Covid-19: test centre opens in a brewery

Ignition Brewery test centre.
Pic: Lewisham Council

A brewery in Lewisham that employs and trains people with learning disabilities has been turned into a rapid Covid-19 test centre.

The test centre at Ignition Brewery in Sydenham started offering Covid-19 tests to anyone without symptoms who must leave home for work from March 1.

The opening times of the new centre are 9:30 am to 4 pm on a weekday and 9:30 am to 2 pm on the weekend, with evening appointments offered on Tuesday and Thursday.  

You can book a rapid test here. 

‘Keeping Sydenham strong healthy’

The opening of the latest centre is another step to widen the accessibility for residents across the borough.

Evening appointments are being offered, with the last available appointment at 7 pm. 

Lewisham Council now has a total of four rapid testing centres including the Civic Suite in Catford, The Green Man in Bromley, and Deptford Lounge. 

Ignition Brewery is a not-for-profit business on Sydenham High Street and whilst non-essential retail remains closed, the premises are being used for lateral flow testing which can be completed in as quick as ten minutes. 

Rapid test results.
Pic: Guido Hofmann

Nick O’Shea, Co-Director, Ignition Brewery said: “Ignition is delighted to have adapted our taproom so that rapid Covid-19 testing can be offered to local key workers.

“Since the pandemic arrived, the health and the safety of our customers and staff have been paramount and so we fully support all practical efforts to detect and control this disease.

“Keeping Sydenham strong and healthy is our number one goal.” 

On average test results take under thirty minutes and are delivered by text or email.  

11,000 people tested

Dr Catherine Mbema, Director of Public Health for Lewisham said: “Since we introduced rapid testing in Lewisham, over eleven thousand residents have received a rapid test at one of our sites.

“By getting a regular rapid test people who need to leave their homes for work, volunteering or caring responsibilities are helping to protect the people around them.” 

Kew workers, coming into contact with customers and out in the community are more at risk of contracting and spreading the virus.  

Many people who have coronavirus may show no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising.  

Draught beer.
Pic: Louis Hansel

The brewery gives all profits to local organisations and supports the community whilst paying the London Living wage to its trainee brewers. 

They received a Mayor’s award in December 2020 for valuable contribution to the borough’s community response to the pandemic.   

Ignition Brewery is also open for takeaway fresh draft beer on Fridays and Saturdays from 4 pm until 7 pm as well as delivery once a month to nearby postcodes.  

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