By Serena Lola
Hounslow delivers on its masterclass promise
The world of journalism: ever-changing and ever so exciting. Thanks to Hounslow Promise I was able to get a deeper insight into its world from BBC’s Jasmin Buttar and The Financial Times’ Peter Campbell. I was able to embark on their journeys with them as they told their stories about their experiences, it was particularly fascinating to see how they’d both stumbled into the journalist world unintentionally.
"...an honest and eye opening experience about what it means to be a journalist..."
Within this some hard truths were told such as the struggle to even enter the world in the first place but it allowed for an honest and eye opening experience about what it means to be a journalist, especially when it comes to morals and what is actually ‘crossing the line’ of morality.
Serena Lola (centre) speaking with Peter Campbell alongside Rhys Jones and Layba Nisar.
However, some positives were shared as well such as the fact Jasmin has been able to travel almost all over the world and Peter has had some crazy experiences like drag racing a Tesla and a Nissan which made their journeys just that bit more intriguing.
"...gain a greater understanding of the amazing experiences you can have as a journalist as well as the hardships that come with it..."
Brooke Jones (centre) with Seema Malhotra MP and Financial Times's Peter Campbell
After the Q&A/interview section we enjoyed some pizza and who doesn’t love pizza? During this we had some time to network and talk with others- It was great as we got to learn a bit more about each other as well as Peter. I found this time to be the most fun as it was less professional and helped gain a greater understanding of the amazing experiences you can have as a journalist as well as the hardships that come with it. It also enabled me to get some advice about how to begin my own journey into the world of journalism which was extremely helpful.
Overall, it was a great event and I cannot give enough thanks to Hounslow Promise for giving me this opportunity.
For more information about Hounslow Promise please click here (external link)
Hounslow Promise Masterclass held on Thursday 22nd November 2018 at Kingsley Academy
By MADE in HESTON WEST
MADE in HESTON WEST Episode 5: Rhys Jones Does Filmmaking
Welcome to our new series focusing on local talent and residents getting involved with the Heston West Big Local.
Our fifth episode focuses on Big Local Youth Action Volunteer & Film Club member Rhys Jones, 15yrs old, keen photographer & will be co-presenting our Awards Evening next week!
A sense of community pride! Over 60 bags collected at the joint Big Local and HAGS Autumn Clean Up Day
By Taz Virdee
Heston Action Group and Heston West Big Local stand united together before the community clean up at Cranford.
Heston West Big Local teamed up with Heston Action Group to clean up the Brabazon Estate, Henley’s Alley, Redwood Estate and Harlech Gardens on Sunday 18th November 2018. Around 55 enthusiastic volunteers joined us on the day, with many families and children helping make a real positive and profound difference to the community. The volunteer met up at Cranford Community College at 11am and after a brief safety and introduction talk by Taz Virdee, we headed towards the estates. We returned around 1pm, feeling proud of our efforts and enjoyed an amazing lunch prepared by the Big Local volunteers.
"Everyone bonded over their drive and passion to make their own little change..."
Juhi Kumra, 17, involved with the Big Local for over 3 years said: "The clean up day was truly a success! Watching all the participants clean up the community with such dedication, regardless of their age or background, was truly inspiring! Everyone bonded over their drive and passion to make their own little change. We can only go upwards from here and have the ENTIRE community clean up with us - make our small change a big one.”
In addition, committee member Debbie Noad added: “There was a sense of pride with the clean-up, everyone was united to make the area look better, this task provided a feel good factor, fresh air, exercise and a wonderful community spirit.”
"It's a strong message to the community that we do care.”
Mar Peláez-Muñoz, from Heston Action Group (HAGS) said: “Fly tipping and littering is a serious problem in many communities. It was fantastic to see so many people join together to tackle these problems in Heston with over 55 volunteers clearing up 60+ bags of rubbish. It's a strong message to the community that we do care.”
Youth Action Team and MADE in HESTON WEST Member Serena Lola, 16, added: “Our clean day up day yesterday was a fun and exciting way to meet new people whilst helping the community! We picked up large amounts of litter and as gross as it sounds it was actually a great time! I hope we can do it again.”
"...able to interact with people from different generations was so fun..."
A massive thanks to all our incredible volunteers, without their support and love we couldn't have achieved so much. We would also like to thank Hounslow Highways for providing the litter pickers, bags and gloves. We would also like to thanks everyone at HAGS for helping organise a successful community clean up. Their enthusiasm, dedication and passion to help the community is awe-inspiring.
For more information about Heston Action Group and to get involved please click here to visit their Facebook page or contact Mar Peláez-Muñoz on email@example.com
Community Champion and Former Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Hounslow, Maria Pedro sadly passes away
By Taz Virdee
Maria Pedro, DL (right) with Sharnjeet Bhalla and Yasmin Lukka at our Big Local Commonwealth Event in May 2018.
It is with great sadness to announce our dear friend and community champion Maria Pedro passed away on Sunday 4th November 2018 after a short battle with cancer. Maria Pedro, was appointed as the Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London in 2011 and in 2012 the representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Hounslow (The Queen’s Representative),
Prior to her work as Deputy Lieutenant, Maria had previously worked as a PR and media specialist working within the voluntary and private sectors, most notably with the NSPCC and the FULL STOP campaigns.
Maria was also involved with supporting many other charities and organisations such as: The RSPCA, The Scout’s Association, The Ramblers, Combat Stress, Army Cadets and many others. Maria also supported homeless young people, often sharing her own personal experience of growing up in care to inspire and help young people achieve their dreams whatever the circumstances.
Maria Pedro, DL with the Big Local Youth Film Club (left) and being interviewed by Serena Lola and Anjali Parmar (right)
In April 2017, Maria got involved with the Big Local and soon after delivered an inspiring and educational presentation on the Queen’s 90th Birthday at the Brabazon Community Centre to local residents, which was well received.
Maria said after the event: “I was honoured to attend the Birthday Tea and appreciated the warm reception of my short talk about The Queen and the Greater London Lieutenancy. But none of this would have been possible without the drive and energy of incomparable Taz Virdee. Happy Birthday Your Majesty.”
In addition, Maria was interviewed by our Big Local Youth Action and Film Club members Serena Lola and Anjali Parmar (above) about her role and future ambitions. In May 2018, Maria supported and helped organise our Big Local Commonwealth Community Event held at Cranford Community College. Around 350 local residents attended the function to celebrate.
Maria said after the event: “I was honoured to be part of such a memorable occasion in which everyone felt valued and welcomed. The volunteers and residents I met provide impressive examples of how they can make a difference to their community. Their energy and commitment clearly brings a new focus to the lives of the residents of Heston West.”
Maria Pedro, DL (centre) at the Queen's 90th Birthday Tea Party in April 2017 at Brabazon Community Centre
Alan Fraser, Chair of HWBL said: "Maria will be a great loss not only to Heston West Big Local but to the whole of the Hounslow community. She carried out her role with great dignity and passion.
She loved our events and we loved her."
Committee and Youth Action Team Member, Layba Nisar added: "When someone you love becomes a memory it becomes treasure, Maria's support was such a blessing to have, we thank her so much for all the help she gave and her enthusiasm."
On behalf of everyone at Heston West Big Local, we send our sincere condolences.
Maria Pedro was a true inspiration, a champion and will be greatly missed by all. Her passion, energy and drive to make a real difference to our community will never be forgotten. Her legacy shall live on in all the people she helped and supported over the years.
Our love, thoughts and prayers go out to Maria’s family and friends during this most difficult time. Thank you Maria for your fantastic support you’ve given us over the past few years. Maria's kindness and friendship shall be remembered. We will miss you.
Maria’s funeral will take place in the chapel at Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth on Tuesday 20th November at 11am. The address is 60 Grove End Road, London NW8 9NH. Anyone who knew her is warmly welcome to attend, there will be food and drinks throughout the day at the Warrington Hotel, at the junction of Randolph Ave and Sutherland Ave (on the street where she lived). Those who wish to go to the crematorium after the funeral are most welcome.
Those who go straight to the pub afterwards are kindly asked to wait for us.
No hats and no flowers please. Maria’s charity is STOLL www.stoll.org.uk.