At Balham Community Church, 50 diverse local community leaders gathered from Wandsworth Citizens members such as St. Mary’s Church, St. Luke’s Church and GWPO. SLPO members sent a 10-strong delegation to the Vision Assembly in order to vote and ratify on four emerging Wandsworth Citizens campaigns on Better Housing, Jobs, Safer Streets and Better Social Care.
SLPO members gave contributions to each campaign. Michelle Richards and Yolanda Garcia shared testimony and photographs of the Surrey Lane Estate as members of the Housing Team. Tania Brilha shared her powerful story when looking for work, whilst Carol Scott updated attendees on the Jobs Team’s discussions with Lend Lease – builders of the new St. John Bosco College. Carolyn Sellick informed attendees some of the Community Safety issues affecting local residents, in particular members of her community with Learning Disabilities. She proposed Police patrols of the tower block stairwells. Mercy Methu shared her experience as both a care worker and a recipient of care, and how the social care system can fail those involved.
All four campaigns secured enough votes from dues paying members to be ratified. These issues will be worked on in the run up to the 2014 Local Elections.
Michelle Richards, SLPO Co-Chair, remarked afterwards, “I was deeply touched by some of the testimonies shared at the vision assembly. But I am positive and hopeful that our voices will be heard and the necessary changes will be made so that the residents on the Surrey Lane Estate can look forward to a brighter future.”