Photo of Lakeisha Lynch-Stevens
Lakeisha Lynch-Stevens
Friday 5th April 2019 - 10:30

A community in Fellowship

Lakeisha Lynch-Stevens is a Phoenix tenant who got involved in the Fellowship project as an arts coordinator. In 2014, our Fellowship project set out to restore the historic pub and support arts projects. Lakeisha tells us how the project has already benefitted the community.

The word community to you may almost sound like a myth, living in a part of the UK where strangers from a thousand backgrounds pass each other, focused on their own lives and not bumping into each other.

I’ve lived in Bellingham since I was born, but it was only when I got involved with the Fellowship arts projects that I got to know and connect with people of all ages in Bellingham by running a series of arts workshops.

The community helped create a script about our area and performed in a film with pride!

We learned new skills together, had biscuits and coffee together, laughed together and it was a joy to see former strangers as ‘my community’.

The sweet surprise was that the Fellowship project lit the whole of Bellingham up with colour for me. I’ve never had reason to speak about Bellingham so much in my life!

I now know about the hidden gems that meet at Haskins, the enthusiastic discovers at my old primary school Elfrida. I wave at Stephen - my building’s Phoenix caretaker and the friendliest guy in the world who’s no longer a stranger to me - plus all our amazing volunteers.

I really hope the launch of the Fellowship is the launch of an exciting new sense of community for everyone else too.


The Fellowship is being reborn as the Fellowship and Star. Run by the Electric Star Group, the newly restored venue will open to the public in June 2019, featuring a cafe, bar, performance space and much more.

Keep an eye on our website for more details.

We hope you enjoy many happy, family-friendly moments in the new venue.