Lee Green Lives

Your Local Community Centre

Author: pat (page 1 of 2)

Local groups combine to fight cuts to Assembly budget

Local groups in Lee Green ward are working on ways to offset the effects of Lewisham Council’s proposed cut to the Local Assemblies budget.

Sixteen community groups hope to be able to make the most of a Consortium formed two years ago to work together through strength in numbers and in anticipation of just such a threat. The cut to the Assemblies budget – amounting to £15,000 annually to all 18 wards in the borough – is one of the ways the Council aims to meet a massive cut in Government funding of £30 million over the next two years.

By banding together, the groups hope to be able to raise money needed to support a range of community projects ranging from the giant Christmas tree for the annual FUSS (Friends and Users of Staplehurst Shops) Fair, the Community Showcase at Manor House Gardens Festival and regular street tree planting to a host of activities, particularly for lonely and isolated people. In addition, Manor Park has been revitalised through Assembly money to pay for a bridge linking it to Hither Green and the refurbishment of its central building.

To make it happen, it’s hoped they will support a bid for money in the New Year from the Council’s Main Grant Fund for Voluntary and Community groups by Lee Green Lives (LGL), the group that turned a vacant shop in run-down Leegate shopping centre into a community centre providing a hive of activities and an advice advocacy service for people who experience economic and social hardship.

The Consortium is facilitated by LGL, who recently won a contract from Clarion Housing, the ward’s biggest social housing provider, and is now linked with Lewisham Homes. Some of that money will be used to involve residents across the ward in determining local priorities. It will also help put together bids to local and national funding agencies that groups within the Consortium might wish to advance.

“Lee Green Assembly and Lee Green Lives have strong track records targeting our resources towards the people who need it most and events that bring the community together,” said Cllr Jim Mallory, this year’s chair of the Assembly and chair of LGL.

Key players include Friends of Manor House Gardens, Lee Manor Society, Manor House Community Library and Lee Forum, none of which have had money from the Assembly, but all of which have been terrific supporters of the Consortium.

“While we understand the severe financial pressures the Council is under, we will be lobbying Mayor Damien Egan to make sure Assemblies still have access to some funds,” said Cllr Mallory.

“We have long recognised that many people haven’t the time or energy to come to meetings – and in some cases – don’t even like big meetings – so we will look to other ways of widening residents’ access to the Assembly, by door-knocking, online surveys, smaller meetings of particular interest groups, anything that gives people a greater say about what’s important to them.”


Community groups in the Assembly: Friends of Manor House Gardens, Lee Green Lives, Lee Manor Society, Friends & Users of Staplehurst Shops, Users & Friends of Manor House Library, Lee Fair Share Time Bank, Lee Forum, Lee Green Open Studios, Lee Green Women’s Institute, Lee Manor Community Garden, Lee Oasis, Lochaber Hall Association, Manor house community Library, Manor Park Friends, Manor Park Arts Café, Newstead Tenants & Residents Association, Soul Refresh Café

Support and Self Advocacy Service

We aim to support any local resident who is having any kind of crisis by helping them to look at their problem or problems and either coming up with a solution or signposting them to a service that can support them.

In the last three years we have successfully supported people (families, couples or single people) who are:-

  •  in danger of losing their home
  • in rent arrears / debt
  • struggling on a low income / have no income
  • having landlord or disrepair problems
  • feeling depressed due to losing a loved one
  • experiencing a mental health problem and are not sure where to turn
  • having problems talking to their GP about a health problem, including chronic illness
  • being sanctioned by the Job Centre
  • having problems filling out a form – including benefits and appeals
  • having relationship problems – husband / wife, children, neighbours, etc
  • feeling lonely and lacking energy to go out
  • having problems at work or school / college

We offer a professional, confidential service which is delivered by trained staff who have experience of working in social care and mental health.

This service runs on Tuesdays from 11.30 to 4.00pm at Lee Green Community Centre.

You can drop in to make an appointment whenever the community centre is open or call us on 0207 998 1004 / email support@lgl.org.uk. We can also offer phone support for residents who cannot leave their home.

No problem is too big or too small and if we can’t help you, we probably know someone who can!

Publish your own book

How do you get it published? Not easy if you have no track record, can’t find an agent or can’t afford to buy a publishing house. Or at least that used to be the situation. Now new digital technology has put publishing within reach of almost anyone who has anything to say. If you have a book in you, then that book can reach its public in both printed and digital form.

At Lee Green Lives we run classes to help the novice writer to prepare their manuscript, format it for publication in digital and print modes and submit it to publishing platforms like Amazon and Lightning Source so that it is available to anyone who wants to read it.

The classes are held on Monday mornings from 10.00 to 12.00 at the Lee Green Community Centre. You can join at any time. There is a charge of £2 per session which goes towards the running costs of the Centre.

The classes are run by Pat Coyne, who has managed a number of publishing companies, including the magazine New Statesman. He is currently Chief Executive of The Electric Book Company, which operates online libraries and publishes books in print and digital formats.

Accounts 2017-18

During the 2017-18 financial year 89% of receipts were from restricted grants (for a specified use only). Our largest funder was the London Borough of Lewisham (LBL) who provided £29,348 in five separate grants; 68% of all restricted grants and 60% of all receipts.

Overreliance on a single funder is one of LGL’s main financial vulnerabilities. Gross receipts were reduced from 2016-17, when LBL was the source of 66% of receipts, but remains too high a proportion overall. 2018-19 LBL receipt proportions will be reduced further due to Clarion Housing Association grants of £45,000 over 18 months, with LBL and Clarion grants both totalling approximately £30,000 per annum.

Overreliance on LBL will be brought into focus in 2019-20, when our Main Grant finishes. With the Council yet to make a decision on the overall level of funding to the Community Sector, we cannot be sure of continued funding or funding on the existing level. Securing new funding from Clarion strengthens our financial resilience, as part of diversifying our sources for core operating costs.
In 2017-18 87% of all receipts were restricted funds, identical to 2016-17. This is another serious vulnerability for LGL, and this figure will rise in 2018-19 due to increased receipts for restricted funds. The key figures for unrestricted funds are a surplus of £415 in 2017-18 and £1,734 unrestricted cash funds at year’s end. With expenditure of approximately £42,000 in 2017-18 we should have held approximately £21,000 unrestricted funds as contingency, six months worth of expenditure; our actual reserves in 2017-18 were only 8% of this target.

Our situation with restricted funds is far stronger, with LGL bringing £31,353 forward into 2018-19. This reflects effective fundraising, with our advocacy programme and most activities fully funded for 2018-19.
Expenditure grew by 12% in 2017-18, primarily due to a 79% increase in Tutor and Freelance staff costs. Expenditure was reduced in all other areas aside from Insurance and Stationery and Office Costs, and the new expenditure on Consultancy. The increase in Tutor and Freelance staff costs is reflected in the 10% reduction in Staffing costs; this is due to changes in reporting. Overall LGL saw a 12% increase in both receipts and expenditure, and an 11% increase in surplus. Cash funds at year end increased by 24% compared to 2016-17.


Members of the Trustees of Lee Green Lives


Laura Cheek

Pat Coyne

Simon Higgs

Simon Hooks

Naomi Marley – Secretary

Jim Mallory Chair

Naomi Marley – Secretary

Caroline Mayow Vice Chair

Frances Migniuolo

Sheila Peck

James Rathbone Treasurer

Maureen Russell

Linda Wanbon Secretary

Ralph White

How to contact us

12:13:55 AMLee Green Lives is run by a combination of staff and volunteers.

Lee Green Community Centre
3 Leegate
London SE12 8SS

Landline: 020 7998 1004
Mobile: 07706 931986




Fundraising for Lee Green Lives has been ongoing and we have fortunately gained some small pots of funding from several trusts, including the Foyle Foundation, the Cooperative Community Trust, Awards for All, The Small and Faith Fund and the borough’s Neighbourhood Community Development Partnership (NCDP) which has enabled us continue to support and develop our program. The essential work covered has been the Advocacy Support Service, the Benefits Advice session and towards the payment of some of the sessional teachers. 

Last year we lost our Knitting teacher Julia Gemie after eight years of voluntary teaching (now replaced by Amanda Allen) and our Sewing teacher Clemencia Pacquette, who has been unwell (replaced by Karen Huggins) plus we’ve a new literacy teacher Alex Peach. All the classes are thriving with good attendance especially the seniors’ seated exercise which has doubled numbers, with the extra session being supported by the borough’s Neighbourhood Community Development Project grant.

Amanda has been responsible for developing a mural project with the Knitting class which will be decorating the windows of the project at the beginning of the autumn term. We were able to display the ‘results so far’ at both Manor House Gardens Festival and Lewisham People’s Day.

Helen Nicholas

Our Mission Statement

Our ‘Mission Statement’ was drawn up in activities and discussions by users, volunteers, workers and trustees to put into words the values we all feel the Community Centre should be about.

Our vision
Our vision is for a safer, stronger and more cohesive community with opportunities for self-development and growth accessible to all.

Our mission
We aim to offer opportunities, advice and support for local people to work, play, think and learn together, and to address economic and social disadvantage for mutual benefit, health and well-being.

Our goals
To provide activities for the benefit of local people, especially the elderly, young people and people experiencing social or economic disadvantage with a focus on wellbeing, health, mental health, learning and opportunities to socialise

Lee Fair Share

For several years Lee Fair Share’s theme has been Health and Well-Being, taking the holistic view – including mind, body and spirit. The First Aid course proved extremely successful with over 20 people attending.

The Pilates classes have continued and Lee Fair Share hoped to facilitate a Chair Exercise for elders after Coffee, Cake and Company but unfortunately we have been unable to find a qualified tutor.

Lee Fair Share runs two walking group for the Lee Green Community: the Monday afternoon Tortoise Stroll around Leegate for the less able with mobility problems, and the Hare Walk on Thursday afternoons, walking faster and further afield. Thanks go to Linda Mallory who continues to be a support at Coffee, Cake and Company and Lee Green Lives for supporting the Lee Fair Share activities.

Lorraine Spenceley

Lee Manor Society

Lee Manor Society takes an active interest in the Lee Manor Conservation area and its immediate surroundings which include Lee Green and Leegate.

We have positively supported the Lee Green Community Centre from the outset and some of our members have contributed time and energy to the work of the Centre’s Committee (Trustees).  We have also valued our access to the Community Centre facilities for our occasional evening meetings – it is readily accessible, conveniently local and is offered at a very reasonable rate – a surprisingly rare mix of attributes in the locality!

The Society actively supports the move to establish the Community Centre as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation and some of our members have offered their services as Trustees of the new organisation when it comes into being.

Ralph White

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