Campaigning for Camden’s LGBTQ+ history and future
How to Help
There are lots of ways to get involved and help re-open the Black Cap: from following our social media to helping us run them, from handing out a few flyers to joining our management committee, from giving a few pounds to pledging a large donation.
Handing a campaign flyer to an interested passer-by at one of our vigils outside the Black Cap
One of the most helpful things you can do at the moment is to follow our social media or subscribe to our newsletter and read updates about the campaign as things progress.
That’s because at the moment we’re still putting together our detailed plans for buying or leasing the Black Cap and getting it up and running again (see Our plan). When they’re ready, we’ll outline those plans and seek input from other LGBTQ+ people and groups and Camden residents to ensure that what we’re doing has community support. We may also need to raise money to make those plans real. Keeping in touch via social media or the newsletter will help you stay informed and get involved when we need your input.
You can also ask about the latest campaign news by coming along to a vigil (see below).
A snapshot of our Instagram feed @wearetheblackcap
Our ‘vigils’ are the public face of the campaign. Every Saturday from 2 to 4 pm we stand outside the Black Cap to hand out flyers and talk to people about the campaign.
The vigils keep the campaign visible and show that the Black Cap is still an LGBTQ+ space even while it’s closed. They’re a great way to show your support for the Black Cap. Drop by to say hello and pose for a photo with one of our ‘I Am The Black Cap’ cut-out wigs, or stay awhile and help give out flyers.
Standing outside a closed pub may not sound much fun but every week we have great conversations with people who want to share their memories of the Cap or who are interested in supporting independent pubs and LGBTQ+ spaces. And the more of us there are, the more fun it is!
Find us on the pavement outside the Black Cap, 171 Camden High Street, every Saturday 2-4 pm. It’s in between Boots and the bus stop, close to Camden Town station.
We very rarely cancel vigils but if we do, it will be announced on our social media, so check before you come along.
Two big areas where we’d like to strengthen our team are finance and engagement. We currently manage these okay but as the campaign moves into its next phases we’d like to have more team members with expertise in:
- finance, fundraising, grants, and capital-building – especially for arts and entertainment venues and community projects;
- social media, communications, publicity, newsletters, press releases, public engagement events, etc.
If this is you, please get in touch!
We can always use the help of a few more energetic and committed people to give a general helping hand.
The campaign involves a lot of miscellaneous tasks, from attending meetings to answering press questions to fact-checking to looking for funding sources to carrying and storing things to writing and checking documents. A lot of the time it’s simply a case of ‘quick, xyz needs doing, who’s free to do it?’
If you’re someone who’s willing and able to turn your hand to various different things and jump in to help when help is needed, you could be a great addition to our team and a great help to the campaign, so we’d like to hear from you.
We think it’s very important for the Black Cap to welcome and embrace all parts of the LGBTQ+ community including those that tend to get under-served or pushed to the edges, like women, trans people, people of colour, disabled people, and migrants. The Black Cap was always one of London’s most inclusive and diverse LGBTQ+ venues and that must continue when it re-opens.
To make sure we achieve that, we want the campaign team to have more expertise and experience from those different parts of the community, and to build more relationships with them. If you can help us strengthen our team’s diversity and connections with under-represented parts of the community, or you’d like to put us in touch with someone who can, please drop us a line.
We aren’t currently doing large-scale fundraising but we do appreciate small donations – see our Donate page. Depending on what happens with the plans for re-opening, we may well need to do some major fundraising in the next year or two. This could be to cover some of the costs of putting together a leasehold or freehold offer. Or it could be to actually raise some or all of the money to buy or lease the building, either on our own or as part of a consortium. Raising big money would mean applying for grants and tapping potential ‘high value’ donors, but it might also mean calling for donations, big and small, from everyone who wants to help the Black Cap re-open. So – watch this space!’
Black Cap Community is a community benefit society, which means it’s owned by its members (shareholders) and each member has one vote (no matter how many shares they have). At the moment we aren’t selling shares to the general public, because we need to keep this as a fundraising option once we’ve worked out how much we need to raise (see Our plan). But if you’re interested in buying shares, you can register your interest.
Being a shareholder gives you a vote in how Black Cap Community is run and how it handles the campaign. Our plan is for Black Cap Community to buy the Black Cap, which will mean our shareholders will own it.
If you’d like us to contact you if / when shares go on sale, use our action form to register. Question three (‘contribute money’) gives you an option to be contacted about buying a share.
Over the years we’ve collaborated with a range of other grassroots LGBTQ+ community groups and campaigns, community groups based in or near Camden, and people and groups working in cabaret and the performing arts. (See Friends and allies for some of our past collaborations.)
We’re always interested in working together with others who share our goals and values. We may be able to help each other – with publicity, with activities, with contacts and networks, with events. Maybe you could run a workshop or provide a service at our Community Hub. If you’d like to discuss how we might collaborate, please get in touch!
Some of our campaign team at Camden Winterfest 2019, run by our friends Castlehaven Community Association
One more way you can help is by telling other people about the campaign! Share our posts on social media or post your own support for the campaign, direct your friends to this website, bring them to a vigil, come and get some flyers and give them out to people you think would be interested!
spread the word
Black Cap Community
Campaigning for Camden’s LGBTQ+ history and future.
A community benefit society regulated by the FCA, number 8525