A two-year project funded by the People’s Health Trust to the tune of £26,000 to work with 20 local streets throughout Thornton Heath is now complete.
The aim of the project was to break down barriers by uniting people from many different backgrounds, to help residents feel safer and more connected, whilst improving their streets.
Over 200 residents have been involved in various ways to make their street cleaner, and greener. They organised street actions that gave them the opportunity to meet their neighbours as well as a social gathering once a month which was part of the project funding.
Thornton Heath Community Action Team started this exciting project back in June 2017 and it finished last month (August).
It has proved so successful that THCAT plans to continue with the initiative in to a third year.
The streets which benefitted have seen their streets spruced up with hanging baskets, planters, trees, and artwork. Disused ground used by flytippers has been transformed in to community gardens and most importantly residents have joined forces to take action whether against drug dealing or traffic issues; raising a petition to get a one-way system introduced as happened with Quadrant and Brook Road .
It has also created stronger communities with many neighbours meeting for the first time and now holding regular get togethers
The other streets involved include: Alma Place, Brook Road, Buxton Road, Cassland Road, Crowland Road, Ecclesbourne Road, Frant Road, Gillett Road, Gilsland Road, Grange Park Road, Melfort Avenue, Melfort Road and Thirsk Road.
Project coordinator Gaetane Jones, said: “Admire the multitude of hanging baskets, window boxes, community gardens and street planters.
“Stand and stare at the extraordinary murals and mosaics. Notice the pretty stencils around several lamp posts, the repainted street name plates. All were made possible through our Street Action project.
“If you have just moved in one of these streets or were not able to participate at the time, please go and talk to some of your neighbours to ask for advice on how to take part.
“One of our participants in Buxton Road called John McNama will be sure to help you. He has now become the Monty Don of hanging baskets! “
“A huge Thank You to the People’s Health Trust for having shown us the way and made this generous funding available to Thornton Heath. We will continue he good work done, reach out to more streets and continue to bring back our sense of community.”
he last project, a mosaic in Frant Road, symbolised the real objective of the Street Action project with the words: Friendship, Respect, Acceptance, Neatness and Together.
The aim was to brighten the street , encouraging everyone to care more for it, as well as connecting the community.
Passing cars have been hooting, showing thumbs up and stopping to say thanks while residents of Frant Road and wider community painstakingly pieced together the colourful mosaic.
Artist Grace Holliday prepared a draft design using ideas from local residents who named which flowers they would like to see in the summer garden mosaic: Agapanthus, Lavender, Roses, Arun Lilies, Daisies, Dahlias, Red Hot Pokers and a tree. They also requested a local well known ginger cat called Georgie feature along with a Robin, bees, and a butterflies.
Roadside Windscreens kindly gave permission for their wall to be used, generously providing refreshments.THCAT Chair Linda Watson said: “In making the mosaic people got to know others in their street and nearby. Street Action participants from other streets also came to help and support.”
Tile shops near Purley Way, Tile Giant, Bowdens and Wickes kindly donated tiles, and Bensham Lane’s Croydon Glassworks (Ltd) gave some mirrors to add sparkle.