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Lewisham Mayor responds to calls for community action

A statement from Lewisham’s Mayor, Sir Steve Bullock: 
Following the outbreaks of violence and looting, many residents in Lewisham have called for a show of community support and have been contacting the Mayor and Council with offers and suggestions.

Responding to these calls, the Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock, said: “We have all been deeply shocked by this week’s events and everyone in Lewisham knows these criminal acts have been carried out by a minority of law breakers. We have one of the strongest communities in London and together we will show this group of hooligans that they will not destroy or undermine our neighbourhoods.

“Nothing can justify this reckless behaviour and we are all very concerned about the impact this might have on individuals and businesses in Lewisham. I am delighted, but not at all surprised, that residents who care about their community are coming forward with suggestions as to what can be done.

“Suggestions have been wide ranging, from helping with clean-up operations, organising clothes collections for those made homeless, and supporting local market traders and businesses.

“We will want to build on this strong vote of confidence in our community and create further opportunities for strangers to come together in the way they have over the last few days. I’m looking at ways the Council can help to forge stronger relationships and closer neighbourhoods.”

There are many ways of getting involved to support your local community:

  • Help support local independent businesses and market traders by shopping locally. Supporting your local shops will help boost the local economy and provide greater job security for local people.
  • Donate clothes and other non-electric items to local charity shops.
  • Volunteer your time and skills by contacting the Volunteer Centre Lewisham. There are almost 300 volunteer roles available. Volunteers play a pivotal role in uniting communities and supporting charities that provide services to people across the borough. You can get involved in a number of ways including visiting isolated people, helping charity shops, gardening and book keeping. To find out more see the Do It website and search for opportunities or the Volunteer Centre Lewisham website and complete a registration form. Alternatively, call 020 8613 7113 to book an appointment and find out more about volunteering.
  • Trade your skills by joining one of Lewisham’s Timebank schemes. For each hour you spend to help another member of the scheme you will get a time credit of one hour on your account. With these time credits you can get help from another member for a different task. Timebank schemes exist in Deptford, New Cross, Forest Hill, Crofton Park, Lee and Rushey Green.
  • Make a difference in your area by taking part in your local assembly meeting. Local assemblies are organised in every ward in the borough and influence local decisions and priorities.
  • Become a street leader. The Streetleader scheme supports people who are concerned with their local environment and wants to help improve the area where they live.
  • If you’re over 60, take part in Lewisham’s Positive Ageing Council which meets four times a year to discuss issues that have a real effect on the lives of older people. The next meeting is held on Thursday 8 September from 11am to 1pm in the Civic Suite, Lewisham Town Hall.
  • If you’re aged between 13 and 17, stand for election as the next Lewisham Young Mayor. Nominations are open until 16 September. Elections take place on 12 October.
  • If you’re aged 11-18 and live, work or study in Lewisham, have your say on how decisions should be made and how money should be spent in the borough. Join the Young Citizen’s Panel.
  • Look into supporting or setting up a local neighbourhood watch scheme.
  • Become a member of your local park user group.
  • Improve your area by reporting flytipping, graffiti, overhanging trees and dodgy paving stones. You can do this using your mobile phone and reporting problems online using LoveLewisham.
  • Volunteer to become a school governor.
  • Sign up for a free Make A Difference e-newsletter with information on how to get involved in local events.
  • Take part in an activity that gives you an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends from your neighbourhood. For the whole family, try a free walk, a local bike ride or get in training for the Lewisham Fun Run on 9 October. For children and young people, there are a huge range of activities in our Summer’s Alive programme. For adults, try one of our free sports events such as football (for men over 35) or bowls (for the over 50s). Take part in a conservation activity in Nature’s Gym or find out what else is going on in the borough.