will reach out to all the community.
We have some great people on stand-by - Adam from South East London art rooms with proposals for Blue Harmonica nights; drama workshops; life drawing, and; a speakeasy among other interesting suggestions. Then there is local illustrator Miriam Elgon who has so many ideas they could fill this page and more - art workshops based around making paper theaters; masks; book illustrations; collage etc. Then there is Orlando, a strong example to young people in Lewisham, who is bringing robots into libraries among other enterprises.
From fine art to robotics, via drama and books - something for everyone!
Steps to get it done:
- Refitting the disused, unloved space and turning it into a community hub.
- Bringing on board a wide range of cultural activities for people to enjoy.
- Developing the back office space into a meeting room and therapy space.
Rejuvenation of the town centre. The book shop will not only re-open a space that has not been in use for six years, but it will be staffed by volunteers. We hope to extend paid employment opportunities over time and take on apprentices from the local community.