Grant awarded: £30,000 a year for 3 years: 2020-2023 - unrestricted; Cost of Living uplift grant £5,000
The Loughborough Junction Action Group (LJAG) is a volunteer-led social action charity that works to improve the environment of Loughborough Junction and the lives of people who live and work here.
Loughborough Junction in Lambeth has been neglected for many years. Ethnically diverse, it is the most deprived ward in Lambeth. Densely populated, most residents live in estates of social housing with no personal green space. Crime rates are among the highest in London and fear of gang and knife crime mean families are less likely to use parks and open spaces. The pandemic has exposed long-standing inequalities affecting BAME communities, particularly around food and child poverty, mental wellbeing, social isolation and unemployment. It is our mission to address these issues and we do this through the following projects:
Grove Adventure Playground: for 6-14 year olds with holiday and Saturday play schemes and after-school integrated play service for young people with special educational needs and disabilities. 80% of the children and young people who attend the Grove are Black.
Loughborough Farm: food growing project with a strong volunteer base, where socially isolated, lonely and those facing challenging emotional and physical conditions can feel at home.
The Platform Cafe: our community cafe offers healthy vegan and vegetarian meals and a free meals programme - 2000 free meals were distributed during the pandemic. The cafe has an apprenticeship scheme helping young people into employment
Wish You Were Here: an informal social prescribing project attached to the Loughborough Farm, reaching out to GP practices, hostels and a local recovery centre, to encourage referrals to the farm to improve patient wellbeing.
Grove Adventure Playground - a story:
Z is diagnosed with special educational needs, and the freedom and physical space offered by the playground has allowed her to grow in confidence with staff and other children. On Zoom sessions during lockdown she was quiet and reserved and needed encouragement to fully engage in the sessions. As she became more confident, she became a more active participant and also helped others with logging into different games platforms and also helped staff with Zoom. Z was a regular attendee at our 'Grove Run' 5km socially-distanced twice-weekly running activities that also involved exploring local parks. Z was a very enthusiastic attendee. She also promoted the event to her friends and worked hard to increase her 5km times. In one week, she impressed the coaches and her family by attending all sessions and completing 20km in one week.
Anthea Massey, Chair
Working with Peter Minet is a pleasure. Having a pot of unrestricted funding over three years has given LJAG the freedom to think deeply about its direction of travel and is setting us up for a more impactful future - Anthea Massey, Chair