Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Watch out for next week's Meridian

Some of you may be in the delivery area for the Meridian magazine. They will be publishing this story in their next issue - out early March. We also have a local PR specialist, Vanessa Hales, helping us out to get publicity in South London Press, Lewisham Life etc. If anyone has useful connections please let us know. We want to get the word to as many people as possible and have fewer conversations that start "what cafe? I never heard anything about that!" The copy for the article is below and I've also sent some pictures to them which they may have space for.

Residents in Telegraph Hill near Brockley / New Cross have decided to take matters into their own hands when it came to making space to get together and have set up a community owned company called Bold Vision.

"For a few years we have had something called Friendly Fridays in the park on sunny evenings,"explained Catherine Shovlin, a local businesswoman and one of the organisers, "And the annual Festival always attracts a lot of local residents. We wanted to extend this to a year round opportunity for members of our community to get together - for company, to help each other out, to work together, to relax together."

Bold Vision Ltd was incorporated in September 2009 and digging started on February 13th this year. The first Bold Vision project is to create a community cafe in what is currently the undercroft of the Telegraph Hill Centre. In a community survey, a cafe / shop came out as the clear winner when residents were asked what they wished was different. Lower down the list were problems of dog mess and bored teenagers. What Telegraph Hillers love about their area are the park, the view and the amazing sense of community.

Bold Vision needs to raise about £100,000 for the project. So far they have about a third of that thanks in part to the Mayor's Fund and a donation from Sainsbury's. But most of the money is coming from the community itself as individuals and households sign up to be Bold Backers - making a donation of £200 to the fund either as a one-off payment or via instalments, fundraising or sweat equity. In January a Bold Vision Gala Evening showcased some excellent performances from local musicians, actors and writers and raised over £1500.

"We are starting with the cafe,"explained Patricio Forrester, local artist and founding member Bold Vision, "but our vision is much greater than that. We are all about strengthening the community in Telegraph Hill - and we want to do that with imagination and creativity in a way that makes everybody feel a part of what is going on."

The design of the building is being led by John Knepler - local resident and architect. "We were keen to create a design that reflected the way we interact. It will be very open and flexible so that as well as operating as a cafe it becomes a space for the community to use - to display art, to learn about food or to listen to live performances. By having a glazed front wall that faces Telegraph Hill park and completely opens up in the summer we can connect to our leisure spaces and enjoy being in the heart of the hill and the community."

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