Helping vulnerable people and keeping your parks open

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A message from Lambeth Council Leader Cllr Jack Hopkins

Dear resident,

As we approach the Bank Holiday Weekend, I wanted to thank you for continuing to observe the social distancing rules that the government as introduced in order to stop the spread of coronavirus and save lives.

Delivering food and supplies for vulnerable people

Today I had the pleasure of spending the morning volunteering at our Community Hub in Brixton, packing food parcels for the most vulnerable people living in Lambeth who are not able to leave their houses to get food themselves. The packages we have put together through the help of our partners in the voluntary and community sector and local businesses include fresh fruit and vegetables, dried goods and essential household items like soap and hygiene products. In lots of other places fresh food has not been provided, certainly not by the Government, but here in Lambeth we want to keep people healthy as well as fed.

Seeing this effort, led by some amazing volunteers, organised by the council and Healthy Living Platform made me incredibly proud to represent our fantastic borough.

Jack Hopkins at Brixton Rec

Lambeth was one of the first London councils to set up our community hub, and I’m delighted that we’ve already delivered more than 2000 food packages to people in need as well as provide 400 parcels to Southwark and support Lewisham with access to the supply chains we have established. We’ve been able to do so because as a council we already had an excellent relationship with our local voluntary sector and some crucial partnerships and networks, and we haven’t had to rely on what central government has been able to provide.  

In addition to getting food packages to those in need, we have been operating a helpline for vulnerable people. To date the helpline has been used by more than 5,500 people to get support and advice from the council about the coronavirus pandemic. The helpline number is 020 7926 2999 and is open every day from 8:00am to 8:00pm.

Help us to keep your parks open

Lambeth has some of the most beautiful parks in London, offering stunning views, plants, wildlife and tranquillity – all of which are so important for our wellbeing at this difficult time. Our parks are rightly treasured by many people in the borough, especially when we have good weather. But last weekend, we had to make the extremely difficult decision to close Brockwell Park because too many people were not following the clear rules.

This wasn’t easy – and there have been strongly held views expressed by many residents. But I’ve been heartened that most people have recognised that our overwhelming priority is rightly to help save lives by ensuring social distancing.  

The guidance is clear: you should only be using parks for your daily exercise, and you should be observing social distancing. Brockwell Park is open – and we want to keep it open. We are increasing our enforcement, have increased signs and information in parks and are doing everything possible to ensure we can keep all of our parks and green spaces open for those who are reliant on them.

But we need all Lambeth residents to play their part. These parks are vital for many people who do not have a garden or outside space. We need you to keep Lambeth’s parks open by staying at home. Together, we can save lives and protect our NHS.

Cllr hopkins

Cllr Jack Hopkins

Leader of Lambeth Council

P.S Tonight at 8pm we will once again #ClapForOurCarers to show our appreciation for the amazing work they are doing to keep us safe through this crisis. Please do join us in clapping this evening – and as well as clapping, we'll be lighting up the Town Hall in blue as a symbol of our gratitude to our key workers.