Migration Museum joins forces with local organisations to aid Lewisham Covid recovery

The Migration Museum has joined forces with 11 other key organisations in Lewisham to help the borough’s recovery from Covid-19 and improve the lives of local residents.

The 12 anchor institutions have signed a new agreement to work together to boost employment, education, health and the environment across the borough.

The partners in the Civic University Agreement (CUA) are:

  • Goldsmiths, University of London
  • The Albany
  • The Horniman Museum and Gardens
  • Lewisham College
  • Lewisham Council
  • Lewisham Local
  • Lewisham Homes
  • Phoenix Community Housing
  • 999 Club
  • Migration Museum
  • Trinity Laban
  • Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

The agreement aims to unlock the partners’ shared potential by co-creating and delivering initiatives for the good of the local area and everyone who lives in Lewisham.

Local people were asked about their priorities and needs in improving the lives of people living, working and studying in Lewisham. Four key themes were identified and will inform the work of the agreement:

  • Educational opportunities and supporting learning aspiration
  • Economic prosperity, jobs and growth
  • Culture, health and well-being 
  • Environmental sustainability

One project which has already started is Inspire Lewisham, a £500,000 programme to help Lewisham residents to develop skills and find employment in the creative industries, which sees Goldsmiths and Lewisham College working in partnership. There are also plans to deliver law and wellbeing “street clinics” which will offer advice and information to local people at drop-in events, with other projects in development.

The CUA was proposed by Goldsmiths as part of the New Cross university’s ambition to make a difference to its home borough and make it easier for local people to access the university’s services and expertise, and developed in collaboration with the 11 partner organisations. It is the first of its kind in London and among the first in the UK.

Professor Frances Corner, Warden of Goldsmiths said:
“The challenges facing Lewisham are stark. We have been hit hard by the pandemic, feel the impact of the climate emergency in the air we breathe and have to deal with the consequences of entrenched poverty and inequality every day.

“With the government’s ‘levelling up’ policy clearly focused outside of London these 12 organisations are joining together to take action and make life better in our home borough. We are incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by talented, hard-working and passionate people and this new agreement will provide opportunity for residents and business to grow and thrive.”

Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, said:
“The impact of the pandemic continues to be felt right across our borough, and has shone a light on important issues that as a Council we are committed to tackling through our Future Lewisham plans – from the climate crisis to health inequalities and educational and employment opportunities.

“I am proud to see our key local organisations working together to support Lewisham at this crucial time. Independently we are all committed to improving the lives of people in our borough, but together we can achieve so much more, especially in the ongoing financial climate. I’m looking forward to working even more closely with our partners and seeing the real benefits this brings for our residents.”

The CUA was launched at an event held at The Horniman Museum and Gardens attended by the 12 partners on 12 October.

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