Celebrating all we have achieved in 2023

We’re looking forward to taking a break over Christmas, and as we wrap up we want to take moment to celebrate all that has been achieved this year; from weathering the renovations, to filling the building with a wide range of classes, hosting community events and trialling the Community Cafe and Lounge through our Christmas Pop-up. We have stuck closely to our mission to preserve our historic local library and hub as a welcoming place for community activity. The team have worked hard to facilitate groups and classes, to create a hub bustling with a diverse programme of events, classes and groups welcoming all members of the community to a friendly space that builds connection through shared activity. We were delighted to receive recognition for this in April, being Highly Commended in the Heritage category of the Herne Hill Society Excellence Award 2023.

Everyone was glad to see the scaffolding come down at the end of the restoration works to ensure the longevity of this much loved local building and we are now in the process of designing the interior to improve sign posting and flow, give the rooms names, improve storage, and work on the gardens surrounding the building. As the building has come together, we have opened up more rooms and acquired additional equipment, allowing the space to be rented out for a wide range of uses including catered events, kids parties, community groups, consultations forums, filming, and exhibition space.

We have celebrated multiple events across the community, including the Creative Voices Collective Exhibition in partnership with the Well Centre, Positive Future Lambeth Prevention of Knife and Gun Crime Forum chaired by Cllr Pauline George. We were happy to be a donation point for Local charity, Get Rid and Donate’s collection of winter provisions to support rough sleepers and those made vulnerable by poor housing and the cost of living crisis. We enjoyed an evening of music and celebrated the huge success of the Cambria Choir Fundraiser, as well as singing along at the seasonal concerts from Raise the Roof Choir, our regular Thursday evening choir in residence.

Week in week out we host music, drama, dance and karate classes for kids from early years up to school leaving age, as well as a range of yoga and wellbeing sessions that include holistic birth preparation, Reiki meditation and gong baths. CLH continues to nurture creativity with life drawing classes, Lino cutting workshops and much more.

With all that has been going on, our team has expanded, welcoming new members—Jo to support on comms and social media, our new Hub coordinator, Tess, and three new caretakers: Tomas, Mick, and Callum, all of whom live locally.

We ended the year by trialing our plans for a Community Cafe and Lounge. This Christmas popup has been very well received and it has been great to see people popping in for coffee and staying to work, read the papers and meet up with friends. We were particularly glad to be able to offer the space to Maude, Hazel and Anthea who treated their regular craft and sewing group, parents and kids to lunch, drinks, mince pies and pudding in the festively decorated cafe and lounge. Huge fun for everyone demonstrating just how well the space can be used. Take a look at our future plans And we would be very grateful for your feed back which will help us to shape the future cafe and lounge.

We are looking forward to growing even more in 2024. In the meantime enjoy the Christmas holiday and new years celebrations!