BY CALUM FRASER
The future of a food bank and play club is under threat after a housing landlord started fining delivery vehicles.
Volunteers working at the Deptford Park Generation Play Club have been using the car park area in Scawen Road off Evelyn Street for years, delivering supplies.
The community centre also runs a food bank service, gathering and cooking food which is given to families in the club and sent out to the surrounding area.
Moira Kerrane, who runs the club, was shocked when volunteer Arezu Isaacs told her that a parking ticket had been pinned to Ms Isaacs’ car.
Housing association London and Quadrant (L&Q) manages the nearby Equana Apartments and the parking area.
Ms Kerrane, of the Peppys Estate, said: “We have been using this parking area for years. Our services are definitely threatened by this.
How can we get food delivered? How are parents going to drop off their children? “Our volunteers can’t afford to pay these fines.”
Ms Kerrane and Ms Isaacs have been challenging the fine, which has risen to £170, since July 25.
“Arezu has just received letters from solicitors threatening her with legal action, it’s bonkers,” Ms Kerrane said.
“This is how they treat a volunteer who actually helps the tenants in their houses? “We take care of dozens of families and children who live in L&Q houses.
“I find it unbelievable. They’re supposed to be taking care of people in social housing, but they’re punishing the people who are trying to help social housing tenants.”
The play club used to be where the car park is at the moment. The area was redeveloped in 2008 with the club knocked down and rebuilt along with new flats.
At first the club was council run, then parents managed to persuade Clyde Nursery to take over the centre in 2013 when it was threatened with closure.
Parents and volunteers then took over full-time in 2015 and run the place for children up to five years old from 9.30am to 2.30pm Monday to Friday. Almost 600 families use the facilities, according to the club.
The club was recognised as the “Best Resident Led Community Initiative” by the National Federation of ALMOs (arms length organisations) in 2016, after Lewisham Homes, which part funds them, submitted the club for consideration.
Ms Kerrane, 55, said: “Against all the odds we have created an amazing community asset here and it is now under threat. “All we’re asking L&Q is to help us with a delivery permit so that we can continue to help their residents.”
An L&Q spokesman said: “L&Q is not aware of any prior agreement with the nursery to allow them or their visitors to park in the car park at Equana Apartments.
“Equana Apartments consists of 37 flats and has 20 parking bays, all of which are allocated to our residents, and to prevent obstruction to other vehicles, parking enforcement is in place.
“Due to the limited number of spaces we are not able to offer parking or permits to non-residents going forward.
However, the neighbouring roads have no on-street parking restrictions.”