Summer with our community

Summer is always a busy time for Coin Street’s Community Programmes and Family and Children’s Centre teams, who dedicate themselves to delivering a varied programme of events for local residents of all ages. From inspiring visits to local green spaces with our Gorgeous Gardens sessions and exciting Friday Fun trips in and around London to letting loose on the dance floor at the annual seniors’ Boat Party, read our round-up to find out what we got up to over the summer months:

Colombo Community Day
Rain certainly didn’t stop play on the afternoon of 22 July as we threw open the doors of the Colombo Centre for the Colombo Community Day. Despite a few heavy downpours the event drew hundreds of people from our community. Everyone had a brilliant time taking part in a raft of free activities including Zumba, street-dance, face-painting, massages, gardening, arts and crafts and football training with Waterloo FC players. In the words of one of our visitors, the day had a “Great vibe, many smiling people”.

During a brief pause in the rain, Waterloo resident and community activist John Hearn MBE (known as Ernie) cut the ribbon to launch our new Community Room.

We have been enjoying visiting different gardens over the summer, which gave us heaps of inspiration for our Gorgeous Gardens sessions in Bernie Spain Gardens. On one of the garden walks, the lovely Bankside Open Spaces Trust volunteers gave us a tour of Crossbones Gardens. They explained the history of the garden, which used to be a graveyard for the cities’ ‘outcasts’, and told us stories about the Londoners that are buried at the site. We also had a trip to the newly re-opened Garden Museum in Lambeth, a space which aims to capture what gardens mean to different people in a collaborative forum of activities, debate, collections and archives.

Waterloo Carnival
In July, the streets of Waterloo were filled with an explosion of all the colours of the rainbow as the annual Waterloo Carnival made its way from Lower Marsh to Waterloo Millennium Green. Waterloo locals of all ages took part in the parade – from babies in colourful prams to Blackfriars Settlement’s older people’s clubs. Our staff were on hand to support the nursery and families and ensure that the children could enjoy the parade.


Mini sports camp
Our summer sports camp ran for four weeks this summer and was targeted at young people aged 8-12 from the local area. The group took part in sporting activities including archery, cricket and rounders as well as swimming at Darwin Court every Wednesday and basketball coaching every Tuesday, fueled by their own healthy handmade smoothies. On Monday afternoon the happy campers headed to Mercato Metropolitano’s community kitchen to exercise their culinary skills. The young people cooked food from all over the world, from jerk chicken and lasagna to a tasty Lebanese dish and apple crumble.

Friday trips
This summer, young people took part in a whole range of brilliant outings in and out of London; a Star Wars themed Millenium Falcon shaped Maize Maze in Kent, crazy golf, Madame Tussauds’, which had all the young people taking selfies with the wax celebrities, a trip to Kidzania, where the children tested their skills in a variety of professions to earn and spend their Kidzania wages, and even a trip to the seaside and Adventure Island in Southend.

Young at Heart Summer Party
130 local seniors hopped aboard the HMV Express on a sunny August afternoon to enjoy mingling with friends old and new. Guests were welcomed with a glass of Pimm’s, tea and cake before letting loose on the dancefloor to the sounds of DJ Conrad aka DJ Smooth spinning the tunes. The afternoon included prizes for the best nautically dressed as well as a spontaneous conga line, as is now tradition at our biannual Young at Heart parties.

Holiday Playscheme
Our Holiday Playscheme team produced a fantastic programme to stimulate the children’s imagination and encourage learning over the summer holidays. The children took part in a wide range of exciting activities; dancing with the stars at the Colombo Centre with Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, magic tricks with a visiting magician, playing table tennis, chess and darts and a chance to meet lots of different animals including a snake, hedgehog, tarantula and meerkats. The children were also taken on trips to splash around in the courtyard fountains at Somerset House, Archbishop Park’s playground and Greenwich Park.

For more information on the Community Programmes team and their work please contact Laura Reynolds.

For more information on the Family and Children’s Centre team and their work please contact Jenny Deeks