Lewisham #GivingTuesday challenges Black Friday ethos

Giving Tuesday Lewisham. Pic: Sam Hawksley

Giving Tuesday Lewisham. Sam Hawksley from Lewisham Local with a Lewisham Sainsburys Staff Member. Pic: Sam Hawksley

Local organisations Voluntary Action Lewisham and Lewisham Local collaborated with charities in the borough to organise the first #GivingTuesdayLewisham, an event designed to balance the consumer frenzy of Black Friday.

Amongst the events volunteers sorted food for charity, created and donated Christmas cards and organised a Bake Sale.

Local organisations and businesses such as Sainsbury’s and Goldsmiths in New Cross donated goods for the various projects organised by organisations in the borough. One of the organisations taking part was Somerville Youth and Play Provision.

Volunteers spray-painted a shipping container for the new adventure playground that is to be part of the youth centre. One of them was Goldsmiths Media and Communications student Yasmin Abanur, 20, who spent the whole day volunteering for the Somerville Youth centre.

Volunteers spray-painted a new adventure playground for a youth centre. Pic: Marie Segger

Volunteers spray-painted a new adventure playground for a youth centre. Pic: Marie Segger

Asked if her efforts were worth it, she said: “You know what was the best bit about it? When the kids came and they were like oh my God (…) this looks so awesome!”

Giving Tuesday was launched as a response to Black Friday, a day focused on buying and consuming. The event is supposed to be about giving and the organisations in Lewisham wanted to take that to a local level, according to Sam Hawksley from Lewisham Local.

“Because at this time, with Black Friday, it’s all about money. But today it’s all about people’s skills and local volunteering,” said Abanur.

Hawksley helped out at the Somerville Youth Centre and convinced local shops and businesses to sign up for Lewisham Card which gives discounts to local shoppers.

Voluntary Action Lewisham expressed their satisfaction with the overall outcome. In a statement given to ELL, Joanne Roberts the Development Support Officer from Voluntary Action Lewisham said: “We’re delighted with the response from those individuals and businesses who took part yesterday. It’s a great start and, we want to work with Lewisham Local and our member organisations to build on this response.”

The organisations are currently looking into carrying out #GivingTuesdayLewisham again next year.

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