A Death Cafe is opening in East Street Market

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It’s all part of a new community-conscious entrepreneurial hub in Walworth called 55 East


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Photo: Sylvie Goy.
A trio of disused shop fronts on the iconic East Street in Walworth have been taken over by Hatch, a community enterprise charity.

From November, the three will be banded together under the banner 55 East, transforming it into a multifunctional space with an affordable co-working space, community events hub and café.

55 East will host a series of events, start-ups, talks and exhibitions, with the promise that everything – from staff to produce – originates from and works in support of the people of Southwark and Lambeth.

After a flick though the space’s line-up over the coming months, it’s glaringly clear that the creative and entrepreneurial flame in the area burns bright.

To kick it all off (from Nov 3rd) artist Sylvie Goy will be launching an exhibition of photographs from Walworth. Her work looks to capture life around the East Street market – one of the longest running in the country – documenting the characters, many of whom have been here for decades, who have watched as their traditional way of life disappears in the face of the areas rapid regeneration.

Artist impression of East 55. Photo: PR
The first barista in the community cafe will be from the charity Change, Please, an organisation that helps the homeless get back into work. To mark Global Entrepreneurship Week (13th-19th Nov), there will be tonnes of events on getting start-ups off the ground, and as the festive season approaches, they’ll be the inevitable, solely locally-sourced Christmas market.

The stand-out event on the new hub’s bill sees a Death Cafe gleefully flinging open its doors this December. Pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, this is a place where people can go to drink tea, eat cake and discuss death. Far from the doom and gloom that couldn’t be expected, the cafe looks to raise awareness of death so as to help people make the most of their (finite) lives. Fun.

If it all gets a bit much, you can always pop back outside to the market, buy some fresh veg and make a nice warming stew – while you contemplate the transience of life.

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More on 55 East, East Street Market SE17 here, and on Death Cafe here.

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