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SoWN News 31 May 2024

Welcome to your South Bank and Waterloo Neighbours newsletter.

This newsletter contains:

  • Details of the next South Bank and Waterloo Forum - Thursday 27 June

  • Top events for: piano enthusiasts, families and friends, country show fans, wellbeing and young filmmakers

  • News from the London Eye and Old Vic

  • Spotlight on... SoWN Chair, Rev Giles Goddard


South Bank and Waterloo Forum, Thursday 27 June, 7pm - Making South Bank and Waterloo a fairer and greener neighbourhood by 2030!

Do you live or work in the South Bank and Waterloo area and like to know what's going on and have an opportunity to ask questions? If so, the South Bank and Waterloo Forum is the place for you!

The Forum takes place four times a year and the next one will be held on Thursday 27 June at Sustainable Ventures, County Hall, 7pm - 8.30pm with refreshments after the meeting.

It will be an election-free zone. At this meeting you're invited to be part of the conversation on tackling climate change locally. Hosted during London Climate Action Week, this sustainability-themed Forum will provide updates on the exciting Net Zero projects ongoing in our community, plus opportunities to get involved and have your say. Come engage with local leaders in this space, participate in group discussions, and discover how you can contribute to creating a fairer and greener neighbourhood. Food and drink will be provided and there will be opportunities afterwards to tour the Sustainable Ventures space

There's no need to register, you can just come along. The following Forums will be held on Thursday 3 October and Thursday 12 December.

Everyone is welcome, we hope to see you there.


Top events for...

Piano enthusiasts

Morley College are delighted to announce that they're providing a community piano at Waterloo Station. Join them on Wednesday 12 June at 1pm for the grand unveiling.

No booking required.

Families and friends

On Sunday 9th June, St John's are hosting an interfaith picnic to mark the start of the Great Big Green Week - focusing on the theme of swaps.

Starts at 1pm, in St John's Churchyard. Bring plant-based food to share. Face painting, treasure hunt and many other activities for children.

2.30pm Entertainment, music, dancing

3.15pm Interfaith reflection

Country show fans

The Lambeth Lambeth Country Show will take place for the 50th year on Saturday 8 & Sunday 9 June 2024, 1pm - 9pm in Brockwell Park

This event has something for everyone and is FREE! Visit the website for more information.


Streatham Action is a local community forum established to give a voice to residents and improve life, work and play in the area.

They have a range of community sessions available including women's and men's health, support for parents and carers, crafts, sports and much more. Visit their website for more information.

Young filmmakers

The BFI is offering free spaces for local children on it's summer film making courses.

Mini Filmmakers (8-11 year olds), every Saturday 8th June – 13th July 10:30-12:30. To claim your free space use the code MINIFREE

Young Filmmakers (12-16 year olds), every Saturday 8th June – 13th July 14:00-16:30. To claim your free space use the code YOUNGFREE



The London Eye

There was welcome news earlier this month that Lambeth Council have approved planning permission for the London Eye to have a permanent place on London's South Bank. Not only will this continue to delight visitors and bring footfall to the area, but 1% of the London Eye's annual turnover is invested locally through the Section 106 agreement. 

You can read more about the decision here.

This month Merlin Entertainment launched a report setting out its social impact in the UK. You can read more about that here.


The Old Vic Backstage development

The Old Vic Theatre are happy to report that construction work has begun on the new 'Backstage' annex which will be a state-of-the-art hub for creativity, education and community.

Demolition of the site began in January and this month construction began on the new building. Construction is due to be completed in the Autumn of 2025.

Sustainability has been a key consideration in the project and the architects have used salvaged materials including the 250 lighting barndoors used to create a colourful and playful display on the façade.

You can find out more about the project in the link below.

The Old Vic BACKSTAGE Update - APRIL 2024
Download PDF • 3.11MB



Spotlight on... SoWN Chair, Rev Giles Goddard

There are lots of people making fantastic contributions to our community and we want to shine a spotlight on them each month. This month we caught up with SoWN Chair, St John's vicar, charity fundraiser and all-round good egg, Rev Canon Giles Goddard, to ask him a few questions.

How long have you been Chair of SoWN?

I've been part of SoWN since it was set up back in 2016, and have been chair since John Langley retired in 2023

What does the Chair of SoWN do?

SoWN is unique locally because it brings together residents, businesses and the many amazing arts and cultural organisations in Waterloo and South Bank. I try to make sure that SoWN's vision - of making this a fairer, greener, inspiring place for everyone to live, work and have fun in - is fulfilled. It's a complicated role as there are so many local stakeholders and the area is changing all the time.

If you could describe the South Bank and Waterloo community in three words, what would they be?

Bright, thoughtful, welcoming

What are you really passionate about?

Waterloo and South Bank is right at the heart of the unique city which is London.

I'm passionate about enabling EVERYONE to have the chance to thrive here - whether they are long-term residents, visitors, homeless people or workers. In this increasingly divided world I'm trying to break down barriers, both through my work as Vicar of St John's and as chair of SoWN.

I'm also passionate about making the area as green as it can possibly be, for everyone's wellbeing and so that nature can flourish.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Practically everything! Certainly not a vicar. I think astronaut came out top. I remember watching the moon landing on the neighbours' flickering black and white TV in 1969.

If we were coming round for dinner, what would you cook?

One of my favourite dishes to cook is a vegetable tajine with lots of apricots, and couscous, followed by a rhubarb and frangipane tart (when rhubarb's in season). Or I would take everyone to Ev Cafe.

What would you like to say to the people of South Bank and Waterloo?

Shameless plug - I have a book coming out at the end of June - read it!

It's called Generous Faith. It's about all that's happened at St John's since I arrived 14 years ago - and about my story. I think it's a good read and has lots of local interest.

If you would like to nominate someone to be featured in a Spotlight, please let us know.


We're always looking for community news for the SoWN newsletter. If you have anything to be included, please email

If you would like to volunteer to be part of editorial team please email


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