Grand opening of Newlands Hall

Our guest blogger this month is Melissa Lacide of the Empathy Collective.

Melissa took on the challenge of consulting the diverse community of the Putney Vale Estate as part of her Masters (which she passed with distinction!) on Sustainable Development at Kingston University. Cave met Shirley of the Putney Vale Residents Association at a research symposium at Kingston University and well, Melissa can tell the rest…

“Newlands Hall community building on Putney Vale Estate was derelict for many years and due to be knocked down by the council. But, after much campaigning, the building was saved and residents proved to the council that there was a need and a want to keep this building.

Last week Liz Crisp, from Cave Co-operative, and I joined the Putney Vale community in their celebrations of the long awaited reopening of Newlands Hall. This day was also a celebration of the community of Putney Vale… past, present and future. One of a few, Shirley Price gave a heartfelt speech – she talked about the community and their journey, both good and bad, to get to this point in the history of Putney Vale.

Shirley, treasurer of Putney Vale Residents’ Association (PVRA), has been a resident on the estate for decades. Along with many of the other residents, she is what I would describe as a genuine example of a community champion – someone who loves being a part of where they live… gives and receives a huge amount from everyone they meet… makes the links… and, passionately crusades to the very end for what they believe in.

The PVRA very kindly presented a copy of my report as a gift to the Mayor of Wandsworth, Jane Cooper. Hopefully this report will provide them, and perhaps, other community groups too, with a valuable insight in to sustainable communities, design thinking and community engagement. This project is just one example of how the built environment has an impact on how we, as human beings, interact and engage with the places we live in and people who live around us.

This project was made possible by the generosity and support of Cave Co-operative and Putney Vale Residents’ Association. Thank you!

Melissa Lacide”

No, Thank you Melissa!