Originally from Dublin, Ireland I have been a resident in the Borough of Barnet for nearly 30 years and in West Hendon for 20 years. I have always had a keen community spirit. I am very conscious of making my environment a more pleasant place to live because I believe that when people take pride in their neighbourhood they will have more respect for their area. I also think it is a good example to children to see their parents looking after where they live.
I became particularly involved in my local community matters when plans for regeneration for West Hendon were announced thirteen years ago. I joined the Residents Association to become more informed and to have a voice for my neighbours, that led to attending other groups with Barnet Homes to represent my local area. I found that people would come to me for information and I had knack for being able to explain things in simple in terms as English is a second language for a lot of the residents.
I also joined the Community Group which raised money for community events and funded me to start a gardening club for local children. This has been running for three years, on being discovered by the the Resident Involvement Officer form Barnet Home, Deborah, I was able to access more funding for the club to grow. This is a great project, it gets the children involved in making their local area more attractive, it gives them sense of pride in where they live and it encourages their parents to join in and spend time constructively with them. We have even won the Best New Gardeners Award.
I have always believed it takes people to make a community and I am proud of what I have done for mine.