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Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project (BUCFP) Registered Charity Number 1069236 6 Tilbury Place, Brighton, BN2 0GY Contact us on (01273) 671213 / 601211 or visit We are open Monday - Friday 10am - 4pm (evenings & weekends for classes & room bookings)

Here are some Useful Numbers and Help lines for you… Samaritans 01273 772277 MIND 01273 749600 Alcoholics Anonymous 0845 7697555 Survivors Network 01273 203380 Shelter 01273 234737 St Patrick’s Homeless Hostel 01273 733151 Citizens Advice Bureau 0845 120 3710 Cocaine Anonymous 08006 120225 HIV & AIDS Helpline 01202 311166 Missing Persons Helpline 0500 700700 Independent Mediation Service 01273 700812 Women’s Refuge Project 01273 622822 Victim Support 01273 234009 National Debt line 0808 808 4000

DISCLAIMER The opinions of OUR VOICE magazine are of individual contributors and not necessarily those of the (BUCFP) Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project

Cafe: (A vegan meal is served at 1pm on weekdays. £1.50 adult, 60p for small/kids portion) Welfare Rights: 676171 (10.30am - 1 & 2 - 4pm) It is run on a first come first served basis. Book in at Reception for the next free time. Family Support: 671213 (Joy) Computer & Internet Access (When courses are not in session) 35p an hour.

Printed with the charming help of the Resource Centre


We are celebrating our 30th anniversary this year and in our next edition we will tell you about the history of the centre. In this edition you will find a history of this magazine. A big thank you to David Cuthbertson, David Allen and Peter Williams, who stood down as trustees at the beginning of November and welcome to Siobhan Justice who was selected as a new trustee.


Where is Tilbury Place?

Last year Lucy Brown ran a series of Life Photography Class es at the Centre. She teaches photographic skills, portraiture, lighting, editing and composition. She got a group of people with little or no photographic skills to make a film of people in Tilbury Place. It was shot in the Centre, in Tarner Park and our allotment off Whitehawk Hill Road, with its fabulous views over the city rooftops to the sea. With camera operator, lighting operator and a couple of interviewers, they talked to adults and children, sometimes singly, sometimes in groups; they asked questions about what the Centre meant to them. They seemed to have the knack of relaxing the interviewees, because most of them seemed very at ease with the camera. A lot of people thoroughly enjoyed their time in front of the lens. Here are few answers which reflect what many of us feel about Tilbury Place; “I have made many friends here. It stimulates me. They help people. I can relax here. It is a very tolerant place. It makes me feel I belong to somewhere. It makes me feel good. They give everyone the benefit of the doubt. The Art Group is like a family.” Some people were asked to draw a piece of paper out of a box and talk about the subject written on it. There were some clever and challenging questions such as; How can you tell when a blackberry is ripe? Why are crickets so hard to catch? What is the colour of moonlight? What is your favourite colour? Some children were having a great time with their questions, discussing them with other and laughing at their answers.

The filmmakers themselves had the chance to go before the camera. Here a few of their comments. It’s given me new skills. When we show the film it will demonstrate what the Centre does. This will benefit potential users and let them find out what help they can get. Lucy was very positive and gave us the confidence to believe that we could do it. This is the only place I feel comfortable even when my mind is in trouble. I really loved filming at the allotment.

Beginners with a desire to achieve something The edited film which ran for 12 minutes was shown in public for three consecutive weekends at the old Co-op store in London Road in October as part of a very big photographic exhibition which attracted a lot of people. It ran on a continuous loop so you could see it any time you wanted. The area that we had had lots of pictures and information about the Centre and the whole operation ran very smoothly. The week after it closed the film was shown again in the Centre. It was thoroughly entertaining and showed what can be done by beginners with a desire to achieve something backed by positive teaching. The camera/sound/direction/production team were: Nahida Ahad, Trevor Blackman, Richard Channer, Jantien Hebbes, Usha Sewchurn, Darren Shevlin, Janine Towsend, Bryan Drffill, Lu Wade, Nathan. Production support from Tony Finch. Editor was Peter Kalen. (He gave very generously of his time.) Project Facilitator was Lucy Brown. Richard Ince

Malcolm Williams In Memorium In the last edition we asked for any memories of Malcolm and here are a few of your replies. Being trained by Malcolm as an Office volunteer banished any first day nerves I may have had by imploring a female caller on the phone to “Go slowly love, I’m a man” Priceless. Godspeed. Kathy When my wife died last year, Malcolm many times walked a two and a half mile round trip to sit with me in the evenings. At the lowest time of my life he was a real saviour. I will always remember this. Richard

Anarchism and Education At least 50 people braved the cold weather on Monday night 24th Jan 11 for the Cowley Club bookshop talk on Anarchism and Education by Dr Judith Suissa (Senior lecturer in the philosophy of education at the Institute of Education). Dr Suissa is a leading British authority on the distinct tradition of anarchist educational practice, having published ‘Anarchism and Education: A Philosophical Perspective.

Is this an opportunity for parents to set up new anarchist schools The discussion that followed on the current government’s encouragement of ‘free schools’ being set up by parents to offer alternatives to state schools: is this an opportunity for parents to set up new anarchist schools (and it was noted that there is a complete absence of existing anarchist schools in the UK) or will the funding restrictions, Ofsted regulation and neo-liberal ideological mania of the ConDem coalition inescapably lead to purely middle-class, right-wing exam-factory free schools? Dr

Suissa was open-minded, the audience more sceptical. Could a free anarchist school be set up by a group of parents in Brighton? Should workers, trustees, volunteers at BUCFP begin examining the possibility of helping such a group? Personally, I found the final arguments of Dr Suissa very compelling: we need to challenge the set of neo-liberal values that children are being forced to accept as if they were necessary truths. As if more and more qualifications will lead to more and more access to higher education and more and more fulfilling jobs, when none of that is true: corporations move work offshore and a million under 25 year olds are unemployed and the fees for attending university rocket. Peter Sutcliffe The Cowley Club is a libertarian social centre based at 12 London Road, Brighton. It houses a cafe and bookshop during the day, a members’ bar during the evenings; it also has a library and is a base for a variety of other projects. The Bookshop is running a series of talks open to all: details of these, and other events, can be found at or by calling 01273 696104.

Annual General Meeting: 2nd November Chairman’s Report David Cuthbertson presented the Annual Report. (You can get a copy in the Office to see the details of the great achievements during the last year.) Here are just a few; The extension of the playroom, with an outside play terrace, new toilets including one dedicated to children, and one for disabled people. This is Phase 1 of the plan for better access. Phase 2 includes putting in a lift which would give access to the main area from both Tilbury Place and Tarner Park. This will depend on our success in getting funding. • • • •

A huge range of activities, events and outings for children and adults. Development of the allotment and huge increase in volunteers. 5-Year Development Plan Home Visiting Service.

Treasurers Report Matt Armstrong gave the Financial Report. We had a good year with an important grant from the Hardship Fund. This has enabled us to improve the services we offer and plan for both replacing capital items and for unexpected problems. Trustees David Cuthbertson, David Allen and Peter Williams are standing down. Michelle Harding, Richard Connolly and Matt Armstrong were re-elected. Siobhan Justice was selected as a new trustee. Centre name change Our long-standing problem is now resolved. The meeting were asked to vote for one of the following. a. Keep the same name and do nothing else. b. Start the process from scratch again, to try to get 75% approval of all members. c. Keep the existing name, but design a logo and improve the design of our publicity and the letterhead. The vote was for choice ‘C’.

The Centre


The Centre I call it, but officially B.U.C.F.P. was very welcoming to me. When I first came I was recently separated, and now am widowed. I have found friends, done voluntary work, improvisation classes for a time, art on Thursdays continues when my life style permits, and if not Tony is always there. There’s always someone to turn to for support, a hot vegan meal if I’m in the area, and when my daughter and I turn out our stuff, I know it will be appreciated. Qigong classes have given me stability and help me cope through hard times, and now there’s the Fringe Festival to think about Past, Present, and Future, The Centre encapsulates all that.

Richard Ince

Alanna M McIntyre

Conflict Resolution Skills Workshops, which will cover communication, negotiation and resolution skills. We have sessions that we are able to offer to community members or groups/tenants and residents associations. Look out for our flyers with upcoming dates

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding” Albert Einstein

So if you think your group may be interested and you would like more information call Alice on 01273 700812 or email:

What a great Secret Santa! A £25000 donation was not bad for a day in May. You have probably seen and spoken to the researchers from iwc media’s Rebecca and Louisa. Maybe you also had to sign a consent form and have your picture taken with it. Under the working title ‘DOWN BUT NOT OUT’ the crew has been cropping up on various days doing research at first and then shooting for a documentary that they were producing for Channel 4 To everyone’s surprise and gob smacked amazement it turned out that a new volunteer was actually the star of the well known TV show. It was broadcast in November last year. The donation was divided up in various ways that is shown on a wall poster in the Main Area. Everyone is very grateful and appreciative of the support. articles/interview-with-bradley-reback Ellie, Joy and Brad looking over the Rough Sleepers Guide


Issue #1 Oct 2005 Once upon a time the centre had a magazine that had to be closed down by the trustee’s because it turned into a forum for people who enjoyed attacking each publicly. The 2005 edition was compiled by people in the creative writing group; it was a mixture of poems, humour and articles by and about people and the functions within the centre.

Issue #3 Autumn 2006 (Sanctuary) Sanjay Kumar came to Britain from India at an early age and speaking only a few words of English. He writes here with great love of the teachers and friends in his primary school in rye.

A history of Our Voice Magazine Issue #2 July 2006 This edition reported on an important day 19th April 2006 when the Centre voted for an outright ban on smoking in the building. I remember we were excited about contributing to Our Voice and started writing pieces for it at once. A diversity of prose and poetry began to amass. But how could we decide which work to choose? One favourite piece of our own each, the one we most wanted to see included. I am impressed all over again by the quality and variety of the material produced. Valerie Mainstone. Issue #4 Christmas 2006 Lyn strong came to the centre having broken up with the father of her 1 year old son and felt 5 years later as a chairman of the trustees. She wrote how the centre nurtured her through the stressful times and enabled her to gain a place for a degree in community development.

Issue #6 Spring 2008 The cover story of this edition was ‘Salt & Vinegar with that?’ Prose and poetry, stories of their lives written by centre users and volunteers. These ranged from the agony of a child waiting for their angel delight to set to the adult agony of an implanted pregnancy.

Issue #7 Autumn 2010 Caroline Lucas, the first Green Party candidate elected to a constituency (Brighton Pavilion) in England and her motivations weighed heavily in the issue. I was passionate and driven to help revamp Our Voice and get this issue to print and distributed around Brighton and Hove. 300 Copies! Malcolm Cook

Issue #8 30 Years (81 -11) Our anniversary year begins with the Magazines first timeline; showing the history and back catalogue of Our Voice. Highlighting the first organised ‘Rights to roam’ protest and start of the National Parks and Public Footpaths system. Now the regular features and sections properly begin to establish themselves; News, Allotment, Useful Numbers, Puzzles etc.

7 One day in 1932 some people got together and went out for a walk and changed England forever... The Peak District is the spiritual home of opening up the countryside to all people, in 1932, 400 or so working people from Manchester and Sheffield walked on private moorlands in the ‘Mass Trespass at Kinder Scout’, all led by a young Mechanic from Manchester called Benny Rothman.

The Centre’s allotment project is steaming ahead. In recent weeks we have plotted and begun to terrace a large area, we have weeded around the whole of our baby Elaegnus hedge line and we have dug up and ‘relocated’ tonnes of good quality topsoil from the traffic island in the site car park. Believe it or not we have also still been cropping kale, herbs, salad and fennel.

Then, as now, some people thought there was nothing they could do about it, so why worry..? While others took a different perspective and stood for the their freedom and the public opinion, they were upstanding not bystanding citizens. Although the actual trepass was all of 50 yards off the footpath and about 100 yards long and according to a Gamekeepers recall they shouted and cheered a bit, turned around and went home.

We also plan to make some new paths and steps, more terraces and a new shelter over the winter period. If you are not at all green fingered but enjoy jobs like this let Emily know. Food and hot drinks provided to anyone who comes along. Keep any eye on the Food Project noticeboard in the main area for dates. We have a Soltice and Equinox Social for all Food Project volunteers, workers and anyone interested in finding out a bit more about the project. If you have been considering coming up but aren’t sure, come along and sit round the fire, have some hot food and chat to current volunteers. Anyone who has been on site will tell you it’s worth the effort for the views alone and the days are getting longer again. Emily

John the Centre’s Grower ponders; All you need to grow...’

This has become one of the most rewarding examples of popular protest in 20th Century Britain and the trespassers are regarded as heroes by Britain’s large population of “ramblers”. who broke the law and were prepared to risk prison so you can walk in the Peak District, along Public Footpaths, through National Parks and Nature Reserves freely today. Our National Parks by John Muir, Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into the trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like leaves of autumn.



Our Voice Spring  

The spring of the Brighton Unemployed Centres Magazine; Our Voice.