local hero lisa ross

Local Hero: Lisa Ross

Local Hero: Lisa Ross

Lisa combined her arts management and catering skills to prepare thousands of meals for people in need. Join us to say Thank You to local hero Lisa Ross and nominate her for a Time & Leisure Hero Award

Lisa Ross has been busy since lockdown. A well known figure in Barnes, Lisa runs OSO – the local arts centre as well as MrsSW13 Catering & Events company. When lockdown started, her catering work stopped, so she combined the two ventures, and used her catering and organising skills to help the community. Lisa transformed the OSO theatre kitchen and café into the community Crisis Kitchen and got to work, helping provide 10,000 meals for local people in need. The Crisis Kitchen worked closely with other charities such as FiSH who were able to deliver them where they were needed, including beneficiaries such as NHS staff in local accommodation.

She also started a fabulous initiative, Bedtime in Barnes. Local celebrities and notable local people including; Alistair McGowan, Virginia McKenna, Anneka Rice and British astronaut Helen Sharman were filmed reading their favourite children’s stories. The videos were posted on the OSO website and You Tube so that people could easily access them during lockdown.

Lisa didn’t stop there. on top of this, she set up the OSO Arts Centre as the drop off point for the Barnes Food Bank, which is based in North Barnes. Collecting over four tonnes of food, helping sort the donations and saving precious time for volunteers at the food bank.

Barnes photographer Andrew Wilson and co-author of one of the stories included in Bedtime in Barnes, nominated Lisa, recognising the amazing contribution she has made to the community

“I am sure there is a lot more that Lisa did but surely for this alone she deserves one of your Hero Awards!”

Lisa was instrumental in all of the OSO initiatives during lockdown. She would be found with sleeves rolled up and gloves on in the very busy kitchen, organising ingredients, connecting with other charities and bringing together the army of dedicated volunteers offering help. Lisa has a special skill of bringing people together and making it a really positive and happy environment to work in. Lisa also has a large family in Barnes, some of her teenage children joined in and helped out wherever they were needed.

Jonny the Online arts programmer at OSO said:

“Whenever I put my head round into the very busy and incredibly well organised kitchen I was struck by how happy the atmosphere was. This is down to Lisa who has a natural ability to bring people together. She goes above and beyond in everything she does, often arriving in the morning with a new thought or idea she had during the night.”

He has felt inspired by Lisa’s energy and motivation during lockdown

“She has cultivated a positive energy around the arts centre and given us all a profound sense of purpose which had brought a lot of us together.”

Lisa Ross has done so much for the community during lockdown, she is someone the team look up to and many in the community of Barnes admire.



Or you may want to nominate another volunteer that helped out with the OSO initiatives or charities in Barnes


OSO Arts Centre

The lockdown projects are now closed and OSO are planning to reopen their doors with a new arts programme in September.

With their doors closed, patrons have generously donated the cost of their pre-booked tickets to the arts centre, but they need to raise additional money to keep the centre open. Please donate here >>