Lambeth Council is supporting their community and helping them to enhance their local area by offering up to £5,000 in match funding ‘for projects and initiatives making Lambeth a unique place to live, work, learn and do business’.

By running a crowdfunding campaign, lambeth projects are able to validate their ideas for the council with clear evidence of their community’s buy-in. 

Tulse Hill Parish within Lambeth is amongst 10% of the most deprived in England and since their church hall was demolished in 1984, no future plans have been put in place to create a space within which people can come together.

In 2014, the Holy Trinity Church began to re-address this gap in their community’s infrastructure, creating ‘a project that would allow on-site training for local people and a building that was appropriate to the climate emergency’.

When asked about what the need for a community space was, according to the church’s Vicar Reverend Richard Dormandy, “in urban areas with lower incomes one of the major aspects of deprivation is the pressure on space, where people are living. There are lots of people living in flats and over crowded housing, they need to get out”.

He went on to say that “lots of people in Tulse Hill are creative and inventive, they have new ideas for businesses or new classes but they can’t for example, afford individual tuition but they might be able to afford things in a group context”.

The result was a large community hall of straw-bale construction which allowed opportunities for residents to take part in the build. The sustainable methods to be used would make this the largest building of its kind and a beacon of achievement to inspire others from around the world to do the same.

To compliment the sustainable approach of using straw-bales the foundations were laid with tractor tyres, the outside rendered with lime and the inside plastered with clay dug from their own site. The frame itself is English Douglas Fir which was erected without cranes and the roof, which will be covered in solar panels, is made up of 95% recycled slate tile.

By creating opportunities for residents to be involved in the build, they were able to engage people in the process, increase environmental understanding in the area and the sense of ownership going forward.

The crowdfunding campaign raised over £10,000 towards the purchase of the timber needed for the build. While the overall cost is much more (an estimated £1.3m), the campaign was used as an opportunity to raise awareness of what they were doing and to reach more people.

Over 500 volunteers worked on this project and while they’ve had to work with significantly smaller teams during the pandemic, the benefits have been widespread. In 2015 when considering the type of space needed, Reverend Dormandy decided that he “didn’t want a standardised community asset that was just plonked down in the area but something that actually could be a worthwhile and inclusive project in itself”. Since their straw-bale journey began, they’ve had a lot of interest from other churches in both rural and urban locations who are interested in the approach.

If you’ve got a community project that you believe will benefit Lambeth, you could be eligible for up to £5,000 in +Extra Funding.

Start a crowdfunding campaign today and help strengthen your community.