Old Ford wins a Gold Award for building cohesive communities.
Old Ford has demonstrated its unique intercultural approach to the community in Bow, East London, encouraging residents to recognise and appreciate diversity but use common goals and interests to work and socialise together.
Community regeneration manager Fokrul Hoque said: “We are extremely pleased that our work towards integrating different parts of the community has been recognised nationally. Winning a gold award is a huge achievement for Old Ford and we are very proud of it.”
The Housing Association’s awards submission showed how Old Ford works to bring people together from different backgrounds, beliefs, interests and cultures to strengthen communities.
Examples of this work have included engaging different community groups to organise and attend both Eid and Christmas parties to learn about and appreciate different cultures.
Old Ford representatives were presented with their trophy and certificate by Housing Minister Caroline Flint MP and Housing Corporation chairman Peter Dixon at a ceremony in London yesterday.
Old Ford Managing Director June Morton said: “Old Ford Housing Association delivers a range of different services and activities to all sections of the community in Tower Hamlets and works very hard to integrate people from all beliefs and backgrounds. This recognition of our community development work is a great boost to Old Ford and will enable us to share our successes with other social housing providers.”
Old Ford has received a prize fund of £50,000 which will be used to support a range of knowledge sharing activities over the coming months, and will be sharing their good practices at the National Housing Federation’s annual conference.
Judges spent a day visiting many of Old Ford’s community venues and spoke to residents attending art classes, young people at the youth centre and construction centre trainees.
Listed below are a just a few examples of the 30 or so projects taking place in eight community centres which led to Old Ford winning the Gold Award.
Jobs in the bag for 12 trainees
The Construction Training Centre has been welcoming young people who want to get to grips with construction skills for seven years. There is also the Street Furniture Project, which has been running since 2005. Of the 15 trainees who took part last year 12 went on to get a job.
Exercise for all
Classes were developed at the Tredegar Community Centre, for Bangladeshi and other women in the community who need opportunities to exercise in an environment that suits them.
Eid and Christmas Party
There were two special parties organised as a joint effort by Bengali, Somali and European people. 150 people joined in the party celebrations and there’s talk of organising more parties just like this one.
Happy birthday to the Eastside Youth Centre
Eastside Youth Centre has celebrated its first birthday. The purpose built centre has seen hundreds of young people aged 13-19 through its doors since opening at the end of February 2007. A successful after school club runs on Wednesdays for children aged eight to 13.
European Neighbours’ Day was celebrated across 27 countries and Old Ford organised two events in Mardyke and Bow. About 250 people attended the event in Bow.
Quicker and greener
The police can now jump on their bikes and reach the Mardyke estate in minutes whenever they’re needed, thanks to Old Ford funding the cycle safety equipment for three police officers at Havering Police. Before they could only get here if a car was available.
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