Stonebridge: Community Leadership on The Rise
In Stonebridge, a small locality in Brent characterised by a housing estate where 16,903 people live, a side road exists that is littered with waste.
On either side of the road, waste has been dumped – littering the entire length of the road.
Most of the waste is drug and substance-related, including empty bottles and beer cans, and needles that were once used to inject illegal drugs.
Piles of discoloured cardboard and small household appliances lay on top of each other just as you turn the corner to enter the side road.
Behind the broken wooden fences that separate the side road from the houses, empty beer cans are piled on top of each other.
This side road has become a waste ground – a place where residents dump rubbish without any consideration of how it affects the environment and the people who live in the area.
One minute up the road is Leopald Primary School.
Many parents, pupils, and teachers are affected by this side road because they pass it on the way to the school.
When local residents contacted the council to act on the problem, the council promised to deal with the situation.
To this day, the bags haven’t been picked up!
A group of parents took it upon themselves to clean up the waste – to make a small part of Stonebridge cleaner.
Sarah, a local resident who lives close to the school, situated on Brentfield Road said, “We were seeing this on a daily basis, we had to take action.”
Parents like Sarah want to ensure that as their child walks to school, the green areas and spaces on their journey are clean.
How we treat our environment reflects how we feel inside.
These parents care about their community and want to make it cleaner for their children and the children of the local neighbourhood.
Zam Zam, a local parent, who has a child attending Leopald Primary School, spoke to BANG about her experience.
She said, “I see the bin men in the street, but they are always on their phones doing nothing, not going onto the side roads.”
Zam Zam contacted the council to resolve the issue.
“I called the council and stayed on the phone for 30 minutes and I escalated the situation as much as I could.”
She was told the bin men would come to the side road and collect the rubbish within 48 hours, but nothing happened.
Zam Zam galvanised the other parents to clean up the side road.
BANG recognised these parents as leaders of their community.
They are local people who came together to clean up a space and make a difference.
BANG recognises the need for community leaders who inspire and motivate young people to lead in their communities.
BANG believes local people can connect and collaborate with each other to make a difference in places like Stonebridge.
BANG is continuing the revitalization, preservation, and development of the green spaces of Stonebridge by establishing Rise Up Stonebridge – a project focused on developing local (youth) leaders and initiatives.
This is also a community-driven initiative where community members actively take part in the development of their community through the establishment of an eco-space.
A space where young people take what was once a dirty and unhygienic area and make it beautiful and sustainable with plants and flowers.
To join and support this initiative, click here!