Camberwell has a long and storied history but let's start with the basics...
The name Camberwell was first applied to the Parish of St Giles, Camberwell, which included Camberwell, Peckham, Dulwich, Nunhead, and part of Herne Hill. Until 1889 it was part of the County of Surrey and in 1900 the original parish became the Metropolitan Borough of Camberwell.
Fast forward half a century to 1965 when most of the Borough of Camberwell was merged into the London Borough of Southwark - the borough we all know and love today!
If you want to delve more into Camberwell's past you can do so here.
In fact, Camberwell has long been synonymous with the arts. Camberwell Arts, a much-loved local organisation founded in 1994, puts on an annual festival and organises open artists’ studio events.
South London Gallery also finds its home on the border between Camberwell and Peckham, and hosts exhibitions from well known artists, as well as heritage and community projects.
In recent years Southwark council has invested millions of pounds building a new library and completely re-landscaping Camberwell Green, which has only added to a growing sense that Camberwell is becoming less of the hidden gem it once was and more of an open secret.
No surprise then that there are now more properties priced at over £1 million than ever before.
One slight criticism of the area is that it isn't served by the London Underground or Overground but local campaigners are actively trying to change that. Find out more here!
Your Local MP
Harriet Harman is Camberwell and Peckham’s longstanding MP and was re-elected at the last General Election with with 44,665 votes. She increased her vote by 14.5% taking 77.8% share of the vote.
Harriet has worked at Liberty (then the National Council for Civil Liberties) as a Legal Officer. Whilst there she campaigned for prisoners' rights, for a Human Rights Act, and against government secrecy. From the 1970s, Harriet has campaigned for increased women's representation in the Labour party, and she was elected as MP for Peckham in 1982 – making her the ‘mother of the house’.
Harriet has acheived a great deal in her time as MP, and you can read more about her here.
You can get in touch with Harriet by emailing email@example.com
Your Local Councillors
The London Borough of Southwark is made up of 23 wards. Three councillors are elected from 17 wards, whilst the remaining six wards are represented by two councillors - making a total of 63 councillors. The Labour party currently has 49 councillors, and the Liberal Democrat party has 14.
To find out a little bit more about what Southwark council is responsible for and how it operates click here.
Listed below are the elected representatives that represent the people of Camberwell. Get in touch with them if you have an issue that is affecting you or the area you live in.
Here's a map of Southwark wards.
Community councils provide a forum where local people, elected Councillors and council officers can meet to discuss anything of interest to the local community, and enable individuals and groups to ask questions, make suggestions, and consult upon proposed decisions affecting their neighbourhood. The meetings are open to anyone who lives, works or studies in the cc area, and are an important part of the council’s consultation and decision making process.
For more information about Camberwell Community Council click here.
Your Next Meeting:
Local Community Groups
Camberwell has a thriving community sector with several active amenity and resident-led groups. Below are a couple of examples!
The SE5 Forum works to improve Camberwell for the benefit of all members of our diverse community. The Forum was set up to be the eyes, ears and voice of the community, to see and understand what is happening within the area, to listen to concerns and raise them with the relevant organisations.
For more information about the Forum, and how to get involved, click here.
The Camberwell Society was formed in 1970 and is the recognised amenity society for those living, working or interested in Camberwell. The Society’s objectives, as defined by their constitution, are: to stimulate public interest in Camberwell, to promote high standards of planning and architecture in Camberwell, and to secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of features of historic or public interest in Camberwell.
For more information about the Camberwell Society click here.
Camberwell is home to several charities working across different sectors ranging from children and young people to mental health. Below we’ve highlighted a couple – but rest assured there are many more!
SYLA are a youth leadership charity based in Camberwell that exists to develop leadership potential in boys aged 8-16 of African and Afro- Caribbean heritage. They work with boys living in deprived areas and at risk of social exclusion. Since 2007 they have mentored more than 200 boys, trained 60 parents in About Boys Courses and provided their in-school programme to 20 schools.
For more information click here.
Simply put, a lot of BET’s outreach work involves trying to provide an artistic opportunity for people who don’t often get it. They reach around 2000 children a year in primary schools though their Creative Minds project and also target secondary schools with their ‘Speaking Out’ initiative. The latter looks to provide an opportunity to normalise and verbalise mental health issues. The project also trains young people themselves to become facilitators.
Not only does this work seek to improve the health and wellbeing of young people, it also provides respite for family members.
For more information about BET click here.
If you would like to find out more about Southwark’s vibrant Voluntary and Community Sector click here.
As well as Southwark News, there are a couple of local news sources and social media accounts that are worth touching base with from time to time to get up to date with everything that is happening in Camberwell:
If you come across any more let us know!
If you want to get more active and involved in your local community then we are here to help! Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to volunteer on a more formal level then you should be clicking this link.