There are many many reasons I love living in Hackney and not least is the community spirit. Many non-Londoners imagine the city to be an unfriendly place where no-one knows their neighbours, but it’s simply not true and as I’ve said many times I wouldn’t have wanted to bring my children up anywhere else. We are really lucky in our little village within the city to live among a community of like-minded people who are committed to making it a great place to live.
One of my neighbours was instrumental in creating the Hackney Play Streets initiative, where on a designated day the council allows a street to be closed off for the local children to play outside. Not only do the children love the opportunity to roam free with their friends, the parents love it too, as it gives them a chance to chat to neighbours. There is something very special about seeing children enjoying the simple things in life like chalking on the pavement and skipping and I know my kids would have loved this when they were younger.
The scheme started in the next street to mine and there are now 31 playing out streets in Hackney. If you live in another London borough and would like to get involved you can contact www.playingout.net who will help you get started.