David Lammy MP meets our community champions at the Engine Room
David Lammy MP, Member of Parliament for Tottenham, visited the new Engine Room Community Centre and St Francis Church in Hale Village, Tottenham Hale, to meet the development team, take a tour of the site and congratulate volunteers on their community rebuilding efforts.
During the visit, he was introduced to some of the volunteers that have helped to get the Engine Room off the ground, including semi-retired foster carer Bob Burdin, 63, who helps run the church band rehearsals and summer holiday activities; and Hazel Dicks, 70, who has lived in Tottenham since she was born. Although now wheelchair-bound, this does not stop her getting involved in a huge range of activities, including helping with catering for the weekly pop up café.
As Hazel says:
“The Engine Room has improved the quality of life for me and many others in the community. When I help with the pop up café for example we are not here to look after the children but to empower the parents to feel more confident in playing with their children; this is a great thing for our community.”
During the visit David Lammy was updated on progress by members of the Engine Room team, including Priest Missioner Andrew Williams, who was appointed last year to oversee community engagement, and the Engine Room’s two leading community workers Andrew and Martina Kwapong, who have been building relationships and reaching local residents on the estate since 2011.
David Lammy MP, Member of Parliament for Tottenham, said:
“In just a few short years, the Engine Room has already established itself at the centre of the Tottenham Hale community. The vibrant Engine Room community engages people of every age, ethnicity, nationality, and economic background in a positive church environment. Situated near where the 2011 riots began, the Engine Room is a grassroots movement targeting problems of social alienation which led to that chaos.
“The contribution of faith groups like the Engine Room in building community and fostering harmony in the community cannot be overstated. As the Tottenham Hale area grows over coming years, the Engine Room and St Francis Church will play an increasingly vital role in building a sense of local cohesion and identity.
“I congratulate the Engine Room on the progress on their new building at the heart of Hale Village and I’m excited by the opportunities the new site will allow, whether it be religious study, language classes, or children’s groups. Most of all I commend the dedicated volunteers, leaders, and donors who made this project possible. I am grateful they took the time to show me their facility and brief me on what they are doing.”
Priest Missioner Andrew Williams said:
“It was fantastic to be able to show David around the site and talk him through our progress and the many achievements we have already had at the Engine Room.
“This is such an important project on so many levels – not least because of the ‘community-up’ model which has seen our talented community outreach team engage with local people to volunteer and develop activities they themselves are helping to deliver. It was particularly special to be able to introduce David to some of these individuals.”
The Engine Room Community Centre and St Francis Church is situated opposite where the London riots started in 2011 and is part of a major redevelopment project in the local area. It is the first new Anglican Church building to be erected in London for 40 years and when completed will provide the community with a 24-space nursery, a café, two community halls, a learning workshop and a chapel for prayer and worship.
The Engine Room is being developed in partnership with Lee Valley Estates, and the Diocese of London is engaged in a major fundraising programme to help see the project through to completion in September 2016.
More information on the Engine Room and details on how to get involved or donate can be found at www.london.anglican.org/tottenham.