Monday, 21 September 2015

BRUG Newsletter September 2015


Want to box competitively or for fun? Afewee, a community-based club, runs boxing classes for girls and boys, men and women, of all abilities.

Boxing classes started in May 2014 and Afewee was recognised as a competitive club affiliated to the London Amateur Boxing Association in February 2015.

They now run 8 classes per week for kids (under 11), juniors (11-18 years) and seniors (19+) plus adult Boxfit. There are 15-20 kids and 20-25 adults per session in peak times. An Afewee boy was recently selected for a 2 year boxing scholarship.

What are the benefits of boxing?
  • Learn a new skill/sport
  • Get fit/lose weight
  • Release stress and tension
  • Channel aggression
  • Increase self esteem and confidence
What future does Afewee want?
  • To be sustainable with a permanent space in the Rec. 
Contact Bobby Miltiadous on 07983 151 082 or on the Afewee Facebook page or tweet@afeweeboxing

Protecting the future Rec

Architectural Photography by Simon Kennedy
BRUG and Rec users fought off threats of its demolition in 2007 and 2012. Lambeth has committed £10m to developing the Rec. BRUG is concerned to ensure the future Rec remains a facility which Rec users and the community want. Having the Rec listed might assist us in this. Here we summarise what listing is and can offer us. To read more,

What listing could offer
The aim of listing is to protect the significant parts of qualities of a building and make sure that change and repair cause minimal damage to these.

Buildings are listed as grade 1, grade 2*, and grade 2. There are about 5,000 grade 1 and about 50,000 grade 2. Grade 1 is for, say, Westminster Abbey. The Brixton arcades are listed as grade 2, largely due to their community significance.

English Heritage (EH) controls the lists and supports change that allows a building to live and be relevant to people but does not damage its significant qualities. EH now appreciates that if a building does not have meaningful use, it is at risk of neglect. Even Westminster Abbey is adding new stairs and lifts to allow public access to a vast, unused gallery space.

Control & Cost of change
Many listed buildings have management agreements that the owners produce and make public proper plans and consultations for changes, which have been largely absent from the GLL 'improvements' to the Rec.

Grants & Funding
Listed buildings are eligible for grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which largely favours buildings that serve the widest community. The Rec with its 76,000 visits each year, located in an ethnically diverse and deprived inner city community, would be a very popular choice for HLF.

Sustainability & Regeneration
The aim of HLF funding is a long-term viability. Any HLF funds would be extra to Lambeth's and could be used to improve the sustainability of the Rec and pay for works that Lambeth see as 'value for money'. A Combined Heat and Power (CHP) district energy system has been proposed in the Central Brixton Masterplan. The Rec is an obvious hub.

Listing can benefit regeneration. Listed buildings attract media attention and commercial partners. This double-edged sword must be carefully managed. However, the Rec's enormous range of local users should be the principal beneficiaries of any improvements. The Rec is already a mixed use building with shops, clubs and sports. So the reintroduction of commercial uses like a restaurant, if controlled, should not be a threat. The Rec is an ideal environment for the promotion and development of creative performance and visual arts and design. Much space could be opened up for these.

The Rec has improved and enhanced the life of many Brixton residents. It is the community that the Rec serves that is the key to its significance. The skill and quality of the design has contributed to this. Listing cannot ensure that this community survives and prospers but it can help us manage change in a more considered and informed way, and mean that long-term sustainability of the Rec is put first. 

If you have a complaint about the Rec

  • Raise it with the duty manager; and/or...
  • Fill in an official GLL/Better complaints form, in a box on the wall opposite the office behind reception; and/or...
  • Email Darren Pope, Rec General Manager at
Give the date, time and location and details of the issue, your name, phone number or email address. Ask for a response. 
BRUG welcomes suggestions and comments by email or in our suggestions box outside the main changing rooms on level 4. But please don't leave complaints there that need to be resolved by GLL. 

Over 55s Club Open Day, 5 October, 10am-2pm at the Rec

You can try your hand at badminton, table tennis, dominoes, swim, chair exercises, learn how to stay fit and healthy, meet the friendly staff and club members, and enjoy complementary refreshments. All for free. For more details contact Rosemary Meikle, Club Lead, on 0207 095 5100 or email 
Copyright © 2015, Brixton Rec User Group, All rights reserved.


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