OUR MAIN VENUE- THE BRILLIANT WATERLOO ACTION CENTRE – IS UNDER THREAT

We have run classes at the Waterloo Action Centre for the past 5 years- and it has become one of our main venues.

WAC is a very special place- it has enable us to run our sessions which are affordable for everyone – and in turn our classes help support this brilliant community space which provides support for so many elderly and disadvantaged people.

If you have joined us at WAC for our many drop in life drawing classes and painting and drawing workshops and courses- then you can help the WAC legal team by leaving a testimonial about how WAC has enabled you to enjoy classes which are creative, inspiring and beneficial for your wellbeing and mental health.

See below for more info- and scroll to the bottom of the page for our testimonial so you can read about what WAC means to us:

 

If you feel a testimonial isn’t appropriate for you – but you would still like to support us – you can still sign the petition to oppose this action

SIGN THE PETITION HERE

 

SUMMARY OF THE SITUATION

Since 1973 Waterloo Action Centre (WAC) has stood to serve as a community hub for a wide range of services including Waterloo Legal Advice Service – the largest such volunteer-run resource in the country – benefits advice, as well as providing a host of classes, leisure and cultural activities and, above all, a friendly and welcoming meeting place for one and all. WAC’s valuable work has been recognised by the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

WAC has just had unwelcome news that Lambeth Council plans on raising rents for voluntary groups like WAC which occupy Council-owned property. This could see a rent rise to a massive £45,000 a year plus £5,000 building insurance within 4 years of the change. This would simply mean the end of WAC!

This rise represents a third of WAC’s hard-earned income and would mean a sharp reduction in activities and services we provide, hitting some of our most vulnerable citizens. WAC gets no public money but is funded by grants and renting space to users – activity groups, charities, churches – plus support from local residents, businesses and other well-wishers. There is extensive volunteer involvement in the running of WAC’s regular activities.

 

WHAT WE WOULD LOVE YOU TO DO – IT IS VERY SIMPLE:

1. Click on the link below to access the WAC community defence website

WAC community defence website

2. Leave a testimonial on the website: click on “write a testimonial” and just explain in a few words why WAC means so much to you, what you do, what you like, why it is important for WAC to continue supporting the various groups through the different activities.

3. Is there any other way you can lend support? We have a wide range of professionals and people with contacts who attend our classes- perhaps you can think of a way you or someone you know can help. If you need to get in touch please contact WAC directly: wac.buildings@gmail.com

YOU CAN TAKE THIS FURTHER:

It would be very helpful to also send an email to:
Councillor Donatus Anyanwu danyanwu@lambeth.gov.uk
cc’d to Councillor Jack Hopkins who is the Leader of Lambeth Council jhopkins@lambeth.gov.uk
cc’d to Florence Eshalomi florence.eshalomi.mp@parliament.uk (Florence is the MP for the area which includes WAC).

It would also be helpful for WAC to have a copy too wac.office1971@gmail.com.
Please explain briefly to them what you value about WAC.

 

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR INCREDIBLE SUPPORT!
The WAC team & London Drawing

 

THE LONDON DRAWING TESTIMONAL:

I have run Life Drawing classes and courses at the Waterloo Action Centre for the past 5 years and during this time the
centre has become a crucial host for our activities.

London Drawing is a small independent business and venues like WAC are crucial to our survival. Wac provides affordable
well managed space and is home to a wide range or businesses like ourselves. In turn our activities support the incredible work
WAC does for the local community which is frankly irreplaceable and invaluable.

Our classes at WAC have allowed us to build a creative community, attracting a wide and varied demographic of people to
come together creatively. Life Drawing in itself is a massively positive activity with regard to health and well being.
The fact that we can provide these classes which are massively beneficial to those who attend, providing work
which supports our tutors and a host of life models, while at the same time supporting such an incredible institution,
is just hugely special to us.

Independent, genuinely community based spaces like the Waterloo Action Centre are becoming so increasingly rare
due to rent increases and the sterilisation of central London- we have to do all we can to care and nurture for those
that remain.

Following this massive period of change due to the pandemic- which will see city centers have to move and change with the times as remote
working and use of city space navigates a complete over haul- venues like the Waterloo Action Centre will take on even more significant role.
Treating WAC with such blinkered, narrow vision is something which I and the many people who benefit from its hands on, genuinely community
based ethos will find very hard to bare. This special institution is a space to be nurtured and valued and after over 40 years of community
service deserves preserving.

Anne Noble-Partridge
Director- London Drawing