All Residents are warmly invited to attend our Estate TRA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Monday 14th May 7-9pm in our Community Hall
The AGM is where you get to put yourself forward to lead the Tenants and Residents Association or vote for its officers:
- Chair – the person who leads and directs the TRA and chairs the meetings
- Secretary – the person who records what goes on in the meetings (writes the ‘minutes’), and looks after the website and social media
- Treasurer – looks after the bank account and keeps the income and expenditure organised
- Vice-Chair – assists the chair in leading the TRA
All this is done in accordance with the TRA’s Mission Statement and Constitution (the rules that govern how the TRA is run).
At the AGM all officers stand down, and Lambeth Council officers oversee the election for the new people, or those wishing to stand again. At this year’s AGM, the Chair and the Vice-Chair are not standing again, and the Secretary has already moved away from the estate.
We will need 3 new people to continue the TRA!
If you’re reading this – then you should seriously consider standing. Without three people taking the leadership role – there will be no TRA. You can be a council tenant, private leaseholder or a sub-letter. There are four resident meetings a year – and everyone is informed and invited.
The TRA’s income comes from hiring out the Community Hall – which we are very lucky to have (not all TRA’s are so fortunate). We use the Hall for our own events (Keep Fit, Meetings, Youth Club), and hire it out for resident parties and to other organisations, like the NHS, for meetings.
The income that comes from the Hall is used for its maintenance and upkeep, and also for TRA events, such as: Summer Coach Trip, Children’s Pantomime, Summer BBQ.
Another part of the role of the TRA leadership is to represent the residents in dealing with the Council and its Contractors. You could put yourself forward to be on the Area Board, influencing all Lambeth’s Council’s housing, or attend the quarterly police panel to bring issues of community safety.
We’ve had many accomplishments over the year.
- Keep Fit organised by Cherlyn, is the mainstay event of Edmundsbury – the weekly group meets every Tuesday at 7pm with different teachers who make exercising fun and exciting. Their recent WhatsApp group gives them weekly reminders, tips and motivation.
- Summer Coach Trip also organised by Cherlyn, is always a sell-out. Last year a coach load of residents, friends and family, visited Margate.
- Girl’s Friendly Society Youth Club, started by Bryony this year, meets every Wednesday in the Hall at 5pm.
- Summer BBQ was a great event again this year – organised by Bryony and Lois, Esther – we’re already looking forward to this year’s!
- Hanging Baskets make our estate look even better in the summer – and the annual planting event is such a great day – we didn’t have so many people turn out this last year as we do normally, so we’re hoping for a big crowd this year.
- Community Gardening Brian and Kajsa consistently do wonderful work in the vegetable garden, and are supported by a community gardener funded by Lambeth. Gardening is a wonderful activity, suitable for all ages, if you’ve never done it before, or are an experienced gardener, join the monthly gardening group. This year they have plans for new green houses behind the community hall.
- Block Painting was, for me, the best event of the year. Not only did it make the biggest difference to the look of our estate – it was also the most fun I had.
- Leaseholder’s Group met for the first time, and sought legal advice on Lambeth’s bills.
- Christmas Carol Concert in the community hall with the vicar of St Paul’s leading the proceedings with participation from many families and children on the estate.
- Edmundsbury Social WhatsApp group – had some great evenings at the Duke of Edinburgh and other venues (see Bryony to join the group).
Dan does a great job in opening up the hall and making sure it’s warm and organised for the dozens of events we host every week.
- Outdoor Gym installation was a great success, despite some initial reservation. It blended in well with the garden, once the grass had grown back, and was used every day during the summer last year – especially by a couple of very dedicated residents who got together every morning.
- Community Hall Renovation is currently underway – with new flooring, windows, kitchen. We are very grateful for the funding we got from Lambeth Council for this, which will make the hall everything we wanted it to be.
- Tree Pruning at the back of Fosbury and Dalbury House.
Projects in the Pipeline
- Cycle Storage has been scoped out and Chris is working with Estate Pride to get this installed.
- Estate Action Plan produced by Samantha Stewart, sets out the resident agreed focus for the estate maintenance. We’ve put the number-pad activated gates at the front of the estate as our main priority, to prevent fly-tipping, outsider parking, drug-users and other anti social behaviour on the estate. Other essential repairs that Lambeth need to complete are: metal grills and doors at the top of the stairwells that bang in the storms and let water in; Cowls on vent pipes on roof that left water in; Damp; Rat holes; Cracked gables on front of blocks.
- Greenhouse to support our gardeners, at the back of the community hall.
- Monty won best private garden in the Annual Lambeth Pride Awards
My Four Years
I‘ve been chair for four years and this year I stand down. I not only put a lot of time into the estate and its people, but have got so much out of it too! Who would thought I would get into gardening and be part of a garden which won ‘Best Food Growing Project of the Year’? My farming family were quite surprised when I announced this to them, being a ‘soft city person’. I was also very pleased to win Resident of the Year for setting up the Lambeth TRA Network, and helping other estates with their projects and issues.
When I was elected chair, I had never attended a TRA meeting before, and didn’t know what a TRA was for or what it did (or didn’t) do! It was great to think about how to actively go about improving our estate, our homes, our experience of living at Edmundsbury. The best bit was to get to know all the neighbours. I know many people in London like to keep themselves to themselves, and I had done that for 15 years. Having been thrown in at the deep-end, I have come out with some truly lovely friends.
I set up a web site, a private Facebook Group, Twitter, and published a monthly newsletter for a while. Cherlyn and I upgraded the Community Hall, ordered new furniture. I established an online booking system for people to hire the community hall – which enabled us to take payment cards and get rid of cash. I installed fast broadband wi-fi in the hall. We built the Edible Garden, and planted some areas under two trees. I planted saplings from the Woodland Trust, and planted hundred of bulbs that were donated. We had a film club. I worked with Monica to set up the After School Club, which I hope will start up again next September. I worked with Estate Pride to get the children’s playground renovated, and with Lambeth to trim the trees. I participated in the Tai Chi that ran for a year, that Cordelia organised, and worked with Cherlyn to take children to a Christmas Pantomime. I introduced the annual Christmas Carol Concert, which was a great way to reach out our wider community and involve St Paul’s opposite the estate.
I got to run several really useful and well-attended workshops in our community hall, or on other estates or Pop Brixton: Dealing with vulnerable residents, Build your own website; A Guide to Lambeth Repairs Process; Training and Courses available Free to Lambeth Residents; How to apply for Grants; How to start events for Young People.
Working with Lambeth Council was also very enjoyable, if not challenging at times. But it proved to be way more rewarding than I expected. Meeting the decision-makers, finding out how things actually work, meeting people like Ivor (who sadly passed away last year) who encouraged me to build the garden, and Mark, who gave us the money to renovate the hall, and Maria from comms… I got to chair the Clapham Area Housing Forum, to attend the quarterly police panels, speak at other estate’s AGMs, attend the annual Tenant’s Conference and run a workshop there, attend courses, and be invited to award presentations and ceremonies that Lambeth Council were nominated for.
For two years we turned our AGM into the ‘Edmunds Awards’, acknowledging residents for amazing work they had done.
It’s been a very rewarding time for me, I’ve learned a lot, it’s given me great confidence and been a fascinating journey of discovery, positive action and I’ve received some awards and some wonderful acknowledgement. I’ll look back at this four years and feel it was all worth it.
I heartily encourage residents to get involved in the TRA, to stand for election at this year’s AGM – its full of surprises and rewards, and you have us all supporting you, helping and encouraging you.