‘Make a change’ says Street Champion

11 July 2018

Written by: Lambeth Council

Better streets, parks and open spaces - Focus on Norwood

Esther was inspired to become a Street Champion through Facebook and by seeing local people making a difference – now she’s passing on the same ‘show and tell’ inspiration.

Pre-school age blonde girl with hair in bunches wearing a superman cape and outfit putting rubbish into a green bag on a Lambeth street (photographed from behind)

Being a Street Champion is as little or as much work as you like, and you get great support from Veolia and Lambeth Council. You get recognition, too: earlier this year, I was invited to a reception at Lambeth Town Hall with the Mayor celebrating what Lambeth Street Champions and snow wardens do.

Get stuck in – make a change

Jason Prentis, who co-ordinates Street Champions, started a Facebook group ‘Greening West Norwood’. This was the impetus I needed – I’d been thinking about becoming a street champion since moving here two and a half years ago. A community pocket garden was created just down the road, and a book box appeared in a neighbouring street. It made me realise the community are out there trying to improve our local environment – and the best way to make a change is to get stuck in.

Freshview

Becoming a street champion was really simple. Jason popped round to visit my street. We agreed a freshview day to build planters and help neighbours spruce up their front gardens.

Learning about people

In the run-up to freshview day, knocking on doors and handing out posters, I learned more about the people I share an address with. Veolia provided repurposed scaffolding boards and compost. We built four planters. My two daughters, aged 1 and 3, were helping and that really drew out neighbours. It made our street feel more like a village than a south London road. People say it’s a great sign that people care about the local environment.

 Offers to help

I’ve been out every evening during the warm weather to water. I’ve got talking to more neighbours – and some offered to help. I’d like to make more planters and I’ve been talking to local councillors about creating a local seedling bank to help reduce the cost of planting.

Norwood Collective

I’ve started an online campaign, Norwood Collective, which celebrates greening and community-led initiatives like the Street Champion scheme, West Norwood Gateway Garden, the West Norwood Bzz Garden, and other great projects in the area.


For more information

Please note: Photograph is by Esther Rees and is NOT to be reproduced without her permission

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