Twinning: growing girl power

Our original idea with the ChangeMakers was to have young adults 18-25 years old. What we quickly discovered though was that would mean girls and boys could not work together. So instead we decided to work with 13-16 year olds.  Some of the people we talked to were still sceptical about whether that could work but we decided to give it a go anyway.

Peace ROCKS 1a

In the first session I ran, we had about twice as many boys as girls. They were bigger, more physically noticeable and more demanding of attention. The girls would have been easily overlooked. So although letting each one of the 25 of them have their say and explain what JOY means to them, and let the interpreter explain it to me took a lot of time, it was an important shift. It meant the girls did speak. And they expressed themselves capably and beautifully which gave them more confidence. By the end of our 2 hour session they were sitting a little taller and more assuredly.

The next day as I arrived I started to see people I recognised from that session. And they recognised me. Already things felt a little different to the day before. I had asked the staff to gather 2 smaller groups, still with a 50/50 gender balance of young people, to get started on the baseline research. I explained the idea to them, they practiced on each other and then we set out to interview residents and gather data.

At first my young researchers were very hesitant. It is not easy to knock on doors in any context and this was no exception. The boys were more prepared to just get on with it but I could see how the girls really wanted to run away, how they were wishing they hadn’t signed up for this. I also know from my own experience that this awkwardness is part of the process that has to be gone through to get to the other side. I couldn’t speak directly to them because of the language barrier but could be there for them in the background and loved seeing them grow in stature and confidence as they progressed. By the time they came back the next day to do more they all looked a foot taller and three years older. They were proud of their new skill and I was proud of them.

File Jul 20, 23 19 27

Interesting to how despite all the terrible reasons why they are there, these girls and other women in the camp may have experiences and develop skills and confidence there that they would never have been able to do in the villages. I’m no expert on the local culture, but that was the sense I got from the experience. Maybe in the long run some good also comes out of the situation in terms of the isolation of the women in their homes.

(for security reasons and for their safety, we can’t post pictures of them here, hence more generic shots)

You can contribute here and help train a researcher or get involved.

Free money for Bold Vision

give as you liveDid you know… You can now help BOLD VISION – just by shopping online.

Thousands of stores will donate to us a percentage of every pound you spend online when you shop with Give as you Live.

To join in just click here and go through 3 easy steps

  1. Sign up to Give as you Live on your desktop, tablet or via the mobile app. It’s fast, simple and 100% secure.
  2. Shop for millions of products at over 3,000 retailers including Amazon, John Lewis, eBay, Expedia and more.
  3. The retailer will donate a percentage of the purchase value to your favourite cause. It won’t cost you a penny and you’ll be contributing to keeping us open for business.

Maybe you’re booking a holiday anyway, buying a book on Amazon for Father’s Day anyway… we don;t want you to buy things you weren’t going to, but when you have to get your credit card out, why not let this throw us a few pennies – it will all add up! We’ll keep you posted on what we earn.

To join in just click here

Helping Hands @ Volunteer Centre Lewisham

Volunteer Centre Lewisham has a new project called Helping Hands.

This project will be providing services to residents and businesses in and around Lewisham Borough.

Our services include:

  • DIY/Handyperson
  • Shopping
  • Gardening
  • IT assistance


Who can use it?

Our service is now available to anyone living in and around Lewisham Borough as well as to businesses.

What does it cost?

£15 per hour including VAT or £12 an hour including VAT if in receipt of benefits

How can you/your service users access the service?

You can call us on the office directly to arrange the service: 020 8613 7113

Or you can fill in the attached referral form on behalf of your client and email to:

Attached is a leaflet providing more information about the project and the services.

If you have any queries please let me know.

Kind Regards

Lauren Banks

Work Skills Development Officer- Helping Hands


Tel: 020 8613 7113

Volunteer Centre Lewisham, 2nd Floor Showroom, 307-313 Lewisham High Street, London SE13 6NW

Charity no. 1089900

Company No. 4194910

Helping Hands leaflet Referral Form for services

Boxing Day Sharing Lunch Dec 26

As in previous years, we will be holding a relaxed sharing lunch on Boxing Day in the Hill Station.

All welcome, especially if you would like a bit of company over Christmas.

Very informal. Just come along, bring food or drink (not just coca cola, whatever you like!)  if you have something.

And don’t worry if you can’t. We’d like to see you anyway.

This year, in conjunction with Grow WIld

Grow Wild activities

  1. Dec 7 onwards: The start of building the Telegraph Hill Centre garden where we will be building raised beds on Fridays from 12 noon
  2. Dec 5: Planting and cooking demo activity at the EWCS AGM 5pm -7pm.
  3. Dec 12/19: Cooking at the Youth Club 7-9.30pm
  4. Dec 21: Winter Solstice on 21 December with Parade and Winter harvested treats
  5. Dec 26: Sharing Lunch on Boxing Day

Primary school Fairs. We are organising planting activity and cauliflower fritters for these fairs:

  1. Dec 7: John Stainer 3.30
  2. Dec 8: Edmund Waller  2 -4pm,
  3. Dec 13: Childeric 3.15pm
  4. Dec 14: Kender 3.30pm.

And don’t forget Souper Sundays at the Common Growth garden.

Spice update Sep 2012

Joan Roach, coordinator for Spice credit system in our area shared the following update:
Every month brings me in contact with amazing people doing amazing things that I am truly blessed to witness.  Please do check out Lewisham Time Credits on Facebook to see some of what has been happening during September.
The October menu offers even more opportunities for spending Time Credits and organisations are actively seeking people who can give a little time to support them in the delivery of their aims.  Take a look and do please spread the news.
  • Breaking news!  The Albany have agreed to accept Time Credits at the current AfroVibes Festival – check the attached Time Out Menu to see what is available.  There is a show on tonight if you can spread the word to your volunteers.  Thank you for working with us on this David.
  • Blackheath Halls has also offered an extensive range of performances throughout the season and we are in talks about how people get involved there too.  Many thanks to you Helma and Hannah.
  • Telegraph Hill ward had a Come and Look day open house event it was a great opportunity to visit organisations that operate at a local level. Brilliant day in the sunshine!  Lewisham Homes and Honor Oak Tenants and Resident’s Association volunteers helped to organise a very popular mini olympics event watch out for future athletes. 
  • Honor Oak Community Garden is now officially open – this is a fantastic example of a neglected space being rejuvenated by the efforts of local volunteers and local community organisations.  Well done to all involved.
  • Leemore Day Centre is now involved in creating opportunities for more involvement by service users in the design and delivery of their services.  We had a great time at the Day Centre Users Forum, thank you for the invitation Dermot.
  • The GROW project based at Ladywell Day Centre offers a range of gardening skills training for and we are developing ways to involve the wider community. I will keep you posted. Thank you for this opportunity David.
  • As the programme is developing it is great to be invited to be part of some inspiring new projects Grow Wild has recently launched and I look forward to working with them in future

Once again thank you for your support and if you have any ideas or suggestions on how the project can develop please do let me know.

Warm regards,

Joan Roach
Localities Co-ordinator – Lewisham, Spice
Mobile: 07429 449163