Community Consultation Meeting in Brixton: October 2022

At our first meeting as concerned stakeholders we held constructive discussions on our on-going concerns about the policing of our community. We spoke of the need for proper scrutiny and accountability in order to effect better policing and restore trust and confidence. The discussions and statements made by the meeting’s seventy-five stakeholders evidenced the urgent need for improved:

  • Race relations with the police, especially among young, African & Caribbean people;
  • Trusted and reliable scrutiny of police services by residents and community stakeholders;
  • Absolute accountability for all matters of police conduct;
  • Representation and a safe space for community members to have say in how policing in the borough is held up to scrutiny and;
  • Crisis intervention and signposting to critical legal and welfare services post-police incidents.

We intend to further these discussions at the second planned meeting. The objective of this meeting is to gather information from young people, parents & professionals (including educators and social carers) to get their views on the critical issues that will influence the formation of an alliance. We are working together as community stakeholders and residents to improve policing and police relations across Lambeth, and enabling stakeholders and residents alike to have an opportunity to effect this change.

Ultimately, our aim is to bring together the Police and community to create joint working solutions to the issues the community face. We are taking a grassroots approach to work together as an alliance of local projects, people, stakeholders and specialists. We seek to empower the community and impact better standards of conduct and accountability of policing across the borough.

We encourage the attendance of young people from the community to join us and share their stories of their experiences of policing in the London Borough of Lambeth. Attendance is by invitation only, and lunch will be served for guests. Children are welcome to join us.

Education Sustainment to Academic Attainment

Conference in Brixton: November 2021

Options 4 Change is a Lambeth-based children and young people charity which is being funded by Reaching Communities and The Walcot Foundation to deliver the Education Sustainment Project. Options 4 Change are hosting an urgent conference that is aiming to raise awareness amongst pupils, parents, communities and education professionals of the detrimental impact permanent school exclusions has on excluded pupils; with particular reference to children of African Caribbean heritage.

Having worked as caseworkers and advocates on school exclusions for a number of years, Options 4 Change has formed partnerships with several local and national charities and highly influential professionals. Options 4 Change & their partners together will call upon the Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi to legislate the safeguarding of the education of excluded pupils, to plug pathways to broken and dysfunctional lives into adulthood.

The charities involved in the conference are equally and urgently concerned about the drift of excluded pupils into:

  • Gangs
  • County lines
  • Youth justice systems
  • Mental disorders
  • Society displacement

Donna Sinclair, CEO of Options 4 Change, feels that there are four critical subjects that will bring about safeguards for excluded pupils:

  • Inclusion – to ensure that all pupils and students have a clear pathway to academic success.
  • Community – joint working and partnerships across communities to secure positive education outcomes.
  • Education Systems – urgent assessments to see if they work for African Caribbean pupils. If not, what needs to be done for them to work.
  • Sustainment – ending permanent exclusions and recognising the challenges and lifelong impact.

Annual Mango Tree Summer Project

The aim of our holiday programme is to engage children and young people in self-development activities to reduce the risk of gang affiliation and holiday hunger. We host up to 25 children aged 5 and over.

Some will be referred to us from local schools that we are affiliated with.

Past trips have included: visits to Brockwell Park, The Cinema, Dessert Parlour, Bowling Alleys, Petting Zoo, The British Museum