Lisa ‘Badger’ Newham, the driving force behind our work in Thamesmead, tells us about the YES! event she organised on The Moorings estate on Saturday 30th August.
We talked to more than 100 people over the whole day. Solomon Small from Gallions, two Brick Box workers and one of The Brick Box’s youngest and most enthusiastic volunteers Imogen (aged 8) spent 5 hours clearing the canal.
This prompted various discussions about what Gallions and Peabody might be attempting to achieve in the area, as well as discussing how real change is possible when we all work together.
Some of the things found in the canal:
- A scooter
- Masses of crisp packets
- Black bin bags
- Drinks bottles/cans and beer cans
- A couple of footballs
- Some tennis balls
- A traffic cone
- Several broom handles
- Kinder egg eggs
- A small red heart
- Lots of Penny Wort and Duck Weed
The Toast Temple attracted people of all ages and backgrounds. They really enjoyed the Toast Temple and consumed over 11 loaves of bread! The children and their adult carers also made some very positive Yes! signs and created their own outdoor gallery at Arnott Close.
The wish lanterns were particularly popular and plenty of people stayed right to the end to launch their wish on the canal. Some people kept their wishes private whilst others shared them with us:
- A new job
- A better life for my children
- That it would snow
- A girlfriend
- To meet David Beckham
- To live with their Dad
- That their Grand parents were still alive – but it’s alright cos they’re in heaven
- To be a famous Dancer
- That people had more hope
My highlight was finding many people grateful and receptive to having something different happening in their area and a reason to hang out and chat with other residents as well as us. Several people mentioned that they didn’t feel that there was much opportunity to meet other people unless you had children and consequently they felt quite isolated.
One woman I spoke to had just been to a funeral and said she felt much more hopeful about the future after spending the day in such a positive atmosphere and with the arrival of Peabody on the estate.