Stop closing local community spaces. Open the Lewisham Triangle Neighborhood Association

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The Lewisham Triangle Neighborhood Association of 10 Wisteria Rd, London, SE13 5HN is one of the very few Community Spaces left within the London Borough of Lewisham. Year after year many of these precious spaces have been closed down for office or housing purposes. To name a few: Sedgehill Community Centre, Evelyn Community Centre, Peckham Community Centre and Sydenham Community Centre. Community Spaces are important as they fulfil the space and time people need to develop new skills, learn something new, interact with friends, family and neighbours. Imagine how much trouble could be avoided if people, in particular young people could be engaging in a healthy space that offered many different activities such as music, dance, interactive games, martial arts, yoga, workshops, etc?

As a free lance Iyengar yoga teacher I have been renting many spaces within this borough. I taught at the Leemore Centre Community Centre for 5 years and it now houses so many offices. When I contacted Lewisham Council, I was given a list of private spaces to rent from. Often the times do not suit and they are very expensive. We pay so much in taxes and how come we are not provided a space to develop and socialize other than parks? I have been teaching at Triangle Neighborhood Association since May 2019. On March 2020, I stopped teaching because of the Covid 19, and I have recently found out there is a notice from Lewisham Council, threatening to take over the premises. All my equipment is inside together with the stuff belonging to the Afro Caribbean community who have been operating & maintaining this centre since 1985. They are mainly people from the wind rush generation who have been keeping and using it regularly. They socialise, listen to music, provide hot & cold refreshments, operate a Bar for members, provide a space for birthday celebrations, play domino and cards as well as pool. The space has also been used to host other community events such as choir, rehearsals, first aid courses, diabetes awareness workshops, funeral afters, nine nights, Christening for kids and so much more! Lewisham Triangle Neighborhood Association has been underfunded for so many years and the Afro Caribbean community has been keeping it with their own personal resources. It has a tremendous potential. How can we turn this space into a vibrant local Community Space to attend and serve the local community instead of it turning into another house? Please help this cause.