Showing posts with label volunteers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label volunteers. Show all posts

14 April 2020

Helping Each Other

We encourage all members to help other members of the community. A number of streets, estates, and areas across Forest Hill have Mutual Aid groups on Whatsapp and there is a map available here.

Lewisham Local, Voluntary Services Lewisham and Age UK Lewisham are working with Lewisham Council and local partners to coordinate support for people who are vulnerable or self-isolating.  This support will include the delivery of food and supplies, befriending and provision of accurate information.

If you need support or wish to volunteer to help you can:

Call 03330 150 378 (Mon-Fri 9-5) or complete an online form at

Call a Neighbour
Many people will feel isolated if they cannot leave their homes. Perhaps give elderly friends and neighbours a call on the phone, just for a friendly chat, and to safely break the monotony of lock down.

21 March 2017

Make Forest Hill Look Good and Have Fun at the Same Time!

 By John Firmin, Environment Committee

Are you a keen gardener? Or, like me, someone who enjoys a bit of light exercise outdoors? Whichever you are, you are most welcome to join our merry band of volunteers led by Quetta Kaye, who tend the flower beds, tubs and planters at Forest Hill station and on nearby roads. You will enjoy the camaraderie and get a quite sense of satisfaction from seeing Forest Hill burst into colour each spring and summer.
You don’t need to be an expert gardener and I am certainly not! A key requirement is enthusiasm as well as a willingness to learn from your mistakes when identifying small plants from weeds! And there is expertise readily to hand if, like me, you need guidance.

There isn’t a lot to do if the work is shared among us. Each autumn we meet for a couple of afternoons to tidy up the beds and to plant bulbs for the spring, when there is more planting and weeding to do. And throughout the summer it is necessary to water the flowerbeds and planters especially if, like the recent summer, it is dry for long periods of time. Our aim is sustainability: we look to plant perennials that will return year after year and minimise the need for new planting.

The result is there for all to see: bright bulbs in the spring, wildflowers in the summer and different shades of green all year round. ‘Edible High Road’ tubs sponsored by local businesses brighten up the high street while multi-coloured ‘Tyre Tubs’ add a splash of colour to Perry Vale. And every time I’ve been involved there is a “thank you” from passing members of the public and the chance of a cup of tea and a piece of cake from a grateful cafĂ© or bar owner!

For four years now, the Forest Hill Society’s efforts have been judged “Outstanding” in the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual awards. If you would like to help us keep up what is now a proud tradition, please contact Quetta Kaye at or keep an eye on our website and newsletters for the next gardening party.

29 February 2016

The Future of Forest Hill Library

At the end of 2015 the council ran a consultation on library provision proposing to turn Forest Hill, Torridon Road, and Manor House libraries into ‘Community Libraries’. During the public consultation 54% of respondents rejected all the options proposed by the council and 59% rejected the council’s preferred option of downgrading these libraries to community libraries.

Despite these views expressed in the consultation, and the opposition of the Forest Hill Society among other civic societies and user groups, the mayor of Lewisham accepted the recommendations of the report. It would be unfair not to mention that Lewisham council, like others across the country, are under enormous pressure to cut budgets and find savings wherever they can. Across the country this is resulting in the closure and downgrading of library services, although some, such as Southwark, have managed to avoid significant disruption to library services.

With the decision made to downgrade the libraries we now need to look to the future. The Forest Hill Society will be doing everything we can to ensure that Forest Hill library continues serves the community as well as it possibly can. Over the next few months the council will be putting the library services out to tender. We understand that at the early stages there have been around eight expressions of interest in running one or more of the community libraries in Lewisham. The ambitious plan is to have other organisations running these libraries by August 2016.

The major concern from the Forest Hill Society is that levels of book borrowing continue to be maintained and we do not see the 70% drops that other community libraries have experienced in the last 4 years (compared to a drop of just 4% in Forest Hill over the same period). To achieve this the council needs to ensure that their IT systems are able to work properly with the community libraries, levels of stock must be retained, primary school  visits must be facilitated, and volunteer levels must be sufficient to keep the library open seven days a week, from morning to late evening.

The Forest Hill Society will be looking at what we can do to safeguard the future of the library. This is now likely to involve being part of a consortium (together with local traders, V22 - next door in Louise House, and other partner organisations) bidding to run these services. But whoever does take on the management of the library, we know that we have a vital role to play in helping to find volunteers.

If you would be interested in volunteering for a few hours per week at the library we would like to hear from you so that we can start compiling a volunteer list to help with the transition in August 2016.
At this stage we don’t know what your duties would be, but an interest in books and internet research would be a big advantage. If you would be interested, please contact

24 September 2013

Become a Skills Coach

Over 55? - Volunteer Centre Lewisham is setting up an exciting new project called Helping Hands which will offer services such as gardening, minor DIY, handyperson, home technology help and shopping assistance to anyone living in and around Lewisham. They are looking for volunteers aged 55 or over to become Skills Coaches who will provide basic training sessions and guidance for the volunteers going out to perform the service. These roles would suit someone who can commit to at least 4-5 hours per week (within office hours), has had practical experience in the services to be provided and the confidence to train small groups of volunteers.

The project aims to work specifically with unemployed young people (16-25) and disabled people living in the borough who will provide the services as volunteers in order to increase their employment skills through the volunteering and training which Volunteer Centre Lewisham and other organisations can provide.

They are looking for Skills Coaches with DIY, handyman, gardening and IT support skills as well as those willing to help run a shopping. If interested, please contact Lauren Banks on 020 8613 7113 or

Further volunteering opportunities can be found at

22 January 2013

Wanted! Creative Writers

South London & Maudsley, Ladywell Unit are looking for volunteers to join their flourishing creative writing project.

Their groups seek to improve the well-being of patients during their admission. Working on acute mental health and alzheimer wards, they seek to provide an environment where creativity is used as a form of self-expression. If you have some experience in music, arts and craft, dance or working with Alzheimer sufferers they would also like to hear from you.

You will be involved in enabling small groups on an adult acute mental health ward

  • To access poetry/literature as part of promoting well-being and recovery.
  • To maintain accurate records of sessions.
  • To prepare and deliver small group poetry/literature sessions
  • To work within a team of volunteers to give support.
  • To occassionally assist in accompanying small groups to off-site activities

If you are interested in getting involved, please email for further details. The deadline for applications is Friday, 1 March 2013.