CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Old Flapjacks cafe to become climate emergency base

'Nothing New November' clothes swap event planned

31 October, 2019 — By Dan Carrier

How the shopfront will look

AN empty café in Kentish Town is set to re-open – as a community action base to tackle the climate emergency.

Camden Council has joined forces with green groups to convert the former Flapjacks cafe in Kentish Town Road into a community space focusing on workshops to help people understand – and work to tackle – the issues of climate breakdown.

On Saturday, the space will open for a series of workshops including making pallet-crate furniture and decorating – and begin a six-week trial next week.

Organiser Debbie Bourne told the New Journal the cafe would give people a platform to share ideas and work on projects.

If it’s a success, the Town Hall could roll the idea out across the borough, using empty shops on other high streets.

Ms Bourne said: “It is a space for unleashing collective imaginations to come up with new ideas to help tackle the climate emergency.”

Groups including Transition Town teams, Climate Emergency Camden, Extinction Rebellion, Friends of the Earth and Camden Fair Trade will help run the space. Among the events, the shop will host a “Nothing New November” clothes swap, and host a Saturday night meal created from surplus vegetables from a box scheme.

Ms Bourne added: “It’s a great way to also re-visualise our high streets, to get them to be places where people go to connect and swap ideas, not just to shop.”

The council has not issued the group with a lease, but say it follows on from recommendations made by the Camden Citizen Assembly, focusing on improving information about the climate crisis and offering practical space for people to learn more and take part.

Environment chief Labour councillor Adam Harrison said: “This gives us the opportunity to take on one of the Camden Climate Assembly’s recommendations – to mobilise community groups and bring people together.”

He said that because it was a shopfront on a busy street, he hoped ­people would be encouraged to drop in and learn more.

“We will look at how it works over the next six weeks, and hopefully it can spread out across the borough,” said Cllr Harrison.

Flapjacks, which had been open at the site for 20 years, has moved to Greenwood Place.

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