"I love our community; the fact that people get on and sit down and talk to each other."
I was born and bred in Battersea, and have lived on the York Road estate for over 10 years with my wife and two children. My passion is to encourage other people into fitness.
I run weekly kids’ fitness classes in York Gardens library and karate and girls’ weight lifting sessions in Battersea Sports Centre. I also work with Enable Leisure in schools and run Beat It health clubs to try to address obesity in children. Once a week I volunteer with my local church, St Peters, to teach kids rock climbing. It is important to me that children learn to build their confidence, integrate socially and keep healthy through sport.
I have been the Chair of the Pennethorne House Residents’ Association for 5 years. My neighbours know that they can approach me about anything that concerns them or with ideas for improvements, and I will make sure that the issues are discussed in our RA meetings or raised with the right person in the Council. The regeneration is a common theme of our discussions, but the good thing about the regeneration is it proves that the Council does care about us. As an RA we try to support each other in the block, and I organised for the committee to pay for one resident to train as a Zumba instructor. I also mentored and trained her through the process, and am proud that she now offers Zumba classes in the Pennethorne House club room.
Earlier this year I was honoured to be presented with the Mayor’s Housing Community Champion pin for my involvement in community activities on the York Road estate. The support and funding that I receive from this award will allow me to continue helping others to learn new skills in the year ahead. People say that there is nothing to do in our area, but there is. You just need to apply yourself, and I try to demonstrate that.
I love our community; the fact that people get on and sit down and talk to each other. It is important that people can have their voice and that the spirit of the community is maintained, whilst making improvements to the area. The Regeneration Team have encouraged that – they have their office right in the hub of the community and put on so many events where people can come, give their views and get information about what’s going on. Through the regeneration, people can start taking a bit more pride in their area and there will be many more opportunities for people who want to achieve better things with their lives. I hope that people will be positive about the changes; things can only get better and we should embrace that.
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