Blue Peter inspires innovative consultation in Havelock

Children from the Havelock estate in Southall were asked to release their inner Blue Peter  by creating their ideal home from cardboard and scrap material. This was part of an innovative programme organised by Catalyst Housing to consult the community of Havelock Estate in Ealing about the forthcoming regeneration of their estate.

A cardboard city was was created as part of an artist workshop which gave children the chance to create their architectural fantasy. Families were invited to the Havelock community centre, where, with the help of Arts Express they used cardboard to build a collection of imaginative homes. These included windmills, rooftop swimming pools and from one environmentally aware young person, an entire roof of solar panels.

Across two days, the cardboard work shop along with a football skills training session, engaged with over 100 residents. At both events an exhibition space was set aside to allow parents to see what changes are coming to Havelock and to quiz Catalyst staff and architects from Pollard Thomas Edward.

The consultation process also includes pop-ups at busy locations such as school gates at closing time and workshops with architects. By going beyond the traditional consultation process and organising exciting events, Catalyst is engaging with residents who may feel alienated or disconnected from this process.

Sue Cooper, head of business development at Catalyst Housing said:

‘We are really keen to consult local people and talk about the proposals we have for the area. We want to understand what is important to residents and what they like about where they live. We also want to know what challenges they face and what aspirations they have for the future.

Special events like this have given us valuable insight into the aspirations of Havelock residents and what they need.’

Tanya Ayshford, Havelock resident said:

‘Before these events I hadn’t been involved with Catalyst. I wasn’t able to make it to evening meetings as I have my kids to look after. I really feel like I have learned a lot about the phasing of the redevelopment and what the new homes will look like. I hope Catalyst carries on bringing different people of the community together by running workshops like these.’