Thamesmead was the set of Stanley Kubrick’s dystopian classic film A Clockwork Orange and used as a typical council estate backdrop for the Channel 4 hit series Misfits. But our columnist Claudette Lawrence has lived in the South-east London area her whole life and here she gives an alternative view.
BY CLAUDETTE LAWRENCE
There is more to a community than bricks and mortar. This does not create acommunity – the culture within it does.
I love my community, and when I tell people I live in Thamesmead they often say “oh not there”.
They assume I must live in the tall tower blocks in Yarton Way in South Thamesmead.
I must admit before I lived here, I used to associate Thamesmead with South Thamesmead and think it was just like a concrete jungle.
But there is so much more to Thamesmead than this.
In 2014, Trust Thamesmead and Tilfen Land was taken over by Peabody, which meant that much of the towns housing and community activities, and 200 acres of land became owned by them.
Thamesmead is currently going through a huge regeneration project in collaboration with Greenwich council, Bexley council, and Transport for London.
There is always something to do with plenty going on, such as community choirs and craft groups, well stocked libraries and much more.
It creates jobs and allows people to come together as a community, and enhances the sense of belonging.
You can get fit for as cheap as £3 per session doing an exercise class.
There is also much more – drop-in services where you can get help for issues like housing, benefits, employment, and mental health. Also access to great employment and training.
The Thamesmead 50th fund provides grants from £200 to £2,000 and is awarded throughout the year.
This enables individuals, community groups, or local businesses to deliver activities in the area, which help the community to connect.
The Crossrail extension to Abbey Wood will help commuters halve their journey times to many central London destinations. This is already attracting local business.
This new project means that there will be new homes, stronger leisure and retail facilities, which will generate income and boost the local economy.
Where I live, Peabody and Berkeley homes are working together, to change 17 acres of land. This will provide a dynamic neighbourhood for Plumstead.
The green land is relatively untouched and wild flowers and woodland have been left to flourish and is full of wildlife.
There are also some great green spaces, waterways and lakes and areas for children to play.