The initial funding for this myWestEaling website came from the London Borough of Ealing’s Riot Recovery/High Street Innovation Fund. The site is owned and managed by West Ealing Community CIC. West Ealing Community CIC a new community interest company set up to help make West Ealing a better place to live in, work in and visit.
We have been able to harness the knowledge, experience and energy of a wide range of local stakeholders from residents’ groups, faith groups, housing associations, businesses, the police, local councillors and Council officials all focused on the aim of improving life in West Ealing.
Our first major achievement has been to commission landscape designers BDP to produce designs for revitalising Dean Gardens (link to Dean Gardens item under Current Projects). Our next challenge is to raise the £2 million needed to make the design a reality. In addition we run the annual West Ealing SoundBite Festival each September in Dean Gardens (link to SoundBite Festival under Current projects), the annual Christmas Fair in Melbourne Avenue (link To Christmas Fair in Current Projects). More recently we have launched the new local website myWestEaling (link to myWestEaling under Current projects) which aims to be the first port of call for everything about West Ealing.
We hold regular meetings and we will list details of these on the myWestEaling site (link).
The idea for West Ealing Community emerged from the determination of many local stakeholders to tackle the problem of anti-social behaviour and, in particular, the assault in Dean Gardens September 2015 which led to the cancellation of the annual West Ealing SoundBite Festival due to be held in Dean Gardens.
Following the cancellation of the 2015 SoundBite, the local residents’ group West Ealing Neighbours called a meeting of local stakeholders to discuss what we could do to help the police and Council tackle anti-social behaviour in West Ealing. The stakeholders include local residents’ groups, faith groups, housing associations, businesses, Council officials, councillors and the police. The prime aim of this group was to come together to enable the local community to take a leading and proactive role in tackling local problems rather than expect the police and Council to do it alone.
Out of these early meetings came a series of actions:
Support and evidence for the police and Council to help withdraw the alcohol licences for a 24-hour off licence and other late night off licences
Support and evidence for the police and Council to tackle the anti-social behaviour problems in Chignell Place which have led to the landlord looking to implement a complete redevelopment of this cul-de-sac
Support and evidence for the police and Council to draw up and implement a Public Space Protection Order for central West Ealing which gives the police more powers to tackle anti-social behaviour
Commissioning of a respected landscape design company BDP to produce possible designs for a re-vitalised Dean Gardens following local consultation. This work and suggested design now form the basis for a major fundraising effort to raise £2 million to implement the new design. The full report is available to view at http://www.deangardens.co.uk/
Other outcomes from these meetings include work on trying to increase on-street parking for shoppers and tackling fly-tipping hotspots.
These meetings continue to take place on a regular basis and work on these local issues continues in between meetings. The particular issues we are tackling can be found under the Projects tab.
Our formal founding document states:
- Build a strong sense of community, social cohesion and improve dialogue
- Improve community safety and the well-being of those who reside in or pass through West Ealing
- Share information and knowledge amongst the local community
- Create long-term community assets of benefit to the whole community
- Support the development local businesses, job opportunities and enterprise
- Foster a sense of pride in the area’s open spaces, streets, local services and cultural activities
- Boost opportunity for innovation, creativity and development amongst businesses and residents
At launch these activities will include:
- Set up West Ealing Online website to be a first port of call for online information about all aspects of West Ealing
- Organise the annual West Ealing SoundBite festival in September of each year. This is an affordable family event for all ages and includes crafts, music, games, community information, food & beverages
- Organise the annual West Ealing Christmas Fair in December of each year. This is an affordable family event for all ages and includes craft market, Santa’s Grotto with a gift for each child, Christmas Carols, Nativity play, local musicians, food and beverages.
- We aim to make most activities free, or charge a minimal amount to ensure they are affordable for low income families. We are financed through sponsorship and grants.
- Support local businesses where possible for printing, sound equipment, security, website etc
- Drive business into the retailers in the local area by bringing more footfall than is usual on this day
- Create a feel-good factor that strengthens community feeling with local residents and helps to bridge the gap between different cultures and ages
- Provide opportunities for people to volunteer
West Ealing Community CIC was set up initially with four directors but this will be increased once the organisation has become established. The four founding directors are:
- John Cowing
- Simon Hall
- David Highton
- Alistair Young
Dean Gardens is in the heart of West Ealing. It is well used by all ages in the daytime but has something of a bad reputation once darkness falls. Our aim is to transform this small park into a destination park for this and future generations and minimise the scope for anti-social behaviour at all times of day and night. Our first step down this road has been to commission the well-respected landscape architects BDP to carry out an initial consultation locally and then produce some design ideas. This work has been completed and we have a preferred design which can be seen at http://www.deangardens.co.uk/
To make this design a reality we need to raise about £2 million. This is quite a challenge but we have support from Clarion Housing Association which is redeveloping the nearby Sherwood Close Estate and Ealing Council. That’s a good start but we’ve plenty more to do, so watch this space.
We run two annual festivals: the West Ealing SoundBite Festival each September in Dean Gardens and the Christmas Fair in Melbourne Avenue.
The SoundBite Festival is a free food and music festival for all the family celebrating the rich diversity of the area. The first SoundBite Festival was held in 2013 and it built on the success of the previous West Ealing Family Days. We want to continue to build an annual high-profile event to celebrate the diversity of West Ealing and, in particular, music and food. In terms of local businesses, we are particularly keen to showcase and celebrate West Ealing shopping centre’s particular strength – food. With its weekly farmers market, great variety of local and ethnic food shops, restaurants, cafes and local food-related projects such as WEN Abundance and Cultivate London. We believe West Ealing is the place in Ealing to shop for food.
Being in Dean Gardens, right in the heart of West Ealing, offers the opportunity to increase the profile of our live music heritage and showcase all that’s good about West Ealing’s food shops and services. Ealing has a proud musical history and we have secured the support of the Ealing Club, the organisers of the Ealing Blues Festival and Hanwell Hootie to help create a showcase for top quality music from local bands and from the wider West London region.
The Christmas Fair takes place Melbourne Avenue, the very heart of West Ealing. We think we’ve now found the right home in this busy shopping street with Sainsbury’s market stalls and the library drawing in hundreds of people every day. The Christmas Fair captures the spirit of Christmas with a special nativity play and Christmas carols from local choirs.
Last year we had some 1500 visitors. We hope to increase the number this year.
- To build on the momentum created by the first two Christmas Fairs to establish the fair as a regular event alongside September’s SoundBite
- To create a family event with wide appeal to the diverse local community
- To celebrate the festive season as part of building a local community
The myWestEaling website is the place to go to find out what’s happening in West Ealing. Whether it’s shops, local services, sports activities, news stories or local history… myWestEaling is the place to go.
The website has been set up with money from Ealing Council’s 2012 Riot Recovery Fund. Our aim is to create a website for everybody who lives in, works in, or visits West Ealing. We will have details of over 500 businesses and community organisations, a calendar of events and meetings. There will also be a chance for you to get involved directly through our forum.
Take a look for yourself.