Who are the Creative Citizens?A group of local people met last November at Goldsmiths Community Centre to talk about how we could participate in the Community Led Design strand of the AHRC funded project Creative Citizens, with the Open University and the Helen Hamlyn Centre, Royal College of Art. This came out of the work we had done with The Glass-House Community Led Design at Goldsmiths to create a vision for the community centre, in 2009-10.
Over the next few months I attended further meetings and workshops (sometimes alone, sometimes with others from the focus group!) at the Festival Hall, at the OU centre in Camden and Cafe Rouge in Hays Galleria. I met many interesting groups working across London, and together we contributed to Community Design Exchange, a social network and research tool linking groups together to share information.
An asset mapping workshop was arranged for 20 March at the community centre. The overarching theme is wellbeing and health.
|Asset mapping workshop at Goldsmiths Community Centre|
|How could we link the two assets of the community centre and gardens, with an app?|
A further co-creation workshop focussed our attention on the assets we had identified and encouraged us to be creative about how we could use media to link them up.Through my work with the Downham & Whitefoot Interagency project local people had identified the need for what is available for them in their area, linking people with facilities and open spaces, and ultimately their neighbours; local organisations to link together to offer their activities and events and work together not in isolation.
Creative Citizens on a hot hike
Time: 3.30 pm
Venue: Ringway Community Centre, 268 Baring Road SE12
Were we mad to set off for a walk in Downham, starting in leafy Grove Park, on one of the hottest days of the year so far? Not in the least! Intrepid Citizens that we are, we hacked our way through tropical undergrowth to the railway line and beyond, starting in the gardens of the Ringway Centre, through Cox's Wood to the Grove Park Nature Reserve.
|Making our way through the grounds of the Ringway Centre|
|Stephen Kenny, Chair of Grove Park Community Group, with Melissa and Louise from The Glass-House Community Led Design, at Grove Park Nature Reserve|
|The pedestrian bridge over the lines between Hither Green and Grove Park stations (what a shame they couldn't have put a Downham station in between, especially as a railway line was used to build the Downham Estate!)|
|Photo courtesy of www.ideal-homes.org.uk|
Welcome to Downham!Once we'd crossed the tracks we split up into two groups each with a map and a route to mark or log community assets. There is a path through to Reigate Road and thence to Verdant Lane. There is the beginning of a flight of stairs up an embankment, which goes nowhere. It leads to an open grassy area, which is quite featureless apart from the Downham Fire Station (scheduled to be closed by cuts) and a forlorn playground.
|Green Chain Walk Fingerpost signposting our route from Baring Road in Grove Park to Verdant Lane in Downham, and connections to the Capital Ring|
|Jane from Rushey Green Time Bank holds up an 'UNLOVED' sign for a playground full of equipment that no-one wants to play on. Is it uninteresting, unsafe or just unloved?|
|The Tahir Mosque at the junction of Verdant and Whitefoot Lanes. It used to be the John Henry Housing Office. Who was John Henry? Mayor of Lewisham 1982-3|
|The Parade: Offie, Empty Shop, Florist (handy for the cemetery opposite), Klassy Kebab and Rock N Roe fish and chip shop. Not forgetting, on the end, a bookies. What more could one want? Answer - a 'Bonjour'.|
|It's in a petrol station! If you fancy the Costa Coffee experience why not take one away, from the garage. On this site stood a pub, The Governor General. There are now no pubs in Downham at all since the Downham Tavern was shut down.|
|Around the corner, in Waters Road, some unloved domestic items. That basket looks quite useful to me. Why are they lying near the gates?|
|I wonder where this alleyway leads?|
|My kinda town|
|The Woodland Walk at Shroffold Road, a relic of ancient woodland. Local group Friends of the Woodland Walk meet on the last Sunday of every month|
The next meeting will be in September, date and venue to be confirmed. If you are a local person and want to be involved please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the project please follow these links.