Our 2007 - 2008 Development Plan is complete

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This is an ambitious programme which has the potential for improving the way in which local people’s needs and aspirations can be met, supports in a sustainable and integrated way support to those with local skills seeking to improve their skills and job prospects, increases the level of community activity and inter-linkages thereby strengthening community cohesion and further building the capacity of local organisations.

Riverside Community Development Trust

Development Plan

1 April 2007 - 31 March 2008

May 2007


The Lambeth Riverside area lies immediately to the south of the River Thames. It stretches roughly from Lambeth Bridge in the East to Vauxhall Bridge in the West, and is bounded to the east, south and west by Lambeth Rd, Kennington Rd and Kennington Lane respectively. The majority of it is in Prince’s Ward, and the northern part south of Lambeth Rd in Bishop’s Ward.

It is a largely residential area, with a predominance of social rented housing. Besides Lambeth Council, landlords include the London and Quadrant, Peabody and Hyde South Bank Homes. Some Council estates are run by Tenant Management Organisations. There are also some large, attractive 18th and 19th Century private houses of considerable value. Flanked by Vauxhall Gdns and China Walk Estates, the heart of the Lambeth Riverside area is dominated by the Ethelred Estate, a high density development of about 1,800 dwellings, managed by a Tenant Management Organisation. Major investment has now begun to be put into the Estate.

Business and commercial activity is restricted mainly to shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs, located for the most part on the main roads which define the periphery of the area. There is a small concentration of creative and cultural producers in the area, along with a number of railway arch industries under the main line route from Vauxhall to Waterloo.

The area is in relatively close proximity to St Thomas’s Hospital, the South Bank Centre, Westminster and Waterloo. There is thus plenty of local employment opportunity and easy access to areas of vibrant activity. In addition, the close proximity of Vauxhall Station gives ready access to the Victoria Line tube and main line rail services. The area is well served by buses.

The Lambeth Riverside area of Kennington and Vauxhall has had a very low level of regeneration resources invested in it in recent years despite having a high concentration of residents with low incomes, high needs, low skill qualification levels, and increasing frustration with local services, and with little public voice. Scattered among these residents are others with high levels of wealth and power. It is also a lively and very diverse community full of talent and aspiration. Much of the major regeneration in the area has been along the riverfront in the form of major office and apartment developments, with little benefit to the residents in the hinterland.


As a community owned and led organisation, Riverside Community Development Trust (RCDT) seeks to work to attract investment to regenerate the area with the involvement of and for the benefit of local people, especially those on the estates. It seeks to help create a safer, socially cohesive local community, a community at ease with diversity, which is skilled and which can face the future with confidence.

RCDT seeks to achieve its vision by:-
• Supporting and running projects which assist in providing education, training, employment, leisure and cultural opportunities.
• Supporting the development of a stronger voluntary and community sector.
• Contributing to the economic development of the area by supporting small businesses.
• Promoting community cohesion within the area through culture and leisure activities.

RCDT concentrates its efforts in the area bounded by Lambeth Road, Kennington Road, Kennington Lane and the River Thames. It can also operate throughout the Bishop’s, Prince’s, Oval and Vassall wards within the London Borough of Lambeth. It works in partnership with similar and like-minded organisations to achieve its aims.


In the 12 months from 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008 RCDT’s priorities and objectives for activities and projects include:

• Running and managing 20 Newburn St as a community resource centre and as an office centre generating income.
• Raising funding to enable the Development & Management Worker to be employed full-time again.
• Improving the service on offer at Riverside IT in partnership with Lambeth Council’s Estate Skills Partnership using funding included in Lambeth Council’s successful bid to improve the Ethelred Towers.
• Managing the Community Chest.
• Supporting specialist forums and networks.
• Strengthening its working relationship with social housing landlords and tenants and residents groups.
• Increasing the range of education, arts, and heritage training.
• Supporting economic development.
• Continue the weekly Enews/events listing.

The common thread between these activities is their potential for improving the way in which local people’s needs and aspirations are met, for improving local people’s skills and job prospects, for increasing the level of community activity and inter-linkages, to contribute to the strengthening of community cohesion and to further build the capacity of local organisations. The details and the supporting budget are set out in the appended tables.


Riverside Community Development Trust (RCDT) was set up in 2001-2002 to be the successor body for Lambeth Riverside SRB Partnership. During the period of the Partnership programme RCDT ran the Community Chest for two years and established the Riverside IT project at 125 Lambeth Walk. The SRB programme ended on 31 March 2004. Development Trusts are community owned and led, and aim to cultivate enterprise and build assets.

Since 1 April 2004 RCDT has been seeking to provide itself with a firm asset and funding base. As mirrored in the experience of many other SRB successor bodies around the country this has proved problematic, due to difficulties in fundraising for its basic running costs, including a full-time member of staff. A combination of funding from Lady Margaret Hall Settlement, Lloyds TSB Foundation, Lambeth Endowed Charities and money received from the wind-up of the Vauxhall Regeneration Company enabled the Trust to contract Sean Creighton as a part-time Development Consultant from May 2004 to March 2005, and then as full-time Development & Management Worker from April 2005 to September 2006. Since October 2006 there has only been enough funding to employ him part-time, 10 hours a week since January 2007.

The key achievements of the Trust since April 2004 have been:
• ensuring the continuance of the Riverside IT project which is seen as important to reducing the digital divide in the area the partnership run in partnership with Lambeth Council’s Estate Skills Partnership from 1 June 2004 under which ESP employs the staff and funds the revenue costs
• the continued renting of office space at 20 Newburn St by Lambeth Council for their North Lambeth Town Centre Team
• co-ordinating the Lambeth Riverside Festivals in July 2005 and 2006 as the successor to the former Vauxhall Festival that had been run for many years, providing a showcase for local groups and the talents of local residents, including children and young people.
• re-establishing a small community chest to fund activities by local groups
• establishing the Local History/Heritage and Health & Fitness Forums and LeftBank Artists Network (2005-6)
• hosting employment advice and support sessions by Tomorrow’s People’s GAIN project (January to December 2006)
• providing advice and support to a number of other local organisations, including a group of Somalis who have developed supplementary, homework and IT/ESOL classes.
• contributing to the beginning of debate on the need for a community plan for the area, and discussions on the planning and development challenges and opportunities, including jointly organising a public meeting with newly elected Councillors in June 2006

The details are set out in the Trust’s Annual Reviews for 2005 and 2006.


20 Newburn St Office and Community Resource

Just before Christmas 2006 RCDT had reached agreement with Lambeth Council on revised terms for the latter’s tenancy agreement. The revised tenancy agreement releases a room which the Trust can rent out. Using a small grant from Lambeth Council the Trust was able in December to take out office partitioning, carry out minor repairs and redecorate the community resource area, increasing its size as a meeting, advice, counselling and training venue. Discussions are underway with the LDA for funding for further improvements to the facility. The main uses of the resource area in 2006 were meetings, especially those organised by North Lambeth Town Centre Team members, Kennington, Oval & Vauxhall Forum Board, and RCDT; the employment advice sessions run by the GAIN Project, and the Somali community group’s supplementary classes.

Riverside IT

Riverside IT (RIT) was established by the Trust during the SRB period to provide an open access computer skills training centre, to improve local residents’ skills and help close the digital divide. Because of the post SRB funding problems RCDT entered a partnership with Lambeth Council’s Estate Skills Partnership (ESP) for the latter to take over responsibility for staffing and revenue funding. With small amounts of self-generated money the Trust has been able to fund staffing for additional openings in the summer of 2006. It encouraged the use of RIT by Roots & Shoots for their trainees, and for Somali ESOL/IT classes. As the tenant on the property Riverside IT occupies at 125 Lambeth Walk, the Trust financed the installation of a new boiler and new hard drives for some of the computers. Preliminery discussions suggest that there is potential for Riverside IT to offer additional training at Alford House youth centre. The Trust has also to decide whether to follow-up its suggestion to Lambeth Council that it take over ESP.

Lambeth Riverside Festival

RCDT took over responsibility for the co-ordination of the 2005 Lambeth Riverside Festival, successor to the Vauxhall Festival, and then also co-ordinated the 2006 Festival. With very limited amounts of central funding, and with the energy and commitment of a wide range of local organisations and individuals, both years saw varied programmes of events, and major house to house delivery of the Festival brochure. The last three years has seen a mushrooming of activities by organisations. The Festival of the kind organised to-date is now proving a severe strain on local organisations and without funding for central co-ordination it has not been possible to organise a Festival for 2007.

Community Chest

Based on its experience of administering the Community Chest during the last two years of the SRB Partnership, RCDT had as an objective in its 2004-6 Development Plan the establishment of a Community Chest. This was launched at an auction held as part of the World Music Festival event organised by a local business South London Pacific during the 2005 Festival. Grants have been given for health and fitness activities to Friends of Durning Library for older people and Kennington Association for a Reiki taster, drama for young people at Oval House Theatre, and money set aside for activities by the Vauxhall 5 Tenants Association and for music for children at the Kurdish Cultural Centre. The Trustees allocated additional money to the Chest from the funding received from the wind-up of the Vauxhall Regeneration Company. This money is currently allocated for Somali activities, art and education activities and for joint activities organised through the two forums and the artists network convened by RCDT.

Community & Development Planning

Given the large number of development opportunities and challenges facing the area, including the St George’s Tower, London & Regional properties proposed twin towers, the future of the former Lillian Baylis School, Kerrin Point and Beaufoy Institute sites, there has been a great deal of local discussion and campaigning over local planning issues. This prompted the Trust to seek funding to run a day Conference to look at the new planning framework and to improve people’s knowledge and understanding of the planning system. Funding was obtained from Waterloo Community Regeneration Trust to cover Waterloo as well as the Trust’s core area, working in partnership with Waterloo Community Development Group. Originally planned for November 2006 it was re-scheduled, and held on 3 February 2007.

Somali and Muslim Projects

The Trust has been helping the development of activities that meet the specialist needs of local Somali residents. We support the supplementary classes run at the weekends at 20 Newburn St, helped raise funding for the class leader to train as an adult education teacher, and supports the running of ESOL/IT classes for mothers at Riverside IT. 20 Newburn St was also using the autumn term for homework classes. The Trust has raised money from Lambeth Endowed Charities and Pedlar’s Acre Trust to support this work. The Trust has given RCDT a grant to develop work to encourage Muslim engagement and enable a better understanding of Muslim culture among the wider population.

Joint Working With Others

RCDT recognises that other organisations and services are already meeting certain local needs. This enables the Trust to avoid duplication, overlap and unnecessary competition. It can spot gaps, which opens up questions of how and by whom these might be filled. It can identify those organisations and services whose activities it can support and/or complement and generate forms of partnership working and active collaboration. Key joint working in the last two years has been with:

    Lady Margaret Hall Settlement: funding from the Settlement, re-Beaufoy Institute, community plan, Planning Its Future public meeting, and the promotion of the All Sewn Up Project especially in the 2006 Festival.

    Kennington, Oval & Vauxhall Forum (of which RCDT is a member): networking Winter Warmer Parties in December 2004 and 2005; Planning Its Future public meeting. The future of the Forum is under review following the new administration’s change of direction of the mechanisms for community engagement (Communities First programme).

    Festival 2005 and 2006: inc: All Nations Centre and Lighthouse Education, Lambeth Mission, Lambeth Walk Group Practice, Ethelred Estate TMO, Hyde South Bank Homes, Spread the Word, Roots & Shoots, local art galleries especially Beaconsfield and Danielle Arnaud, Parabola Trust, St Peter’s Church & Vauxhall Heritage Centre, Vauxhall Society, Bonnington Square Festival group, Harleyford Community Gardens, Archbishop Sumner School, Walnut Tree School, Henry Fawcett School, Oval Partnership, Kennington Sure Start, Museum of Garden History, Alford House youth centre, Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre, Vauxhall City Farm.

    Arts and Heritage Organisations and Businesses. Through the Lambeth Riverside Festival RCDT has been able to lay foundations for the further support and development of arts, cultural and heritage activities in the area. RCDT will be exploring ways in which we can bring local artists together. There will be benefits from this for the development of the Kennington Cross


A Neighbourhood Partnership for Princes Ward

The development of a neighbourhood partnership for Prince’s Ward comprised of community partners and residents with the participation of local councillors and a programme of activities designed to increase community involvement in the local authority and its activities such as commissioning and development of services for the community and the capital regeneration of the local area.

Time Bank

The development of a time bank with particular focus on activities supporting children, and young people, elderly and disabled local people, and on the relief of poverty, to encourage volunteering and develop relationships between neighbours and neighbouring organisations within the local community.

Consortium of Local Voluntary Organisations

The development of a consortium of local voluntary organisations with a view to collaborative fundraising for small and medium sized projects.

Community Involvement Around Arts and Crafts

The development of community involvement around arts and crafts activities.

Peer Support and Mentoring

The development of peer support and mentoring around social issues such as single parenthood and families affected by substance use issues.


The Trust wishes to develop a number of project ideas that have emerged in the last year. Through the planning of the 2006 Festival a number of ideas were suggested which could not be developed at that time.

A Fiver’s Worth of Courage. This play about the prison reformer Elizabeth Fry was performed by Kate Willoughby Productions during the Lambeth Riverside Festival 2005. Discussions with Kate Willoughby led to the idea of including it in the 2006 Festival in partnership with Brixton Prison so that prisoners would be involved in acting and production, and there would be performances in prison and in the community. Due to a number of practical and timetabling difficulties and the shortage of time to obtain funding, it was not possible to include it in the 2006 Festival programme. RCDT and Kate Willoughby wish to explore setting the project up in the future.

Where I Live. This project, devised by local resident musician, poet and textiles expert Leon Conrad would be to use spoken words and music to help people express their ambitions; improve their communication skills; improve their confidence; act on socially-based and community-based ideas to improve their own lives and the lives of people around them in their immediate community, which will ultimately have an effect on the wider community of which they are a part.

The George Tinworth Project. George Tinworth was born into a poor family in Walworth. From 1861 he took evening classes at the Lambeth School of Art, and went on in 1864 to the Royal Academy Schools. Later he was introduced to Doulton, and he worked at the pottery firm helping to turn into a producer of artistic products as well as functional products such as pipes. He created hundreds of terra-cotta panels, wholly or partially in relief, showing biblical scenes, for churches in England and abroad, including York Minster. Some panels survive including at the Museum of Garden History in the former St Mary’s Lambeth Parish Church. The project aim is to provide a window onto the wider picture of working class life in North Lambeth and Walworth, illuminate working class creativity, show the role of the local art schools in the second half of the 19th Century, examine how the local potteries provided employment, will catalogue the remains of that heritage, interpret the findings and artistic products for current understanding and to forge common ties between people with different interests. The project has been conceived by local resident, artist and historian Stefan Szczelkun in discussion with the Trust.

Potential outcomes include: publication of George Tinworth’s autobiography, a pamphlet about his life as a working class artist to be of use in local schools, audio visual materials that can be used to inspire art workshops in schools and youth clubs, the creation of an archive of digital images possibly published as a website. (Project ideas and details © Stefan Szczelkun and RCDT.)

Singing and Voice Development. This project designed by local resident musician Leon Conrad would provide sessions to help people find their singing voices and build their confidence in singing, and to help people with voice care, in a small, supportive group atmosphere, by learning to open up and trust the physicality of singing. Through simple songs and rhymes, exercises in breathing, pitch control and resonance, people will gradually build up the confidence to sing out – sing out well – and enjoy singing! And it will boost general confidence, self-esteem and well-being.

Music, Performance and Poetry Workshops for Junior Schools. The Trust wishes to develop this as a partnership activity with local resident Leon Conrad and Vauxhall Primary School building on developing the relationship with the Head and Chair of Governors.

Local Enterprise Day. An outline was drafted in discussion with Lambeth Council North Lambeth Town Centre Manager for an Enterprise event for the 2006 Festival. Components include a business breakfast and a lunch encouraging networking; ideas; a talk by a successful local resident entrepreneur; a workshop on local economy issues; a market place; a workshop on local businesses helping local people into work; workshops on women and young people in business.

Textiles Project. This initial project idea has been developed out of the Textiles Shills and History day event during the 2006 Festival. Potential partners include Dyeworks, Leon Conrad, and Lady Margaret Hall Settlement and its All Sewn Up project. The aim would be to find suitable premises to enable Dyeworks to use their weaving equipment on a permanent basis, to financially support the continuation of All Sewn Up, to investigate setting up a Kente training course, offer textile project workshops to schools and local residents, a lecture programme; embroidery and textile demonstrations and classes and develop a venue for displaying and selling locally made textiles work. (Project idea © RCDT)

Stone Sculpture on Spring Gardens. A sculpture teacher at the locally based City & Guilds School of Art proposed to supervise students undertake a stone sculpture demonstration during the Festival on Spring Gardens. RCDT and Hamish Horsley wish to continue to investigate this project idea as a contribution to the continuing improvement of Spring Gardens.

Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. In both the 2005 and 2006 Festivals talks were given by Penelope Corfield (Professor of History, Royal Holloway) on aspects of the history of the former Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. RCDT agreed to fund the publication of a pamphlet by her on the Gardens. This publication awaits the finalisation of which photographic images can be included bearing in mind copyright issues. The future improvement of Spring Gardens has been of considerable interest locally, led particularly by the Friends of Spring Gardens. While we had the staff resources during most of 2006 RCDT supplied administrative support to the Spring Gardens Framework Development meetings between the Friends, other local groups, Council officers and local Councillors. Incorporating an element related to the heritage of the former Pleasure Gardens is seen as an important element in the improvements. The pamphlet will contribute to increased knowledge about the historic gardens.

Duse Mohamed Ali. Ali was an Egyptian Muslim and black rights activist who lived in Vauxhall at the turnoff the 19th/20th Century. He featured in black historian Steve Martin’s Black Vauxhall Walk for the 2006 Festival. Steve Martin also gave a talk on Ali at the 2006 Festival Local History/Heritage Fair. The project aim is to undertake further research into Ali’s life and activities, with a view to producing relevant materials for school and community use.

Music and Lambeth. During the 2006 Festival planning period the Trust’s students on placement carried out preliminary research into the history of music in Lambeth. This resulted in the use of several pieces as background music at local events, and a display at the Local History Fair. The research scratched the service, and there is considerable scope for more work and the compilation of a CD if copyright issues can be overcome. The product of this project could be used by schools, music groups and musicians, community and voluntary groups and be the basis for music events in the community.

Other Project Opportunities

New emerging opportunities for the Trust are:
• the decision of the Heritage Lottery Fund to finance a project at Alford House which includes an element for RCDT involvement.
• the development of the Extended Schools programme.
• the exploration with Lambeth Council of ways the Trust can contribute to economic development work, including the development of a pathways to enterprise project for young people in partnership with Alford House.
• The hosting of welfare benefits advice under a proposed Lambeth First Local Area Agreement project.


The policy and funding context has proved difficult for the Trust since April 2004. What appeared to be opportunities that RCDT could develop its role through, such as the development of the former Archbishop’s Park keeper house into a community café, the development of the underground toilets at Kennington Cross into the ArtsLav project, the development of the leisure space in the Old Bingo Hall housing scheme have not moved forward. The lack of relevant funding sources has meant that the Trust has not been able to develop an employment advice and support service. The non-extension of the Neighbourhood Renewal projects from 1 April 2006 meant the plans developed in 2005-6 with detailed involvement by the Trust have been shelved by the Council and Lambeth First. The change in administration controlling the Council in May 2006 led to a series of major policy reviews which continued the period of uncertainty over a number of local issues, especially the future of Council owned assets and policy towards future private development proposals. A new approach to community consultation and engagement (Communities First) has been developed in which the Trust wishes to take part.

A fundamental change in the relationship between the Council and community and voluntary organisations started on 1 April 2007 with the introduction of the Local Area Agreement between Lambeth First and the Council and central government. What effect this will have on future opportunities for the Trust remains to be seen.

Many funders do not favour funding generic community development and it takes time to devise relevant projects and seek funding, made more difficult by the fact that the Trust for the time being cannot afford a full-time worker. Funding for the project ideas outlined above may not actually contribute much towards the Trust’s core revenue funding needs.


The Board. The members of RCDT Board are well-rooted in the local community. Members include the Chair of Roots & Shoots, the manager of the Alford House youth centre, active members of the All Nations Church and Lighthouse Education, and a number of other locally based organisations, including Vauxhall Society and St Peter’s Vauxhall Heritage Centre. The majority of members are women and three are from black and ethnic minority communities. Members of RCDT Board have experience of being Committee members and Trustees of other organisations, and bring a range of skills and expertise from their work including: youth and community development, service development, property development and management, business administration and the arts and heritage.

Policies and Procedures. The Board’s Finance & General Purposes Committee has responsibility for reviewing and up-dating Trust policies and procedures.

Financial Management. The Board’s Finance & General Purposes Committee has responsibility for keeping the finances of RCDT under review. Board Officers are cheque signatories, and each cheque must be signed by two of them. There is a separate account in which money for special project purposes, the Festival, the Winter Warmer party and the Community Chest are put, to keep them separate from the day to day financing of RCDT. The accounts are subject to annual review in compliance with Charities Commission and Companies House rules.

Staffing Needs. In order to be able to progress the work in place with its current projects, and particularly to progress action on the development plan, RCDT needs to employ a full-time worker. It had enough money to do this from April 2005 to September 2006. Since October 2006 the Development & Management Worker’s hours have had to be reduced. The Trustees accept that they will have to devote more time to developing future projects.

Self-Monitoring and Review. The Trust Board, especially through its Finance & General Purposes Committee, keeps a continual process of self-monitoring and review underway.

Strengths. RCDT has identified its major strengths as:-

• Its record in promoting and supporting the capacity of local voluntary and community organisations.
• Its roots in the local voluntary and community sector.
• Its record in effectively managing funding.

Weaknesses. RCDT has identified the following major weaknesses as:-

• Lack of members who are not already active in other organisations
• Lack of appropriate funding sources
• Lack of individual or collective time which can be given to supporting the trust.

Opportunities and Threats. Many opportunities have presented themselves, only to be put on hold while decisions of other organisations are awaited. Stalled opportunities sap morale and increase frustration which in turn can become a threat to organisations. The main threats to RCDT are:

• the lack of funding available, or high levels of uncertainty about funding from public and Trust sources
• the number of community and voluntary sector organisation in the area means that there are problems facing all organisations in recruiting new people to their Boards and Committees, preventing overstretched members stepping aside and new energy and ideas being contributed.

In response to these opportunities and challenges Board members have been re-energised and are working harder to make things happen.

Riverside Community Development Trust
20 Newburn St
London, SE11 5PJ
020 7820 0555

Click here to see Development Plan 2004-2006

Riverside Community Development Trust

20 Newburn St London, SE11 5PJ 020 7820 0555