Testimonials

We have 102 testimonials so far. Keep 'em coming!

We have 102 testimonials so far.
Keep 'em coming!

Maureen Pathe

Posted on 10 April 2021

Since 1973, WAC has been a very important hub for a wide range of services and is situated in a very convenient location. I had been enjoying the wonderful dance classes given by Jean Leclerc before the lockdown put a temporary stop to so much. Jean’s excellent teaching skills and his enthusiasm for dance is inspiring. Dance is so important for both physical and mental health. Please keep the WAC open, we need it. Thanks

Jackie

Posted on 10 April 2021

My family have used this centre for a long time and it would be absolutely devastating if it was taken away! People in the community need this centre now more than ever and it would mean so much to me if it continued to run. My Nan adores the classes and my family have so many memories there. It is place that is 100% worth saving!

Name Withheld

Posted on 9 April 2021

As a local resident, I often drop into the WAC to see what's on inside. I've appreciated art in the gallery space and bought secondhand books and clothes. But more than that, I know the WAC provides desperately needed services to the people most in need of community spaces like this. The building, in its location so central in the Waterloo area, is so important to people living nearby who need legal advice, help with technology, disability services and so much more. There are so few things to do in this part of Lambeth that don't require you to spend money to even participate. We've already lost the nearby Waterloo Library.

The WAC is a pillar of the community in North Lambeth, where there is little else in terms of community services and spaces locally. To lose this organisation and space would be a huge loss, firstly for the people who need the important services offered, and secondly for the wider community: people like me who don't avail ourselves of the charitable services as much but know that our local community needs spaces and organisations like this, and that the community we are a part of will suffer and be worse off without the concrete help, activities and sense of welcome and belonging the WAC offers. I don't want that for my neighbours and friends who use all those services. We need more spaces like the WAC, not less. For the cost of keeping the WAC economically viable by not catastrophically raising the rent, Lambeth reaps far more in benefits to its residents.

I urge Lambeth Council to preserve the WAC for what it is - a wonderful place that helps a lot of vulnerable local people, whose work no other local organisation is prepared to replace, and whose history should be respected and continued. Thank you.

Akin Samuel

Posted on 8 April 2021

The Waterloo Action Centre do sterling work in the heart of London. I first got involved helping their clients negotiate the ever increasing complexity of IT in the modern world. Many of them did not have email or the knowledge of how to access government or utility websites for vital services like water, electricity or paying their council tax.

The WAC among many other things provides an avenue for elderly or disabled people to be connected with services more tech savvy people take for granted in the form of friendly and patient people willing to sit, teach and listen.

The WAC do all that they do on a shoestring budget and the generosity of charities. All of their money goes to helping those in need with very little left for anything else. A hike in their rents constitutes a threat to WACs services and activities that have become crucial to communities around Waterloo, SE1 and beyond.

Please reconsider and save this gem in the heart of London.

Abena Addo

Posted on 8 April 2021

When I was recently in an upsetting situation, I turned to WAC, and I felt so much inclusion, and was helped so kindly. that it gave me strength and resilience to continue to develop my case so that although the pandemic affected access, I felt it had given me a good start.

Please do not force this essential service to close. There MUST be an alternative for you to consider. The community is diverse in its economic nature, and this affordable and in some cases, free resource, is important in times like this.

Name Withheld

Posted on 8 April 2021

WAC is a very important part of my daily life and many others. It is a meeting place for a cup of tea a laugh and a chat. We all know how important that is.

Exercise for helping us to keep mobile. Sewing class, knitting class all for beginners or experts. Art classes. Good people who arrange days out holidays. Dancing for young and older people. Most important a place to meet up and not feel lonely.

DAVID BILIC

Posted on 8 April 2021

Dear Sir/Madam, 7April2021

I am a longstanding member of Morley Blades Fencing Club. I was very disturbed to read that Lambeth Council is considering

increasing the rent of W.A.C. by upto £45,000/year!! I have no doubt that W.A.C. would have to close if that happened. We have been hiring halls here since 2011. We were for many years part of Morley College, but in that year they stopped sports funding. So we took over the running of the club ourselves. Ironically it was the year before the London Olympics when the government had promised 'Sports for All' to encourage a healthy population. Anyway it was a Godsend to find halls for hire at W.A.C. It is extremely difficult to find anything in central London.

As a club we are a microcosm of the London population as a whole with European, Canadian, S. American, Australian & Kiwi along with British members from varying Ethnic backgrounds including Afro Caribbean & Asian.

W.A.C. does much good work in the community running free lgal advice sessions, computer help for the needy, classes for the retired and youngsters along with pilate classes, drawing classes and more.

I have read that the government has allocated £100 million to local authorities to help recovery of leisure & community centres. I cannot think of a more deserving case than W.A.C.

Yours Sincerely David Bilic-- Treasurer of M.B F.C.

Sheila Smith

Posted on 7 April 2021

I have been going to the Gentle Exercise Class for 20 years. My husband joined first and then I followed after I retired from work. The exercises help my arthritis and help me to keep my independence. The classes have many other benefits by providing a welcoming atmosphere, friendship and support for those who are lonely, bereaved or have health problems as well as those who are more fit. All of the programmes at The Waterloo Advice Centre mean so much to the community both young and old. My daughter was greatly helped by the Legal Advice Service after she was punched in the face on a bus. It is very short sighted of Lambeth Council to impose such a large prohibitive increase in rent, especially now, as it will deny these services to people who, after lockdown, will need the support even more.

TRACY GREEN

Posted on 7 April 2021

i had just started going to line dance classes for several months before the Centre had to close due to Covid19.The classes were really good fun and an excelent way to keep fit as you are doing exercise to music which is enjoyable and as such really improves your quality of life. Also i had just started to get to know a wonderful big group of (mainly)older women, some of whom had been attending the classes for many years. They came from all different backgrounds and cultures and everyone was friendly and got on well so the class was a great way to bring the local community together and to enhance the health and wellbeing of older people, some of whom are quite vulnerable.

I was very upset to learn that the Waterloo Centre is under threat as it is really the only place in Lambeth offering this programme of subsidized classes for older people. There are other centres in the more well off parts of London such as Islington which cater for their local older people and these are thriving. The people of Lambeth deserve the same investment so we too can live in a healthy and cohesive community.

Baroness Janet Whitaker

Posted on 6 April 2021

WAC is a community organisation which makes Waterloo a really rewarding place to live and it would be a very shortsighted decision indeed to increase the rent so that it could not survive in its present form. I pay my council tax on the understanding that it will go to increase the wellbeing of the residents, not decrease it, and now is the time to nurture above all the community spirit and activities which have enabled us to pull through our current crisis.

Franck Rosello

Posted on 6 April 2021

As a local resident I find the Waterloo community Center to be of great use and purpose in an area too depleted of services and activities to serve the local community of and around the Waterloo area. The space is functional and can be used for a large range of activities at low cost or no cost to residents nearby

Vincent Marks

Posted on 5 April 2021

I and my wife have enjoyed the many facilities provided for the local community by the WAC for all of the 25 years we have lived in Waterloo. To lose them for purely commercial reasons would be a travesty..

Name Withheld

Posted on 5 April 2021

I've attended Zumba classes at Waterloo Action Centre since 2018. The location is brilliant, so easy to get to and close to Waterloo station and tube. Pre-Covid I used to look forward to the weekly classes there, which were always very well attended and I hope will be able to resume again soon. The centre is well-maintained and provides an important hub for the local community. Coming out of lockdown it is essential that older members of the community have somewhere close by where they can start to meet up again safely. WAC is able to to provide a unique location and a range of activities that are enjoyed by many, of all ages. To my knowledge there are no other places nearby that offer such spacious facilities for dance and exercise. Waterloo Action Centre is a tremendous asset which should be saved and kept for use by all.

Name Withheld

Posted on 5 April 2021

Waterloo action centre is vital for local residents and it did help lots of vulnerable persons. Please do consider the importance of the waterloo action centre and do not increase the rent to force it move out.

Kind regards,

HC Lin

Kathia

Posted on 4 April 2021

WAC has been a great resource for my mum. It's enabled her to make new friends, experience shows, go on trips and most importantly has given her the opportunity to gain confidence. She now regularly paints and loves to exhibit her work, or make cards that they sell in order to raise money for WAC. It's such a great community for her and the friends and it would be a great shame and disservice to the community to lose it.

Anjana Gupta

Posted on 4 April 2021

This is a huge part of the local community and the only place where such a range of activities are available in the local area. Raising rents will displace so many of tenants and significantly undermine the range of offering at WAC. This change would be a crippling, unconscionable and reverberating loss for many families. The promise of returning to the services and community of WAC is getting a lot of us through these unprecedented times.

Lindsay Alexander Pritchard

Posted on 4 April 2021

Many happy memories of WAC. The social dances and learning to dance there. Also was lovely to see Phillip Townsend's photography exhibition there shortly before his passing and to meet the great man himself.

Paola Garcia Lopez

Posted on 4 April 2021

I have been running my Zumba classes at the WAC for the past 4 years. This community centre means a lot to me and to all the members of my Zumba community. Last year I also started another dance activity introducing the WAC to another group of people who enjoyed the amenities of the WAC. This precious space means a lot not to just us but to many other people that use it to support the centre, arts and culture. It has been beautiful to see how many different cultural activities the WAC supports, from Zumba, to Pilates, to live painting, to Ballet and many more and to lose this space would be a terrible loss to the community.

Name Withheld

Posted on 3 April 2021

I've been attending Zumba classes here for several years and the staff are helpful and friendly. The centre is easily accessible via public transport & I provides a variety of community activities and support.

Name Withheld

Posted on 3 April 2021

I’ve participated in Zumba classes at WAC since 2018. The Zumba class is a community that I value as it brings together women in the area in a welcoming space where I feel comfortable to exercise without any judgement about my body or ability. It’s not a high end gym so this keeps the costs low and the class affordable. WAC is an important part of this Zumba community and we look forward to returning to in person classes post-covid.

Catriona Slorach

Posted on 3 April 2021

As a Lambeth resident and charity worker, I know that free independent advice services are so important, especially now with insecure work, job losses, illegal evictions, benefits problems and so many other issues arising from Covid and Brexit. WAC is also a lovely community space. Our Council must support it, not drive it out!

Name Withheld

Posted on 3 April 2021

I moved from Germany to London for work in 2019. I had no friends and only knew my colleagues from my work. Then I searched for a Zumba classes and found the ones from Paola in the WAC. The Zumba classes were every week my highlight. In the Zumba class with all these wonderful powerful women I had so much fun and became more and more confident in this big city. In this room was so much energy, self empowerment and fun that we all need. So I just want to say that the WAC and Paola and the strong people helped me so much to feel comfortable and I am so grateful for that. The WAC is a place where you can go to and be welcome. xx

Palak

Posted on 3 April 2021

I really love the dance classes (zumba) at the WAC, there is such a big sense of community and the classes are affordable too! It is lovely to have an accessible place to go to, it is spacious and has multiple uses (art classes as well)!! In a sea of gadgets and eyes drawn to screens, this place really makes all the difference in connecting people of various age groups in activities that feed the soul and bring so much joy.

Name Withheld

Posted on 3 April 2021

Waterloo Action Centre provides a great service to many local people of all ages. It is a community centre for all. It is a place which enables different groups to meet, which in turn will help the mental health of the community. These sort of places save the council money in the long run, because they provide spaces for events to happen, which in turn benefit the health and welfare of the local community. For example, WAC invited the local primary school choir to come together with the elderly to sing Christmas Carols together, where afterwards they they all sat together having tea and biscuits and a chat. These sort of events are so important, and they need a venue to take place in. I have personally used it for after work exercise classes, it is very convenient for me.

Sole Puerto

Posted on 3 April 2021

I’ve enjoyed zumba and pilates classes at WAC for the last 4+ years, providing a space to comfortably exercise and interact with people. Even though i only went twice a week it was clear to me that it was a hub of culture/art/exercise, from art classes to fencing classes that were taking place in the neighbouring rooms. To lose this space would come as a terrible loss to the community and to everyone, that like me, weren’t local but still felt like their were.

Name Withheld

Posted on 3 April 2021

Dear Sirs,

My name is Cannie and live very close to WAC. We treat WAC as our community centre and we took our flu jab there, can take drawing and dancing class there. I heard the Lambert Council will increase significant rent there. They will have to stop their operation. Please help WAC to survive and carry on to provide service to us.

Best regards

Cannie

Quentin Campbell

Posted on 2 April 2021

Community Action Centres, such as yours, provide a vital local service at all times especially in times of stress and turmoil such as during the present pandemic.

Inner city areas especially need to have community centres to provide advice to residents and to provide a hub for local initiatives.

I understand that Lambeth Council are proposing a very large rent increase which may lead to the closure of the Centre. This appears extraordinary during a period when many public spirited

landlords have agreed to relax enforcement and reduce rents to assist in the present crisis..

The closure of the centre and the services it provides would inevitably lead to an increase in demands on other local authority departments.

Name Withheld

Posted on 2 April 2021

Miy name is Anne Greenslade, known as Annie, have been coming to the WAC Centre for the last 4 -5 years. I have enjoyed my time singing in a small choir every Monday morning. I JUST HOPE IT . WILL CONTINUE.. I have learnt a lot about music from the pianist and teacher. Also iI have met others whom I have made friends both in and out the WAC centre May it long continue.. A.Greenslade

Marilyn Smith

Posted on 2 April 2021

I wish to give my support to the WAC on this devsating news. It has been the stalwort of the Waterloo Community for many years and would devaste many residents if it no longer existed. It has been essential in my mums health and wellbeing, as 10years ago she was gravely ill and spent months in intesive care. it was recommend to further aid her recovery that she should do some gentle exercies and so she joined the exercise class for the over 60's, Apart from Covid lockdown, she has attended the WAC 2-3 times a week hardly ever missing a day over the years. The activites have been of great benefit to our senior citizens and has created strong friendships. Mum is really looking forward to going back to the WAC to resume meeting up again with her many friends when covid rules permits. It is a tragedy that this comes down purely to funding and that a valaualble unique communal facility could be lost!

Ivor Dembina

Posted on 2 April 2021

An oasis of humanity in a creeping desert of hotels and food outlets.

Joseph O’Meara

Posted on 2 April 2021

Though I only spend part of my time living in Waterloo I recognise the huge value of the Waterloo Action Centre to the local community. I have been involved with various activities associated with the centre and see how much it adds to the community and, indeed, builds the community as well as offering help and support to many of those who need it, especially the elderly. I am shocked that my local council should wish to threaten a centre that provides many services which it either can't or won't provide in the area by raising the rent to an unsustainable level. While I realise that all local authorities have difficulties with their finances that can never excuse threatening services vital to local communities and especially the less advantage.

Brent Cunningham

Posted on 2 April 2021

I have used Waterloo Action Centre for a number of years, mainly joining the Tai Chi classes, but also enjoying the garden, shop and other facilities. This has been personally beneficial to me but I have also seen how this is a valuable community resource that brings together people both older and younger. There is a lack of such spaces in our society and I believe these should be supported as a community resource. This clearly will need action to protect the centre from unsustainable rent increases.

miss ann phillips

Posted on 2 April 2021

I would like to say that I am truly devastated to hear about the proposal of the rise in rent for the WAC.

I have only been attending there for a few years but was sorry that I did not find it alot sooner.

I have missed it so much during this pandemic and am so looking forward to getting back there.

It is so lovely to have s place to go to that is local & in walking distance.

I do hope that this is not going to be the end for the WAC as it is unbearable even to think about it.

Ann Phillips.

Paulette Henry

Posted on 1 April 2021

I have been a Lambeth resident for 35 years and paying my council tax which according to a leaflet I received with one of my council tax bill, some of this money is to help the elderly. As Waterloo Action Centre (WAC) is a place where elderly people meet to do various activities and socialise I am shocked that Lambeth Council is charging rent and it is not just a pittance. I feel Lambeth Council should help to fund WAC as this place is a therapy for the elderly.

Now that I am elderly I look forward to visit WAC as there are not many places where the elderly can go. I started to visit WAC in 2015 and was hoping to return there after the covid lockdown. I would miss not going to WAC if they have to close permanently. The community would also miss not receiving legal advice from WAC.

Patricia Earrey

Posted on 1 April 2021

I have been attending dance classes and events at WAC for the last 15 years, along with my teenage granddaughter and her friend during the last 4 years. It is a great worry to think that rent rises will jeapardise this vital access to exercise and social contact that been vital to me, especially since my retirement.

Name Withheld

Posted on 1 April 2021

I have been visiting WAC for years to participate in Fencing lessons, it has been great to be able to do it in such a great location. It's great to be able to go there and socialise and it would be a loss to not have the opportunities the Community centre provides.

André

Posted on 31 March 2021

Hello!

I have been using the WAC as part of a fencing club over the past three years and I have to say it is a oasis in the city for small community organizations like ours. However, beyond the club I participate in I have come to see the benefit this spaces provides to the community far beyond our fencing club - other organizations such as the free legal clinic which uses the space, small arts organizations practicing drama and music and numerous others which I am sure I am unaware of.

Centers such as these should be celebrated and protected.

I live locally and in the short time I have lived in the area it is clear that the ever-changing landscape of the city means that once centers such as the WAC disappear, they rarely are able to come back. Keep the Waterloo community vibrant and with a home for activities for all!

Helena Renner

Posted on 31 March 2021

Hello everyone,

I'm 19 years old and from Germany. Last year I did a volunteer year in London and regularly attended rock'n'roll classes and monthly rock'n'roll parties in Waterloo Action Centre. These weekly activities have been invaluable during my time in London. As a foreigner in a huge city Waterloo Action Centre was like an anchor for me - positive, welcoming people, amazing activities and affordable prices for a student. I never left the place without jumping out of joy and whenever I come back to London, Waterloo Action Centre will be a MUST on my to do list!! I hope so much WAC and it's various groups can continue their work, it's definitely worth preserving this gem!

Yours sincerely,

Helena Renner

Uzma Amin

Posted on 31 March 2021

The WAC is a great hub for the community. I don't live too far from Waterloo, but I made I always made a point of visting the WAC. They always had lovely artwork exhibited by local schools and colleges and upcoming artists. A rarity these days. They also had a fantastic charity shop. But most importantly, if you ever wanted to have a chat, someone was always there to have a chat with you. It'll be a shame to see it closed down.

Rosemary Facey

Posted on 31 March 2021

I am now living back in devon now, but when i lived in lambeth, i came to a reading group for many years. Which was so enjoyable. So short sighted for landlords to raise rents too much.

I am a landlord in Devon and try to look at

Both sides of the story. Hope the council see sence. Rosemary Facey

Dr Holly White

Posted on 31 March 2021

I first came to learn of the WAC when I decided to take up fencing with the Morley Blades Fencing Club, which uses it as its only site for club activities. I have since learned of the incredible work that the WAC does for the local community and have come to understand its importance for local people. Many people rely heavily on its services, not only as a centre providing advice and help to those in need, but also as a social hub of the community.

Name Withheld

Posted on 31 March 2021

I was shocked to hear that the Council is proposing a large rent increase for WAC. I do understand that the Council may have financial problems but I think forcing the centre to cut back on support and activities could result in the Council having to spend more to support residents. if they lose the support of the centre. The Centre offers so much to the community, and particularly over the last year when it hasn't been able to open, it has kept in touch with its users giving them help and support with a lot of issues that the many older people who use the centre would have some difficulty with otherwise, including loneliness. I have attended classes there for several years and have seen the benefit that users get.

Name Withheld

Posted on 31 March 2021

I have been attending classes at WAC for several years. It is a friendly centre and I have made many friends. If the centre closed, it would have a detrimental effect on all of us. We would lose the opportunity to keep active and socialise with others.

Name Withheld

Posted on 31 March 2021

I fence at the WAC with Morley Blades and it is a superb venue and location in Central London, and there aren’t many London clubs that are within a reasonable distance. I want the venue to stay, as I’ve built new friendships and returned to a sport I love whilst having a career in London.

Name Withheld

Posted on 31 March 2021

We as part of Morley Blades fencing club have been using the WAC facilities for a great number of years. Our Club provides well earned physical exercise to over 20 members, or varying ages and ability & and the mental wellbeing so many of us want.

We as a group, have supported the local community by hosting our AGM's / Social events at the numerous bars and restaurant's.

Should WAC close, this will almost be the end to a club that has been around for a long time. We started in the 1950s (our oldest active member has been at the club over 17 years).

Please ensure that community establishments like the WAC remain open, not just for ourselves and the local community, but because it is the RIGHT thing to do, and Lambeth Council should NOT be raising rents on properties like this, that gives so much to the area.

Gigi

Posted on 31 March 2021

Hi, I have lived in the area of Waterloo for 40 years or more. When I first moved into Waterloo I came to the

Waterloo Action Centre - they helped me so much with any issues or problems to do with housing, money issues and the list goes on. The service they have and still provide to the community in and around Waterloo. the borough of Southwark and Lambeth and further afield is an important service needed by all. All the activities they provide dancing, art, day trips out, yoga, the list goes on. Along with all the good advice, information provided and signposting supporting people in need. A most important service is the access to solicitors and barristers who volunteer their legal services regarding housing and benefits and other issues for free - this may have changed now. Going through my divorce many, many years ago I will be forever thankful for the help and support provided by the legal advice given to me by the barrister at the time. This service just one of the many important services that were held on a Thursday evening between 6.30 pm-9.30 pm., at Waterloo Action Centre.

The Waterloo Action Centre building was constructed in 1893 and the history of Waterloo and surrounding areas need to be acknowledged and celebrated. Please help and support these important historical and present-day well-established organisations like this within the borough of Lambeth and Southwark. I find it so disappointing and upsetting with all the new developments going on within the area of Waterloo and surrounding areas pushing rents and leases prices up.

Can some of these new developers/luxury housing businesses/local businesses/housing organisations acknowledge the importance and maybe give back to and support with the well established Waterloo Action Centre which is on prime land. I totally understand due to the Pandemic and the economic crisis. But this community centre especially since the Pandemic and right now is such an important necessity with people having to face all sorts of crisis. With a strong history of strong community ties over the many years of providing support for local communities, the older people within the different communities, families and many people in the borough of Lambeth & Southwark and further afield.

Regards Gigi

A local resident with strong family ties within the Waterloo area

for many years and a member of the Waterloo Action Centre.

Name Withheld

Posted on 30 March 2021

Waterloo Action Centre was a lifeline, when I had a major problem with a knee complaint and Physio didn`t work. I found out about WAC and went along for the Tuesday Exercise Class, I arrived on a walking stick in great pain, after 6 months attending on a regular basis-I found I didn`t need the stick and could stand and walk independently, I couldn`t have done this without there class. Then I moved onto the Tie Chi class which I found helped with my core strength. I also made great friends and we all look after each others welfare, by keeping in touch by telephone, which we have done with the lockdown; I for one cannot wait to get back to some normality and see my friends at WAC. I also managed to join their Wednesday Bus Pass Outings and go on public transport & visit parks & places of interest. It has been a lifeline for me. Thank you.

Name Withheld

Posted on 30 March 2021

I attend fencing classes at Waterloo Action Centre.

These are a massive public service which keep people in the community such as me healthy and fit, and contribute enormously to our mental well being.

There is nowhere else that offers these services in the locality and it would be a tragedy if they were no longer in a position to enable this, especially at a time when keeping fit for elderly but active people (I am 66) is rightly deemed essential.

Jean-Marie Orhan

Posted on 30 March 2021

I was able to start fencing again thanks to the WAC.

I was fencing for a few years as a kid, but had completely dropped the sport. Recently, my wife bought me a taster session at the centre, and I got hooked! I then took a proper set of sessions with Dave and the club. That really helped me manage my stress levels. I was getting down, both mentally and physically, due to the pressures of work and home. Fencing enabled me to 'sweat it out'. I couldn't have done it without the Waterlook Action Centre.

Ursula muchael

Posted on 30 March 2021

To Lambeth council

I have been going to WAC for 4 years, and i am disabled in a wheel chair. Its one of the only opportunities i get to go out and meet other people. I go to WAC to do craft classes of knitting and crocheting twice a week pre covid 19. I have made a number of new friends over the past 4 years, which has been amazing.

To lose this it would affect my mental health for human interaction. It is such a friendly place and to have this service close down would be devastating.

Name Withheld

Posted on 30 March 2021

I have lived close to Waterloo Action Centre for the last 30 years, and it has always been such a valuable resource for advice and activities. In recent years, as my disabilities have increased and my income has fallen, it has become more and more important to me. I am a regular at the community Tai Chi classes - the availability of a gentle, supportive and affordable class has made a great difference to my balance, strength and mobility: this is recognised and appreciated as having a significant impact on my levels of fitness and wellbeing by the physiotherapy and occupational health teams I see at Guys hospital.

In addition to these practical benefits, the support and camaraderie of the staff, volunteers and other users; the flexibility and innovation they have shown during the pandemic; and the genuine community spirit which thrives at the centre mean it is exactly the kind of resource the Council should be seeking to encourage and nurture.

Cathy Coker

Posted on 30 March 2021

Old people rely on WAC for advice and for meeting others to stop their loneliness . We often live alone and rely on WAC to talk to others. I enjoy the social element and the exercise . Throughout the year I have been longing to go back. Otherwise we are all lonely. We can't just go anywhere like young people can.

Rajive Mitra

Posted on 30 March 2021

As a local GP for 26 years many of my patients lives have hugely benefited from the activities and support offered by WAC. I feel that it is very important WAC continues to serve the local community.

Simon Robinson

Posted on 30 March 2021

I discovered WAC a coupe of years ago when I joined a club which meets there. It is clearly valued by people from all walks of life who use its facilities in the daytime and in the evening. It would be a great pity if the community activities which take place there are forced to close or move out if the borough.

Name Withheld

Posted on 30 March 2021

I was a member of Morley Blades Fencing Club, and thoroughly enjoyed visiting WAC during my time at the club. The centre is an important hub for the local community, and its position close to Waterloo train station means it is also well connected to towns to the south. I implore the council to consider alternative fund raising mechanisms beyond a rent raise - in the coming years we will be more reliant than ever on our communities and those around us to recover from the enormous social, mental and economic toll wrought by Covid, and eliminating community spaces in the short term is likely to have substantial long term costs.

Elisabeth Mayer

Posted on 30 March 2021

To whom it may concern. Waterloo Action Centre has been a constant place in my life since 2001. At least once a month (before the Corona pandemic kicked in) I have been enjoying my time at the Paris Rock Club Rock'n'Roll party meeting friends, dancing off a storm on the dancefloor, ... basically having a great time. WAC is also rather conveniently accessable from Waterloo Station. WAC is a perfect place to rewind. Thank you.

Name Withheld

Posted on 30 March 2021

Some years ago I have been quite unwell and not at all motivated to do anything for my health. A friend introduced me to WAC and it's gentle exercise classes held once a week. From then on I went religiously every week, apart from holidays. Even winter was not a reason not to go and meet the people in the group, have a chat and do the exercise. There are also many other activities at the center and I hope that soon I will be able to attend again. It is a vital community resource.

Name Withheld

Posted on 29 March 2021

I found about the Waterloo Action Centre 18 months ago and used their spaces regularly for our team gatherings. The Waterloo Action Centre is a brilliantly located and lovely building and should be protected. The staff and volunteers are very friendly and accommodating. We have used their spaces on many occasions and would continue to do so in the future.

City Acting London

Posted on 29 March 2021

City Acting has run drama classes and communication workshops at the Waterloo Action Centre for more than 10 years. Affordable rooms in central London help maintain local community life. We hope WAC will go on.

Vassilou Zacharia

Posted on 29 March 2021

Dear Sirs, Am extremely sad to hear of the W.A.C. closing. I have been going there for over 4 years now. I enjoy meeting the people in the crochet & knitting group on Tuesday & Thursday. I live on my own, it got me out of the house & learned to crochet as well. It wii be very sad if we the elderly people & all the others stop going. We probably end up going crazy looking at 4 walls every day. So please help us to keep iour community centre open.

Thanks in advance, Vassilou Zacharia.

Sol Corfield

Posted on 29 March 2021

The WAC has been the meeting point for young adults every week to meet and do Pilates together. Over the years we created a community and we have been involved with the other activities the WAC does. We all can not wait to be back in the community centre again.

Jan Pottet

Posted on 29 March 2021

I have been attending W.A.C for several years together with my sister who has Downs Syndrome, learning difficulties is partially sighted has gone anchored hearing aid and learning difficulties.

W.A.C has been a lifeline for both myself and my sister we have been doing line dancing and an exercise class.

I feel that without the support from W.A.C

we will be unable to join in with these important activities.

Regards

Jan Potter

Bea Leighton

Posted on 29 March 2021

I have been going to WAC since Feb 2013, every week on Tuesday and Thursday, I volunteer to teach crochet and we have quite a nice class and we all enjoy it. It is nice to go there, have a chat and a cup of tea and learn something at the same time. it is a valued asset to the community. WAC is especially great for older people who live alone and can get together with their friends and enjoy some time interacting.

Ruth Mitchell

Posted on 29 March 2021

WAC is a vital service to our community, residents and beyond.

It has provided well researched provision and continued service to an ever increasing number of people. It has always maintained excellent support that reflects the diverse challenges and needs of an inner city community.

Both the site and provision has always been very cost effective, many professional voluntary services provided save money that would have incurred costs using other agencies. The WAC team has been established for many years and is well known and very respected, a wonderful group of professionals and volunteers who work tirelessly for the community-and challenges thrown at them.!

WAC has always provided sound ethical support for the most vulnerable members of the community, providing a welcome and friendly hub for all in the neighbourhood.

No one in need is ever turned away-and in difficult times such as now, WAC is in more demand than ever.

Name Withheld

Posted on 29 March 2021

This is an exemplary community service, whose model should be replicated in every borough around the United Kingdom.

I do not live in Lambeth, however worked in the area, and the volunteers were very helpful to me when I walked in to ask for advice on how to join some classes.

Kathleen Mitchell

Posted on 29 March 2021

WAC has been a centre for community activities for as long as I have lived in Lambeth and has served as a venue for activities as diverse as Ballet and Rock and Roll to Table Tennis for young Lambethians. I have benefitted personally from attending groups serving interests as wide ranging as reading poetry and literature followed by discussion, sewing where students could take along their own project and get expert help as well as gentle exercise fit the less able.

During the Covid lockdown WAC has been a. life saver for critically vulnerable people, like me, who have barely been outside their homes for a whole year, WAC has provided a zoom chat group, exercise and dancing groups as well as all important Technical support with I.T. so essential for facilitating it.

WAC must be given all the help it needs to continue its vital work.

Kathleen Mitchell

Maria Martorana

Posted on 29 March 2021

When I heard that WAC maybe in trouble of closing it brought tears to my eyes. I miss so much going to WAC at the moment due to the pandemic but I when I do go it feels like I’m stepping out of my home to go to an excited place, to forget my troubles and worries. WAC is important to me because I love the community and the people I socialise there and the staff are so lovely. WAC is a place I feel strongly it’s important part of my life and hope to return soon.

D Rosier

Posted on 29 March 2021

After a lifetime of mental unwellness and medical retirement and treatment, I went to WAC as a first step to becoming less socially isolated. I am nervous to go out in the evenings so to have a daytime place to go was great - especially since Southwark Council closed its day centre provision. I found the people in the knitting group and the other groups and the staff just lovely! Very welcoming, kind, interesting people. It has helped me get used to being around people as well as improving my craft skills and it gave me the confidence to do courses in Adult Education at various colleges before lockdown..

I am aware that many people who go to WAC won't be able to reply to anything online so I would also like to say that I know that a lot of the older people who come to the various groups would have very little to do with their time and very little human contact if WAC were forced to close, and that would be horrible. It would I am sure lead to other mental health problems due to isolation and boredom.

Simon Furness

Posted on 29 March 2021

I attended the Tai Chi classes on Weds afternoon at WAC in company with more elderly residents in Lambeth and Waterloo. The benefits to our physical and mental well being were enormous. It would be a sad blow indeed if this much loved hub which has served so many since 1973 were to close because of huge rent increases. Please reconsider this decision if you wish to retain the goodwill of residents and voters young elderly and vulnerable.

Stephen Lancashire

Posted on 29 March 2021

A vital community hub/resource. As a child I used the Library in the 1950s. In the 1970s I ran youth clubs there and, with local residents, created the Waterloo Adventure Playground over the road. In 2018 I held my 70th party there and hope to have my 75th there in 2023. It's run entirely by volunteers and is a great testament to Jenny Styles (a colleague in the 70s) and the team

Alison Vine

Posted on 29 March 2021

I am a Community Link worker based in the North Lambeth Primary Care Network. I have known and referred residents to Waterloo Action for many years now as I have a history of working across various charities in Lambeth and Southwark. Should WAC have to reduce or cease to operate, the negative impact on the community and our patients and residents, cannot be overstated! We cannot afford to lose another service, quite literally, particularly given the impact the pandemic has wrought so far, with negative repercussions on health and wellbeing for many years ahead. Although the rental increase may be seen as a short term economic 'gain' for Lambeth Council, the long term impact in terms of outcomes for current service users and the rise of negative impacts on physical, social and mental health for all our residents will ultimately incur huge costs in terms of quality of life for our community. Against this backdrop, I would further urge the council to actually decrease the rent and in increase their funding to ensure their valuable and vital service continues.

Susanna Flegg

Posted on 29 March 2021

This amazingly friendly Action Centre at Waterloo has been a life saver for me. The numerous dance classes and events, cooking interests etc.etc. have shown me life changing positively in times of loneliness and of losing my way.

The uplifting experience I benefited from over many years has been immense.

Please let these extremely good hearted people continue with their fantastic energy and remain able to offer their classes to the likes of me, who are many more than you imagine!

Anne E Jessup

Posted on 28 March 2021

I first made use of WAC more years ago than I can be sure of, but when I was working part time, and needed help with my computer skills. Because I worked so few hours a week, and was 'self employed' (zero hours contract) I couldn't get help from an employer or afford to pay for a commercial course. I was able to go to WAC and get valuable advice which boosted my confidence and enabled me to carry on managing with my work then.

Since I have retired, I have used WAC for Tai Ji classes. They made a huge difference to me. Years of back pain started to resolve into better health, and my insomnia started to diminish. I was introduced to the classes by a friend from my local library, and am so grateful to her. I felt welcomed and encouraged by the teacher and the other members of the class, even though I continue to find it very hard to memorise the 'form'. The physical exercise, and mental relaxation have been of great benefit, and the companionship a real boost. The classes are in early afternoon, so most of the people who go to them are no longer in work. The timing means I have no problem walking there or getting the bus, whereas if it were in the evenings, I would not find it easy or feel so safe. The classes are very cheap by commercial standards, so that I could afford to attend regularly, even though I am living on a very small occupational pension and my savings. (My state pension hasn't yet started to be paid.) The majority of the students there are unwaged, I think.

The charity shop there is a great place for me to take books and bric a brac which I no longer use. Before lockdown it was obviously a successful concern and a very friendly place where people enjoyed shopping.

WAC is a great community resource and it would be terrible to lose it. The staff are consistently friendly and helpful.

I know that the council has real financial difficulties, (not least because of covid) but I hope it will find a better way of solving them than increasing the rent at WAC or similar community places. Such rent increases would stop WAC offering its current services. The people who will suffer in consequence of the rent rises will be the same people whom the council is supposed to support, that is the elderly, the unwaged, those with poor mental or physical health, and the isolated or lonely.

Name Withheld

Posted on 28 March 2021

I was shocked to hear of the proposed huge rent rise for WAC. As a regular user/visitor over a good few years, I have always been struck by it’s importance to the local community & how much it means to them.

WAC is a trusted resource doing (when allowed by COVID) so much good for the local community.

Its friendly, inclusive ‘vibe’ is welcoming & helpful. It is a model of inclusiveness, available & sensitive - especially to older people whatever their origin. The staff & volunteers are admirably patient, cheerful & resourceful. Lambeth Council should recognise what a community asset it is & support, not penalise WAC.

Sandra Blewitt

Posted on 28 March 2021

WAC provides many much needed community services as prices that are affordable not just for rich or middle class families in a centre that is easily accessible as it is a short walk from Waterloo Station

I attend a Rock & Roll dance class myself generally weekly. People of all ages and occupations attend. Prices are kept low. It allows people from all walks of life to mix and socialise through a simple common interest . Were prices too rise some of the over income people would drop out . If the venue were to close then this great social leveller may disappear . I do hope Lambert Council will reconsider their decision and see WAC as a valuable local Servive. Perhaps even lottery funding could be applied for to give it a new clean and lick of paint. Please do not squeeze out a Community service from this accessible area

Alan browne

Posted on 28 March 2021

I would like to say, as I retired person who has attended Waterloo action centre for many events, especially dance classes. it really would be a great loss, not just for myself but for the community also. The place is unique especially as it brings together people from all backgrounds, I consider it to be a real asset to the community, and many people benefit both mentally and physical from its use.

Sylvia Newman

Posted on 28 March 2021

From Abraham David I am a member of the line dancing group and would miss going dancing it keeps me fit and active and meet people to talk too.Also is good for my mental well-being.With out dancing I would be lost

Sylvia Newman

Posted on 28 March 2021

I have been a member of the line dance group since 2010 it has kept me fit and active and I would really miss the dancing and all the friends I have made.All old people are told to keep active how can we when it’s being taken away from us. I also go to the tea dances and I went to the computer class.Please think again about all those old people having an hour of fun.

Name Withheld

Posted on 28 March 2021

Before the Covid restrictions, I had been going to Jean's monthly afternoon tea dances at the Waterloo Action Centre with some friends of mine.

It's a lovely venue in a very convenient location and has proved to be a super meeting place for all sorts of people, providing essential facilities for the community. It is a very caring environment with a wonderful, safe atmosphere where people can socialise and this does lift the spirits.

Jean goes to so much effort arranging his tea dances and his events are excellent for people's health, both physically and mentally.

Name Withheld

Posted on 28 March 2021

WAC is a shared space where mixing and enjoying/ learning /supporting go on between age groups and the different backgrounds that are the richness of Lambeth. For example in the rock and roll group there are 70 year old beginners with 20 year old beginners mixed in with competition winners. The legal advice is very helpful.The opens spaces for creative dance or meditative learning groups are a useful and affordable resource.

I am a local GP of 30+ years in the area and I can with confidence refer people to WAC and know they will; come out feeling better whether from a class and group work , reading bookclub or the legal advice.

Brenda Wheeler

Posted on 28 March 2021

WAC is a valuable asset to the local community. I have been attending the Tai Chi and Line Dance classes there for many years. Apart from the exercise, which I am sure keeps us out of hospital and less of a burden to the NHS, it is also a place to make friends, and greatly appreciated by those of us who live alone. I hope Lambeth Council will reconsider their decision to increase the rent to the point where WAC will no longer be able to offer these services.

Name Withheld

Posted on 27 March 2021

Covid has hit us all hard but particularly those of us who rely on organised social activities. WAC has been the one place I have been able to meet my peers, at tea dances, art exhibitions and even rock and roll discos! The health and wellbeing benefits are immeasurable. I can't believe how shortsighted the council is... the social costs they will have to meet from closing this asset to poor people will outstrip the increase in rent revenue they will get from turning it into a fancy venue for richer people who already are spoiled for choice.

Name Withheld

Posted on 27 March 2021

I have used the Law center located at Waterloo Action Centre (WAC). The Legal Advice Service provided by the WLAS volunteers was invaluable to me as I could not afford the fees of any other solicitors. I have also attended dance classes and other cultural activities and I have always found WAC to be a friendly and welcoming meeting place. If the WAC were to close it would be a substantial loss for me, for other Lambeth residents and any other Londoners that use the Centre.

Name Withheld

Posted on 27 March 2021

Waterloo Action Centre (WAC) and its staff/volunteers contribute to society and the local community and save the local council money by providing services that could otherwise increase the load on government and council social services, welfare and health care funds.

WAC provides valuable services to the local community and other attendees with activities that

- promote health, physical and mental well-being,

- enable learning and development of skills,

- facilitate social interaction and

- provide legal advice for those truly in need.

Since my retirement I have attended dance classes at WAC which are important in maintaining my fitness and social contact as well as a sewing group which helped me learn new skills, so important for combatting mental deterioration in senior citizens.

Name Withheld

Posted on 27 March 2021

To Whom it May Concern,

I have been coming to the WAC for dance lessons and monthly parties for over 15 years. It is a valued, unpretentious community space used by many in the local community and by some, like me, from further afield in W12. Times are hard; everyone needs to raise incomes but it seems especially cruel and unjust that, as is sadly so often the case, the most deprived yet neediest community projects and spaces are hardest hit, and as a result simply disappear. At times when communities and their hubs are the real game changers in many people’s lives, it is particularly shocking that a local council is seriously proposing to deal death blows to something as precious as the WAC. I would urge you to look at fairer ways of raising income as a council. Thank you.

Julia

Posted on 27 March 2021

I like to join the Waterloo action centre dance class as my weekly exercise, the price is friendly for a student to join and it's walking distance from where I live. The community centre should be a place open to everyone, London is an expensive city to live in, so it is even more important for the people and society to have some support from the government to run some not profit events and charity in Waterloo action centre, please continue supporting the various groups through the different activities here in the future.

Valerie Parker

Posted on 27 March 2021

I have been attending WAC for many years for both line-dancing and tai chi classes. I have found both activities invaluable from both a social and exercise point of view and have been counting the days until we can resume these activities. I am lucky in that I have a husband at home for company but for many people who live on their own WAC activities are the only time they get to meet and chat with other people. The majority of the users are senior citizens and unable to afford to pay full price rates at places like Morley College. I cannot imagine life after lockdown without my classes at WAC which keep me active, healthy and cheerful.

Richard Warren

Posted on 27 March 2021

Lambeth Council, please don’t levy higher charges on WAC. This is a valuable resource that serves the community in a variety of ways. By increasing charges you endanger WAC’s future. If it is forced to close, councillors will have to answer for that.

Jonathan Metcalf

Posted on 27 March 2021

With my partner, I have been attending dance classes at WAC for over 7 years. It has helped us with dance skills, social confidence, and to integrate into and support the local community. We have made many friends there.

We are also planning to use it for our upcoming wedding celebration, as it is such a pleasant space and so convenient for people travelling from all over the country.

Name Withheld

Posted on 27 March 2021

I have been attending dance classes and events at Waterloo Action Centre for many years. It is a vital part of our little dance community, somewhere for people of all ages to meet, mix, socialise and stay active. I'm always amazed at the range of other activities going on there too- everything from community meetings to tango to fencing! It is so important to keep community spaces like this alive and affordable to all.

Name Withheld

Posted on 27 March 2021

I only know Waterloo Action Centre through the Paris Rock Club and I haveenjoyed scores of wonderful times there, learning and practising various dance genres. I would be very sad were it to close, as I know that my many friends who attend those same classes (and others who attend other functions there) would be also.

It is obvious that the Centre provides a wonderful resource, mainly for the elderly of the area. Loneliness is a condition that has been highlighted

during the pandemic and it is very important for those living by themselves to have somewhere to meet up with others of similar ages and

interests. The Centre also offers them legal advice (which I'm sure is well used) and other leisure and cultural activities (including dance and exercise classes to improve fitness, and thus hopefully reduce some burdens on the NHS). It is obvious that it is well used at present, but perhaps there could be more opportunities to introduce other features, especially aimed at the elderly - a hairdressing salon; nail clipping service; appointments with a nurse; reading groups; etc.

If the rises mentioned cannot be avoided (and I hope they can) I hope consideration could be given to using the building even more productively to help to improve income.

Personally, I would be very sad to see the Centre close and would greatly miss the dance sessions which are a pure joy to me, my husband and many friends.

Name Withheld

Posted on 27 March 2021

WAC should be able to continue to support various groups with their excellent activities. The community has been made a very positive impact to our society through various activities for so many years. It’s a great loss and disappointment for local residents and other regions of the country if they no longer benefit from it.

All the activities which the WAC offer to different needs of residents are very useful and supportive to many people. Before the lockdown due to the COVID-19, this is the place I come to enjoy line dancing and Rock & Roll classes. This is my only hobby to help me stay healthy and happy after a long day sitting in office. I would be sad and disappointed if I won’t be able to attend these classes anymore due to either the classes no longer opened or the prices are going up which many of us won’t be able to afford.

I really hope that the Council’s will reconsider their decision to help the WAC carry on its activities to benefit many people.

Richard Moody

Posted on 27 March 2021

Waterloo Action Centre is so important to the local community and going to weekly ROCK’N’ROLL classes and the monthly social is really important for us.

Name Withheld

Posted on 27 March 2021

My name is Sam and I firmly believe that the Waterloo Action Centre should be kept going. Before lockdown, I was a regular attendee of the centre to take part in the rock n roll dance classes hosted by Jean Leclerc. Attending these dance classes is the biggest highlights of my week, it does wonders for my mental health and allows me to socialise with a wide range of people with similar interests. I also believe that it does wonders for other people as some of the people who attend these classes are elderly which means that they can socialise and given that elderly people are amongst the loneliest in Britain, then this makes the centre and its activities all the more important. The location of the centre means that it allows me to conveniently attend my dance classes as it is very close to my workplace and Waterloo train station which means that I can easily travel home from there also.

Angela Warren

Posted on 27 March 2021

It would be criminal if the community lost access to WAC. Too much has already been lost to the ordinary people of London (many of whom are extra-ordinary). Non-profit making community resources are of enormous value - offering community spaces for those who are not on high incomes to enjoy relationships with the environment and other people, offering a sense of belonging and camaraderie - so important for good mental health and physical well-being. If the WAC is lost to us ordinary people it will count as a stab in the back by the councillors, politicians and moneyed people who spend their time elsewhere rather than in the community over which they hold power.

Shame on anyone who doesn't support sustaining this historical and valuable community resource.

Christine Hartland

Posted on 27 March 2021

The Waterloo Action Centre is such an important place - it offers a breathing space that is key to our busy lives. For me, knowing that I will be able to go back to the dancing in an accessible and affordable location available for when the world goes back to a more normal state post Covid, keeps me going. The community built over the years is a big part of my life which I have missed tremendously. The WAC is part of our London lives. Keep it alive for our sakes, for our physical & mental health.

frances ewing-press

Posted on 27 March 2021

Hi whilst looking forward to the end of lockdown so that the dance classes will reopen, I am so shocked to read that WAC may have to close.

So many happy days, not only at the dance class but also looking forward to the jolly times spent with the other dancers. Friendships made, stories shared, family worries discussed, birthdays celelbrated in this safe place at Waterloo. And now to learn that all this goodwill may be lost forever is so distressing. So many of us live alone and just knowing there is a happy place to go and join in a fun activity surrounded by smiling, laughing faces from all over London and the world, was better than any medicine. When mental health is a headline topic, I realise I am not alone in being needy for companionship. I know that l feel stronger, kinder to myself and others, safe with the knowledge that there is a safe happy place to visit without fear of rejection or attack where it wont cost me too much money. Please continue to support this project and recognise it for its important mental health work in the community. It is not merely an old building. It is central to many lives including the many volunteers who make the building happen.

Jean Leclerc

Posted on 27 March 2021

I have been using WAC for more than twenty years and it as been always a welcome place.

Along the years i have delivered group activities by giving voluntary work, training, organising activities for Waterloo residents (Ready steady cook, Upholstery, Art and dance classes, catering and event caretaker when needed.

The free legal advice on Thursday is very useful and i thoroughly recommend. it and I have used it twice during those years.

By kipping most activities free or at very raisonnable prices, we have maintained a good social network around waterloo area.

I hope that will be able to continue for years to come.

Jean Leclerc

Jennifer Wood

Posted on 26 March 2021

The enormous increase in rent is a devestating blow to WAC who work so hard to help the local community with activities, legal advice, learning facilities and local information. Throughout the pandemic they have keep in contact with all who attend the centre to ensure their wellbeing, offering advice on computer skills and general information and keeping people connected. Many attendees derive enjoyment, friendship and happiness from the facilities and if Waterloo Action Centre would have to close many people will lose out on their invaluable services.

I, for one, have attended many different classes and I and others would be devistated if WAC were forced to close. It's been a dreadful time dealing with loneliness during the pandemic, and it's after effects will continue for a long time to come, the toll on mental wellbeing would be enormous if the community were deprived from enjoyment and stimulation which WAC offer, building up problems for the future.

Mary Prince

Posted on 25 March 2021

I retired when I was nearly 69. I knew I had to find some social activity and new friends (especially friends) to keep me motivated and keep me going. Waterloo Action Centre was just the place! The staff were so happy to help and show all the activities that were there for you to choose from. I now have been with WAC for 4 years now. One morning I do gentle exercises which is so important for people’s health. Another morning I play table tennis which I absolutely love playing. There are so many opportunities for us at WAC, it would be so upsetting and inhuman to take all this away from us now.

I have always had respect for Lambeth for looking after their older generation, I do hope that I’m not wrong in this situation.

Mary Prince.

Chris Dann

Posted on 24 March 2021

Waterloo Action Centre is great! I have made lots of friends there and there is always great community work going on. The charity shop is fantastic too and always a great place to find an interesting bargain!

Franck

Posted on 22 March 2021

As a volunteer in WAC for the last two years, I witnessed how helpful, if not essential, the center is to the Waterloo community: elderly members love to meet up every Thursday and for many is one of the highlights of their week. Others love the activities they are part of (knitting, dancing and many others). And of course, working on Thursday I receive so many calls about the Legal Advice clinic, free to people living in the south London boroughs....and a true lifeline for many....