The Great Get Together
by Ibrahim Sadicovic, Tenant Board Member
Camberwell is one of the fastest developing and upcoming areas in south London. the area splits into both boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth. It has many undiscovered jewels and one of them is Redan terrace. A quiet residential cul-desac shared with Lambeth Council, private and Ash-shahada housing Association’s residents have been living in happiness for many years. Leading residents Linzi, Andrew, JR and Amanda came up with an idea to organise a summer street party.
The idea quickly spread all the residents were involved in planning the big day. It was the end of the month of August, when people were returning from summer vacation, trying to extend their holidays and summer sunshine for as long as they could. the date booked for the party also coincided with the Muslim holiday and celebration of the eid, so it was a unique opportunity to have a great get together and have a big street party.
Strategic main tasks were allocated to team Redan whilst the rest of the tenants undertook other tasks in planning and preparing for the big day. Team Redan invited the management of the Ashshahada Housing Association for the party and they loved the idea. As tenants of Ash-Shahada, we kept the management in the loop of what we wanted to do. What stood out most was Ash-shahada’s passion for the residents taking initiative and leading on activities. They encouraged us, gave us advice on how to plan the event and even contributed towards the scrumptious food and drinks.
They spoke to the local mosque so we could use their gazebos to provide shade from the scorching sun. preparations went smoothly and everything was taken care of. All cars were removed for the day to make way for tables, chairs and the barbecue! We were positioned in the middle of the road and fired up the barbecue. We had plenty of cold drinks with the ice being contributed by a local ice factory. the party started at around 2pm and carried on till late evening. All friends, families and neighbors were invited to reconnect after a busy summer period. everyone was asked to bring their own dish to expand the cultural horizons and of course their taste buds.
We had plenty of time to try english, French, Jamaican, turkish, Ghanaian and many other African dishes. the barbecue continued to provide freshly cooked fish and chicken throughout the day. We enjoyed a variety of music from all our cultures.
It was a beautiful opportunity to get to know our neighbors, catch up with old friends, share ideas and have fun! Ash-Shahada representative Umar Mahmood (Director Regeneration & Specified Housing), visited the event on the day and had an opportunity to meet many residents of Redan Terrace. He said: “As a housing association, we love to see residents getting together like this to share a meal and build friendships. events like these keep communities together in good times and bad so well done to team Redan and everyone that helped. We started this year with a view reconnecting at a human level so I’m proud Ash-shahada was able to contribute to this street party. It was one of many events we have been part of. We hope there are many more to come!”
As we reflect on the end of the year, we hope the days of CoVId-19 will be over soon and we are all looking forward to having many parties in the near future. We will continue to learn about each other, our different cultures, food, traditions and have better and bigger events enhanced with the presence of local MPs, councilors, street performances, artists and musicians too.