We ALL love Southall!
A Rocha UK and Southall Extended Services, part of Ealing Council, teamed up on Saturday 13 July and invited local residents to a We Love Southall community fun day at Southall Recreation Ground. They were also joined by the Mayor of Ealing, Cllr Kamaljit Dhindsa. The project was funded by the Southall Micro-fund.
The two organisations were encouraging residents to find out about all the fun and healthy activities that can be enjoyed on their doorstep. And they turned up in their hundreds to take part in canoeing, stationary bike races and bike-powered smoothie makers, walks, sports (football, hockey and mini Olympics), healthy cooking demonstrations, a treasure hunt, learning about growing your own food, bird boxes, bug hotels and much more. People took their own picnics to enjoy at the fun day which ran from 12 noon through to 3 pm.
Preceding the Fun Day, children and parents from Wolf Fields Primary School and Havelock Primary School helped clean up the canal towpath in the morning, removing rubbish and working with the Canal and Rivers Trust to make the most of this area, both for wildlife and for local people. Clifton and Wolf Fields primary schools had previously worked with A Rocha UK on a photographic project documenting what they loved (and not) about their local area. Wolf Fields and Featherstone primary schools had also had assemblies on water safety led by the Canal and River Trust prior to the Clean-up and Fun Day.
Flyers promoting the event were placed in children’s book bags at six local schools and posters and banners were placed in local businesses, community and faith centres and at the park entrances. At the Fun Day, families enjoyed activities provided by a range of providers including Ealing Park Rangers, Sharks Canoe Club, Kays Cookery School, Dormers Wells Health Project, Southall Community Alliance, School and Public Health, MEND, Police Cadets and Specials, Urban Smoothie Bikes, Rollapaluza (stationary racing bikes), and Cultivate. Refreshments were provided by Clifton Primary School and the Old Oak Tree public house. Residents also learned about the improvements that had been made to the Recreation Ground and gave their views on how they would like to further use their local park and canal. These views are being fed back to Ealing Council’s Parks team.
Following the event, some typical comments from residents included:
“It was great to see something happening at the REC, things never come to the REC”
“What a glorious day, we had a picnic and stayed at the REC till really late”
“My family, we all went…it was a hot day…good day”
“I would like to see more Fun Days, it was a small Fun Day but nice to see”
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “We are lucky to have many fantastic parks and open spaces in Ealing and I’m delighted that local youngsters have done their bit for Southall Recreation Ground. The fun day had a packed programme of activities for all the family.”
Mairi Johnstone, CEO of A Rocha UK says, ‘This was a wonderful opportunity for local people to get involved in a community event, and also to learn new things about their local environment whilst being active. The clean-up was a great opportunity to respond to the command to care for God’s earth and we are delighted that local schools are involved in this.”
For more information please contact Jane Pickerden on 07944 608549 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This project was funded by the Southall Partnership through the Southall Micro-fund: working together for a proud and ambitious Southall.