First Prize for Common Growth in Lewisham in Bloom!

Last night Common Growth was awarded first prize in the community gardens category of the Lewisham in Bloom competition! We’re so excited and proud! They recognised all the work we have done to the difficult space with minimal resources and over quite a short time, and they commended our cooking activities, workshops and other events as well.

We are so grateful for all the help from our regular volunteers and anyone who’s supported us over the last 3 years! It’s an amazing achievement and we are going to celebrate it this Sunday afternoon! So do come and join us for some nibbles, drinks and perhaps a spot of gardening on Sunday from 2-5.

We would also like to thank Louise, Sarah and Ella from the Grow Wild team for their help and support.

Also, our next gardening workshop is coming up on Saturday the 19th of October from 10.30 to 12.30. Lumen Silveira will be leading this workshop on ‘extending the growing season’ and ‘planting now for spring’, which will cover what plants and seeds can be planted during the Autumn for autumn/winter blooms and crops, and tips on bulb planting for a colourful spring display.  Do get in touch if you’d like to attend. (Email or Text Anniek: 07956239893)

Hope to see you soon!

Join the Forum discussion on this post

Save Lewisham Hospital – march Jan 26

Message from Heidi Alexander (and see below for message from Louise Irvine)

Thank you again if you signed the petition to save Lewisham Hospital’s A&E and maternity department, which I presented to No. 10 just before Christmas. Over 35,000 people have now signed the petition, and together we are sending a loud and clear message that we strongly oppose the plans for closure.

Despite this, we learnt this week that the Special Administrator appointed to the South London Healthcare Trust has formally recommended to Government that both A&E and maternity services at Lewisham should close. He proposes to replace them with an urgent care centre and a midwife-led birthing unit.

Many people – including me – feel badly let down by the so-called consultation process that has taken place. It is sheer madness to be shutting down services at a solvent, successful hospital in order to deal with financial problems elsewhere. I am also extremely concerned about the inadequate services that will be left for South East London – just this week the two closest maternity units, at Queen Elizabeth, Woolwich and Kings, had to turn away pregnant women in labour as they were at capacity.

But this is not a done deal, and together we must keep up the fight.

The Health Secretary is currently considering these proposals, and will be announcing his decision on 1st February. Along with my parliamentary colleagues Dame Joan Ruddock and Jim Dowd, I will be doing all that I can to convince the Health Secretary of the case against these proposals. But we need your help.

Between now and 1st February, please do all that you can to help the campaign. If you have 5 minutes or 5 days, there are lots of ways you can get involved. At the bottom of this email, there are specific contacts and things you can do to help – for example, leafleting, making placards or being a steward at campaign events.

If you can only spare a little time, please do the following:

1.       Protest against the proposals. The Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign have organised a second peaceful demonstration on Saturday 26th January. Assemble at Lewisham Roundabout (by the station) at 12, before we march past the hospital to Mountsfield Park for a rally, music and giant petition. I will be speaking at the rally.

2.       Let the Secretary of State know what you think by sending your views directly to him. Email Jeremy Hunt on or write to him at Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health, Department for Health, Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London SW1A 2NS


3.       Forward this email on to your friends. Spread the word about the campaign! This does not only affect the people of Lewisham, and Mr Hunt needs to know that people across South East London are not prepared to accept these recommendations and have their services and their safety compromised.


The campaign to Save Lewisham Hospital is far from over. We must be prepared to step up and make our voices heard. I hope we can count upon your support.

Best wishes

Heidi Alexander MP

Labour MP for Lewisham East

twitter: @heidi_mp



Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign update from Dr Louise Irvine (Campaign Chair)

We have organised another demonstration on Saturday 26th January. The TSA Matthew Kershaw handed in his report to Jeremy Hunt which shows that he has not listened at all to the views of Lewisham people, local GPs, hospital doctors and health workers, the Council and Churches.

The decision on the future of Lewisham A&E and maternity is due at the start of February. We must keep up the pressure.

10,000 people marched through Lewisham on 24th November 2012 – young, elderly, families and people from every background. WE NEED A HUGE TURNOUT. We need to GET YOU AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW to come and march with us on Saturday 26th January:

The demo will assemble at Lewisham Roundabout (by the station) at 12 noon on Saturday 26th January. We will march past our hospital to Mountsfield Park where there will be a rally, music and a giant petition. You can see further information and download the leaflet from here

We need a lot of help in the build up to the demo and on the day. See below for a list of ways you can get involved.

*STEWARDING We have an urgent need for people to volunteer as stewards for the demo– contact Helen at

Saturday 12th January and Saturday 19th January:
Lewisham Riverdale Centre, main entrance 10am – 4pm
Catford Shopping Centre (under the cat) 11am – 3 pm
Deptford High St 10am onwards

* BIG RED BUS – this is going round LEWISHAM AND SOUTH LONDON BOROUGHS we need people to travel on the bus and give out leaflets etc. If you want to help on the bus meet at 9:30am Saturday 12 January or Saturday 19 January Elmira Street, Cornmill Gardens by the old Lewisham Bridge School.

This Saturday 12th help leaflet Charlton Football Match, The Valley Club, meet outside club shop, Floyd Rd, SE7 8BL at 1.30pm. (next week, Saturday 19th Millwall– details available from Pat)

Leaflets for you to distribute locally on your street, schools, and localities can be collected from the The Saville Day Centre (the pensioners forum office), 436 Lewisham High Street, London SE13 6LJ

* ASK YOUR GP PRACTICE to take fliers and posters – contact Louise at

* MAKING PLACARDS – contact Carolyn at

* HELPING WITH THE RALLY/EVENT after the march – contact Jill at and Simone


If you have contacts with specific groups in the community please contact the following people

* PENSIONERS – contact Tamsin at
* SCHOOLS – contact Jill at
* CHURCHES – contact Gillian at

OR you can email us directly or fill out the form on our‘How you can help’ page

We look forward to seeing you on 26th January but hopefully before.

  • JOIN the Facebook event – INVITE your friends and SHARE the event page! And ‘like’ the official campaign Facebook
  • Tweet about the event – Come to the@SaveLewishamAE Demo through Lewisham and Catford on Saturday 26th January! #LewishamDemo26Jan
  • If write your own blog or any other ways you can help promote the Demo or the campaign, please get in touch.

Common Growth wins Prize!

Dear All,

We are very proud to announce that Common Growth has won 3rd prize in the Community Garden category of the Lewisham in Bloom awards! A very big THANK YOU to all the people that have lent a hand throughout the year! Hereby a picture of our amazing crops!

Hope you all feel inspired to get more involved? The garden will continue to be open on Sunday afternoons – from 2-5 through the Autumn, so come and say hello. We already have lots of exiting plans for next season, and would love to hear your ideas too!



The Common Growth Garden is located on Sandbourne Road, just off Jerningham Rd.

New Cross People’s Library: progress! and summer hours

Bold Vision and the New Cross People’s Library met with Lewisham Council this week – and made good progress. We are arranging a short term licence for August opening to be followed by a Tenancy at Will.

Meanwhile holiday opening is  Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am to 1pm with childrens activities running 11.45am-12.45pm during the school holidays. This opening offers

  • summer reading scheme
  • regular borrowing
  • note no computer access though

The more we show we like having a library the more chance we have of keeping it so go along if you can.

Bold Vision Common Growth

Over 40 hardy people made it through the rain to join us for our consultation meeting on community food production on Telegraph Hill. The organisers will be circulating information about the event and the next steps but here are a few personal highlights:

  • strong will to work together on this rather than chopping the land up into individual plots. More company, more teamwork, more skill sharing, more food
  • lots of interest in food production, soil improvement, rainwater conservation, bee keeping, composting, skip gardens…
  • support for the idea of a dispersed community garden – centred on the Sandbourne Road but with pieces all over the hill – unused scraps of land and currently underused gardens
  • some excellent sources of inspiration and learning – Green Shoots on our doorstep and many other projects around the country

All in, an excellent example of our Bold Vision values in action (living with openness, mutuality, potentialising and courage)