The future of the Lambeth Women’s Project is under threat from Lambeth Council, who are currently challenging the use of the building on Stockwell Road.
LWP has been offering specialist services to women for 30 years and recently hosted the first Ladies Rock! UK weekend, where women of 18 and over formed bands, learned instruments and played their first gig in just three days. I was impressed by the focused creativity that seemed to flow from everyone in the calm, non-judgmental surroundings – female-only spaces are few and far between and, as the only organisation of its kind in the area, the Project has been of immense value to many women.
LWP has been run by dedicated volunteers since funding for salaried youth workers was withdrawn in 1997. Inexplicably, their successes over the last 10 years isn’t enough to convince the council of the Project’s importance, however, and a petition has now been set up in an attempt to establish some security for the building, which doesn’t even have a lease.
In their own words, the volunteers at LWP “feel that Lambeth Council should meet the needs of the community it serves. By supporting the valuable and unique services provided by Lambeth Women’s Project, the council would go some way towards fulfilling its social contract with the 53% of its citizens who are women”.
They hope the petition will “demonstrate the strength of public support for Lambeth Women’s Project”, strengthening the case for security, safety, maintenance and development of services and equality. On the most basic level a lease for the building is a must, but they also hope Lambeth Council will agree there is a need for women-only services and adequate funding for such services in the campaign for policies that promote the social advancement of women. And don’t we all want that?