Local meet ups/clubs?


Hi all! Bit of an odd one, but I hope you’ll hear me out :smiley: I moved to Honor Oak from Essex over a year ago now, and I’ve realised what I’m really missing is that community feel. Back in Essex I used to know everyone on my street and pop into my neighbours for chats.

Obviously I know life in London is very different, but I was wondering if anyone could suggest any popular local clubs or meet-ups that would be a good way to make friends? I’m into sports, meditation, TV/films, arts and crafts, volunteering, animals, and will pretty much give anything a go. Would just be interested to know if I’m missing any opportunities in this area!

Should probably add that I’m late 20s and live in HOP with my boyfriend and 2 cats :slight_smile:

Thanks all in advance! :blush:


Hi @Emily_Ray. I grew up in Essex and went on to live in Honor Oak too (although I’ve since moved on).

This forum was great at tracking local events and community initiatives that led me to meet people and feel part of the community.

So keep an eye on our #events category - you can actually subscribe to this category so you’ll get emails when new events are posted. To do so, browse to your category notification preferences, and then add “events” to the “watching first post” list.


Hi @Emily_Ray - welcome to the area. There are quite a few groups that you can get involved with and volunteering opportunities.

The two libraries at Forest Hill and Crofton Park rely on volunteers to run them (not a hugely technical task) and this is very rewarding as you help children check out books and help adults to use computers - both groups value people in their 20s for assistance.

There are a few societies that aren’t as fuddy-duddy as they might sound - the Honor Oak Women’s Institute, the Forest Hill Society, Friends of One Tree Hill, Forest Hill Gin club, SE23 whisky club, local political parties, cat rescue centres, and community choirs. I would be happy to send you further details of any of these.

I would also recommend signing up for the Forest Hill Society email newsletter to find out about local events. (Full disclosure: i chair the Forest Hill Society and volunteer at Forest Hill library).


Hi @Emilyy_Ray and welcome to our corner of SE London. There are lots of opportunities to meet people and have fun in the area, so don’t worry. It all depends on what you like. Regarding volunteering opportunities, the green nature reserves or community gardens in the area are always looking for help. From @FriendsofGarthorneR to @wildcatwilderness and so many more. If you are into knitting, there is a group that meets on Mondays at @catfordconstitutionalclub , if you like books @croftonbooks second hand bookshop is often looking for more people. If you are on twitter or Facebook, there are lots of local bloggers who will keep you uptodate on what’s on. People like @janecandoSE4 @SE23nic @BHillvillage and @lewishamlowdown among others. And make sure you pick your monthly copy of the ‘Lewisham Ledger’ newspaper from local retailers. And for films you are just by @rivoliballroom who is now running a 80’s films festival. All the best and hope you enjoy our local area.


Hi Emily Ray, I volunteer at Crofton Park library. Please pop in to discuss volunteering in the library, the bookshop or there are opportunities for you to help out with computer lessons, after school homework clubs & adult literacy skills. There is also a garden project run alongside the library as well. We also run a book club once a month on a Tuesday.


Hey Emily,
I’m 29 and moved to Honor Oak about a year and a half ago from up in Scotland. I’ve been busy working and seeing friends who live elsewhere in London, but would love to know about local groups too! If you want a pal to go to one of these activities then let me know. X


Hi Chris,

Oh wow, which part of Essex did you grow up in? Thanks for the advice - I’ve just changed my preferences so I get those notifications. Thank you! :blush:


Hadleigh (between Basildon and Southend). As a kid I knew pretty much every other kid on the street. No mobile phones back then, so we’d spend a whole afternoon knocking on each other’s doors on the weekends to see who was around, and then hang out together in the park, or go for bike rides through the woods.

I think there are areas of Honor Oak where it would be safe enough for kids to do that, by contrast to Zones 1-2 in London, where I’d be more nervous.

Whereabouts in Essex did you move from? I think there are one or two other Essex boys and girls on the forum (@LukeSlatford?)


Come say hello, we’re both late 20s and have cats!


Hi @Michael - thank you so much for your reply! I had no idea there was such a variety of local groups. They all sound great (and I’ve signed up to the newsletter, thank you) - I was wondering whether you could please send me through any info about the cat rescue centres, community choirs and Friends of One Tree Hill? Many thanks :slight_smile:


Hi @Alma - that’s superb, thank you so much for your reply! I’ll take a look at all of those local bloggers, thank you :slight_smile: Also, the knitting group sounds right up my street - I’ll look into that!


Hi @GillB - superb, I had no idea Crofton Park library had such a wide variety of volunteering opportunities. Will pop in to find out more :slight_smile: Thank you!

@Maxine_Hamilton - sounds great :smiley: Are there any that have been mentioned above that appeal to you?

@ChrisBeach - no way, I’m from Rayleigh! Know Hadleigh (and its castle!) well. :slight_smile:

@willmorgan - awesome! Definitely up for meeting more cat lovers in the area!


I am indeed from the great county. Bowers Gifford was home for a number of years, still got the badge and gun to prove it :wink:

Hi @Emily_Ray funnily enough I played football down the road from you for hullbridge once upon a time, small world :blush: anyway, I’ve lived locally for 15 or so years now and if I had the chance to revisit that choice I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Welcome to the area :blush:




Hey Emily,

Welcome to the area! In my experience so far, pretty much everybody round here is a couple in their late 20s / early 30s with a love of cats, so you’re in good company :slight_smile: We found this out by sticking notes under our neighbours’ doors when we arrived and asking them round for a drink, and now we all take turns to host, cat sit etc. Would definitely recommend getting some wine in and giving it a go!

If anything, I’m missing the grit of Hackney and am trying to ferret out SE23’s less cosy / more avant garde side. There’s great alternative comedy at the Honor Oak Pub, vintage nights at the Rivoli theatre and I gather there’s an art-house cinema in Deptford, but if anyone has any other quirky local tips please let me know…


Subplot 57 just opened under Leaf and Groove as SE23’s newest speakeasy/community space. Opening night was Cocaine for Christmas with jazz, blues and gin.

Less cosy enough? :wink:


To avoid any ambiguity: Opening night was entitled “Cocaine for Christmas” :sweat_smile:


Hi @Emily_Ray you’re welcome to drop into the book club, all welcome and we don’t take it (or ourselves) too seriously. Details of Feb’s meet on the forum


Hi @Emily_Ray
I’d be keen on a knitting group, if you and @Maxine_Hamilton want to venture along together one evening?


Hi just to add on the sports side that there are parkruns every Saturday at 9am in both Dulwich Park and Peckham Rye - they’re very friendly and welcoming and very well attended (this week’s in Dulwich had over 500 runners according to the results page!) - although not technically a club I’m pretty sure quite a few people from Forest Hill head to the Dulwich one and from Honor Oak to the Peckham Rye one.