Audre Lorde “Revolution is not a one time event” Writer, Feminist and Activist © London Borough of Lambeth's Archive Department. Olive Morris "My heart will always be in Brixton" Community & Political Activist
Co-founder the Brixton
Black Women's Group
© RESOLVE Collective and Vishnu Jay Photography
Marcus Garvey, JR. “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots’ Jamaican Political Activist © Jim Grover photography
www.windrushportraitofageneration.com

About Us

Our History

Since the 1950’s Lambeth has been home to the UK’s biggest Black community, with people of African and Caribbean origin past and present making valuable and sustained contributions to the cultural and economic life of the borough. Despite these successes, Lambeth continues to be a borough faced with growing socio-economic inequality which disproportionately affects Black African and Caribbean people. There is evidence to suggest that exposure to the stressors linked to these inequalities negatively impacts one’s physical health and mental wellbeing. 

Black Thrive Lambeth was established in 2016 to address the inequalities that negatively impact the mental health and wellbeing of Black people in Lambeth. We are a partnership between communities, statutory organisations, voluntary groups and the private sector. We work collaboratively to reduce the inequalities that lead to poorer socioeconomic outcomes for Black communities in the borough and initiate the systems change required to see Black residents thrive. 

Our Vision

Black communities in Lambeth thrive, experience good mental health and wellbeing, and are supported by relevant, accessible services, which provide the same excellent quality of support for all people regardless of their race.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.”

– Maya Angelou

Our Philosophy and Approach

  • Community Focused
  • Collective Impact
  • System Change
  • Intersectionality
  • Knowledge Disruption

Placing Black communities at the centre

Due to structural inequalities, the experiences and outcomes for Black people in Lambeth are, on average, significantly worse than those of their White counterparts in every sphere of life – education, employment, income, social care, housing, policing, criminal justice, wellbeing and health. We believe that the only way forward is to centre the voices, experiences and expertise of the full spectrum of Black communities in creating the change that is needed – of the people, by the people, with the people, for the people!

Using the Collective Impact model

Collective Impact was first described by Kania and Kramer in 2011; this approach recognises that complex social problems cannot be addressed by individual organisations acting alone. Instead, cross-sector collaboration is required. Therefore, whilst we don’t provide any direct services for Black residents, we do work collectively to support systems change within the borough, by connecting people and organisations.

Embedding race equity in systemic change

The various systems and the people who work within them consistently create environments that prevent Black people from thriving. We work with individuals and organisations to challenge the mindsets and imbalances of power which underpin policy development, the allocation of resources and practices. Many Black people thrive in spite of the odds that are stacked against them. We change the odds by embedding race equity into systemic change, taking the learning from these experiences, so that thriving is not the exception but becomes the rule.

Taking an intersectional approach

Black people in Lambeth do not constitute a single, homogenous group and we know that disadvantage is amplified at different intersections of social and economic circumstances and identities, such as poverty, disability, gender, sexual orientation and employment status. Our work is intersectional, as we recognise that people’s social identities can overlap, creating compounding experiences of oppression and discrimination.

Decolonising the evidence landscape

We work to disrupt the knowledge production process by critiquing existing Eurocentric research through a Black intersectional lens and actively contribute to the knowledge base by undertaking Black-led academic and/or lived experience research. This provides a foundation that can inform policy and practice and enable systems to understand what can transform the Black experience from surviving to thriving.

“All inequality is not created equal”

– Kimberlé Crenshaw

The Team

Our facilitation team are the backbone to co-ordinating the work we do both with the Partnership and local communities. 

Director

Natalie Creary​

Celestin Okoroji

Keisha Swaby

Nathan Lewis

Nathanial Martin

Sadiki Harris

Shola Apena Rogers

Victoria Cabral

Yasmin Ibison

Director

Natalie Creary​

Natalie is the Programme Delivery Director for Black Thrive Lambeth.

She has a long-standing interest in approaches that tackle the root causes of inequality and push conventional boundaries. Her interest lies in working with communities and grassroots organisations to decolonise knowledge and to create opportunities for communities to have ownership of their stories and the solutions they deliver to address the social challenges they may face. Her work and research explore how race, age, class, gender and sexuality intersect to shape the health and wellbeing experiences of Black and mixed race communities. She has also completed postgraduate studies in Health Psychology and lectures on health inequality, quality improvement methodologies and health promotion for Middlesex University’s MSc Public Health.

 

Celestin Okoroji

Celestin is the Employment Project Programme and Partnerships Manager at Black Thrive.

He is also a social and cultural psychologist who completed his PhD at the London School of Economics in 2020. His research focuses on how stigmatisation impedes relations between individuals and groups, particularly in unemployment. At Black Thrive Celestin manages the employment programme of work which seeks to disrupt the relationship between Race, Health and Employment through systems change.

Celestin is interested in data driven and research led approaches to improving outcomes for marginalised groups. Alongside his work at Black Thrive, Celestin is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the London School of Economics and teaches on the MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology.

Celestin’s most recent publication explores how stigmatising discourses used by political elites and media relate, longitudinally, to public attitudes towards the unemployed. The paper is openly accessible here.

 

Keisha Swaby

Keisha is the Interim Programme & Partnerships Manager for Adult Mental Health at Black Thrive.

She is a multi-disciplinary Social Design and Innovation Consultant with 15 years of experience within the private and third sector. She has undertaken a number of CSR, fundraising, strategic partnership management and community engagement roles; working with organisations such as HSBC, The Prince’s Trust, Deutsche Bank, Meningitis Research Foundation, FareShare, Credit Suisse, Macmillan Cancer Support and Pavement 2 Catwalk.

Keisha is a trustee of youth charity MAC-UK. She also holds a Masters of Design in Social Innovation from Ravensbourne University London. She is deeply passionate about harnessing the power of research, design and innovation to create equitable, liberatory and abundant futures.

At Black Thrive, Keisha is responsible for leading on the co-design process to develop a culturally appropriate peer support and advocacy offer for Black people in Lambeth.

Nathan Lewis

At Black Thrive, Nathan is the interim LGBTQ+ Programme and Partnerships Manager.

His work involves influencing and supporting a research project with London Metropolitan University and Lambeth Council, as well as supporting Black the Thrive team to embed an intersectional approach to our work and wider community engagement. 

Nathan is a University of Birmingham graduate and a community development enthusiast with a keen interest in public health, particularly around the experiences of Black LGBTQ+ people. He has worked across a number of fields, including mental health, sexual health, prisons and substance misuse. Currently a community manager for the Samaritans, he combines this alongside a number of charity board positions across London. He is a board member for the St Kitts and Nevis Young People’s Network and also serves as Chair for the Southwark LGBT Network and Vice Chair of the London LGBT Forum’s Network. 

Nathanial Martin

Nathaniel’s role is Community Research Coordinator.

He is an incredibly proud South Londoner. Born and raised in Brixton, Nathaniel has always been in and around the area trying to serve and build it in the best ways he can.

Nathaniel aims to develop research regarding the mental health of young people in Lambeth. Nathaniel’s role will see him amplifying the voices of young Lambeth residents in order to support their ability to thrive. With extensive experience in youth and community work through time leading youth projects and working as a BMX cycling coach, Nathaniel has engaged a variety of young people, in turn introducing them to new experiences and helping them to discover themselves.

Nathaniel is married to Annaclette, enjoys eating out with friends, and volunteers as Lead Coach at Brixton BMX Club, based in Brockwell Park.

 

Sadiki Harris

Sadiki is Black Thrive’s Community Engagement and Communications Officer.

Since graduating, Sadiki has predominantly worked in the third sector. Between 2010 and 2014 he was vice chairman of the Lewisham Stop and Search group and in doing so created a website and marketing materials that ensured the likes of Sky News, the BBC and the Home Office would get in contact for information.   

 Sadiki Harris joined Black Thrive after meeting Cllr Jacqui Dyer at a Mental Health conference in 2016. Initially joining as a volunteer, he now works as Black Thrive’s Community Engagement and Communications Officer. Sadiki is responsible for engaging and involving Lambeth’s Black communities in supporting and participating in Black Thrive’s projects and programmes and becoming active leaders on various issues in Lambeth. 

 A son of Lambeth, an unpublished writer, avid videographer and somewhat decent graphic designer, Sadiki considers himself to be a creative and feels extremely lucky to be involved in changing the “look” and “feel” of mental health within Black communities in Lambeth.   

 Sadiki holds a B.A (Hons) in Marketing and Advertising from University of Arts London.

Shola Apena Rogers

Shola is the Interim Programme & Partnerships Manager for Adult Mental Health at Black Thrive.

She is a qualified Forensic Psychologist and Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, with over 20 years of frontline working with communities with a focus on social justice and transforming lives. Shola has worked as a practitioner and researcher within various contexts, including the criminal justice system, Children’s Social Care, NHS and voluntary sector to achieve impact and positive outcomes. She is also a Consultant delivering Motivational Interviewing, Adolescent Mental Health and Trauma-Informed Practice training programmes.

Being Lambeth born, Shola is enthused by working to support and address the inequalities across mental health, education and the criminal justice system for the Black community in Lambeth.

Shola is the Founder and Director of the African Caribbean Education Network (ACEN), an organisation that provides support to Black children and parents to increase schooling success and impact the number of Black people in decision-making positions in society, over the next generation.

Shola is also currently a Trustee for StreetDoctors.

 

Victoria Cabral

Victoria is the Older Adults Programme & Partnerships Manager at Black Thrive.

She has over 10 years of experience working on social and economic justice policy, advocacy and community engagement. Victoria graduated from Nottingham University with a BA in Law and went on to undertake a Masters level degree in Human Rights at University College London (UCL). Victoria’s roles and employment history has centred around managing and implementing programs of work that advance the agency and voice of traditionally marginalised groups.  

At Black Thrive, Victoria is responsible for meaningfully engaging and involving Lambeth’s Black communities and systems in achieving better outcomes for older Black adults. She works with communities, statutory and voluntary sector partners, commissioners, and providers to develop a coherent picture of the offer for older adults to inform policy, commissioning decisions, and practice.

 

Yasmin Ibison

Yasmin is the Employment Project Support Officer at Black Thrive.

Yasmin joined Black Thrive after launching and running her own social enterprise since 2018. She is the Founder and Director of Critics’ Club, a cultural programme helping young people to engage with cultural spaces as critics. She is passionate about finding innovative solutions to complex issues, whilst ensuring that community voice and perspective is embedded into decision-making processes. 

Alongside her running her own enterprise Yasmin has spent the past few years working across socially impactful organisations. From developing a strategy to launch a creative youth programme to leading a community engagement and research project, she has experience working across diverse communities and projects. 

Yasmin sits on the Board at the charity Kids in Museums and The Old Vic. She holds a First-Class degree in French and Spanish from the University of Birmingham.

Partnership Board

The Black Thrive Lambeth Partnership Board comprises organisations that are responsible for the systems that have the most significant impact on the lives of Black people in the borough, as well as representatives of the communities most impacted. Partnership organisations include Lambeth Council, Lambeth Alliance, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Lambeth Police, Social Finance and Black Thrive Global.

Chair

Dr Jacqui Dyer MBE

Abi Onaboye

Alex Kubeyinje

Alison May

Annmarie Cowley

Bimpe Oki

Chris Clements

Christopher Dayson

Cordwell Thomas

Daniel Ivey

Fiona Connolly

Jane Bowie

John Lavelle

Juliet Amoa

Lela Kogbara​

Marianna Masters

Paulene Samuels

Ruth Hutt

Sabrina Phillips

Sonia Winifred

Zoë K. Reed

Chair

Dr Jacqui Dyer MBE

Jacqui chairs the Black Thrive Lambeth Partnership Board.

She is a Director at Black Thrive Global, as well as being an independent health and social care consultant, with lived experience, and a background in adult mental health commissioning, and community and family social work. Jacqui was vice chair of England’s Mental Health Taskforce, which collaboratively developed the 5 Year Forward View for Mental Health (NHSE) and its transformation of mental health service policy and provision. Its focus on reducing mental health inequalities was further strengthened in the NHS Long Term Plan for Mental Health. Jacqui has co-led the Mayoral ‘Thrive London’ since inception.

Jacqui is an elected Councillor where she is cabinet member for jobs, skills and community safety having previously jointly held the health and adult social care cabinet portfolio.

Abi Onaboye

Abi Onaboye is the Director of Integrated Children’s Commissioning and Community Safety, working for both Lambeth Council and CCG.

Alex Kubeyinje

Alex Kubeyinje has been the permanent Director of Children’s Social Care for the past two years. 

Alex has a strong personal connection to Lambeth as he was born and raised here.  He has a great deal of expertise and knowledge as an experienced social work practitioner and has led children’s social care services in a number of London Boroughs prior to joining Lambeth.  He is passionate about creating an environment for social workers and social care practice to flourish, and champions empathy, compassion and respect in everything we do with each other and within the community.

Alison May

Alison May is the Assistant Director, Skills and Employment at Lambeth Council.

Alison has joined us from London Southbank University, where she led on the development of apprenticeship strategy and policy for the group. LSBU is one of the largest providers of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships in the UK with around 2000 apprentices on the programme. She has considerable experience in the skills and employment arena, working in a variety of roles in both the public and private sector. She also represents the Higher Education Sector on a number of boards, including the London Mayor’s Apprenticeship advisory board and the Department for Education’s Apprenticeship Ginger Group. 

Annmarie Cowley

Annmarie Cowley is the Chief Inspector in Southwark and Lambeth.

Annmarie joined the Met in 1994, serving in a variety of uniform and detective roles in Croydon, Southwark, Lambeth, Headquarters and Specialist Crime.  

She led on implementing Integrated Domestic Violence Courts in Croydon and delivered an education, prevention, diversion package to reduce first time entrants into the CJS. On promotion to Chief Inspector, Annmarie led on family liaison, disaster victim identification, casualty bureau, coronial service and partnership for Specialist Crime.  

Annmarie is currently Chief Inspector for Neighbourhoods and Partnership for Central South BCU.

Bimpe Oki

Bimpe Ok is a Public Health Consultant in Lambeth and leads on Health Improvement and the wider determinants of health for the borough.

Her career and experience in Public Health spans over twenty years She has significant expertise in behaviour change, health inequalities, social determinants of health and community development. She has also been involved in organisational and workforce development. Bimpe has provided Public Health leadership on specific topics such as obesity, physical activity, nutrition, tobacco control, mental wellbeing and workplace health, contributing to regional and national policy and practice on these topics. 

Addressing health inequalities is central to the work she does and working together with different sectors and communities is pivotal in challenging and tackling unfair and avoidable poor health outcomes seen in certain population groups. She also supports in a voluntary capacity, international work to improve life chances of children and young people in developing countries.

Chris Clements

Chris Clements is a Director at Social Finance, a Lambeth-based not-for-profit, where he leads a collaboration with charitable foundations that seeks to develop better ways of tackling social problems.

He has a particular focus on supporting refugee integration, including co-founding Reset, the national charity supporting communities to resettle refugees, and now chairs their board. He has supported the development of Black Thrive since 2015, and also oversees work on care leavers, access to legal justice and domestic abuse. Prior to joining Social Finance, he was the Group Operations Director for the education and community development charity Oasis Charitable Trust, and he has previously held senior roles in two homelessness charities. He retains his involvement in that sector today through being a trustee of London charity Single Homeless Project.

Christopher Dayson

Chris Dayson is a Principal Research Fellow in the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University.

Chris’s research focuses on the voluntary and community sector at a local level, including its involvement in public service delivery and as a provider of socially innovative solutions to the causes and consequences of social and economic disadvantage. He is currently involved in a senior capacity in a number of research and evaluation projects for local and national public sector bodies, voluntary sector organisations and charitable funders.

Cordwell Thomas

Cordwell brings an array of knowledge, skills and experience from working across various fields of health, social care and within the community. He has substantial experience in the area of advocacy and teaching in the community and academic institutions. 

Cordwell is an experienced Independent Mental Health Advocate with over 20 years experience. His approach to advocacy is enshrined within the Care Act 2014, which asserts that the role of the Independent Mental Health Advocate is to support an individual or carer to understand information, express their needs, and wishes, secure their rights, represent their interest and support them to obtain the care and support they need.   

Cordwell’s outward facing efforts to improve mental health services were illuminated when he served as a Lambeth Black Health and Well-Being Commissioner. The Commission produced the “From Surviving to Thriving” Report, 2014.

He is a Black Thrive Lambeth community change agent, which enables him to co-produce improved mental health services alongside stakeholders to deliver improved access, experience and outcomes for people of African and African-Caribbean descent.

 

Daniel Ivey

Chief Inspector Daniel is a Superintendent in the Metropolitan Police.

He is lead for Neighbourhood & Partnership Policing for the London Boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. He is also co-chair of the Metropolitan Police LGBT+ Network within which he is responsible for driving LGBT+ issues onto the police agenda.

Fiona Connolly

Fiona is the Statutory Director for Adult Social Care at Lambeth Council.

Fiona has been working in Social Care since 1987 and in Local Government since 1994. Fiona is a qualified Social Worker and holds an MBA in Local Government Leadership. Fiona is dedicated to ensuring that vulnerable residents and families in Lambeth with adult social care needs are supported to access the care and support they require so they can continue to have choice and control over their lives.  Fiona is a  key leader in the Lambeth Together Integrated Care System which strives to ensure that services are as joined up as possible to meet holistic health and care needs and there is equal access to all.

Jane Bowie

Jane joined Lambeth Council as Director of Integrated Commissioning (adults) in March 2020 – it is her first job in London, but she has led on strategic commissioning for over 15 years, the first 12 of those in the North East.

Jane is a social worker by profession and started her career working in mental health services. She is committed to working in partnership as she believes that this is the best way to improve quality and make positive changes to services. 

John Lavelle

John is the Lambeth Service Director and is responsible for the adult mental health services in Lambeth provided by South London & Maudsley NHS Trust (SLaM).  A registered nurse for people with a learning disability, with over 25 years’ experience of working in both learning disability and adult mental health services.

John has held senior operational roles covering adult acute inpatient, inpatient rehabilitation, community mental health, learning disability and mother & baby services, joining SLaM in 2019. John is committed to working in partnership with colleagues across the Lambeth Alliance, and beyond, to ensure that mental health services for the people of Lambeth are high quality, responsive, culturally diverse and person-centered.

John can be contacted via email on John.lavelle@slam.nhs.uk

Juliet Amoa

Juliet is the Associate Director Community Health and Engagement at Lambeth Council. 

Juliet is an experienced leader in adult social care and has a long history working in Lambeth, particularly in the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community. She has lived and worked in Lambeth for over 30 years and has first-hand experience of the borough from both perspectives. Juliet is an advocate for equality, influencing whole system change. 

Juliet works within the Lambeth Together partnership which includes the council, health, Black Thrive and other voluntary agencies. Her current role is primarily to engage within Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities, working collaboratively to tackle health inequalities in a meaningful way. 

Lela Kogbara​

Lela is a Director at Black Thrive Global.

She was a senior leader in the public sector for 25 years, 16 of which were in Islington where she was Assistant Chief Executive for the Council. She also worked with NHS England and Department for Education to improve employment prospects and access to apprenticeships for people with learning and other disabilities. She is a qualified accountant and her responsibilities have included policy, equalities, performance, arts and culture, employment, and community safety. Lela also follows her passion for social justice as a board member of a number of organisations.

Marianna Masters

Marianna has held several senior positions within global financial and corporate companies for over 25 years. A long-standing advocate of Black rights she was Co-Chair of the Black Employees Network whilst at Thomson Reuters.

Elected councillor in the London Borough of Lambeth in 2018. She was Chair of the Lambeth Labour Group of 57 Councillors from 2018-2020 and is currently the Vice-Chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee. Marianna Chairs the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Lambeth Hospital Redevelopment tasked with scrutinising the proposal from Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group and their provider South London and Maudsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), to reconfigure mental health inpatient services for Lambeth, by transferring in-patient services currently located in Lambeth Hospital to a new facility on the Maudsley Hospital site.

Marianna additionally is Vice-Chair on Our Healthier Overview & Scrutiny Committee covering 6 boroughs in South London (Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark)

She holds a BA Hons degree in Law and Anthropology from Oxford Brookes University

Paulene Samuels

Paulene’s work has involved establishing networks across London within local authorities, probation services, police stations, mental health services, GP’s, and community projects.

Paulene ensures the race equality lens is always applied so that the risk of discrimination is minimised. Paulene has long standing working knowledge and expertise of Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended 2007), Equality Act 2010, Care Act 2014 and the Children Act 2004. Paulene is able to inform carers of their rights, under the Mental Health Act, and to support loved ones who have been detained.

Paulene was a member of the African and Caribbean working group of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act in 2018. Two of the recommendations of the MHARAC were accepted by the Government and are currently in development, namely the Patient Carers Race Equalities Framework (PCREF) and culturally appropriate advocacy. 

She is a Black Thrive Lambeth community change agent, which enables her to co-produce improved mental health services alongside stakeholders to deliver improved access, experience and outcomes for people of African and African-Caribbean descent.

Ruth Hutt

Ruth started her career as a nurse training in Southampton but moved to London to study Tropical Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the mid-1990s.

She completed her public health training in London and has been a Consultant in Public Health since 2005. She has had a varied public health career, working in Public Health policy research at the Kings Fund, for state government in Australia on health reform, and in the NHS and local government in London. She is committed to using public health leadership, skills and practice to address inequalities in health as well as wider social inequalities by working with statutory sector partners, voluntary and community sector organisations and local communities. She has been a member of the Black Thrive Partnership since 2017.

Ruth has been the Director of Public Health at Lambeth Council since February 2017.

Sabrina Phillips

Sabrina Phillips is the Interim Alliance Director. A mental health nurse, with over 15 years’ experience as a nurse working in Acute setting, including National & Specialist Children and Adolescent Mental Health in Slam.

Sabrina has held senior roles Operational, Quality Improvement and Quality roles in SlaM which has led on programmes that aimed to increase the experience of staff and patients onwards, as well as reduce the length of time service users have to wait for a service or be on a ward. Sabrina is passionate about improving services for people with mental health problems through the provision of equitable high quality care delivered by a compassionate, skilled workforce working in partnership with colleagues from statutory organisations, VCSE, service users and carers and the people living in the community we serve.

Sabrina can be contacted via email on Sabrina.phillips@slam.nhs.uk

Sonia Winifred

Cllr Sonia Winifred is a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist, and Clinical Supervisor. She manages her Private Practice and is employed by Fegans Charity, managing a team of Counsellors providing Counselling support for children and young people in Primary and Secondary Schools in Lambeth.

Cllr Winifred is the Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture in the London Borough of Lambeth with responsibility for the strategic approach to Lambeth’s rich and diverse cultural and tourism sectors. Cllr Winifred works with community groups to support the thriving arts and cultural communities. She is responsible for Lambeth’s library services and for maintaining our fantastic parks and open spaces.

Lambeth is an open and welcoming borough where people care about one another and we celebrate our diversity. Cllr Winifred is responsible for working with partners across the borough to make Lambeth more equal, embedding equalities into all the council’s work and delivering the recommendations of the Equalities Commission and overseeing Equalities Impact Assessments.

Zoë K. Reed

In 2016 Zoë completed 40 years in public service and continued her Director work at the Trust on a part time basis. She is now the joint strategic lead, with Dr Jacqui Dyer MBE, for the Trust’s PCREF [Patient and Carer Race Equality Framework] Programme.

A pilot site in this national programme aiming to eliminate racial disparity in mental health services. Zoë is also the Trust’s Freedom to Speak Up Guardian. Her career started in committee administration in local government – working through a range of management posts culminating as a director. She joined the NHS and the Trust’s Board in 2000. Her NHS responsibilities have included strategy, business development, participation, equalities and other allied areas. 

Zoë is also the Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding (SACU)’s Chair. SACU has been promoting friendship and understanding between the peoples of the UK and China for over 55 years.

Partner and Supporters

We believe change happens through collaboration and collective action. Our partners and supporters are crucial to the work we do.