Young campaigners from the Surrey Lane People’s Organisation (SLPO) celebrate a new astroturf football pitch in the Surrey Lane Estate, Battersea. After scraping their knees, the estate’s young people decided to start the campaign for a new playing surface, winning the public backing from local residents groups, Cllr. Tessa Strickland and local Civil Society alliance Wandsworth Citizens. The teenagers’ campaign led to a meeting with senior Wandsworth Council officers, where funding and a timescale were agreed.
After scoring from a penalty kick on the pitch, Cllr. Tessa Strickland was presented a football signed by the young people of the estate for her support at a community meeting.
Rene Gray, 19, said, “I’m excited about this great news. This will give my little brother and sisters a safer place to play. Also, it was great seeing Tessa come down and score goals in our football pen. She was integral to the campaign. Just knowing someone of her calibre was on board made us realise that everything was about to materialise”.
Michelle Richards, SLPO Co-Chairperson, said, “In this a World Cup year, we are delighted to learn that £30,000 will be invested into a new football pitch. A safer place to play will make a huge difference for the children and young people of the Surrey Lane Estate. We’re thankful to Cllr. Tessa Strickland and Wandsworth Council for working with us and our young people”.