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- a huge success

Click here for a slideshow of images from the event.

Despite the winter weather, there was a great turnout for the first Community Social presented by the Bellenden Residents' Group at the Copleston Centre from 12 to 2.30pm on 31 January 2004. Over 200 people arrived for what had been billed as "an occasion of good food and chat!"
There was plenty of both, as well as the opportunity to find out more about Bellenden from the people working here.

Our local beat police, PCs Neil Tovey and Ceiran Gill, had set up an informative stall on crime prevention, and a team of firemen based at Talfourd Road station arrived, complete with fire engine in case they received an emergency call. Richard and Ruth Olney set up a stall with plants, trees and environmental booklets on behalf of the Wildlife Centre at Marsden Road. Other stalls by local interest groups included:

local historian John Beasley and the Peckham Society with a full range of books on Peckham, Nunhead and Dulwich;

the Friends of Nunhead Cemetery;

the East Dulwich Society.

John devised a quiz on local history - 5 Facts about Bellenden - which stimulated animated discussion, and two prize winners. SAVO (Southwark Action for Voluntary Organisations) explained the support they can give to individuals and groups. From Southwark Council, there were displays set up by the Greater Peckham Alliance, the Peckham Partnership, Street Wardens, and the Town Centre development. Keith Murphy of the Bellenden Renewal Team showed a video demonstrating house repairs, copies available free to Bellenden residents. Keith is available to talk to people about keeping their houses in good repair (phone 020-7525-4623).

The councillors who attended included Cllrs Mark Glover and Aubyn Graham (Lane West) and Cllr Veronica Ward (Camberwell South). (Cllr Andy Simmons had sent his apologies.) The buffet lunch provided by Impressions Catering was a great success. They were a pleasure to work
with and we can heartily recommend them (phone 020-8690-3172) Our thanks to Terri and Ruby who provided such a good menu. We would also like to thank everyone at Copleston Centre for helping to make the occasion such
a success, particularly Jarek, and his two volunteers, who ran the crèche, and looked after 25 toddlers. Thanks, too, to all the BRG volunteers who helped members of the steering group with meeting, greeting, keeping the food going, washing up and clearing tables - all very necessary to the enjoyment of the occasion.

The Bellenden Residents' Group was supported in the social event by Southwark Council's Peckham Programme Team, and the Greater Peckham Alliance. Eileen Conn, BRG's co-ordinator said, "The event was just what we had hoped for. It was a wonderful way of meeting people from
the area, and learning about what is going on in Bellenden. We were pleased that people of all ages came, especially those with small children. It was hard work, but worth it."