Club News: Elm Park Regeneration group

Ingrid Brandon is the founder of the Elm Park Regeneration group

Ingrid Brandon is the founder of the Elm Park Regeneration group - Credit: Archant

Havering is full of hidden gems and unsung community heroes and the Elm Park Regeneration Partnership is just one of them.

Founded by Ingrid Brandon nearly nine years ago, and with initial support from the Community Regeneration team at LBH, this small group of volunteers made up of residents and shopkeepers has steadfastly maintained its mission to make a positive difference in everything they do in Elm Park.

Perhaps they go about their ambitions a bit too quietly, as a recent survey among traders revealed that a number still think that Elm Park events are organised by the council and that flower displays and clean-up campaigns are performed by paid employees.

The partnership clearly has more work to do in sharing the knowledge of their hard work with the misinformed.

The Summer Fiesta and Christmas Illuminating events are now regular features in the Elm Park calendar and members are proud that their efforts have provided a blueprint for other town centres to follow.

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And if this isn’t enough to occupy the spare time of just a handful of individuals, a new item of bespoke merchandise is produced every year alongside a major community project.

The production of Elm Park postage stamps and the creation of the lovely Floral Train by the station are just two examples of what this group is capable of, and it loves the challenge of raising that bar just one more inch.

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Just why does a group commit itself so fervently to its cause? Members all live or work in Elm Park and if they can make it a decent place to live, work and shop, then it’s going to be a happy and prosperous place to be.

They promote town centre improvement and challenge any attempt by others to de-generate the town centre.

Forerunners of the Mary Portas review, this group has a firm understanding of what works in Elm Park. The secret is getting as many people involved in making a difference.

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