Here’s a blog post from our friend, neighbour and local activist, Marek Kohn for the Prestonville Community Association:
A while back we in the Prestonville Community Association got talking about the Greenway path that runs along the old railway line through New England Quarter. We lobbied for it to open when Network Rail was holding it up. But now many people don’t feel comfortable or safe on the neglected, graffiti-covered path it has become.
The problem, we thought, was that it doesn’t seem to belong to a community. And thanks to committee member Martin Poole, Vicar of St Luke’s, we’ve come up with a solution – urban farming! Or gardening, anyway. Friends First, a group which has run a farming project in West Sussex for homeless people, is up for doing something similar on the Greenway. If it works out, there’ll be people down there regularly, cultivating it and looking after it.
We’ve been working on it with our neighbours in the Ditchling Rise residents’ association, DRARA, and a bunch of other people who agree the Greenway needs nurturing. So far there have been two Sunday tidy-up sessions, open to all; the aim is to hold these once a month.
The reason I’m telling you this – and the reason I’m delighted it’s taking shape – is that it shows what the PCA is all about. Making connections, getting together, working together, drawing people in, making the neighbourhood a friendlier, more inclusive and nicer place. In a word, community.
And that’s what we’re here for. The PCA helps with other stuff too – the summer picnic in Dyke Road Park, the Christmas Carols in Exeter Street, discussions about plans such as the Seven Dials reconstruction. But one way or another, it’s all about community.
Naturally, we’d like as many Prestonville people as possible to be in touch with what we’re doing, and to share your views about local life with us. To make that as easy as possible, joining the PCA just involves signing up to receive email updates about local news and PCA activities. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://prestonville.org.uk/, and let’s join the community up some more!