New community programme for Clapham Park residents to help tackle cost-of-living pressures

19 January 2023

Summary:Year-long community programme launches to meet local needs of Clapham Park residents.

A new 12-month community programme has been launched for Clapham Park residents, bringing local people together over hot, healthy food, while aiming to support their financial resilience. Developed alongside Countryside Partnerships and local charity Be Enriched, the programme has been developed in response to the cost-of-living crisis.

Part of the initiative will see people come together for a weekly lunch at the Clapham Community Canteen in local community centre The Clapham Park Cube every Wednesday.

Alongside this, Be Enriched is working to co-ordinate its Food Bus – the first converted double-decker bus of its kind – to stop outside the Clapham Park Cube on Friday mornings. The bus will offer low-cost groceries, cupboard items and more, whilst the Café on the top deck will provide a space to have a coffee and catch up with friends.

This will be supplemented by work with Brixton People’s Kitchen, the social enterprise sister of Be Enriched, to also deliver a weekly community food pantry and café which will provide affordable food for the community and support residents to reduce their outgoings. Work is currently being undertaken on setting this up.

In addition, MTVH and Countryside, who are joint venture partners in the delivery of the regeneration scheme at Clapham Park, will work with local partners to ensure there are wrap around services integrated with the Community Canteen and Café to help meet local needs. Some of the partners will include Age UK, Love London Working and the Lambeth Benefits support team.

Local volunteers will also be recruited and trained so that they have the opportunity to play an active part in the delivery of the project and help the wider community.

Guy Palmer, Director of Regeneration at MTVH, said: “We are acutely aware that too many people are facing difficult and challenging cost of living pressures. So, we are delighted to be working alongside Countryside Partnerships and Be Enriched to deliver this important initiative. Not only will those living in the area have access to affordable and healthy food and a warm place to meet, but also the crucial support and advice needed to help reduce outgoings. It will make a very real difference to the community and reflects our commitment to enhancing the wellbeing of local people, which lies at the heart of the wider regeneration of Clapham Park in partnership with Countryside.”

Kate Ives, Strategic Growth Director, Countryside Partnerships, comments: ‘We are thrilled to be working with MTVH to support the local community in Clapham. At Countryside Partnerships, we truly believe in creating communities where people love to live and Clapham Park embodies this – it is such an important regeneration scheme that will create much-need new homes in the area, alongside delivering a community centre, market square, two parks and much more. Working alongside Be Enriched, we are proud to be funding a 12-month community food programme that will help to tackle food insecurity to support residents at Clapham Park, ensuring that the benefits of the regeneration can be felt from the start.’

Kemi Akinola, Founder and CEO, Be Enriched, commented: “For the last nine years we have been bringing the Elephant and Castle, and Tooting communities together over a hot meal made by some wonderful volunteers. Times are hard right now, and only getting tougher, so we are pleased to be able to support the Clapham community with this new canteen. Anyone is welcome to join us for a hot, healthy meal. We are also seeking volunteers to help cook up some amazing dishes. No experience is required, and if you’d like to learn more, meet your neighbours, or help others, please get in touch.”