Testimonials

We have 290 testimonials so far. Keep 'em coming!

We have 290 testimonials so far.
Keep 'em coming!

Victoria Ochoa

Posted on 25 April 2021

I been going to this sessions for last 3 years every Sunday and a truly enjoyable sessions the staff is marvellous and the atmosphere is incredibly. I had improved my samba dance with the years and also the patience of my tutors . I was feeling ready to join the Carnival again for second year when Covid started . Also I belong to another samba school but London samba school is the best . It’s very sad was Coronavirus has done to our economy but I pleaded help with this community . We are working always in a stress environment but to go there every Sunday make my day and many of us feel happy there. The prices are affordable and you won’t find another place in London with this service. It’s very sad to let them go and it will make us very sad if this place closedown. Not fair ! Help and help our community to do best .

Trisha Shannon

Posted on 25 April 2021

The Waterloo Action Centre is a long established and well used community resource, one of the oldest in London, and in a less afluent area than many. In addition to recreational activities there are learning opportunities, a legal advice offering and a hall that can be affordably hired. In this pandemic so many volunteers have pitched in to provide services that might properly be provided by local government. Please don't deprive the people of Waterloo of this valuable and much loved centre unless you are going to provide alternatives in place of all the great things that happen here.

J Varnam

Posted on 25 April 2021

I have been attending London School of Samba lessons at WAC for a few years, and have been impressed to see the diverse range of other activities hosted at WAC and their wide ranging all-inclusive reach into all areas of the community regardless of ethnicity or social standing.

WAC is a very important venue providing activities, social interaction, cross-over, and social service, a vital lifeline for many living in this great city, bringing together so many people and creating a positive happy environment enhancing the health and wellbeing of all.

Any impediment or rental hike which might affect WACs activities will be have a far reaching detrimental impact on the community and surrounds, and should be avoided.

Name Withheld

Posted on 25 April 2021

I bring my daughter to the centre for ballet lessons. It’s a wonderful place - a beautiful, quiet retreat from the mayhem that surrounds it, with a very special sense of continuing community involvement.

Name Withheld

Posted on 25 April 2021

WAC has been the base for the London School of Samba for the past 30 years. I have personally stated attending samba classes there every Sunday 8 years ago, when 8 first moved to London. Without it, I would not have found such a tight nit community, a home away from home. WAC has a rich history of supporting local communities, and it was instrumental back in the 80s, for supporting the Brazilian expats which then ended up forming the samba school. It provided them with an affordable space to practice, run classes for local schools, and store musical instruments. The sale of the building would be catastrophic for the community around it.

Michela Di Felice

Posted on 25 April 2021

WAC has been one of the point of reference for Lambeth community and specifically also for the samba community.

It's so easy to access, so central that anyone can benefit from the activities in there.

I attended samba classes, drumming classes, been teaching my classes to people that love to stay together and found in WAC their second home.

Name Withheld

Posted on 25 April 2021

Please save our amazing WAC! It's the home of our beloved samba school, the London school of samba for so many years! It's a safe space for the community to come and express their creative freedom somewhere so central in London and we need it to stay. it's our base and has become a home to many of us.

Name Withheld

Posted on 25 April 2021

I've known Waterloo Action Centre for many years, thanks to the London School of Samba and the important role in the carnivals, by involving kids, connecting people and cultures. It is a welcoming place for the society and i think it is priceless. So i hope and believe that WAC should stay as it is and not be taken from the people.

Charlie Evans

Posted on 25 April 2021

The Waterloo Action centre is truly unique - a high-capacity community space in Zone 1. It's a world-class community resource - truly accessible - serving the whole city. While most projects are forced to be based in the north, south, east or west, projects based in WAC easily bring people together from the whole of London, with outstanding results.

WAC is home to the renowned and much beloved London School of Samba. Please allow this project to continue to thrive.

Please, to not allow society to come second to money. Please put people before business.

Anyone can make money. As a council it's your duty to take care of the city and it's communities.

Laurence Craig

Posted on 25 April 2021

The groups and organisations that make use of the Waterloo Action Centre are already under significant financial pressure and just about make ends meet. The reason some of these groups are able to exist at all is due to WAC providing precious relief from rent and storage costs. Increasing costs to use WAC could spell the end to long running community groups that provide so much value to many peoples' lives, including my own.

Name Withheld

Posted on 25 April 2021

I have been part of the London School of Samba for 5 years and WAC is our home. It's unbelievable to think this is happening especially aftet the hard times we are living.

Susie

Posted on 25 April 2021

As a member of London School of Samba I attended WAC every week for many years. It holds a special place in the heart for hundreds of people, if not more, who come together here for Sunday music and dance. We spend all year playing, rehearsing and introducing many many people to a joyful music and culture. The culmination each year is taking part in Notting Hill. Spaces like WAC where there is storage for drums, that can absorb the sound of a 50 strong drumming group as well as provide space for dancers. It's central location for London means it is ideal for people from all parts of London and beyond (including internationally). For many many people WAC is the home of London School of Samba. Don't take away our home.

Máire Quinn

Posted on 25 April 2021

I taught here, couple years ago. Lifeline for me at the time and the people i taught. V. Welcoming. So heartfelt to gave such a community centre so central. During lockdown on one unusual trip into town i spoke to a very elderly lady who was resting on the newspaper stand ouside the station. She was delighted with herself as she had been on her first computer learning session and had come away from it knowing how to send an email.

So impressive, especially at that time when people were at home. She had been taught at waterloo action centre. There was a moral to all of this.

Jan Coughlin

Posted on 25 April 2021

I have been a regular visitor to WAC since 2004 as part of the London School of Samba. The Centre is a much needed and valued resource for the local and wider community. It is a Centre that focuses on community in an area that is overshadowed by big business and corporate interests. It is a resource that is needed now more than ever in these difficult times and would be a very sad loss to all the communities and groups that are part of the WAC family. Across London spaces and resources for communities are being closed and pushed out. Please don’t let WAC become another victim to overdevelopment.

Davina Greeves

Posted on 25 April 2021

I am a member of London School of Samba and have been coming to Waterloo Action Centre for over 10 years. I've got so many great memories of this place. It has given me a real sense of community and this is so important in a big city like London.

Geoff Wood

Posted on 25 April 2021

Waterloo Action Centre is a great resource for many groups - clubs for various sports and activities, classes to learn new skills both practical or simply life-enriching - and you only have to check the weekly timetable of activities to see how much variety there is. As secretary of the fencing club there, in over 8 years (not counting covid when of course we've been on hold) I've seen a constant flow of people and many of them have stayed to become committed and long term members of the community. From what I've seen other groups are similarly popular.

This resource is extremely valuable for these many groups who would otherwise find it very difficult to operate in such a central location.

I think the social and practical benefits of the various groups there, the socialisation and learning new skills are worth preserving and exactly what a council should be enabling for its residents. As well as specific new practical skills (e.g. computer training) there are well established general benefits to mental as well physical fitness, for many people, of this type of activity, These things are becoming more significant - everyone is encouraged to become more fit and healthy, and good mental health is increasingly recognised as something everyone should practice and be supported in.

The council is there for its residents and the Action Centre is a great example of an affordable resource that many people are benefitting from.

Katie Glastonbury

Posted on 25 April 2021

The Waterloo Action Center is an incredibly important multi functional facility that caters to many different groups of people for a wide variety of reasons.

Taking this all into account, depriving people and groups seems unfairly disproportionate and even seems potentially discriminatory.

Please, I appeal to the humanity of those making decisions about this, to do the right thing for the community, both within Waterloo and further apart.

Nina Appio

Posted on 25 April 2021

I have been a member of the London School of Samba for 9 years. The samba school has been a wonderful place to learn new skills, meet new people and gain life long friends, as well as helping improve my mental health and physical fitness. All of these things have helped me maintain a healthy balanced life and this is incredibly important, now more than ever. Increasing rents at this time and over the next few years will drive out small community groups that are thriving and currently offering residents and community members a sense of hope and purpose when the world has turned upside down. London is already over commercialised (especially central London). In order to keep well-being and mental health high and crime low we desperately need our community groups to thrive and this plan threatens their survival.

Mestre Mags

Posted on 25 April 2021

The London School of Samba have been based at the Waterloo Action Centre since 1988.

In that time, the school has been able to teach thousands of people from all walks of life and backgrounds not just how to dance or drum, but also how to make costumes and numerous other activities associated with being one of the leading parading groups in the Notting Hill Carnival.

As part of its charitable aims and objectives, thanks to WAC, the LSS has been able to teach weekly drum and dance workshops at WAC almost every week since 1988 - an astounding 32 years of open access workshops up until 2020.

Our activities are aimed at all members of the public - literally anyone can walk in off the street and pay a modest fee to participate in one or both of the workshops the school gives in WAC. The skills learned here can lead to people joining our performing group, taking part in annual events like the Notting Hill Carnival, or local events like the Waterloo Carnival.

Based on 10 new people coming every week over 40 weeks of the year, this is 400 people a year being introduced to carnival arts and the skills of dancing or drumming per year. Over 10 years this is 4000 people. Over 30 years, the LSS is thus estimated to have taught around 12,000 how to drum or dance thanks to the Waterloo Action Centre. And we are just one community group using WAC.

These 12,000 people didn't come from just the London Borough of Lambeth, and not just the rest of London's boroughs, but all across south-east England.

I have been attending workshops at WAC since 1990 and been a teacher at WAC since 1995.

Throughout this time, there have been countless other community groups like the LSS giving weekly classes: WAC offers a legal advice centre, and groups that are based there support the elderly, offer a base for local churches - and many other activities.

This is how important WAC is to the local commuinity.

And through WAC we can see that the numbers of people that have benefitted from activities hosted by the centre just since the time the LSS has been there and up until the arrival of the pandemic could easily be in six figures.

WAC is a very central and very accesible community centre right in the centre of a capital city. The very nature of the type of activities hosted on a weekly basis by it also greatly benefit many disadvantaged groups: the disabled, those with mental health issues, the poor, people from a wide variety of differant ethnic groups - many of whom experience racism and discrimination on a daily basis.

WAC is more than just a place where they can come for accesible workshops and classes - it is a community centre, a place many come to regard as their home, a place which brings people together, unites people and helps people find a common purpose in life by supporting them, giving them new skills and ultimately a new social network and new friends.

WAC is a place that brings cohesion to the local community.

It is a place that many feel they have stake in, that many people respect and feel like it belongs to them, that many regard as their second home. You can't put a price on that.

The wider benefits of this outside WAC, back into the communities that the people that WAC support come from, are immeasurable.

The beneficial effects of community centres like WAC are felt way beyond the area and the borough it resides in.

There are so many reasons why WAC is important, why it is so special, and why it deserves to be supported by the local council and other similar bodies.

The LSS has had a fragile existance since it was formed in 1984. We were lucky to find WAC so many years ago. Without WAC it would have made it much more diffcult to survive. Perhaps if WAC had not been there in earlier years when we were based here we would not have made it through to the present day.

Thats another important role of community centres like WAC - its not just helping groups runs classes, its making it possible through this for community group and charities like the LSS to survive from year-to-year - and continue supporting people.

The loss of a place like WAC would be catastrophic - with the effects felt way beyond Lower Marsh.

Thus its goes without saying that it would be a terrible loss not just to the London Borough of Lambeth but the whole of our capital city to lose this invaluable community resource right in the centre of London.

The London School of Samba very much hopes that WAC will continue to be able to operate as it done for many more decades to come - as a base not just for the LSS, but all the other community groups that have been able to thrive and reach out and support people from all over London.

Mestre Mags, London School of Samba

Fiona Turuka

Posted on 25 April 2021

It seems the way things are going under this government; more closures of services that impact the wider community. WAC has been a beacon of light for some many people in not only the Lambeth área but far and wide. I have been coming to WAC on Sundays on and off for 15 years to attend the London School of Samba’s open workshops. It made such a positive impact on my life when I was struggling with mental health issues, I happened upon this instant community that became family. This place isn’t just a building or real estate; the events that take place here effect so many peoples lives in a truly meaningful way, when so many services are being closed already, this is one of the few that remains. Please reconsider this decision!

Angharad Mountford

Posted on 25 April 2021

I have been taking ballet classes at WAC for a number of years and love the friendly community feel of the place. It is such a valuable venue. in the heart of the city, with real character. The volunteers there are so helpful and help make WAC such a special place.

Ianthe

Posted on 25 April 2021

I came here to do a Samba class, I live in the Croydon Borough but decided to venture out and try something out of my comfort zone. Lovely building and friendly, welcoming people, an establishment like this is needed for the community and for society as what it offers inside can make a difference to an individual..there are not many community hubs which I believe is a must to build strong communities... children especially are in desperate need for places like this as safe spaces, youth clubs, hobbies and sport are no longer seen as needed, considering the children are our future business persons, entrepreneurs, artists , performers, parents, the list goes on.. The building is also part of history and built for the purpose of learning, teaching, guiding, nurturing...

Investing in society , its community, the children should way pass the extortionate rent hike and want of land for corporate profit. These times especially is going to be a time where Waterloo Action Centre will be needed and appreciated...for many years to come.... why not work together and create a haven for future generations to look back and say out of a global crisis we came together and changed and saved lives...physically, emotionally, financially, and mentally...

Helen

Posted on 25 April 2021

WAC was invaluable to me and my mental health when I had a newborn and small children. Vital work that should be raised up not hit with rent increases.

avivah wittenberg-cox

Posted on 25 April 2021

A great place for the community to come together for all kinds of classes, shows, art exhibitions. So many pleasures and connections over the years, an essential part of feeling a part of Waterloo. Makes it a neighbourhood rather than just a postcode.

Lydia Fraser-Ward

Posted on 25 April 2021

WAC is an essential local resource and it's utterly absurd that Lambeth Council is raising the rent on the building of an important community hub. A few years ago my not-for-profit organisation Fantasy High Street ran community workshops at WAC to initiate anonymous acts of kindness between residents and business owners in Lower Marsh, which was wonderfully popular. So I'm fully aware of the very important role that this centre plays in the local community. Lambeth Council - find financial resources somewhere else. Do not punish local residents and community groups by forcing WAC out, just so you can sell the land to fill your budgetary black holes.

Carole Milner

Posted on 25 April 2021

WAC provides an invaluable service to our local community - all based on identified need and on the work of an army of unpaid volunteers.

The Council's iniquitous rent increase proposals would mean the end of all this and would also mean that those needs would have to be met (and paid for) by the Council. In purely economic terms, any cost-benefit analysis would demonstrate the short-sightedness of the Council's proposals. In ethical and political terms, is this what a "Here for You" Labour Council should be doing? An ill-considered, thoughtless and senseless proposal. May it quickly die a death!

Fiona Whelpton

Posted on 25 April 2021

During lockdown so many artists and performers have been put in a very difficult situation , of having all live gigs ,and face to face contact put on hold by the current situation we are all in . It is already hugely challenging for performing artists , who are , in genral, far toovundervalued for their time and commitment to their craft .

I owe much of my stagecraft and musicianship training to London School of Samba , to Mags , and Fred in particular, as well as Jp Courtney. the community are like family not only nationwide, but worldwide .

This wouldnt be possible without the invaluable facilities of the rehersal space at Waterloo Action Centre , every Sunday , i travelled from Nottingham down there as it was one of the most important aspects of my musical development . Having the space for carnival preparations is so vital for a Samba school community, it is down to having regular rehersal space , easy to get to in central London which has made Waterloo Action Centre play such a pivotol role in the history ,not just of London School of Samba, but all over the world . Please reconsider the dire consequences this will have on reopening the arts after lockdown , the added stress of sourcing rehersal space will impact on future live performances .We all long so much to see these return back to normal. Please save Waterloo Action Centre from closing to help keep London School of Samba continue to be very much a part of helping live performances return.

Zara W

Posted on 25 April 2021

I spent the majority of Sunday evenings at WAC for over 10 years until I moved abroad in 2018. Since then, I have visited WAC on numerous occasions to reconnect with friends from London School of Samba whilst in London. WAC is indisposable not only to LSS, but to an unimaginable number of people who have benefitted from its services over the years. There are so few places like WAC left in and around London, which makes WAC even more special in its own right. One of few places where money isn't the main driver, but the provision of services to the local community and community groups.

There is already so much uncertainty in so many lives due to the pandemic, and places like WAC will become even more critical in providing a safe haven and providing the services that local residents and groups can utilise as we build a "new" norm after the pandemic. The loss of WAC due to such significant rent increase would be devastating. I hope that an alternative action can be taken that would allow WAC to continue to contribute immeasurably to the local community and groups.

Denise

Posted on 25 April 2021

WAC is a lifesaver. We reached out to them for legal advice and they assigned a volunteer lawyer. They are a crucial service within the community providing many functions. Everyone would be lost without them. Is rent money more important than the wellbeing of the community? If WAC were forced to close then it would be to the detriment of the community who rely on them. Please look at the big picture, look at what WAC has given since 1973 to those they serve and what they can continue to do. This decision could only have been made by persons who do not use or need their services and who do not believe WAC to be a vital community service. Long live WAC.

Name Withheld

Posted on 25 April 2021

WAC is home to one of only two samba schools in London. Without WAC I would not have learned this art form and met people from all walks of life.

Name Withheld

Posted on 25 April 2021

WAC is an integral part of the Waterloo Community and facilitates many local groups who would otherwise have literally nowhere to meet. For older isolated people WAC has provided a vital and lively Thursday club for many years, with a wide range of activities such as dance sessions and art classes. Working with this group (mostly low income) for some years I witnessed the direct mental health benefits the club provided.

Thanks to Lambeth council Waterloo is now stuffed with hotels for endless tourists, and huge apartment blocks for off shore investors. Local people in Waterloo (of all ages) are simply not provided for. They have been forgotten. They have nowhere to go. There is no community centre (apart from WAC provision), no library anymore, no sports centre, no functioning youth centre, no swimming pool.....absolutely nothing.

WAC is a much needed multifunctional community space that cares about local Waterloo people and offers a range of activities and advice in a safe space.

WAC Building

Posted on 25 April 2021

Help!!! Lambeth who let me fall into disrepair are threatening to take over my repairs. It was awful before, part after part deteriorated. So bad that they moved the library to safety. desolate and empty here - horrid. Then a miracle - from 1973 the community took over - I began to be restored. Eventually all spaces were again fit for use and a new floor and lift installed and disability access throughout. People enjoy me morning to evening 7 days a week. What a valuable building I have become.

Perhaps Lambeth repairs will be better nowadays? I fear not. Of course advice services and councillors' surgeries and general chat in WAC are confidential but walls have ears. Nothing I hear is reassuring.

Iris De Brito

Posted on 23 April 2021

I’ve enjoyed various activities at this centre. My daughter has taken classes here and it’s a key space to connect surrounding communities.

Community spaces are crucial to group cohesion and support mental health and physical health in the community. At the current crisis Lambeth needs to be supporting the community instead of giving in to profit. Please keep this space open.

Mr Fabio M De Oliveira

Posted on 23 April 2021

The London School Of Samba which rehearses at WAC is my father's legacy. It has changed London for the better, bringing people from al walks of life together creating a strong community which is vital for the survival of Notting Hill Carnival and the Samba culture in the UK.

Name Withheld

Posted on 23 April 2021

I've gone to WAC many times over the years, primarily to the London School of Samba, but an enduring memory is how welcoming a space it is, and how vital a place it has in the community. These types of places are both priceless and pivotal to society but have been disappearing for years. WAC mustn't be taken from the people.

Dave Brett

Posted on 23 April 2021

Being a member of the London school of samba changed my life in many ways. for the better. If it wasn’t for the many practices I attended I would not have the social circle that I have, would not have developed new skills and would not have the door opened to international playing experiences. I am not alone. This benefit has been extended to so many people due to having a regular conveniently situated venue in which to meet and practice. The closure of WAC would be a sad loss to the cultural life of London and indeed would have an internationally deleterious effect.

Name Withheld

Posted on 23 April 2021

WAC is a much-needed space for aggregation and social activities that is accessible to all. There are already way too few of these in London, while there are way too many high rises and pubs.

Please do not close such a useful space

Name Withheld

Posted on 23 April 2021

WAC has been a unique location to bring Lambeth and wider London communities together. My personal experience stems from participation in London School of Samba classes since 2009. However, I am also aware of the many other cultural events taking place there, including arts classes and church services. If WAC goes, it cannot be easily replaced and cultural activities and community events will be lost.

What would WAC be replaced with? City office space? Upmarket investment lofts? This does not seem to reflect the post-pandemic zeitgeist of home-office and a general move away from city centres, whereas WAC would provide a space for community that people had to live without in their effort to protect public health.

Lambeth must not join the Super League of greedy councils.

Graham Farrell

Posted on 23 April 2021

I been using the Waterloo Action Centre every Sunday for 16 years and and I looking forward to Post Pandemic to take the Pain of

the last year away by engaging in my activities and meetin old friends that live in disparate parts of the City, Country, and even

overseas.

i came early at 3 pm every single Sunday to take the instruments out and tidy the Rooms for our enjoyable activities that culminated

in the Notting Hill Carnival on ce per year for the Whole community.

i have sometimes used the Legal facilities and the Art Galleries and other community assistance activities .I am sure that I speak for many

community centre users who have been brought Joy and Happiness over the Decades and Years.

I beg you not to desrtroy our beloved Community Centre and beautiful Faciklities,

Yours faithfully, Graham Farrell

Steve Fox

Posted on 23 April 2021

WAC has been home to the London School of Samba for decades. This venue has seen thousands of people learn Brazilian Carnival Arts & has had a huge influence in the development of the Notting Hill Carnival. It is a huge asset to the local community in Lambeth & to Arts in the whole Capital. As the performing arts emerges from the pandemic & Londoners cry out for live entertainment it would be a very short sited policy that saw this venue denied to its users when London needs it most.

Marilyn

Posted on 23 April 2021

I have used WAC throughout most of my life. I went there as a child to the evening drama classes.

A few years ago I also used WAC to gain some advice about a work issue.

I am 37 years old now and think its a disgrace for Lambeth council to impose a rent increase as it is detrimental for those on low incomes and for the community as a whole.

Name Withheld

Posted on 23 April 2021

Waterloo Action Centre (WAC) has been our rehearsal space and 'home' for many years, and it's an incredible resource for the whole community. Please do not closed down and sell to developers! This is a very important and beautiful space for all the people who needs learning, sharing and feeling warmth and home.

Name Withheld

Posted on 23 April 2021

I have been attending community dance classes at WAC for 15 years by being a member of the London School of Samba. It’s also a great community space which serves the local community through classes and support. If WAC gets sold it will be a massive loss to this local community

Mbombo

Posted on 23 April 2021

I have been doing samba classes for years there and it has been such a blessing to me.

It is such a help and a light in my life. It allowed me to grow in confidence but also has been given me a sense of community. Like I belong to something.

I build friendships through the classes I had there.

As a school we have been able to prepare for performances and have lessons at WAC.

I also know that a church regularly uses the premises.

Do not remove something that brings so much peace, joy and community in the lives of people.

I believe we found out, especially in these difficult times, that these are things that can not be bought.

Nathaniel Maddux

Posted on 23 April 2021

If proposed development goes ahead, the damage it does to the community will be twofold: the rent bump will have a real human cost as decades-long neighbors and family members on fixed incomes are displaced facing untenable increases in cost of living, and a true community education centre that contributes to the enrichment and overall wellbeing of a critical part of the city will disappear and not be replaced. For what? Material wealth in the pockets of a few who don't live here?

Avron Bernard Olshewsky

Posted on 23 April 2021

For many years I attended the Waterloo Action Centre, playing music and participating in community events.

This place is an Oasis, very accessible and provides a wonderful (if not dated) space for community organisations to gather.

I have many, many very enjoyable memories of my time there and feel it would be a great shame to loose such an iconic community space.

Patrick Wilson

Posted on 23 April 2021

I grew up in SE London and have seen many changes, some great, some not so. We need vibrant spaces like WAC to maintain and sustain a thriving mixed economy and community - people from Lambeth and all over London come to make music, dance, art, sharing and caring. As a member of London School of Samba, I've come to love this space, and what it brings. Please help save it for the community.

Jordan

Posted on 23 April 2021

I am a samba dancer from the London school of samba. This centre has been the epicentre of our joy and our Samba community for over 35 years!



This would be a huge loss to our school and the community.

Mr Darren gian

Posted on 23 April 2021

Waterloo Action is a wonderful place where I have made life long friends from the last 10 years through it's wonderful Samba community. I've met so many amazing people from many walks of life and from different backgrounds. It's one of the very few places left in central London where it champions culture, outreach and a sense of community for all age ranges and backgrounds.

Please don't take this away from the local people as this is one of the few bastions of community outreach that is left in central London. You'll be taking away a vital service that is essential for local communities and will have massive impact on the wider Lambeth community for decades to come.

Florian Rosset

Posted on 23 April 2021

WAC provided me with a regular place to go to when I knew no one in London. It provided a community through London School Of Samba and literally changed my life. From knowing no one I suddenly had a million friends, a (often touring) band, sometimes a job when teaching there, a home. I know I can speak here on behalf of many at The London School of Samba by saying that without the space we wouldn't have been able to perfect our arts, rehearse, share, work and maybe more simply evolve as the humans we are today. I will add that LSS is a charity, open to anyone. For some people it was the only place they could find that would accept them with open arms. I strongly believe (and know) that it has bettered people's lives on many more levels than just the time spent at WAC. But none of that would have been possible without the regular weekly open workshops LSS was able to provide there. Save WAC! Keep WAC!

Name Withheld

Posted on 23 April 2021

In a time of increased mental health issues and after periods of pro longed periods of isolation, for many community spaces are more vital than ever.

Erhan Akhan

Posted on 23 April 2021

I am a Turkish born (British later) and lived in London between 1987-1996. Between 1990-1996 I was a member of London School of Samba and WAC (where we had our rehearsals, meetings etc) was like a second home to me. Please please please do not take our precious place away from us.

Adrian Lewis

Posted on 23 April 2021

Waterloo Action Centre is an incredible space. There is nothing quite like it anywhere else. For those of us who use the space to practice samba, it is unique, it is home and it is much loved.

London School of Samba has been situated here for many, many years - this could spell the end of our school.

Performance space in London is very expensive and very rare. We need WAC!

Name Withheld

Posted on 23 April 2021

I used to go to the London School of Samba weekly dance classes for 7 years when I lived in London. I always loves the weekly samba classes at WAC and the fact that it was in such a central location. For me going to WAC was always a creative escape and a great place to meet friends and being part of a community.

Cultural spaces like WAC are essential to have a vibrant community.

Name Withheld

Posted on 23 April 2021

WAC has been a big part of my life for decades, as the rehearsal space for the London School of Samba. The location is very convenient, especially when transporting equipment, and for travel when I have lived in various locations in the city.

Increasing land rates on community spaces has a disproportionate adverse affect on people's mental and social wellbeing. Losing the space now means it will likely be lost forever, so I counsel caution in making a long-term decision based primarily on short-term financial grounds.

Name Withheld

Posted on 23 April 2021

I have been going to WAC since 2006 to attend the dance classes of the London School of Samba. It has a real community feel and serves different groups and offers a variety of services which help people living in the community. It has been going since the 70s and should continue to do so for the sake of society and the community. We are living in troubled times, society is breaking down, so community centres are vital and life supporting to many people.

Joanna Horst

Posted on 23 April 2021

Wac has been a home for our samba school (London school of samba) for over 20 years. I myself have been part of it from 2009. Every Sunday we have been having dance and drumming classes which have been source of joy and creativity which had been a base for creating a strong community. Loosing this friendly space will be a huge loss for our samba community. Also because finding an equally suitable space for our activities and for reasonable price (price that would allow also underprivileged members to attend the classes) is really hard. I really hope that the council will reconsider their decision and allow wac to carry on their activities

Ameena Berkowitz

Posted on 23 April 2021

I first went to WAC in 2002 for a community music class. It was easy for me to get to from where I live in Lambeth, and fully accessible with a wheelchair accessible loo and step free access. As a wheelchair user I hadn't found another group that I could easily join - others are too far away and not easy to get to on public transport or not wheelchair accessible. From then on it became my Sunday afternoon home as I attended meetings and classes every week. Being able to make music as an adult with no musical background or lessons as a child is a fabulous thing and the group I was part of became my family when family are far from London. WAC is a vital part of our community music group. - it has the space needed and we don't disturb residents, unlike other places, and it importantly shares the community values of our group. WAC is a vital resource for community groups and residents in an area that is becoming more and more developed: whether it be for advice sessions, Church, art classes or dancing. The Cut and Lower Marsh are a little oasis with WAC in the middle. Every village needs a village hall, and just because Waterloo is in the middle of a city it is no different.

Name Withheld

Posted on 23 April 2021

I have been coming to WAC for years on Sundays to take part in London school of samba's dance classes and it is perfect for what the school offers. The dance and drum classes would not be the same in another space and I'd be sad to see it change if it came to that. This space has such a lovely community feel to it and without spaces like this you would be taking that away, and the spirit of what it's purpose is. We need places like WAC to continue as they create so much opportunity and a difference to the community.

Surmaya Talyarkhan

Posted on 23 April 2021

I have been coming to WAC since my first samba class with London School of Samba in 2009. It has been a place for dancers, church meetings, advice and many other functions in the community. WAC hosts a diverse group of users and meets many needs. The London School of Samba has held classes here for many years and it would be a great loss for the people of Lambeth if WAC didn’t open its doors to us.