The South Londoner - February 2022

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SOUTH LONDonER March 2022

Issue 11

Queer as old folk Behind the scenes at the UK’s first LGBT+ retirement community in Vauxhall

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About us ― We’ve been based in the old Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey since 1994. We are proud to be a London Living Wage employer. Our flagship publication, the Southwark News launched in 1987 and is now London’s only independent, paid for newspaper. We also publish the Greenwich and Lewisham Weekender every week.



Contents ―

We created the Bermondsey Biscuit and Rotherhithe Docker in 2018 with support from sponsors including Sellar, Grosvenor, British Land, and many more local businesses.


We use 100% recovered paper from the Ortviken papermill in Sweden, a green energy provider who use biofuel instead of oil and provide heat for 10,000 single family homes.

Arts & Entertainment:

Crystal Palace Film Festival & the opening of Brixton House

10- 11 Local Faces: The UK’s first LGBT+ retirement community in Vauxhall


Laura Burgoine

Deputy Editor

Cara Cummings


Lizzy Tweedale, Dan Martin, Aurelio Medina


Tammy Jukes, Clarry Frewin, Sophie Ali, Katie Boyd

Media Partnerships

Anthony Phillips


Emrah Zeki

Managing Directors

Chris Mullany and Kevin Quinn

16-17 Food and Drink The secrets behind one of Gipsy Hill’s oldest Indian restaurants


Iconic interiors on show as Midcentury Modern returns to Dulwich College


31-33 Wellbeing Meet the love psychologist of Forest Hill & Dulwich acupuncturist’s guide to eating and living well

Contact us ― Email



020 7231 5258 @southlondonmag




Locally Sourced Eco-friendly vegan cleaning products from



38 The Last Word The owner of Crystal Palace’s Paxton Centre shares her tips on furniture hunting and where to find the best hot chocolate in the ‘triangle’

Printed by Ilif fe Print Published by Southwark Newspaper Ltd




THE SOUTHWARK BUSINESS EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2022 L AU N C H E S O N T H U R S D AY 3 M A RC H 2 0 2 2 , 6 P M - 8 P M Businesses from across the borough of Southwark are invited to the launch of the Southwark Business Excellence Awards to celebrate the successes and achievements of the borough’s large and vibrant business community.

To join us on Thursday 3rd March at our free-to-attend launch event, from 6pm-8pm, at the LSBU Business School, scan the QR code to RSVP.


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mARCH 2022

arts and entertainment

Crystal Palace in reel time ― By Cara Cummings


ovie lovers, rejoice! The Crystal Palace International Film Festival (CPIFF) is back. This year’s programme boasts a line up of incredibly high quality films from across the globe. Many hours go into curating the content and only the very best films submitted are screened. Each night offers a perfect mix of films, with amazing food in awesome venues. The CPIFF Awards at West Norwood Picturehouse (26 March) is always a glamorous affair. Following in the footsteps of comedians Johnny Vegas, Mark Steel and Kerry Godliman, the festival has Shappi Khorsandi presenting this year’s Awards. EMI Records sponsor the award for Best Music Video. The festival runs for 16 nights with screenings held at the luxurious Everyman Cinema Crystal Palace and the fabulous PictureHouse West Norwood. To add to the vibe, lots of filmmakers fly in from

First curtain call for Brixton House Theatre


he theatre formerly known as the Ovalhouse in Kennington has opened as a brand new arts venue, Brixton House, on Coldharbour Lane. Launching with two international shows and a taster programme of activities on March 5, the venue will open all areas including its café, bar and hire studios. Brixton House’s first season under the new Artistic Directorship of Gbolahan Obisesan will include Mugabe, My Dad and Me, an English Touring Theatre, Brixton House and York Theatre Royal co-production in association with Alison Holder, written and performed by Tonderai Munyevu, before it goes on a national tour in 2022. Brixton House boasts an eclectic programme of events comprising of theatre, cabaret, comedy, dance, and film. It also features a curated season of work for families and young people including Butterflies presented by Tangled Feet and Half Moon, Aidy the Awesome by Gramophones Theatre company,

Sound Symphony by Oily Cart and Independent Arts Projects, Kid X by MHZ in association with Feral Presents, Rush: a Joyous Jamaican journey by The Rush Theatre Company and Black Voices: Celebrating Aretha Franklin. The theatre’s Artistic Director Gbolahan Obisesan says: “We want to attract, support, and inspire new artistic experiences that will develop our community solidarity and passion for social change in society. With this opening season, we focus on our Family Ties, because ours is a home where we acknowledge we are all connected and bound by our love of art and artists, propelled by our spirit of togetherness, whilst giving space to showcasing our creative bond and appreciation of human experiences.” Visit Brixton House at 385 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8GL. Phone: 020 7582 0080.


all over the world, hold fascinating Q&As and engage with guests. The festival has received glowing praise from Simpsons writer Mike Reiss, who said: "You run the very best film festival we've ever been to - and we've been to a lot!" 2022 sees many World, European, UK and London Premieres. Every evening is a cultural and social night to remember, so join CPIFF once again for one of the coolest events of the year. On top of all this, CPIFF finds young London filmmakers, gets them screened and into paid work experience that has led to full time employment. Watch this video to hear from this young talent. The 2022 full programme is now online. Tickets for some nights are already sold out, so book early on the website: Crystal Palace International Film Festival runs from February 24-March 26.

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Meet new friends. Make new memories. All in a place you can truly feel at home. Get in touch to arrange a tea or coffee and a look around Tonic@Bankhouse, located in the heart of Vauxhall. • fully accessible, street to front door • optional on-site care and support • beautiful community spaces, including our rooftop garden Prices of our older persons shared ownership homes start from £133,750 for 25% of a onebedroom apartment, up to £592,500 for 75% of a two-bedroom apartment. Other charges apply.

“With Tonic, I feel like I belong”

Live with us in the UK’s first LGBT+ affirming retirement community.

For more information or to arrange a viewing: Or call 0207 971 1091


Upcoming open days

Brand new for September 2022, we are introducing a Finance pathway in addition to our Health and Engineering pathways. Find out more at our upcoming open events.



Thursday, March 17th 6 pm via Zoom

Saturday, March 26th 10 am at South Bank UTC

Sign up on our website to get a link

56 Brixton Hill, London, SW2 1QS

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local faces

Just the tonic ― Interview by Cara Cummings

p ©Tim Boddy

Tell us about Tonic’s mission as an organisation.

It’s LGBT History Month - and in Vauxhall, history continues to be made with the launch of Tonic@Bankhouse, the UK’s first LGBT+ retirement community. Anna Kear, CEO of Tonic Housing Association, shares the inside story.

Tonic is a community-led not for profit housing association. Tonic is focused on creating vibrant and inclusive urban LGBT+ affirming retirement communities in the UK, where people can share common experiences, find mutual support and enjoy their later life. Tonic@Bankhouse is our very first scheme which officially opened last September in Vauxhall, London. Congratulations on the Tonic@Bankhouse launch! How does it feel to see your vision come to life? It’s been a long process. Tonic started as an idea in 2014; it’s taken a lot of hard work to get to where we are today. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day of it all, whether that’s legal papers, administration or sorting out bills, but the moment you speak to someone who knows that Tonic is the place for them - that’s just incredible. Each conversation with a new or prospective resident reaffirms exactly why we’re doing this. What makes Tonic@Bankhouse so special? We’re the very first LGBT+ affirming retirement in the UK, which is a really historic moment for both the LGBT+ community and the housing sector. It shows what’s possible - we’re proof that it can be done with the right support.

p ©Tim Boddy

We’re community led, which means putting our residents at the very centre of everything we do, and making sure they are supported and safe in their homes. Just this week we had an event to unveil new


artworks that residents had voted on to brighten up communal spaces and add that LGBT+ affirming sparkle. What can people expect from life within a Tonic community? Community is at the very core of what we do. Older LGBT+ people can be more isolated than their hetrosexual peers, sometimes because of lack of family or children, or lack of places to meet, so it’s about creating a space for people to come together and exist happily, without fear of judgement or prejudice. We already have proposals from residents about setting up a book club, a gardening club for the roof garden and more, as well as our already established monthly movie club. There’s also the security of having a team on-site, should you need it. The whole building is fully wheelchair accessible. Each apartment is equipped for independent living, but should the time come where some extra support is needed, that’s right there too. Tell us about why Tonic Housing is so necessary. There are many who ask why Tonic is necessary and they are usually, but not exclusively, straight and/or younger. It’s about having somewhere to feel safe, supported and at home. Nobody should have to go back into the closet if they need to access care or support, which sadly is a common story. Tonic has a strong advocacy role in our work so we aim to educate people on the issues, but we do ask for kindness in return. Not everyone has the privileges you may have and we should be kind, thankful and generous to those who fought for the privileges that

local faces

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we now have. Getting older happens to us all; our bodies and minds can become frailer, but we are not defined by it. We are the person we have always been and we should respect and treat people as we would like to be treated. What kind of impact can life in a Tonic community have on residents – and indeed the wider community? We know from speaking to our new and prospective residents just how important having support and a like-minded community around them is. This combination can have a significant impact on a person's wellbeing and mental health, so on an individual basis that’s where Tonic can help. In terms of the wider community, I think it gives people hope. Tonic@Bankhouse shows that there is a way to create affordable housing, that looks good and is high quality for our community, and that we should expect this level of product wherever we go. Many people don’t think about their later years until much closer to the time, but we’ve had such a massive response from younger LGBT+ people who are already asking to be added to the waiting list that it shows this is something that needs to - and will - continue to grow.

their vision sooner and with less barriers. We want to show the world what older LGBT+ community living looks like and change perceptions on ageing being a sad and lonely experience. We are currently applying to become a Registered Provider of Social Housing, so that we can provide affordable rented homes in future as well as other tenures. If we are successful Tonic will become the first LGBT+ Registered Housing Provider. I will be extremely proud when we achieve that. … and for you? It’s not really about me. I’m just a facilitator using the skills I’ve learned over many years working in housing to benefit my community. I will be retiring within the next five years to go travelling in my camper van and handing over the operational reins at Tonic to someone else. That’s the beauty of community-led housing - it's never just one person, it takes a village!

p ©Tonic Housing

You’ve had an impressive career at the forefront of community-led housing. Why is housing so important to you – and what are some of your career highlights? Housing is so much more than bricks and mortar. We just have to think about what home means to us. We all need a place to call home, to feel safe, to belong. It's the centre of our happiness and wellbeing. I often recall our first Council House when I was a child moving to another side of the country for my dad to find work. We had very little and our new neighbours rallied round to give us what furniture they could. I think that is where I learned to feel what community means. I’m fortunate to have many proud achievements in my career, meeting and working with so many amazing people. The ones that stand out personally are being able to build a new women’s refuge, helping to develop an affordable homes programme delivering 850 new homes a year, creating a community-led/people first approach to estate regeneration, being an ambassador for cohousing and developing a framework for supporting communityled housing groups. The icing on the cake is Tonic, and being part of creating the UK’s first LGBT+ retirement community. The best bit is going to Bankhouse regularly now and meeting with residents and seeing it all come to life - it's the people that make it. What’s next for Tonic? We are in discussions with a major landowner/ developer in London about our next project, though the financing of this is very much dependent upon the success and demand shown for our first scheme. Tonic would love to consider other UK opportunities, and we hope to have the capacity to do this in the near future. The dream is an amazing, vibrant LGBT+ community-led housing organisation that can enable many different local and diverse projects to achieve

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September Issue 8


Issue 7

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Peace + Riot - because flexible childcare is a need to have, not a nice to have


ere's a truth bomb for you: Flexible childcare is not a nice to have, it is a need to have!

That said, we know that finding flexible childcare in the U.K. is a never-ending mystery wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a massive bill. And in 2022 that really should not be the case. Yet, five mornings a week including 15hrs of Government funding comes to £543 a month and the National average for a day at nursery equating to £50 a day.

5. Credits are available in bundles via monthly or annual memberships. 6. Standard membership will get you 16 credits a month from £55 a month*- or in working parent terms 4 mornings or afternoons of working from home. 7. The Every Day, Any Day membership allows you 100 credits from £150 per month, equivalent to 16 mornings or afternoons per month as WFH days. 8. Onsite childcare is available for parents to work or socialise, whilst your children are being looked after by Peace Keepers; childcare professionals with DBS & first aid trained. 9. Based in West Dulwich, the space is ScandiIndustrial in design and packed with modern, educational and sensory toys, an outside garden and onsite kitchen for healthy meals. 10. For those all-important Zoom calls with our staff support you will be left in peace with a hot flat white ready & waiting, whilst also offering a gentle childcare service where your children are only ever one sticky hand hold away.

Peace + Riot Founder Caroline Newte Hardie, thought surely there must be another way to support the existing infrastructure, whilst also responding to the current cost of living crisis in the UK. The answer Caroline arrived at is Peace + Riot- a flexible childcare co-work + play space created for all parents, and built with those of us who work part time, remotely or as freelancers in mind who may up until now have found traditional childcare models prohibitively expensive. With their onsite childcare model Peace & Riot can reduce childcare costs by a minimum of £150 per month, so if you're interested, read on. Here are 10 things we think you should know about Peace + Riot. 1. Peace + Riot was founded by a mum, during the pandemic with all parents in mind 2. They are the only credits-based ad hoc flexible same day (if needed) childcare booking system in South East London or UK 3. One credit gives you thirty minutes of childcare. 4. You can book anything from 1 up to 7 credits at any one time.

If you'd like to book credits to fit in with your life head to where


you will receive 20% off your first credit membership. Or if you like what you see but it isn't quite right, for you yet, Peace + Riot will aim to a​ ccommodate a bespoke membership credit package for anything over 16 credits a month. As an example this may be tailored for an after school childcare package, or perhaps term time only. You can get in touch with Caroline and the team via Go forth and flex in a way that's right for you! *these prices are for one child families only, prices increase to £75 for standard membership for families of two children or more, and £199.95 for for families of two children or more on our Every Day, Any Day membership. 12 Croxted Roa_d, London SE21 8SP Phone: 020 8670 5013 Reservation:

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food & drink

Inside Passage to India ― By Cara Cummings

Abu Koiss runs Passage To India - one of south London’s most beloved Indian takeaway restaurants, and one of the oldest eateries in Gipsy Hill. He reveals the secret behind their famous garlic chilli chicken, and why good old-fashioned service is the key to a great meal.

How long have you been serving south Londoners?

How have your first two years in Gipsy Hill been?

I took over the business two years ago. Our restaurant has been open for 35 years, and it’s always been an Indian restaurant. I bought it from the landlord, who used to own the business, when he retired a couple of years back. This is my fourth Indian restaurant.

Initially it was tough. Lockdown was hard for people, but we have really good supportive locals who supported us during lockdown. It’s going well. I’m trying to build the business by looking after locals and always giving them good service. Some of our customers have been using the restaurant since it first opened three generations ago! Grandparents come in and tell me what the decor was like 35 years ago. It’s nice to support that local nostalgia. Some people move away, but they still call and ask if we’ll do a delivery. We’re still relatively new, but we already have a few customers we know very well. We know what our regulars like!

What’s your background in the food business? I had a couple of restaurants in Rotherhithe in the 1990s, until 2008. They were also Indian restaurants, and we were always fairly busy looking after locals. It was very local-community-focused. People in Rotherhithe are very nice and down to earth. We had a good time there. Then in 2008, when the financial crisis hit, I sold the business. It was hard, initially, but I was very lucky - I had somebody who was working with me who decided to buy it from me. I took a break and went into property, for about 5 years, before getting back into the food business.


What are your most popular dishes, and why? I’d have to say chicken tikka masala. That's one of our mild-ish favourites for locals. We do our own sauce, a special blend. Garlic chilli chicken is another favourite, with a fresh blend of spices made by our chefs. It’s

mARCH 2022

food & drink

one of our popular dishes because it has fresh garlic and green chillies, so it’s a really nice blend for people who like a little bit of spice. Especially if they like their garlic - there’s a lot of garlic in that dish! We even serve dried flakes of garlic on top. What’s your favourite dish on the menu? Our garlic chilli chicken! I created this dish so I particularly like it, along with our chicken chamaker, which is chicken and minced lamb with a special blend

“Some of our customers have been visiting the restaurant since it first opened three generations ago!”

that I use. I created that as well when I was briefly a chef. When you’re running a food business, you have to know all the elements of how it works. One of the perks is designing dishes that you’d like to eat yourself. Tell us a little about your chefs. All of my team are from Bangladesh. We are all Bangladeshi, apart from two delivery drivers. I came to this country in 1985. It’s been a long time. I live in Wapping, and I’ve lived there since ‘87. I’ve seen London change a lot - Wapping, for example, has become very nice now. Generally, London has improved - some places needed regeneration, so that’s only a good thing. What can customers expect from a Passage to India meal? We provide good service, cook fresh, and do deliveries on time. That’s what customers need:


good service and good food arriving when it’s supposed to. We’re all human beings - sometimes mistakes are made - so we also always try to deal with any problems nicely by apologising and rectifying the issue quickly. Finally: what’s your favourite south London eatery? There’s a restaurant in London Bridge called Shard. It’s a north Indian restaurant, which is more or less what I do, but I know the owner and we’re very friendly. When you go in there, you’re treated like a local with great food and service. When you go out, you just want to enjoy the atmosphere and the friendliness of staff. But most importantly, the food. A good restaurant needs to have all of it.


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ondon South Bank Technical College (LSBTC) opens in September and will deliver an innovative, workbased curriculum for the next generation of engineers, creatives and scientists. Based in Nine Elms, the first phase of exciting development will be completed over summer. The high-spec nine storey building will offer students Level 2 to 4 qualifications covering technology, construction, engineering, science and creative and digital industries, led by specialists in realistic work-based environments. This second phase will be completed in 2024 and will deliver health and life sciences, service industries, early years and education subject offers. Joint-funded by a £21 million grant from the Mayor of London’s Skills for Londoners Capital Fund, through the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), the new flagship College will transform how students learn, work and develop their careers. Collaborative partnerships with employers will drive the more vocational elements of the College’s offer including apprenticeships to ensure it reflects the skills required by local business. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “When I was re-elected I promised to make jobs, jobs, jobs a top priority for my second term as Mayor, as we do everything we can to help the capital recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s fantastic news that the first new technical college in the UK will be built right here in London – and I look forward to seeing students gain the skills they need to access good jobs in the future.”

Introducing London’s first new technical college for a generation ―

Visit their website for more information:


Introducing South Bank UTC’s new Finance pathway. The pandemic has taught us the importance of giving students the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. To give students the best start that they need in life, it is our duty as education providers to be adaptable in our approach and responsive to what is happening in the current climate. As a result, we are proud and excited to be introducing a Finance pathway at South Bank UTC. Our new pathway will be run in conjunction with our Health & Engineering pathways, and our Finance pathway will give students the knowledge and skills to enter the finance industry. We are currently working with external organisations to secure an employer sponsor for this new pathway. We are pleased to announce that students can select this pathway when applying for the UTC as of today. To find out more information about our new and exciting pathway, we are hosting two open events on Thursday, March 17th and Saturday, March 26th. To sign up for our open events or apply, head to

Call us on: 020 7738 6115 Email us at:

TIGERS CHILDCARE OPEN DAY! Saturday 12th March 1pm-4pm

Come join a day of fun at Tigers Childcare!

AFTER-SCHOOL CARE & HALF TERM CAMP SERVICES We will be catering for: St. John’s Walworth, Victory Primary School and English Martyrs RC Primary School.. School-age children, half term breaks and summer holidays, 9am-6pm.


3 Bodley Way, SE17 1FN SouthLondoner 250x300mm.indd 1

21/02/2022 09:05


Join us at our Clapham Campus - Find out about courses at Lambeth College and London South Bank Technical College *FREE courses available now for 16-18 year olds and adults 19+

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Our courses can help you develop your creativity or gain the skills and qualifications you need for work and further education. Find out about the wide variety of classroom based and online courses on offer at: Adult Learning Lewisham



mARCH 2022


Come join a day of fun at the Tigers Childcare Open Day on 12 March

Tigers Childcare, Ireland’s leading childcare operator, which opened its first centre in London in the heart of Elephant Park, is hosting an Open Day on 12 March. Parents in the local community can drop in and meet the team at Tigers, visit the nursery and take a look around the 7,000 sq ft space. The state-of-the-art space makes learning fun and memorable with its two partially covered play areas, sensory rooms, dedicated crawl spaces and sleeping pods. It offers full day care and pre-school provision from 4 months right up to school age children. Tigers is also launching an after school club and holiday camp services, which will be provided during half term and school holidays (excluding Christmas) from 9am to 6pm and kicks off with a camp for school age children during the Easter break. The after school club is available to children from St. John’s Walworth, Victory Primary School and English Martyrs’ RC Primary School.

Tigers are committed to quality education and care in stimulating and progressive environments and sets a benchmark for childcare provision in the UK by applying the same practices, procedures and ethos from its Irish centres, while following the EYFS curriculum. Every child Tigers is allocated a key person who is responsible for their developmental path. Parents receive daily updates and monthly learning stories on their child’s progress via their online communications tool, Child Paths, and a plan for the path ahead. For anyone looking to further their career in the area of child development, Tigers is holding a Recruitment Day at the nursery on 9 March. There are two time slots: 10am – 1pm and 5pm – 7pm. For more information visit 3 Bodley Way, SE17 1FN 020 3795 7685





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mARCH 2022

The design show of the midcentury


idcentury Modern is back at Dulwich College after a two year hiatus. The biannual show (with a sister show in Hackney) is a favourite of celebs including Andrew Garfield and Olivia Colman, architects and interior designers, with a feast of highly collectable midcentury, industrial furniture, smalls, posters and lighting, as well as stunning contemporary pieces. Head for the light and bright double height brutalist Christison hall then back to the cloisters. Chat to 85 top dealers and designers with large stands and prices ranging from £10 to £10,000. A host of fabulous designers are on site for the first show back post lockdown including regulars Design Bros, Baines and Fricker, Hopespring Chairs and Barnby Design with stunning furniture, contemporary jewellery from the fabulous Poppy Norton and Emily Kidson, beautiful leather goods from newbies Amstein and Yussico and The Regular. Also expect stylish lighting with


Nick Hammond, Herston, Woodsmith Works and John Hollington all in attendance plus textiles from the fabulous Tamasyn Gambell and Anne Davison Studio and of course fantastic midcentury finds from the fair’s brilliant vintage dealers. Find all you need for your home and more in one place. Midcentury Modern is on Sunday 13 March from 10am4pm at Dulwich College, SE21 7LD Advance discount tickets are online only with a free from 3pm option for people who want to pop along for the last hour (you need to book online too) or pay £11 on the door on the day. Advance tickets online only: £10 entry from 10am, 2 for £11 from 2pm. Free from 3pm On the day: £20 from 9am trade only, £11 from 10am.


Flu and COVID-19 can both be life-threatening and spread more easily in winter. Covid-19 boosters are now available to every adult in the country. If you’re 50+ you can have a free flu vaccine too.

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10/01/2022 12:56

SOUTH LONDonER SOUTH LONDonER thrilled to bits

SOUTH LONDonER January 2022

into venturing london bridge for experience season halloween

NDonbEig,R O L H T OU Think


0 er 202




Issue 7

raising her voice


Issue 10



former miss universe jamaica, apprentice contestant and proud local april jackson on new restaurant wood and water


shop s


September Issue 8

November 2021



er 202 1







e sea festiv ked unloc




South London Business Accountants


Our next edition is out 7th April contact us to get involved

WHAT’S ON 2022

Box office 020 8463 0100 • • FRI 18 MAR 7.30pm


SAT 19 MAR 11am 1.30pm & 4pm SUN 20 MAR 2pm


SUN 10 - THU 14 APR 10am-4pm



WED 30 MAR 8pm



A musical theatre experience West End A musical theatre course runrun bybyWest End professionals performed byby youyou. No audition professionals andand performed Sun 10th –just Thursa 14th April (inclusive) with a final performance necessary, love of singing and performance! on our Great Hall stage Suitable for all from 8 years+ Suitable for all from 8 years and above



SAT 30 APR 8pm

mARCH 2022


All the single ladies ― By Laura Burgoine


ooking for love? You’ve already got it, says Forest Hill love psychologist Nancy Elliot in her new book Single Girls Rehab. The psychotherapist, coach and author teaches people how to heal, harness self love and attract the partner of their dreams. With over 10 years' experience working with single women and listening to their relationship struggles, Nancy noticed that while every woman and her story was different, they all had one thing in common: they had childhood experiences that made them afraid to trust their worth and have the confidence to claim the healthy love they deserve. Without help these women might stay stuck. They cannot change these limiting beliefs alone. “Many of us are failing at love because we do not understand ourselves, our triggers plus the baggage we are bringing to the table,” Nancy says. “We are depending on our partners to give us love, joy, purpose and validation, when we do not know how to give these things to ourselves. “I hope to challenge assumptions about relationships by creating a paradigm shift around how we seek, perceive and understand each other, and love in this context. When it comes to love and relationships, it all starts with how your feel about yourself. It’s not just how you feel about the other person. That’s partly where we are going wrong.” True love should be sacred, redemptive and healing for the individuals, Nancy says. It shouldn’t be filled with insecurity, strife and worry. “Self love, self awareness and emotional intelligence

are the keys to a successful relationship. Without them our relationships are likely to be messy and confusing for all involved.” Starting her career as a runner working on film sets, the 49-year-old has worked for Ridley Scott during the making of films like Gladiator and Spy Game before going on to work for Working Title for six years and getting a Masters in screenwriting. An endless fascination with the hero’s journey has led Nancy to the work she does now. The coach very much learned first hand what she now teaches, after going through her own dark night of the soul. “As a little girl, I had so much fear. I always saw myself as the girl who wasn’t chosen. I felt my dad didn’t choose me; he wasn’t coming home to me because he was out having affairs. I internalised that and tried to make myself loveable; I became the ‘good’ girl who had to be the smartest, the best, the most compliant,” she says. “At 21, I had no tools when it came to relationships. I was constantly getting my heart broken and consistently running away from love. I followed the example modelled to me by my parents’ relationship: my dad’s infidelity and my mum’s long suffering. They did a wonderful job with what they had and I love them so much, but they were not emotionally equipped for relationships. “Healing is not about blame,” Nancy continues. “It’s about looking at what you’re left with and how you make this work best for you. I’m so fascinated by the unconscious.”

The psychotherapist believes we need to look at love as a skill that we must learn. “Love comes from this organic, spiritual place so we assume it just happens naturally and you just think you’ll know what to do. We get so shocked when we discover that’s not true,” Nancy says. “As a therapist it’s always been about tracking back to understanding where we are today." In her coaching, Nancy helps clients identify and visualise a desirable future and then work backwards to achieve it (as opposed to traditional psychotherapy which starts from the past and works towards the present). “I do therapy differently,” she admits. “I’ll take a bit of everything that’s out there. Psychoanalysis originated in Europe, but there are so many modes of healing the psyche from all over the world. Especially ancient tribes and cultures that have profound wisdom on healing trauma and human hurts. I am open to a mix of different cultures and experiences to help inform the way I work. Therapy is not one size fits all. You’ve got to be resourceful to make it magical and transformative for the client. “Traditional psychotherapy traces back to the childhood to find healing for the patient. Today we have learned from other cultures such as indigenous South American and African tribes, that it’s not as helpful as we once thought to keep going back and analysing the past; we can actually re-traumatise ourselves that way. “We don’t want to surgically remove your humanness. I’m here to say there’s nothing wrong with you! It’s just these consolidations from childhood that remain inside and need dissolving by using embodiment practices,


such as mindfulness, meditation even prayer!” Nancy continues. “Are you finding a way to honour what you want and are you not hurting others? That’s really all you have to do. “You’re a co-creator with the universe and that’s how we can use the Law of Attraction and intuition because you’re going to have a future that’s unlike anything you’ve had before, so it doesn’t help you to work from the past,” Nancy says. “Our journey is never ending but it doesn’t have to take 100 years! You can learn. Once your light of self awareness gets switched on the universe will guide you. We’re all on a spiritual journey towards deepening our self love, healing and wholeness. We do all of this to improve the relationship we have with ourselves and others! Today I’m conscious and I’m so alive and empowered and you can be too. Humans can do anything. “One thing I know for sure?” Nancy says. “If you do not address your childhood traumas, your romantic relationships will!” Single Girls Rehab is out now. For more information on Nancy’s private coaching or 12 week programme, visit: To book a call with Nancy visit:


mARCH 2022

A guide to eating for health and happiness from Dulwich acupuncturist Daniel Bevan.

Forget the diet! ―


cupuncture uses the wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine to understand the patterns of health and disease. Diet, lifestyle, heredity, and environment all play their part. The easiest of these to adapt and change is diet, yet we so easily get caught up in fads and punishing regimes, missing the point: enjoyment! Food for wellbeing: Our diet can affect everything from our physical to mental-emotional wellbeing. Acupuncture dietary therapy uses general rules and adapts to the person’s needs. These are laid out below. Eating well is more than just food: It's not just about what we eat, but our relationship with food and the routines, cravings, associations and historical issues we have with it. Acupuncturists look at the bigger picture: A good Acupuncturist will look at the patterns of any illness or disorder and see how much diet plays a role in its cause. Then making changes can help the healing process and prevent relapse; even prevent disease.


“Eat with a smile on your face.” You can be eating all the right things at the right time in the right way and still not be healthy if it is making you miserable! The basic rules: - Stop before you are full. - Don't skip meals. - Don't flood the stomach! Yes, have your two litres of water a day, just not at mealtimes! - Concentrate on the food, ie: don’t stress and distract from the joy of eating! Don’t rush it! - Avoid too many raw and cold foods - raw foods have their merits but for some who feel the cold, bloat easily and have sluggish metabolisms, porridge, soups and stews are better than salads and muesli for example Food for thought: Listen to your body, not that little tyke in your head. Do listen to my basic guidelines but adapt them to your needs so as not to make eating a chore or source of stress and anxiety. A good acupuncturist will assess your individual needs and help you integrate the basic principles into your own lifestyle. They will also treat the faulty mechanisms that are hindering you getting the most from your diet. Most of all, remember, ‘eat with a smile on your face!’ Daniel Bevan is an acupuncturist and the cofounder of Dulwich Therapy Rooms, 47a Lordship Lane, SE22 8EP.

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mARCH 2022


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mARCH 2022

A love letter to south London ― By Cara Cummings


eth Mander runs The Paxton Centre, a thriving community arts space in Crystal Palace. She shares her top south London tips including where to hunt for great furnitive, how to find the best hot chocolate in ‘the triangle’, and how she comes up with her best ideas...

How long have you lived in south London? What made you want to set up your business here? I’m a Croydon girl born and bred and now live in South Norwood. I set up my business in a former Victorian public house in August, 2016, and am happy to say it is thriving. I had been at home bringing up my family for some time; I found the only way back into work was to create my own career. I attended Adult Education Courses on pottery, enamelling jewellery and business studies. One day I had a flash of intuition to visit Crystal Palace to look for a pottery studio to set up a business. My enquiries led me to a lovely co-operative artist studio and I moved in 3 weeks later. I found a classroom to teach pottery classes and ran a stall supporting local creatives called Handmade Palace for a time. I was lucky enough to take on these premises and bring all my businesses under one roof, while offering a space for others to join me. Together we have created a wonderful community arts hub.

which are always fun. Every day is different - a microcosm of the vibrance of south London.

is also a handmade chocolate shop,38 so you can imagine how good the hot chocolate is.

What are your favourite south London restaurants?

Where do you relax after a busy day? For an evening out it has to be the Crystal Palace Everyman Cinema. The décor is beautiful and in keeping with the 1930’s building. Watching a film on the luxury velvet sofas is a real treat.

My favourite places are all a stone’s throw from the Centre, luckily. Lorenzo’s is a real authentic Italian restaurant which reminds me of one I used to be taken to as a child. I love the nostalgic feeling it gives me. Every dish on the menu is amazing! The best café for coffee is ‘Blowing Dandelions’, which

Where do you shop for homeware in south London?

I enjoy looking around the vintage shops on Church Road and Haynes Lane for unusual pieces that you didn’t know you wanted! The Crystal Palace Antique Centre on Jasper Road is my go-to store for furniture pieces and lighting. It covers four floors, so it’s great for browsing. How has the area shaped your creative vision? The people in the area have shaped my life and outlook. My door is always open to work with other creatives and there’s no shortage in South London. Artists drop in to have coffee and conversation, an endless source of inspiration to me out of which often come collaborations. I was drawn to Crystal Palace because of its creative community vibe. Life here is never dull. How would you describe south London - and south Londoners - in a nutshell? South London is so cultured. Art is everywhere on our streets. The locals are community minded, creative, friendly and environmentally aware.

Tell us about your typical week.

Finally: what’s the one place, thing or activity on our side of the river that everyone should try at least once?

The weekdays I spend at the Paxton Art Centre working in my various roles. I love stepping into the space each day - my heart skips a beat! Our customers are absolutely lovely; they make each day new and interesting. During the day we offer a café and hotdesking service. In the evenings, we run creative workshops including Pottery, Life Drawing and Art Clubs, which I love to be a part of. On weekends we have artist events, vinyl or open mic nights and we also host private parties and events

Definitely Crystal Palace Food Market - well worth a visit on a Saturday followed by a stroll around the ‘triangle’, which has lots of independent shops, cafes and bars. Also, a visit to Crystal Palace Park which is vast, beautiful and so interesting. Not forgetting a visit to The Paxton Centre to check out the art gallery, try a workshop or to enjoy coffee and cake!


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