Deputy Mayor of London visits Hounslow to learn about community projects

The Deputy Mayor of London for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, Matthew Ryder, has paid a visit to Hounslow to find out about projects in the borough.

Published: Monday, 25th June 2018

Representatives from idverde, LUC, Hands on London and Hounslow Council join staff and children from Oakhill Academy and the Deputy Mayor at St Dunstan’s Park, Feltham.

The Deputy Mayor of London for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, Matthew Ryder, has paid a visit to Hounslow to find out about projects in the borough which encourage community engagement and people to be outdoors and active.

The Deputy Mayor visited St Dunstan’s Park in Feltham, where he heard about the Active Spaces project led by Hounslow Council. The project saw the council partner with award-winning architects Land Use Consultants (LUC) to design new Active Spaces at existing playground sites.

A representative from LUC talked about how they collaborated with the community to design the playgrounds, running workshops with residents and coordinating design competitions in local schools.

Contractor idverde discussed their work with the community which included hosting planting sessions with local children and joining forces with London Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) probation teams and charity partners Hands on London, who took part in the build.

Children and staff from Oakhill Academy in Feltham were on hand to plant flowerbeds and water the plants they had already bedded and the Deputy Mayor dutifully joined in.

Feltham Arts, which is supported by the council to deliver a community based arts service, was also visited. The Deputy Mayor heard first-hand accounts from volunteers and beneficiaries, and learned how Feltham Arts projects provide greater participation in community life, greater civic pride and opportunities for residents to develop their skills and talents.

The Deputy Mayor was shown an exhibition of Feltham Festival prints produced by Youth Offending Team referrals and excluded pupils and a photographic exhibition of projects from the past 30 years.

The final stop was Hounslow Action for Youth (HAY), who have been working in partnership with the council for the past 20 years, after HAY completely refurbished Hanworth Youth Centre and took over the management of the Centre. HAY raised funds for the refurbishment and for the Centre to continue to provide a community hub for young people and their families in the local area.

The team discussed the Youth Bonds project for 8-12 year olds, the Young Women’s Project and the Weekender Youth Club. They showcased a book written by creative young women in Hounslow called ‘Inky Lemons,’ which has been published, with the proceeds going back into running the project for the community.

Councillor Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Communities and Workforce, said:

“I’m proud that in our borough we have a wide range of community projects being run by such capable and dedicated individuals to benefit to those in our diverse community. Building residents’ confidence, developing skills, increasing employability, tackling social isolation and encouraging healthy and active lifestyles – these are just some of the benefits that have been highlighted. We believe that the Deputy Mayor will take away with him some examples of best practice from his visit to Hounslow and we look forward to seeing the good work continue.”

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