In the last 8 months, Heston West Big Local have been working alongside ZeroPlus Theatre to deliver engaging theatre in education sessions to inspire young people to develop their confidence, skills and abilities. Our Big Local youngsters wanted to do a modern take on Shakespeare's tragedy 'Romeo & Juliet', so instead of the families coming from Verona, Italy they will be based in our very own Heston West!
The play directed by Youth Action's members Juhi Kumra and Huzayma Khamis, will take place on Sunday 15th July 2018 from 12.30-1.30pm on the Redwood Estate followed by lunch. Check out our behind the scenes footage of the young crew preparing for the performance. Enjoy!
By Debbie Noad
In the coming months, we will be asking members from our dedicated Heston West Big Local team why they volunteer for us and what they get from volunteering! This month it's Debbie Noad. Debbie has been consistently and actively involved with the Big Local for nearly 5 years and is one of our first committee members. Debbie's involvement has enabled us to connect with local residents, inspire our young people and help promote and raise awareness of the Big Local.
Debbie is passionate about community, young people and families, as well as Lala, her father's adorable dog. Debbie has made a great impact for us and we thank her for the amazing energy and support she continues to give us.
Debbie is a brilliant asset and inspiring role model for our local community.
Why I volunteer?
My name is Debbie Noad and I have been a volunteer at the Heston West Big Local for the past few years. Heston West is a lottery funded community group, supporting the residents of Heston west to become a Healthy Integrated community offering them lots of opportunities. It can’t thrive without the support of volunteers.
Volunteering has given me the unique opportunity to make a difference to the area I live in and have a say in what we want to improve. I have received some valuable training over the years and attended workshops that enhanced my knowledge. It’s enabled me to link into activities and wonderful experiences I would not have normally done. It’s given me the opportunity to give something back and it’s extremely rewarding.
What have been my experiences?
We show that we care about where we live and involve the community in projects such as clean up days that make the area a better place to reside.
What do I get out of volunteering?
The best thing about volunteering is having the opportunity to integrate more. You meet new people and we have now become one big family. We have developed a support network for each other. Volunteering empowers you to have a say and learn new skills. I would never had the opportunity to gain valuable training, had the experience of making films, attend boxing classes, visit parliament, boot camp, art classes, attend community day trips and support a host of activities, if I hadn’t had volunteered. It’s never too late to start, my dad joined us at 79 and some of our youngest volunteers are only 7. Try it I can guarantee you won’t have any regrets.
Debbie with her father Terry discussing the health and social benefits of walking in your local area.
Harlech Gardens Estate
Workshop will explore a unique approach to resident-led placemaking.
In an exploratory programme from Local Trust, Heston West Big Local have teamed up with The Academy of Urbanism to explore how our area could take better advantage of local assets and support in addressing local planning and urban design issues.
Our next workshop is open for all local community members and will take place on:
SATURDAY 9TH JUNE 2018 from 10.30 to 4.30pm at Cranford Community College Click here for workshop flyer.
During the 3-month project, The Academy will lead intensive two-day ‘diagnostic workshops’ with residents, organisations and others. The workshops will include:
Walking around the area, talking to people in shops, businesses, streets and parks and exploring how residents feel about their area, its assets and its eyesores.
After the workshops, a final report from The Academy will be provided to Heston West Big Local, and will be used to inform their future plans and help them to realise their ambitions.
By Taz Virdee
Our fantastic friends at Heston Action Group are organising a petition to get Hounslow to talk about the litter and fly tipping crisis that we have in Heston.
To sign the petition please click here.
The more signatures we get the stronger our position will be when we meet with our Councillors and Hounslow Highways next month.
Please also take a moment to visit their Facebook Page @Heston Action Group and Twitter page #HestonActionG
Many thanks for your continued community spirit and support.
By Taz Virdee
It's Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20th May) and this year is the focus is stress. Last year we worked on Self-Esteem with members from our Youth Action Team and Film Club, our first film was called 'It's OK not to be OK' (above) which was written by Juhi Kumra and Abbie McFerran. The film raises awareness of body image and the effects it has on young people.
For more information about Mental Health Awareness Week please click here (external link).
By Taz Virdee
Dr Periera and Dr Ahmed led the 'Staying Steady Falls Prevention Workshop' last year at
The Brabazon Community Centre.
Following on from our successful GP led workshops last year, we have teamed up again with the GPs from The Crosslands Surgery and Heston Medical Centre. This time we would like YOU to tell us what you would like to see our GPs deliver to the community this year.
Last year we held workshop workshops on Healthy Heart and Healthy Mind (Dementia Awareness) and Staying Steady (Falls Prevention). Both workshops we hugely popular and well attended with great feedback from our community members. We are looking at delivering similar style workshops in the coming months. Please see the list below of potential workshop topics. These topics were suggusted by our GPs and although all of them are important issues in general, we need to see what is the most important issues in our Heston West Big Local community.
Please take time to go through the list and rank them in order (1-8) of importance to you and not so important. Remember there is no right or wrong answer, it's what you feel personally is important to raise for our residents.
The survey is completey annoymous. If you have any questions please get in touch with Taz on 07840047771 or by clicking here. The deadline for responses is Friday 25th May 2018. Many thanks for your valued time and feedback.
By Taz Virdee
Sunshine's Sharnjeet Bhalla, Heston West's Yasmin Lukka & Maria Pedro, Her Majesty's Deputy Lieutenant for London Borough of Hounslow at our Big Local Big Lunch Commonwealth Event.
On Saturday 21st April 2018 we held our Big Local Big Lunch Commonwealth Community Event organised by our Big Local Youth Action Team and Heston West Committee. The glorious weather inspired the community to come out and get involved with the host of fun activities on offer. We had Flower Arranging, Food Art, Jewellery Making, Multi-Sports, Creative Club, Face Painting, Indian Classical Dancing, Army Cadets, Police Car and Fire Engine Show. Around 350 local residents attended the function and we also raised around £450 for our Natural Disasters Campaign and the FamilyForever JP Campaign. We were joined by special guests Maria Pedro, Her Majesty’s Representative Deputy Lieutenant and Deputy Mayor for Hounslow Borough Mukesh Malhotra.
Jon White, Family Learning Coordinator for Hounslow Council said: "It was an excellent event! I loved the way your (Heston West) volunteers (Callum and Wole in particular) helped out and kept the event on track and relaxed. The variety of activities on offer was really impressive too. We were delighted by the way our sessions went down."
Caroline Baxter, Heston West Police Constable added: "We enjoyed the down time chatting and playing football with the young people. The event did appear to be a success and I should think there were many happy residents from the local communities."
Anita Sangha, Community Connector from disability organisation Certitude was really impressed with our event, she said: “It was an absolute amazing day, so well organized, great turnover, lovely food and yes great weather as well. The kids did a lot of drawing and colouring at our stall and I got to hand out some leaflets to families regarding our Thursday's Community Drop-In Arts Session with the Big Local.”
Photos Credit: Big Local Youth Action Team Member Haroon Lukka
By Layba Nisar
In the coming months, we will be asking members from our dedicated Heston West Big Local team why they volunteer for us and what they get from volunteering! Today, we begin with Layba Nisar, 14 yrs old. She is one of our most enthusiastic, energetic and engaging young person involved. Through her hard work, community spirit and innovative thinking, she has made a fantastic impact in our local community and is an inspiring role model for young people.
Read her story below.
Why I volunteer?
I volunteer because I like going out and doing different things on different days as I meet new people and am able to try things, that are things I would have never imagined to do. I also volunteer because at home I would spend my time on computers which is very bad for my epilepsy, so me going out and helping my community, takes me away from these kinds of things which makes me happy that there is something I can do that won’t affect my health and will help others.
What have been my experiences?
I have been volunteering with Heston West for 1 year and a half, and have helped out in many activities and enjoyed my time getting involved. There were community events at the Brabazon Centre, Berkeley Academy, the YMCA Tumbler in Hayes, Cranford Community College and Parliament. At the centre was probably the first time I helped out in an event, I painted the centre and performed a dance. At Berkeley Academy there were summer fete that I helped in and the Winter Wonderland themed event. At the YMCA Tumbler we went to see young refugees and gave them donated Christmas gifts and played games with the children. I even did a dance performance for them and of course, played pool amazingly (just kidding I barely knew how to play)!
At Cranford, there was many events like: the BBQ for local Traveller’s (I made cotton candy for everyone), the Big Local’s Youth Action Team’s Natural Disaster Awareness charity event (I was in charge of the raffles) and the Volunteer Awards Evening (I hosted the beginning). There are many more however these were by far my favourite. I also attended many workshops for the Big Local and did fun things like clean-up day when we, as a team went around the community cleaning up and knocked on people’s doors and gave them free roses. I also attend the Big Local MADE Film club every Sunday and Drama with Zero Culture. At the Film Club, I have many adverts advertising our events on YouTube. I also run debating sessions every Tuesday afternoons for young people, I teach participants new techniques and skills required to debates effectively. I have been to Parliament with my Big Local team and we presented in front of MPs. Personally, I thought this would be the last session, however Seema Malhotra (MP Feltham and Heston) told me not to stop as it is very important for the community to have these kinds of things. My experiences in volunteer work have been so fun for me and I seriously can’t wait to carry on with it.
What do I get out of volunteering?
What I get out of volunteering with Taz and the Big Local is everyday going home with a smile on my face waiting to go and do things with the team and it’s so fun to do. If you would personally know me you would know I’m a very lazy person and for me to like this is something I thought would never happen. Taz is a very kind person who is so approachable and easy to talk to, is probably the main reason why I volunteer because, I did a lot of activities outside of school and all of them weren’t fun for me as either teachers weren’t approachable or people but Heston West opened a new path in my life and when they say ‘bringing it all together’ they mean it.
Layba with the Big Local volunteer team at our Community Clean Up Day in February 2018.
By MADE in HESTON WEST
Meet Haroon Lukka! He's 14 years old and has been actively involved with our
Big Local Youth Action Team and MADE in HESTON WEST film club for the past
20 months and is making a real difference to our community with all his wonderful work. In December 2017, he was awarded our first ever Brian Clark Youth Leadership Community Award for his excellent contribution and support in our community programme.
For more information about the MADE in HESTON WEST film club please click here.
By Taz Virdee
Saturday 24th February 2018 - The Heston West Big Local team (made up of our committee and youth action team members) visited Royal Holloway University to begin planning our Big Local legacy. We were joined by our Big Local Rep John Morris, Chairperson Alan Fraser and representing the rest of our committee we welcomed Ruby Bharaj, Debbie Noad, Harry Parmar and Yasmin Lukka. We also welcome few members from our Youth Action Team who have been involved with some of our outstanding projects in the past few years, including: Layba Nisar, Anjali Parmar, Haroon Lukka, Serena Lola, Rhys Jones, Rajan Sandhu, Anjali Kumar, Harpreet Kaur, Juhi Kumra and Abbie McFerran.
"I can't imagine many other Big Local areas having an away day to discuss legacy while still in year 3 of their 10 year plan and with the 18 year olds and under outnumbering the adults in the room!" - John Morris, Big Local Rep
Our chair Alan Fraser led the session, he invited us to think about what legacy means and the impact everyone wanted us to make in the next 7 years and beyond. The workshop activities were engaging, informing and entertaining, we even had the opportunity to write our own song/rap about what we would to see and achieve.
John Morris was delighted with the session, he said: "The day was hugely enjoyable and inspiring. It was a very special location and I can't imagine many other Big Local areas having an away day to discuss legacy while still in year 3 of their 10 year plan and with the 18 year olds and under outnumbering the adults in the room!"
Throughout the session, ideas started to spark and it was evident that everyone was pulling in the same direction, everyone was working harmoniously together with a common purpose and goal. It was exciting to see the group generate such amazing ideas.
Harpreet Kaur, 17yrs old, added: it was an experience like never before as we were in such a inspiring environment talking about the legacy for what we all have been contributing towards. It was motivating to see the group express their ideas for the future and to realise we all share the same goal. Would definitely love to part of this again."
Meanwhile, Anjali Kumar, 17yrs old, enjoyed the format of the workshop, adding: "We all came up with different ideas from writing songs, drawing and working with our partners."
It was interesting to see different ages work together, learn more about each other and also have fun. Heston West Big Local main ethos is health, happiness, family spirit and creating an intergenerational community where people feel part of something special.
Serena Lola, 16yrs old, said: "Royal Holloway was a beautiful university and ignited the creativity and imagination in all of us. It was a day filled with fun and productiveness and we managed to come up with some amazing ideas, it was the perfect venue for exploration and enjoyment."
Rajan Sandhu, 17yrs old, added: "Saturday was a great opportunity for me and the other volunteers get to know each other even better than before and to be able to learn and understand what we all stand for, which allowed all of us to know the direction we should be heading in order to help make our community more safer, happier and a healthier place to live in."
It was a day filled with fun and productiveness and we managed to come up with some amazing ideas, it was the perfect venue for exploration and enjoyment."
We would to thank all our amazing volunteers for participating in the workshop and helping us begin to develop our legacy. We also would like to thank the staff at Royal Holloway University for their hospitality and support on the day.
Our next Legacy Phase 2 Workshop will take place on Saturday 28th April 2018 at St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconcilation and Peace, Liverpool Street, London. The goal of this workshop is for us to establish our legacy and help form our Big Local plan for the next 3 to 4 years.