Angela Jewell is part of the Camden Giving Advisory Group, here Angela tells us of the transformation of Kings Cross.
I have been involved in the regeneration project at King’s Cross since 2008 and during my early days here, I spent a lot of time meeting local groups and getting to know the local area. I was struck by how much was going on; parenting groups, job clubs, schools partnerships, environmental initiatives, to name but a few. It was impressive and inspiring to see so much activity devoted to the local area, much of it driven by passionate local volunteers.
As the King’s Cross area has changed over the last decade, we have seen new buildings emerge, old buildings given a new lease of life and an emerging businesses community move in. It has been incredibly satisfying for me to see a new ‘place’ take shape and to see spaces like Granary Square become an urban beach in the summer!
For me there is a challenge, but also a great opportunity to be grasped in integrating the new communities here. I think the legacy of change for King’s Cross and Camden should be a new, more dynamic relationship between local business and the community. Through connecting business and charities we should see more employment and training opportunities and support for local charities via volunteering and skills sharing. I believe that if we can continue to make those new connections then these opportunities will be open to a wider range of people and that will be a truly successful outcome for the regeneration.
Over the years I’ve discussed with many people, ‘how do you build a community’? A better way to approach this question, I think is to consider creating the right conditions that bring together different parts of the community. You can’t force a community into being, but I do believe you can keep finding different ways to bring people together to help forge lasting and impactful connections.
That’s why I think that Camden Giving represents such a great opportunity for the local area. For businesses it can help them connect at a real grassroots level to the local area and help them understand how they can utilise the skills and energy of their workforce to effect real change. I’m really proud to be involved with Camden Giving and have seen it in a very short time become a really valued local asset. I can’t wait to see what can be achieved as those connections between the community and business deepen!
If you would like to be involved in the regeneration of Camden, you can get involved by becoming a Trustee or Grants Panelist for Camden Giving, for more details visit Jobs and if you need further information Contact Admin@camdengiving.org.uk.