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Saturday’s The Festival of Everyone kickstarted £6.4 million charity investment into Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 18:09 27 November 2017 | UPDATED: 18:09 27 November 2017

Living on a boat. Picture: Participatory City

Living on a boat. Picture: Participatory City

Participatory City

Hundreds of residents took part in the launch of The Festival of Every One this weekend, taking part in a huge range of free activities across the borough.

A workshop on growing your own plants. Picture: Participatory CityA workshop on growing your own plants. Picture: Participatory City

On Saturday, November 25 charity Participatory City put on activities including jam making, sewing, greenhouse building and cookery lessons with the help of volunteers.

There were venues hosting affiliated events right across the borough with the Boathouse Cafe, Excel Women’s Centre and Park Centre all taking part.

This is part of participatory city’s £6.4 million investment into the borough, which is backed by Barking and Dagenham Council, National Lottery funding, the Big Lottery Fund, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable fund.

Cllr Saima Ashraf, deputy council leader, said: “I’m delighted residents have this fantastic opportunity for communities in Barking and Dagenham to make real the aspirations they have for the place they live.”

Building a greenhouse. Picture: Participatory CityBuilding a greenhouse. Picture: Participatory City

As part of the project, there will be Every One Every Day walk-in shops held every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in 55 Ripple Road, Barking and 116 Church Elm Lane, Dagenham, where residents can go and share their ideas for projects they think will improve life in the community.

Caroline Mason, chief executive of Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, said: “This is a great opportunity for communities in Barking and Dagenham to make real the aspirations they have for the place they live.”

The five-year program, which has been praised by Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas, aims to benefit 25,000 people, create 100 new businesses and build a better functioning, more cohesive borough.

Tessy Britton, chief executive of Participatory City, said: “This is just the beginning but it is exciting that so many residents took part in the activities and events and shared their ideas of projects they want to start or get involved with.”

A workshop on making jam. Picture: Participatory CityA workshop on making jam. Picture: Participatory City

“Neighbourhoods made by everyone, for everyone” is the mission statement of the charity’s scheme.

Alison Gowman, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust committee, said: “This is a fantastic way to bring residents together and build community spirit.”

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