Lewisham Homes residents celebrate respected community leaders
Published by Lewisham Homes for Lewisham Homes in Housing and also in Communities
Residents gather at Barbara's Garden
Residents from two estates in Lewisham celebrated respected community leaders who have passed away, with the re-launch of a community room and garden.
The Ray Champion Community Meeting Room on the Hazel Grove estate in Sydenham was re-opened on 18 July 2013 in memory of caretaker, Ray Champion. Ray passed away in 1988, having lived and worked on the estate for nearly 20 years.
Joan Watkins, a resident on the estate since 1962, said: “Ray was a lovely man. He knew everybody’s name and everyone knew Ray. He was more than just a caretaker – you could call him at 2 in the morning, if you’d been unlucky enough to lock yourself out, and he’d pop round and help you get back in. Nothing was too much trouble for Ray.”
Mr Champion’s widow, Maureen, who still lives on the estate, and her 14 year old grandson, David, helped celebrate the memory of Ray by cutting the ribbon of the newly decorated estate community room. The room was refurbished as part of Lewisham Homes’ Community Investment Programme, by contractor, Breyer Group. The refurbishment benefited from donations, which enabled the purchase of a new oven, fridge and freezer.
Estate residents, Jean Beckford, Lorraine Depradines, Joan Watkins and local youth charity, XLP’s Girls Group, cooked food and prepared drinks for the event.
Meanwhile, over 50 residents on the Somerville Estate in New Cross came together on 26 July to remember long-time resident and Tenant and Resident Association (TRA) activist, 78 year-old Barbara Ladd, who died earlier this year.
Barbara, a resident on the estate for 35 years, was dedicated to her local community and fund-raised for the local church and other community initiatives, said Ken Wakeman, Chair of the TRA, adding: “Barbara was a good friend, not only to me but people from all around the estate and she is missed tremendously by everyone who knew her.”
The newly renamed community garden was dedicated in Barbara’s memory.
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