Big Local SW11 Visioning Event Report (14th June 2012)

Summary of consultation findings

Firstly, everyone involved would like to start by thanking everyone who made it to the visioning event at York Gardens Library and surrounding area on Thursday 14th of June.

As a group of residents involved so far in Big Local, we learned a lot at the event. We asked the local community for suggestions on their vision for the area, what their priorities would be for investment of the Big Local funding, and how they would like to be involved.

This project is about lasting change. And yes, people are happy with, indeed love, certain things about the area. But there are things people would like to change, or do differently. And some are worried that because of budget cuts those things they love may be taken away. Residents have clear ideas on what they would like to see in the future, and plenty of skills, time, passion and ideas to offer.

Many people signed up to be involved in the planning group taking Big Local forward, and many more wanted to be kept informed.

We asked two questions at the ‘graffiti wall’ consultation in the main hall of the Library and here is a summary:

What I love about the area where I live is……

  • * Lots of places to play
  • * Great transport links
  • * Shops
  • * Schools
  • * The community spirit
  • * The diversity

One thing I’d like to change about the area?

  • * Expand on youth clubs
  • * Cross generational event/discussions for all ages
  • * Training opportunities for young people
  • * Outdoor gym for adults
  • * Safe play areas for all ages
  • * Church and community to work together
  • * Old and young to support each other more
  • * More parking
  • * More plants and green areas, maybe even a dog park
  • * More community spirit/consideration for others
  • * Start advertising local jobs to local people
  • * More police patrols
  • * Free swimming lessons for kids aged 4 and up, also for disabled people on benefits
  • * Crank up the security and crack down on anti-social behaviour
  • * Free guardian newspaper back
  • * Affordable crèche
  • * A community café run by local workers and/or volunteers
  • * A proper community centre
  • * More networking among local groups

A group of young people from Thames Christian College devised a survey and went round interviewing people, mainly children and young people. Here’s a summary:

We like

  • Playground 9
  • Community Spirit 6
  • The people/neighbours 4
  • Community activities/events 3
  • Youth Clubs 3
  • Easy access to get around 3
  • Nice/lively area 2
  • Football pitch/exercise machines 2
  • Library/books 2
  • The love 1

We dislike

  • Gangs/violence/crime 8
  • No place for 13 – 17 yr olds to play 1
  • Kids bad 1
  • Racism 1
  • No police 1

What to improve?

  • new playground area/centre 10
  • Less crime/security/safe/police help 8
  • More activities for children/youth 7
  • Youth Clubs/centres 6
  • Improve how area looks 3
  • Football – goal posts/astroturf/access
  • to 3
  • More community/family things to do 2
  • More open area 2
  • Services to support children & elderly 1
  • Exercise machines 1
  • More books 1
  • Don’t know 1

Would you like to be part of Big Local

  • Yes 19
  • No 1
  • Maybe 18

We also had two big maps of the area. One became an art workshop with children and families painting, talking, sticking, and discussing their opinions of the area:

The other map was placed in the centre of the room, and as people talked about the area, they summarised their ideas for change on post-its – here is a summary of those ideas:

  • Keep York Garden Library open
  • Keep York Garden adventure playground open and free
  • Set up a charity that will replace services taken away from York Gardens Adventure Playground, with the addition of homework clubs
  • More flowers and vegetables to be grown in local allotments
  • A Community Café in York Gardens park for mums in the day,internet café in afternoon, themed evenings, run by volunteers, work experience students or ex-offenders
  • Redevelop properties that are run down
  • Deal with the windows in the blocks
  • Dog area in York Gardens
  • Dog behavioural courses/agility areas for dogs
  • A dog free area in York Gardens
  • Better security and a barrier to stop mopeds and bikes getting into York Gardens
  • More sports facilities
  • Skate board park for 11+
  • A BBQ area
  • Mermaids and butterflies !!!!
  • A Centre purely for community life
  • Make York Gardens a hub for groups etc
  • Family fun days
  • Water fountains and drinking fountains
  • Swimming pool
  • Playing fields provision

 For young people

  • More youth clubs for 11 – 18
  • Affordable sports
  • Youth workshops
  • Mechanics workshop
  • Music studio
  • Break dance classes in summer holidays
  • Sewing/design café
  • Mentors for young people
  • More good role models
  • Funding for St Marks ‘Spear’ Centre working with NEETs

For children

  • Affordable child care
  • Creche
  • Better and cheaper baby sitting services for disabled children
  • More suitable play areas for under 8’s
  • Internet shop with access for school kids between 3.30 – 6.30
  • Free drama lessons for 4 – 16 year olds
  • More low cost activities for under 8’s
  • More play centres and slides
  • Develop Falcon Park for more sporting activities
  • More affordable trips
  • Have a P.H.A.B club for disabled children
  • Free swimming for 4 – 17 year olds


  • Community art workshop to paint the area
  • More local trading units + storage units
  • Community facilities for 20 – 45 year olds
  • Community choir, singing lessons
  • Intergenerational project between children and older people
  • Programmes to support people out of work and boost spirit
  • Parenting classes for adults and for teens
  • Self defence classes
  • Life skills/music workshops – girls learning self respect/how to be
  • a lady/dress. Boys same and how to be a gentleman/man. Both: sex education!
  • Teenage pregnancies consultancy
  • Unemployment (creche facilitie)
  • Home work clubs
  • Catch up clubs
  • Basic skills training pre apprenticeship

So – Big Local SW11 has big ideas, big support, and big potential. Thanks for your input so far, and keep your ears and eyes open for future events across the area.

Written by Darren McCoy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *