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Guest Blog by Ramon Oluseye
We were delighted to meet a young man called Ramon Oluseye, who attended one of our Big Local Spring events in Brixton on Saturday 26th May. Ramon, who is a ‘roving reporter’ for the local school newspaper, the Evelyn Grace Academy, kindly offered to share his report of the event with us.
Big Local Spring Event, North Brixton
by Ramon Oluseye
On Saturday the 26th May 2012 whilst many of you were enjoying the sunshine a group of us were having a meeting in The Brixton Centre Base in Talma Rd SW2.
The meeting was about Big Local, the Big Local is a Lottery programme which has identified areas where there is a need. This event was hosted by Debbie Ladds, whom is from the Local Trust, who are the funding body holding the funds from the National Lottery.
Angela Akinyemi introduced North Brixton and the areas that it covered which are Angell Town, parts of Loughborough, Stockwell Park Estate (including Robstart and Waltham Estate), Canterbury Crescent, and Gresham Road. She also went on to explain that Youth issues were a must in all areas which also made it hard for the areas to work collaborative. Julie Fawcett also talked about her experience in Brixton. Devon Thomas spoke about how his journey had transpired in Brixton since arriving in 1956. He said “This community is full of talent, the key is to invest in people not buildings!”
The meeting was attended not only by the North Brixton Representatives but also by others reps from communities around London that the Big Local covers, each person introduced themselves explaining what they thought their area needed and what more they wanted to learn today. Matthew from White City said “the needs of the youth and elderly” he wanted to find out more about the Big Local. Alan who is the Head of a local Secondary School in Heston West described his area as a ghost town, that there was nothing there not even a doctors surgery, that it is a small community with 3 estates that didn’t mix, finding it hard to engage people saying it was quite a dysfunctional community. He wanted to find out why the population he came from was so transient, what makes it change? Joy Hardman from Bedford explained how that how she alongside 15 other people have planned a community picnic which was to take place. Also in attendance was Rachel Rowney and Sarah Thompson who were both from the Local Trust, Sharon Grant who represented Clapham Junction and West Battersea, Paul Ducker and Ben Lee both work together with an organisation called NANM, Russell Darbon who was from Big Lottery Fund, Mala Naicker from Clapham North, Chris Jones from Leicester. Sian Penner who is the Big Local Rep for North Brixton also was in attendance.
Star People (UnLtd) were also represented by Ben Joakim whom in the afternoon workshops explained the Star People initiative and how the application process worked.
Other workshops were the problem solving with the Margolis Wheel, Big Local surgery and using social media.
The day was enjoyed by all that attended.
A short time-lapse film from part of our spring event in Brixton.