Residents celebrate Havelock’s canal at Winter by the Water

On 1 December, over 60 local people came along to Winter by the Water, Havelock’s first winter fair by the canal. Catalyst organised the event in partnership with Canal and River Trust, Bouygues UK and Ealing Council.

Over the course of the regeneration of Havelock, the community and local partners have worked hard with Catalyst to make the nearby canal welcoming and accessible for all. Phase 1b, currently under construction, will deliver retail and community space by the canal, making it a new hub for the neighbourhood. Winter by the Water celebrated everyone’s valued input into this unique community asset, and helped to raise its profile as a place to spend quality time.

The day involved a great array of local partners. Canal & River Trust, who’ve been heavily involved in organising volunteering sessions to clear up the towpath, lent us their lovely canal boat Jena for the day, and Hanwell Hootie used it to run festive craft workshops.

Southall College provided snacks and treats; Transition Towns laid on warming herbal tea; and London Urban Arts brought their music production bus t-shirt spray painting stall. There were also healthy cooking workshops and a healthy cooking stall from local residents who’ve taken enterprise courses organised by Catalyst. Representatives of Catalyst and Ealing Council ran stalls with information on relevant initiatives, and Bouygues UK, our contractors for phase 1, played a huge part in helping out with logistics on the day.

Nuria Rodriguez, Community Investment Co-ordinator at Catalyst, has been heavily involved with the efforts to make the canal more accessible, and helped out on the day. ‘It’s great to encourage people to use the surrounding natural resources and start changing the use and perception of the canal and surrounding fields,’ she said. ‘The selection of providers was good: I was so impressed with the quality of snacks provided by the local college! I believe that if this is an annual event it will become more and more popular every year.’