A Glasgow neighbourhood is getting ready to pull back the curtains and open their doors for a street party with a difference this weekend (Sunday, September 18th 2011).
For more than a year, two neighbours on Stanmore Road in Mount Florida have worked hard to bring about a residents’ streety party with the sole purpose of enhancing local community spirit.
Stanmore Road is home to a diverse community with mixed nationalities and ages. The street party is being held to help residents get to know each other better and become good neighbours and friends.
Mandy Evans Ewing and Jenny Kumar have been working on the street party since November 2010 after another neighbour suggested the idea. They knocked on everyone’s door to see if people wanted it to go ahead and then set up not-for-profit community organisation Stanmore Social Ltd to make the event a reality. They received nearly £10,000 funding from the National Lottery.
Mandy Evans Ewing, co-director of the street party, said: “It’s all come about because we really believe in traditional communities, where the importance of individuality, interdependence and caring for each other are valued equally and encouraged. Our own tenement close is very communal; we have impromptu barbeques and planned gardening days together, we self-factor, grow our own food and spend a lot of time together because we enjoy each other’s company. We realised how rare it is and how lucky we are and wanted others to have the opportunity to experience the same thing. As a nation, we’re living more and more isolated lives so we thought it was important to make the effort, reach out to our neighbours – many of who are elderly – and get to know one another. It’s created quite a buzz on the street too.”
Jenny Kumar added: “The organisation and the street party is about making the effort to encourage a happy, healthy and close-knit community. Research shows that communities become stronger as people get to know each other better because social interaction increases feelings of trust, belonging and wellbeing. That’s why we want to give our neighbours the chance to build valued friendships and connections –it’s for the benefit of everyone and it’s really good fun too. This event isn’t about Big Society, it’s about the small community – and it’s Common Sense.”
The Stanmore Social – Street Party is taking place on Sunday, September 18th from 11am to 4pm on Stanmore Road in Mount Florida. It’s open to residents and invited family and friends. Around 400 people are expected to attend.
Mrs Evans Ewing commented: “The support and enthusiasm from everyone has been overwhelming and the committee have taken up the cause with gusto. We’ve had to jump through a few hoops like getting the road closed but the Lottery have been incredibly flexible and supportive, as have all the businesses – big and small – who have contributed in-kind.”
She added: “We want this to be the first of many community events in the area.”
Residents and friends will showcase their talent on stage in a full line-up of live music while others will present their arts and crafts skills on 16 stalls. They will also be providing home-baked goods to enjoy a shared community feast and have the chance to learn about local history in a range of talks.
Around 2.30pm, Glasgow City Councillor Archie Graham, the elected member for Langside who also represents the Council on the Glasgow 2014 Board, will be talking to residents about the forthcoming Commonwealth Games for which nearby Hampden Park stadium will be used.
Young people can burn off some weekend energy on a bouncy castle while face painters will transform the youngsters into their favourite animal or superhero. Life and Fitness Coach Jaelithe Leigh-Brown of mrsmojo.co.uk will be on hand to get children stretching with her new Flexi Kids routine while others will also be able to explore a real-life fire engine, thanks to the Polmadie Fire Brigade.
To top it all off, residents will have the chance to win a range of prizes in a community raffle, generously provided by local businesses in the area.
James Dornan MSP and Tom Harris MP are also attending the day to get to know residents. The street’s longest-standing resident will officially open the event.
Residents will get the chance to raise funds for a local charity, which will be chosen on the day. Donations will also go towards providing a new bench on the street.
To find out more about the organisation and the street party go to www.stanmoresocial.org
Notes to editor
• Run by not-for-profit community organisation Stanmore Social Ltd – set up by neighbours Mandy Evans Ewing and Jenny Kumar – the event received £9994 in funding from the Big Lottery Fund grant Awards for All Scotland.
• Talking heads are available for comment on the day
• Please contact Jenny on 07989 557198 to arrange access for filming or photographs
• Photographs will be available from Monday 19th September.
Stanmore Social Ltd – www.stanmoresocial.org
Stanmore Social is a community organisation established initially to facilitate a street party for residents of Stanmore Road in September 2011. We believe it’s worthwhile and valuable to foster good relations, enhance community spirit and increase community cohesion amongst the residents of Stanmore Road and the wider Mount Florida area. And we think it’s important to make the effort to encourage a happy, healthy and close-knit community.
Issued on behalf of Stanmore Social Ltd by Jenny Kumar of JK Consultancy. For further information please contact Jenny on 07989 557198 or firstname.lastname@example.org