Bevendean now has a Community café and Food Bank, which residents identified were needed. The TDC worker supported us in applying for a grant and now, seven months later, we are ready to be independent, open our own bank account and have many willing volunteers’
ABC Secretary and Community Café Volunteer, Barbara Trott,
I’ve really enjoyed the team work that goes on here. For instance there’s a chap who’s unemployed that comes down and absolutely loves it. It really gives him focus... It’s absolutely fantastic to come here and do a bit of gardening then pick some fresh veg and go home and eat them, organic and super fresh, super tasty.
Bevendean Community Garden Volunteer
I feel good about myself on a Wednesday, it’s good to have something to do where you feel like you’re helping other people and have a good reason to get out of the house’
Food Bank volunteer, Craig Johnson
ABC (Action for Bevendean Community)
ABC acts as an umbrella group for smaller groups in Bevendean until they become established. The group also manages the local pot of funding from the Healthy Neighbourhood Fund. In the last round they held a ‘Dragon’s Den’ type application process, which was fun, illuminating and transparent. ABC funded eleven local community groups, of which three were new initiatives. This includes ‘parkrun’ who now hold a weekly Saturday morning walk / run / jog at 9am on Bevendean Down (entrance from Bevendean Down). This is a free and supported activity and provides the opportunity for individuals, parents, children and friends to run together in an encouraging environment and to keep track of their time and progress.
Bevendean Food Group
This group formed in 2013 to set up a Community Café and Food Bank, and initially received money from the Food Partnership to do so. They advised groups to think carefully about the sustainability of the project and on this basis they introduced a £1 donation for a food bag for those who could afford it. This, and the refreshments they sell at The Coffee Morning, have helped the groups to stay afloat financially.
In 2015, the group moved to being a Referral Food Bank - in line with the other food banks attending Food Network meetings. This had the positive impact of opening up the catchment area to include all the neighbourhoods in the Lewes Road corridor (Lower & Higher Bevendean, Moulsecoomb, Bates Estate, Saunders Park and Meadow View). In addition, it led to the provision of a ‘Weekly Advice Drop In’ by dedicated, city-wide advice workers from Money Advice, Housing Benefit, CAB and The Bridge, who have also supported residents to attend training courses and volunteering opportunities to support them back to work.
Friends of Farm Green
This is a group made up mostly of mums with young children, who have campaigned for repairs and improvements to the local park. They have been very pro-active – setting up a petition for local residents to register their support, setting up meetings with park representatives from the council and creating on line facebook page to keep people informed of progress. Our TDC community worker supported them to constitute and to make an initial funding bid, and has put them in touch with other community groups to ensure the consultation is as far reaching and inclusive as it can be.
Friends of Farm Green want to ensure that any improvements and future developments have considered the needs and wishes of the whole community from toddlers and kids to teens, adults and more senior residents who may enjoy a bench to sit on among the flowers in a sensory garden. To this end they are talking to other local community groups including Friends of Bevendean Down, Bevendean History group and Community Garden, the local Women’s Institute, Bevendean Buddies and BevFest. Watch this space!
Other current projects
ABC Health Group are well established, and provide support to other newer groups through management and delivery of the Healthy Neighbourhood Fund and annual Fun and Health Day (held in May).
BeCCa is an independent children's centre providing nursery provision for pre-school children as well as after school clubs for all children up to the age of 16.
Bevendean Community Garden runs two sessions a week on a Thursday from 10.30am till 1.30pm and on Sundays from 1 - 4pm. The sessions are welcoming, informal, relaxed place to learn about gardening. The garden is up the lane from Heath Hill Avenue, opposite Bevendean School.
Bevendean Food Group run a weekly ‘Advice Drop In’ around finances, benefits and debt attended by city wide Advice services including The Bridge, Money Advice, Housing Benefit and CAB. There is also a Coffee Morning and Referral Food Bank. This happens every Wednesday from 9am – 12pm and is a welcoming, friendly place for local residents to go and meet, chat and get advice or food if they are experiencing financial difficulties for any reason. There are opportunities to volunteer if people want something to do and feel like helping out – which is useful experience for people looking to gain work experience or return to work.
Bevendean History Group, established in 2013, continue to take their display boards to local events and to give talks on the findings of the group. They have used their recent funding to benefit the local community by providing historic crafts and archaeology for primary school children, Oral history training and collection for local adults, Memory days and the creation of a website and very informative history of Bevendean Booklet
BevFest will be returning in 2017!
Friends of Farm Green are a newly-formed group, holding regular meetings to get the local park improved and to consult with local residents about the future of the park and what could be included in it to make it an accessible and attractive space for all members of the local community from toddlers to seniors.
Holy Nativity Community Centre (HNCC) and Building Group are six local residents and six members of the Parochial Parish Council, working towards managing the HNCC as a community asset on behalf of the community having been gifted the premises by the church. There are plans to upgrade the building and improve its facilities although the venue is already used for regular events like Zumba and frequently hired out privately for wedding celebrations and parties.
The Salvation Army (Leybourne Parade) runs a vital service for local seniors and other residents. They open their doors all day every Tuesday with a Coffee Morning from 10am, which includes an uplifting ‘Singing for Better Health’ session for 45 minutes from 10.45am.
A home-made, traditional, two course Lunch is served at 12.30pm for just £3.50 for local people, followed by a Friendly Circle which includes discussions, films, talks, games & refreshments. On the 2nd Saturday of every month there is ‘Messy Church’ a FREE play, craft and art session for children and their families from 10.30am- 2.30pm.
‘Salvation Army Worship Meeting’ is every Sunday morning from 10.15 -11.15am, All welcome.
The Emergency Food Network meetings (run by the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership)
The Advice Drop In works with:
BHESCO (Brighton & Hove Energy Savings Cooperative)
The Bridge Community Education Centre
Brighton and Hove Housing Benefit
CAB – Warmth for Wellbeing
CAP – Christians Against Poverty
Digital Brighton and Hove – Digital Champions
Money Advice (part of Money Works)
NHS and local PPG
Bevendean Annual Health Day has partnered with many community groups and service providers, including:
Active for Life
Adult Social Care (Brighton and Hove City Council)
The Alzheimer’s Society
The Bevy Community Pub and Cafe
Bike for Life
Brighton and Hove Financial Inclusion team
Community Nurse (Health Checks)
Engage and Create
Singing for Better Health
Sussex Community Trust
Sussex Police / Sussex Fire brigade