Transforming Copley Close – TYS2
Hanwell Big Local, a new 10-year community project covering the Cuckoo, Gurnell and Copley estates in Ealing and Cultivate London, an Ealing-based urban farm and youth training programme, are teaming up to develop communal garden areas on the estate, and to transform a piece of disused woodland on Copley Estate (behind Cheyne Path) into a vibrant community space where local children can freely and safely play, and residents can relax or come learn about nature. This space will also be a haven for local wildlife.
As part of this project, 2 young residents of the estate will be hired as apprentices for a period of 2 years and will receive support and training through Cultivate London’s apprenticeship programme. They will work alongside Cultivate London’s Landscape Gardening Team to transform the space, and will be trained up to eventually be able to manage the space themselves. In this way, long-term management of the project will be returned to the control of local residents.
What we’ll do:
- Clear the space of rubbish and debris – community clean up day
- Build an outdoor classroom where activities such as environmental education or art classes can be delivered
- Build and adventure playground
- Create a wildlife area comprised of native plant species. A “bug hotel” and a “nature path” will also be built there
- Create a communal garden
- Once the space is created, use it as a venue for education, recreation and community events
Why it’s a great idea:
Hanwell Big Local work closely with residents and community organisations on the Estate. They have researched the needs, wishes and wants of local residents and have found there is a great need and desire for a place on the Estate where people feel they belong, can thrive and are inspired to create opportunities to work and play together. Residents have also voiced concerns about the safety and underuse of the space in question – previously disused and a haven for anti-social behaviour. In general, most were really proud of the green areas on the Estate and wanted them conserved but felt that they needed more care and maintenance. This project will address all of these needs.
Additionally, the project will provide training and employment opportunities for residents of the estate. Youth unemployment remains a particular issue on the Estate, and contributes to an ongoing cycle of poverty. The project’s apprenticeship programme, delivered by Cultivate London, will help address this.
How we’ll get it done:
- Work with local residents of all ages to transform the space, under the supervision of Cultivate London’s Team
- Work with youth organizations such as The Challenge and Prince’s Trust to engage teams of young people in the project
- Hire two apprentices from Copley Estate, who will eventually be responsible for managing the project
- Apprentices will train under the supervision of Cultivate London’s landscape gardening team
Copley Close is in the beginning stages of major regeneration of refurbishment and redevelopment which will take at least another 5-6 years. The Regeneration team commissioned the initial clearout of the land to make it safe and have committed to funding the design and are negotiating a licence with HBL to will ensure the community are in charge of this land from now on.
Long term plans for the apprentices is to support them to create their own company with the potential for tendering for maintenance contracts on the estate, supporting residents with growing projects and community gardens and undertaking private work.
We aim to encourage local schools and youth groups to engage in environmental education projects and have events and adult education, arts and social activities in the woodland area
For more information:
Hanwell Big Local:
visit http://hanwellbiglocal.org.uk, or watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faC4GpuYC0s
Cultivate London: http://cultivatelondon.org