On Saturday 6th February, Southwark Council announced £23,000 will be spent on Kelly Avenue Park as a result of a campaign by Peckham Citizens.
Over 40 children, parents, teachers and other local people turned up to the Peckham & Nunhead Community Council meeting hear the announcement, which marks the success end to a year long campaign in the area.
The campaign began after people from across the community took part in Peckham Citizens’ 1,000 Voices campaign in the first half of 2015 - a campaign to have 1,000 conversations with people in Peckham about both what people like about our neighbourhood, but also what local people are struggling with most in their daily lives.
Last September, 120 local people worked together to clean up and to take back their local neighbourhood park after hearing shocking stories of violence, sexual assaults, drug dealing, and gang activity all of which took place within the same park. At the event, Councillor Barrie Hargrove, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Parks and Leisure committed to work with Peckham Citizens to make the park clean and safe.
The £23,000 will be spent on a new pathway to encourage adults to walk through the park and allow an escape route for people as well as 2 brand new entrance archways to be designed by the children from two local schools.
Rose Moses, Assistant Headteacher at Oliver Goldsmith Primary School – one of the schools that led the campaign – said;
“We are delighted with the result – Southwark Council have really listened to our concerns and the concerns of hundreds of local people. The children and parents involved will remember this day for years to come and now know that if they put their mind to it, they can achieve great things together!”
Halima Emar, local parent and frequent Kelly Avenue Park user said;
“I use the park all the time, these changes will make it much safer. We are so excited by the success that a group of local parents and I are going to set up a Friends of Kelly Avenue Park to keep up the good work! We are looking forward to continuing to work together with Southwark Council to make our neighbourhood safe for our children.”
Cllr Barrie Hargrove, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Parks and Leisure and local ward councillor said;
“If a park doesn’t feel safe for children, then it is our duty to do something about it. I am glad to say we have found the money. We very much look forward to working with Peckham Citizens, local children and residents to make Kelly Avenue Park a fun and safe place for all to enjoy!”