During the Borough Conference, delegates worked together to discuss four key themes - housing, families, mental health and climate change. Find out more about the ideas they shared and the big challenges that came out of each workshop.

In each of the four workshops, delegates worked together to:

  • understand the challenge and borough goals
  • hear from and connect with a range of organisations working in Lambeth
  • identify what needs to change and the contribution organisations in Lambeth can make towards this goal

The recommendations will be discussed with members of the Lambeth First Partnership Board and Lambeth Council, alongside engagement with wider partners and residents. It will inform shared decisions, activities and plans for achieving the borough goals, with a focus on the goals explored through the workshops. Read the thematic report.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Housing and strong communities

Workshop 1: More than bricks and mortar – how can we increase housing and build strong communities?

Context and workshop overview

Lambeth is a growing borough, with a changing population. Like all London boroughs, Lambeth needs to increase the amount of housing available to address the housing crisis. However, at the same time, we need to ensure that housing meets the needs of the population as housing is not just important in its own right - the quality and responsiveness of housing to people’s needs is an integral factor in peoples’ health and wellbeing, their economic circumstances and opportunities, and their social networks.

This workshop sought to explore how increasing housing can also build strong communities.

Speakers and presenters

Workshop hosts: Councillor Paul Gadsby and Councillor Matthew Bennet

Strategic context setting: Eleanor Purser, Strategic Director for Sustainable Growth and Opportunity, Lambeth Council

Presenters: High Trees Community Trust, Metropolitan Thames Valley, Work Wise, Homes for Lambeth

Workshop themes and ideas generated

1. Housing at the heart of community

  • Link housing strategy/ development plans with health initiatives eg. Lambeth Together
  • Make more links between housing development and employment/ low wage interventions
  • Create a shared definition of community impact/ social value

2. Housing which is responsive to need

  • Understand the wide range of needs of the specific residents you are working with – whether that be relating to caring responsibilities, health requirements or language barriers

  • Meaningfully involve (i.e. beyond traditional consultation) a range of people in designing homes, particularly those with specific needs so it’s right for them first time

  • Create opportunities for more local decision making by residents on issues that affect them

3. Affordability and availability of housing

  • Develop a clear and fair definition and calculation for affordable or social rent

  • Communicate the ways in which housing revenue and section 106 money is feeding back into the borough

  • Broaden the mix of housing available, for example increasing the amount of temporary accommodation and shared ownership properties, and restricting Right to Buy

4. Getting the basics right

  • Ensure housing providers (both public and private) use good quality of contractors

  • Respond early with maintenance as poor housing has a knock-on effect on mental health

  • Always aim to refurbish rather than rebuild and decant residents

2. Supporting our families and young people

Workshop 2: It takes a village to raise a child – what role can all play in fostering resilience in our families, neighbourhoods and borough?

Context and workshop overview

The ability of an individual to identify and connect to the appropriate resources needed to navigate, withstand and recover from challenging situations is an important part of developing and maintaining resilience. While we know that the energy and expertise of our diverse communities are a source of major strength, we recognise that some residents – notably our young people are often denied opportunities and trapped in cycles which are counterproductive to their success and making use of available resources.

This workshop sought to further explore what resilience looks like, and the role we can play in realising this for young people in Lambeth.

Speakers and presenters

Workshop host: Councillor Jim Dickson

Presenters: Lambeth Council’s Early Help team, Lambeth Made, Iconic Steps, Ebony Horse Club

Workshop themes and ideas generated

1. Understanding what resilience is

  • Individual and community resilience alongside the funding and delivery of services that support local people

  • Understand that resilience is integral to young people’s lives and developed early on through the teaching of social skills, responsibility and listening to them in group and community discussions

  • Recognise that resilience is also intrinsically linked to having dealt with hardships

  • Create more opportunities for connection at all levels – for young people, for services, across organisations and sectors

2. Understanding what resilience is not

  • Maintain the funding and delivery of services that support local people alongside the development of individual and community resilience

  • Understand that resilience is a quality that is continually developed and involves the maximisation of one’s potential at any given time

3. Achieving resilience in Lambeth

  • Champion individual and community resilience alongside the funding and delivery of services that support local people

  • Educate people and connect them to good role models so that they have the skills, determination and confidence to change their own lives

  • Encourage the continued development of an individual’s potential and not just the achievement of a ‘bare minimum’ target

  • Provide communities with good housing and adequate financial support, so that they have the right conditions to survive and thrive

  • Work with other local authorities, share knowledge and celebrate positive outcomes

  • Review the council’s definition of resilience to ensure that it is relevant

3. Better wellbeing and mental health

Workshop 3: It's time to change - what can we do to support better wellbeing and mental health in Lambeth?

Context and workshop overview

Lambeth remains one of the most deprived areas of the country and this brings significant challenges in health, but for some residents, poor health outcomes are more prevalent.1 Research shows that there are strong determinants for mental ill-health, and that people from Black backgrounds are more likely to experience risk factors associated with health inequalities, such as exclusion from school, being a looked after child, contact with the youth justice system, poverty and homelessness. A holistic approach must be taken to tackling mental ill health in across the borough.

This workshop sought to explore mental health and wellbeing inequalities, possible interventions and ways of increasing mental health literacy across the borough.

Speakers and presenters

Workshop hosts: Councillor Ed Davie

Presenters: Time to Change, Brockwell Park Community Green Houses, Project Smith, Mosaic Clubhouse

Workshop themes and ideas generated

1. Improving employer awareness

  • Develop suitable jobs for people with poor mental health

  • Incentivise employers to consider hiring people with a wide range of support needs

  • Provide workshops which encourage employees to channel their grief into power

  • Involve individuals with mental health issues in the delivery of workplace support

2. Allowing the community to lead change

  • Facilitate local solutions to employment and mental health issues
  • Let local people to have a say in how public money is spent i.e. participatory budgeting
  • Offer spaces for the community to collaborate and produce their own initiatives

3. Connecting people to local resources

  • Continue to provide quality training for Community Connectors

  • Enable those with mental health issues to access local resources more easily e.g. through dedicated Community Connectors or via a more visible and centralised help database

4. Thinking beyond the focus of the service

  • Understand that the challenges that people face are often interconnected

  • Embed mental health awareness into customer services training across a range of sectors

  • Ensure mental health care professionals are diverse and relatable

5. Being explicit about tackling inequality

  • Assess how mental health inequality is being tackled and identify service improvements

  • Involve people with mental health issues in the assessment of services

  • Facilitate honest conversations about mental health amongst seniors within the borough

4. The climate emergency

Workshop 4: Lambeth has declared a climate emergency – how can it become a zero-carbon borough?

Context and workshop overview

Tackling climate change and ending our contribution to the UK’s carbon footprint is not only the right and essential thing to do for our planet, but it is also essential to ensure that we reduce inequality in Lambeth. We know that our more disadvantaged communities are hit disproportionately harder by climate change through fuel poverty because of rising utility prices, increasing food prices as crops fail, or from prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures, amongst other things and therefore, a joint effort is required as everyone has a role in bringing about change – we must work together to tackle climate change.

This workshop sought to explore how Lambeth can tackle climate change and its negative impacts across communities.

Speakers and presenters

Workshop hosts: Councillor Claire Holland

Presenters: Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood, Kings College London Sustainability Team, RePowering Brixton, Transition Towns

Workshop themes and ideas generated

1. Changing behaviour through education

  • Organise and equip volunteers with the resources needed to educate residents ‘on the doorstep’

  • Centralise information on climate change to promote community involvement and buy-in e.g. information at libraries or educational self-assessment tools

  • Celebrate successful community initiatives more widely to influence individual behaviour

  • Devise a range of behaviour change initiatives e.g. encouraging car sharing, promoting increased use of public transport, advertising ‘greener’ food products

2. Making changes to local infrastructure

  • Implement more diverse sources of energy across the borough

  • Provide more green parking spaces, recycling and composting facilities

  • Introduce more ‘green screens’ around the borough

  • Support more environmentally friendly modes of transport and movement e.g. clean-air buses, cycling and walking

3. Prioritising the climate emergency

  • Identify the biggest source of pollution and carbon emissions in the borough and use this information to inform strategies

  • Consider how local supply chains and assets can be used more effectively

  • Share data, knowledge and successes regarding carbon reduction

4. Exchanging ideas and learning what works

  • Connect organisations across various sectors to ensure best practice and ideas are shared

  • Allow people, local authorities and organisations to co-produce and co-design solutions to climate-related problems