Even before our network was created, many of our institutions (faith groups, schools, community groups) have been working together for change in Shadwell through Tower Hamlets Citizens (an alliance of local institutions who use community organising to challenge injustice).
Beginning in 2016, after building relationships and listening across Shadwell, we started to think about how we could address the reality that many Shadwell residents are living in overcrowded, overpriced, and extremely poor quality housing.
This began with a campaign to win a piece of land for genuinely affordable, community-led, and community-owned, housing. After two years of campaigning we won the site on Cable Street! Learn more here!
Shadwell Responds care about the health and wellbeing of our community in Shadwell.
We believe this begins with housing. That's why we are campaigning for community-led, genuinely affordable housing in our neighbourhood, with access to good quality local amenities and greenspace which promotes wellbeing.
Community-Led Change in Shadwell
Handing in our bid for the land
Celebrating winning the land behind us
Building on the success of our campaign we began looking at other pieces of underused land. We listened to members of our community about areas they wanted to improve, and the land around St-George-in-the-East Church kept coming up.
In 2019 we ran a series of co-design workshops with Create Streets to begin thinking about how we could redevelop this land.
Three priorities emerged:
- Create more genuinely affordable housing
- Improve green space and road safety
- Improve and Protect St George's Leisure Centre (and Swimming Pool).
Then...the pandemic began and we focused on our neighbours' immediate needs, establishing Shadwell Responds.
The swimming pool closed and is yet to be reopened, families have spent even more time cooped up in their flats, and access to green space has become more important than ever.
These past 18 months have demonstrated how important St George's Swimming Pool is to our community, and how pressing the need is for more genuinely affordable, high quality, housing which meets our community's needs.
We want to improve the lives of Shadwell residents, making affordable housing a reality, while improving our local amenities.
As the council considers the future of the Swimming Pool we see an opportunity emerging.
How can we ensure the future of a good quality swimming pool in Shadwell, and use the opportunity of investing in our swimming pool to build more genuinely affordable housing?
We are in no doubt that we need a swimming pool which properly serves our community. We cannot let St George's Swimming Pool leave Shadwell.
Regular swimming saves the NHS £350 million a year with its physical and mental wellbeing benefits. With 206 pools closed since the pandemic began we don't want St George's to join this statistic.
Let us know your questions and ideas using our Let's Chat Button!
For an update to the swimming pool campaign visit our page.
On the 24th October we held a housing workshop to present the story so far of campaigning on local issues focused on housing to the wider community. We had over 70 people attend from across Shadwell and engaged with proposals on community led affordable housing, supported accommodation, and St George's Leisure Centre. From this workshop we have widened our campaign teams for these different projects.