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. Our board is integral in the enacting of our mission of reimagining and transforming the systems of society so that Black people can thrive. We do this as a collective.
Our partnership organisations include Lambeth Council, Lambeth Alliance, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Lambeth Metropolitan Police, Social Finance, Advocacy Academy, Carers’ Hub Lambeth, Lambeth Links, Disability Service Advice Lambeth (dasl) and Black Thrive Global.
Our role in Lambeth is to promote the needs of residents and support our communities through the provision of our services, both those we deliver directly and those we commission. We work with local people, community organisations, statutory organisations (including schools, colleges, and NHS trusts) and local businesses to agree local priorities and put in place strategies and policies to deliver them. These include Lambeth’s Borough Plan, Skills and Employment Strategy and Economic Resilience Strategy which can all be found on our website, and we are working to achieve them together through partnership and collaboration. Lambeth Council is also responsible for the development of a Health and Wellbeing Strategy which sets out our ambition for health and wellbeing in the Borough building on needs identified through the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and engagement with partners and communities. As part of this commitment, we recognise that over 20% of our workforce live in the borough. We have a 2,700 strong diverse workforce who are 60% female, 60.8% Black, Asian and multi-ethnic with an average age of 47. As a council we have a corporate EDI strategy which is delivered to our workforce, communities, and residents through our directorate EDI action plans.
Lambeth recognises the inequity which exists in the borough for some of our communities, and in particular our Black communities. Working with the Black Thrive Partnership we strive to improve outcomes for our Black residents and reduce inequities and inequality across the borough. Working as part of the Black Thrive Partnership Board offers us an important space to collaborate with others who share this ambition, challenge and reflect on what we achieve and to strengthen our engagement with key stakeholders on a range of vital policy issues. We have recently reviewed and refreshed our HR policies to reflect our commitment to EDI and ensuring a fair, transparent and positive working experience for all our employees. This includes the introduction of our Workforce EDI Statement that sets out our principles and promises around zero tolerance against discrimination. As a Black Thrive partner, we hope to share the very best practice across our borough, learn from others and collaborate on key borough wide priorities.
Black Thrive have been extensively engaged on key policy areas across the council’s work. Within Skills and Employment our strategic objectives include narrowing the employment rate gap between Black and other ethnic minority residents and white residents. Black Thrive have worked closely with the Skills and Employment team in a number of areas and are a key member of our Skills and Employment board and its sub-groups. Through these they have helped us strengthen our focus on Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion throughout our programmes, and have been a key contributor to the development of our approach to responsible procurement
Continuing to work with Black Thrive and through the local partnerships they facilitate, we plan to strengthen our collective working practices and drive forward interventions to reduce inequality in the borough. We will build on existing work and continue to seek consultation, support, and accountability from Black Thrive and from the Black Thrive Partnership Board.
We want to work alongside the people of Lambeth to rebuild trust and confidence and renew policing by consent. We want to be an organisation that looks and feels like the communities we serve. We want to focus on what matters to the people of Lambeth, work more closely with local partners and the public to achieve the best outcomes in the pursuit of justice and in support of victims.
Working closely with the community, we want to build a new blueprint for police engagement that will transform the way the police are held accountable by communities. We want to create a safe space for the community to express their views regarding Police accountability. This will allow the community to implement new and improve existing mechanisms designed to scrutinise the Police. We want to develop new and innovative ways
Mentivity Cultural Awareness Training – Sayce Holmes-Lewis has delivered Stop and Search training to over 200 officer drawing on his personal experiences with Police to broaden the viewpoints of officers, develop cultural competence and to raise awareness that every stop and search effects every individual no matter of the outcome therefore improving accountability and transparency.
Police Encounter Panels - are a new initiative which gives community members an opportunity to feedback on policing encounters, by watching Body Worn Video footage and offering their view on what went well or what the Met could improve.
Innovation Hubs - allow us to create spaces where we can engage community members in challenging and constructive conversations, as well as provide officers with actions that we can take away and deliver on. So far in Southwark and Lambeth we have focused these innovation hubs on young people and main topics are picked by them, the first being the Territorial Support Group.
Recruits training – Members of the Lambeth Community are involved in delivering a variety of inputs to new recruits during foundation training such as stop and search, police accountability, a history of significant events and police and community relations in Lambeth. This facilitates an environment in which new officers can really understand how local people want to be kept safe by their officers.
Outreach - We have recently changed our approach to police officer recruitment, with the aim of increasing applications towards the role amongst Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups and white females, in order to increase diversity in the service and better represent Londoners. We have appointed a new Outreach Recruitment lead for Lambeth, with a new dedicated team who are responsible for overseeing a strategy and activities to support employment ambitions, which is well-informed and backed with research in order to help us better understand how we can attract more ethnic minority candidates into police from within London’s diverse population.
Lambeth Stop and Search Community Reference Group – We have worked closely with our community members to design a new and refreshed monitoring group for Lambeth where the community meet with Senior Police Officers and discuss the topic of Stop and Search.
Community Effect Development Training – We are organising two days of community-led training for existing officers where members of the community will be able to deliver and input to officers. The aim is that the fundamental principles of legitimacy in policing and procedural justice are embedded from the very beginning of their police career. Furthermore in bring community members with lived experiences into existing officer training it will aid in the development and understanding of the fundamental cultures of the communities and offer refreshers on an annual basis as needs change.
Reverse Mentoring – We are in the final stages of organising reverse mentoring. In this pilot, young people from the local community will be paired with a Senior Police Officer from Lambeth and Southwark in order to share knowledge and experiences and influence police officers at the highest levels.
Stop and Search Video Package – we are working with Black Thrive Members to create a video package for Police Officers which highlights the impact that Stop and Search has on the wellbeing and mental health of young people.
Carers' Hub Lambeth is an independent local charity based in Brixton. Our mission is to improve carers' lives in Lambeth through quality services and community engagement.
Our work stems from the fact that unpaid carers often go about their roles despite the toll it might take on their own wellbeing, often having to make sacrifices that hamper their own ability to lead a normal life. Whether financial, educational or otherwise, we seek to limit the challenges that carers face in two key ways: by working with carers directly, and by influencing the local services and policies that affect them.
We recognise the essential work that Black Thrive does in the Lambeth community and are keen to partner together to combat the inequalities faced by Black carers.
Through our involvement with Black Thrive, we’ve identified carers that have supported the Patient & Carers Race and Equalities Framework (PCREF) and accessed Culturally Appropriate Peer Advocacy Support (C.A.P.S.A). The Black Thrive Partnership Board offers an opportunity to highlight challenges that Black carers face in Lambeth and we look forward to continuing to work together for sustainable and systemic change.