The Guardians of the Environment for the Local Community
You are now familiar with the Guardians of the Environment. They are young leaders at Shpresa Programme, who, as part of the Keeping It Wild Project, in partnership with London Wildlife Trust, London Youth, Headliners UK & John Muir Trust create our first cohort of Young Social Action Team. As part of their campaign, to create safer and better community spaces for the young people, have something to say. Today they all went to Stratford Park, where they meet every Saturday to strategize on nature conservation, environmental positive activism and how to better engage the local community in different activities that meet their interests and needs.
They have asked 80 other young people on their needs and they all had one common answer: “That parks are a place where young people choose to go, choose to spend their free time at. That parks are spaces that make them proud of their neighbourhood and community.”
The Guardians of the Environment at Shpresa Programme found the perfect place to accomplish this goal – Stratford Park
“Stratford Park is a beautiful community park. We think that it is the green gem of Stratford” – the young people said. These Guardians of the Environment have created the ability to identify the great potential this park has. But, the young Shpresa Programme leaders have also recognized the problems that do not allow them to choose to spend their free time at Stratford Park.
At the entrance of the park, the water in the fountain is usually dirty and not looked after. There are toilets that are locked and inaccessible, next to an abandoned building that looks like an ignored community centre. There is a stage, which is not made use of. The tennis, basketball & football courts require a costly membership that does not adapt to the community’s needs, and is not usable for the young people.
This is Their Vision:
We want the building next to the Park to be our new Shpresa
Programme offices, where Shpresa Programme can run all the services that are
needed by the local community and the Albanian-Speaking Community all around UK.
The toilets could be made accessible and the space in the front could be turned into a café that will employ local people at living wage rate. We want to make use of the stage, with weekly performances by the young people and artists that normally perform near the shopping centre (Westfield). The sport courts should be accessible to the young people and the park should be open for important campaigns like Mental Health Campaign, Independence Days, Celebrations and more.
Help us Today for a better Tomorrow!