Phoenix Community Housing’s Disability Awareness Day event drew in crowds for an evening celebrating Lewisham’s diverse community.

The Lewisham landlord opened the doors of its community building The Green Man on Tuesday 28 November to educate, inform and inspire attendees through panel discussions, activities and workshops.

Phoenix residents Deirdre Kennedy and Chantelle Francois-Grimes opened the panel discussion with Head of Resident Involvement and Wellbeing, Keren Miller, and asked questions relating to research carried out by Goldsmiths University of London about the barriers to residents getting involved with their landlord.

Deirdre Kennedy, said: “It’s vital that residents understand the different options for getting involved at Phoenix and the support available – the panel discussion today hopefully gave attendees an insight into the sort of things Phoenix is doing to address barriers to getting involved. We’re one of a handful of resident-led organisations in the country and to remain resident-led, opportunities for residents need to be adaptable and flexible for everyone.”

In between the talks, attendees enjoyed massages, arts and crafts and a taster mental wellbeing session focusing on breathing, anxiety management and coaching.

Carmen Simpson, tenant Chair of Phoenix Community Housing, said: “As tenant Chair, it’s important to me to not only ensure that our model is accessible for all and that all voices are heard, but also to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and kindness. Events like this are so important to provide a platform to listen to and understand the experiences of everyone in our community.”

Resident-led Phoenix holds events throughout the year to recognise and celebrate residents and the diverse community in south Lewisham. The events are also an opportunity for residents to meet with Phoenix staff, find out more about Phoenix services and suggest improvements.

Throughout December, Phoenix is hosting free workshops for Phoenix residents as part of their Warm Welcome offer. The workshops range from social activities to practical guidance on navigating fuel bills during the winter months. Information about the workshops and other events can be found on the Phoenix website: