Donate
Search here!

Keeping South London’s deprived families warm this winter: Building the first restorative postcode

Keeping South London’s deprived families warm this winter: Building the first restorative postcode

The RJ4All Community Centre run by the RJ4All International Institute has launched its free “warm hub” in SE16, as the NGO commits to providing an accessible and warm space to support its local community facing soaring energy bills and the bitter cold. This approach to poverty relief projects forms a part of RJ4All’s efforts to build the first London restorative postcode, following its wider mission to advance community cohesion and relieve poverty through the use of restorative justice values and practices.

New research reveals that millions of elderly, disabled, young families and those with a serious health condition in the UK are spending Christmas in cold homes this winter. Data collected last month from YouGov as a part of the Warm This Winter campaign finds that “15% of vulnerable people have now “self-disconnected” by massively reducing their energy supply. A further 51% are now rationing – and somewhat reducing – their energy consumption.” 


Households with traditional prepayment metres – typically those that are vulnerable and with fewer resources – are those taking the hardest hit. In SE16, RJ4All’s local residents express these concerns about heating their homes, particularly while facing multiple bills and lacking or delayed support packages. 


RJ4All is responding to this by increasing its opening hours and community services.
 Thanks to funding from Clarion Futures, the Community Centre has been able to extend its opening hours and sustain increasing electricity costs to maximise the chance for the local community to access its holistic services. These include a food bank and community fridge, charity shop, community gym, and library; as well as a safe space for workshops to take place, including music listening, clothes mending, fitness classes – and a cup of tea. 


RJ4All actively signposts local residents to further services and resources to offset the rising cost of living, and as an official Community Referral Partner for Southwark Council’s Cost of Living Fund. Additionally, thanks to the Good Things Foundation’s collaboration with Virgin Media o2, RJ4All is a member of the National Databank, joining the cause to help thousands of people from low income households to access the internet for free.   


Theo Gavrielides, RJ4All Founder & Director, notes: “Community cohesion and reduction in anti-social behaviour cannot be achieved if communities’ basic needs are not addressed first. Using the values of restorative justice and amidst the cost-of-living crisis, budget cuts and ongoing political uncertainty, the RJ4All International Institute and its Rotherhithe Community Centre aims to provide stability through a safe, accessible and warm space where members of the local community can access holistic services, so that nobody has to make the choice between hunger or warmth this winter.” 


In the context of the rising cost of living, soaring energy bills and the bitter cold, a warm social space is needed more than ever. 


RJ4All is making a call to those who can spare some change this Christmas to support their mission to keep the SE16 local community #WarmThisWinter throughout the whole 2022-2023 winter period. Find their Crowdfunder page to safely donate here; please contact admin@rj4all.org for further details and other ways to support the cause. 


Ends

Notes to editors

  • See RJ4All’s Warm, Happy and Connected page for a further list of services; please contact admin@rj4all.org for more information. 
  • The Warm This Winter campaign aims to lower energy bills and offer emergency support. Data for the campaign was collected by YouGovDirect, who interviewed 2,198 people between 29-30 November 2022. Results were weighted to be representative of the UK population (Warm this Winter, December 2022). 
  • Virgin Media O2 and Good Things Foundation are piloting the National Databank, so that more people can access free data and stay connected this Christmas. 
Translate »