New course dates for our adult learning programme

We have dates available for booking for our adult learning courses in September, so please sign up for the autumn term now!
These include:
Food Safety – Friday 20 September, 9.15am-4.00pm
Emergency First Aid – Friday 27 September, 9.15am-4.15pm
Paediatric First Aid – Saturday 28 September, 9.00am-4.30pm
Safeguarding of Children and Young People – Friday 11 October, 9.30am-3.15pm
Booking is via the Eventbrite Button on the right of this page.

Our ESOL classes will also start again from the first week in September. Assessments take place on Tuesdays 3.30pm-4.30pm and Wednesday 5.00pm-6.00pm. Please call Jill for further details on 0207 639 7605.

Joe’s Ukulele Band

Ukulele classes for beginners or those with a little experience of playing. 7 to 12 year olds are invited to join Joe, our experienced music teacher, for just £1 per week. We supply the ukulele if you don’t have one or you can bring your own. For more information call: us on 020 7639 7605

The Somerville Summer Programme

Cooking, Sports, Bike Maintenance, Tournaments, Tennis, Duke of Edinburgh, Girls Group, Creative Arts, Dodge Ball, Football, Woodwork, Rollerskating and the amazing Adventure Playground..

There will also be a wide series of trips funded by New Cross Gate Trust, including crazy golf, Chessington Zoo, Fruit picking and Chislehurst Caves, Southend on Sea, Greenwich park theatre visits, and much more…

Hungry Fridays open throughout the school holidays
All totally free,

Summer Reading Challenge – Space Race!

Get ready for an out of this world adventure with Space Chase.
Prepare for lift off as we travel across the galaxy on a very special reading mission: it’s the Summer Reading Challenge 2019!
Meet the Rockets! This super cool family lives on a satellite station in space. They love spending time at their local library on the Moon.
Quickly join up at New Cross Learning, 283 – 285 New Cross Road, SE14 6AS to take part in the Summer Challege.
Certificates and medals awarded to the victors!!


An eight week course affordable for all…
In response to high demand for this course, we will be offering another Mindfulness course at Besson Street Community Garden starting:
Tuesday 03 September 6.30pm to 8.00pm.
The cost is £10 unwaged or £40 waged. If you’ve heard all the hype about Mindfulness but are not sure where to start or if you want to re-ignite your practice, join us for an eight-week mindfulness course. Loretta Curtin has been teaching yoga and meditation for seven years. Her classes are relaxed and for people of all abilities.You can book you place here or call Loretta on 07981 161 654.

Have your say!

This is a new regular column where a local resident has their
say about something on their mind. This month Reuben, aged 9, inspires
us with what he learned on the environmental studies course at Besson Street Community Garden.

Did you know that there is an amazing grass that can do wonders for our fragile planet? It grows easily and quickly and can be used in many different ways. As it is fast growing and highly sustainable it means if
we keep planting it, it will keep growing, we can keep cutting it and keep using it. And while it’s growing it’s cleaning the air up to 30% more than any other plant on earth and it can be found in Besson Street Community Garden… and in my garden too!
Can you guess what it is? It’s called bamboo. Bamboo can be made into thousands of sustainable products from clothing, nappies, buildings, toothbrushes, headphones… it is almost limitless in its uses.
It has the same tensile strength as steel which means it is amazingly good for building shelters and slides (you can see this if you visit
And it has the compound strength of brick, wood and some concretes. It really is astonishing. Bamboo can also be used in medicines and is a
valuable source of food for Pandas and water for all creatures.
There are so many different types and colours of bamboo, from black to pink to blue. It grows in borders and pots and makes the garden look beautiful. Sparrows and robins like to perch in ours.
Climate change is threatening our planet and pushing Arctic and Antarctic habitats to their absolute limit. Our seas are rising and are full of plastic pollution. Instead of using fossil fuels to produce energy we can
use sustainable energies from the wind, waves and the sun.
Bamboo is easy to grow – anyone can do it – so why don’t you have a go and help the planet too?
By Reuben, age 9

Stop press ! New employment services coming our way

We’ve got some exciting news to announce soon, but we’re just in the process of ticking all the boxes. All being well we will have a new jobs club and interview skills training coming our way from September. Further details will be announced just as soon as we have all of the necessary requirements in place. Until then, watch this space.

In the meantime, if you are looking for some 1:1 support to improve your CV, and to get some help looking and applying for jobs, please contact our employment adviser, Elisha, on

The best things in life are free

And we can share them with the birds and bees!
Summer holidays are ascending on us rapidly so for parents and carers with children at home finding affordable things to do is essential.
There are 3,000 parks in London all with free admission and many with additional family activities on this summer. 3,000 parks adds up to 35,000 acres of grass, streams, boating ponds, paddling pools, playgrounds, sports fields and flowerbeds. Something for everyone.
We have one of the eight Royal Parks in London on our doorstep in Greenwich. A packet of sandwiches, a couple of apples, a bottle of water and a ball and you’ve got a great day sorted and some seriously well exercised and exhausted children by teatime. You can get the
children to do a bit of online research looking for parks with features they most enjoy – boating, roaming deer, football facilities, paddling pool etc and plan to visit one or two each week during the holidays.
The Thames
A fantastic free day out. The Thames Path through London is cram packed with interesting things to see, hear, smell and do. There are the built up
stretches around Westminster down to Tower Bridge rich with interesting buildings, history and people. And there’s the quieter stretches where
birds and other wild life can be enjoyed at a much slower pace.
The River Thames is England’s longest river flowing from the Cotwolds in the west to the North Sea in the East, covering 215 miles.
Part of this long river is non-tidal and part is tidal. From Teddington through London right to the North Sea this is the tidal part of the Thames and the river rises and falls throughout the day. There are 75 non-tidal bridges and 29 tidal bridges across the Thames. Over the last 30 years at least 119 different species of fish have been found in the
Thames. Seals can be found as far upstream as Waterloo Bridge during their breeding and nursing seasons.
Waterloo Bridge is London’s longest bridge at 1250 feet or 381 metres. Nowadays we source approximately two thirds of London’s drinking
water from the Thames. However, back in 1858 use of the Thames was suspended because it was just too smelly!
Today there is much to enjoy and many gorgeous places to visit along the river banks.
It’s true, some of the best things in life are free,
Have a safe, happy and as cost- free, as
possible, summer holidays.

Why we’re concerned about climate change

Climate change is everybody’s business, no-one on the planet can escape the affects of climate change, but we can all make a difference in several different ways.

What’s the problem?

Last October a group of 91 scientists presented a report to the UN which said we have 12 years, in which if we don’t change how we use the earth’s resources (and therefore how we live), there will be irreversible climate catastrophe. Climate change is something that is happening already and we are all seeing the effects of this in different ways around the world, with extreme and unpredictable weather taking its toll. Those who are poorest are bearing the brunt of this, but we share the planet and it affects us all.
What can we do about it?
The question is perhaps best asked the other way around – what happens if we do nothing? What will the future look like for our children and grandchildren? The statistics are scary. We need 3 planets to cope with our current consumption. Only 10% of people in the world actually have clean air. Micro plastics have made their way into our bodies – they are in the food chain and have even been found in breast milk!
Locally, air pollution is a serious problem with levels in New Cross and Deptford six times higher than World Health Organisation guidelines, and New Cross Road is listed as one of the worst 50 roads in London. Though within that bad news story it’s great to report that Besson Street Community Garden, the home of NXG Trust, is proven to be in the top three clean air spaces in New Cross (Goldsmith’s Clean Air Survey). Why? Because we have a dense planting of trees and other plants absorbing the carbon dioxide in the air and churning out fresh oxygen. We need dense planting of trees in every playground, school and nursery outdoor space.
On an individual level we can all make small differences and it will add up.
But we need bigger changes too! The big culprits are the companies producing and over producing goods, using fossil fuels and precious resources on a massive scale. We need society wide changes and this means there has to be a huge emphasis on the worksplace, on industry and big business not simply the home.
Lots of people have been protesting recently. Children and young people have been striking – in May ‘FridaysForFuture’ held strikes in 131 countries! Extinction Rebellion has also emerged as a global movement and captured headlines. 142 Councils in the UK (including Lewisham) have already declared a Climate Emergency as has the UK Government.
The crux is that we need to reduce our CO2 emissions fast. The wealthiest nations are responsible for more CO2 and within these the wealthiest people are responsible for a bigger share. Key contributors to CO2 emissions include –
• Fossil fuels – transport (cars, planes, ships),
etc. and electricity.
• Animal farming – meat and dairy
• Shopping – fashion industry and importing food
and goods.
We can use our rights as citizens and consumers, and while we can each try to do our bit we need to pressure companies and governments to change too. ‘Social scientists have found that when one person makes a sustainability- oriented decision, other people do too.’

Wildly Fun Summer Skills school

Tickets are now available for our 2-week ‘Wildly Fun’ summer skills School.

This is a fantastic opportunity to learn amazing new skills through a wide range of different workshops running throughout the two week event. Activities will include mask making, drumming, circus skills, glass painting, puppet making, sewing, and much much more. Tickets cost £20 for unwaged parents (proof of benefits will be required), and £40 for those who are currently in employment.

You can book on line via this link.

Summer youth activities

We have a small amount of funding available to deliver youth activities within New Cross Gate over the summer holidays. If you are a local community group and would like to deliver positive activities for young people over the summer, please get in touch with us to discuss your ideas. Email

Yoga Fundraising Day

Our Yoga Teacher, Sheila Wisdom will be running a FUNDRAISING YOGA DAY on 15 JUNE 2019 
10.30 – 4.30PM @ Besson St Community Gardens, 
SE14 5EA. 

This outdoor event will be hosted by Sheila Wisdom a local yoga teacher who goes to Ghana, once a year to teach yoga in schools. We will have amazing yoga teachers sharing different styles of yoga and
the day ends with a Gong Bath (styles of yoga will include Yin, African, Kundalini, Vinyasa Flow  and Hatha). Tickets are available from Eventbrite.

Every penny with helps Sheila return to Ghana to teach yoga in schools. Follow her on Instagram: 1yogawisdom.
Please email Sheila at with any questions.