Following a number of shooting and stabbing incidents in the St James street and Markhouse wards of Walthamstow, LLG started a street project in partnership with the Women's Interfaith Network, funded by Near Neighbours to help connect the community and make the streets feel safer. From the 6th of January 2019 our Sunday pavement cafe started serving snacks and drinks to neighbours and chat to them about ways to give back to the community.
Over 50 people stop by every week and we've built up a family of regulars each with their own unique story. The next step step is to provide workshops to build local capacity for social action as well as capability for peer support so that residents feel like they can make a difference in the their own community.
Over the summer, we intend to involve children, young people and families in creative and cultural activities reflecting the diversity of Waltham Forest as the borough of culture in London this year.
The street café was launched from the front garden of St Edmunds Church by a bus stop. We aimed to get passers by, travellers on busses and neighbours chatting to each other over a cuppa and light refreshments all provided for free. When we started in November, the cold weather was just setting in and people walking past were bemused about what we were doing. Three months later, we had managed to get regular ‘customers’ from local shops and resident families and gathered information about what residents felt could make the street feel safer and friendlier.
The Print shop across the road from us offered sponsorship and links were made with staff from a local Gurdwara and Mosque interested in working together for the community. We intend to expand the scope of this project in the months ahead to continue building trust and friendships between diverse groups of people.
Food for Thought was funded by the Young Mayor’s fund for 12 sessions. Young people worked in teams to cook cheap, healthy and tasty meals to share with their peers over a discussion on topics of interest. They learnt how to budget, shop around, prepare meals for up to 22-25 people costing as little as 92 pence each for Spanish paella and £ 2.25 each for Japanese katsu curry. Eating together as a group helped satisfy hungry tummies alongside improving communication, teamwork and skills for independent living. Good food together with good conversation also increased understanding of current affairs and issues. A cookbook for students based on the experience is being put together.
loveLife Generation transformed a neglected back yard in Beckton Globe into a community garden to be enjoyed by all.
The transformation took nine months and started with young people getting their hands dirty by pulling out weeds and clearing the area.
They learnt about different plants and planned out what would be best suited for the garden and even got creative, designing a pagoda and seating area. Armed with a small grant from Young Mayor’s fund LLG went shopping for all things green and with the help of a local technology teacher we also found ways to turn junk into furniture! So old logs, palettes and rubber tyres were reborn as seats, tables and plant holders.
This project took a lot of dedication from the young people who were out in the garden come rain or shine and to celebrate their achievements they hosted a barbecue inviting neighbours and community members to enjoy the new space with them.
This project involved primary school children in gaining confidence, team work, communication and teamwork skills to create something of benefit for the school community. In Central Park this led to an anti bullying campaign to include the production of an anti-bullying badge and newsletters. In Brampton this resulted in the production of a magazine to celebrate 100 years of the school.