Nick Hurd visits Gravesend
Government minister Nick Hurd visited the Riverside Centre in
Gravesend, describing his trip as “inspirational”.
He came to hear about the government’s Big Society plans, of
which £34,000 was pumped into the Riverside ward, and met with
They have been working with people to uncover what is important
to them about the Northcourt estate and to help them take action to
improve their lives.
Mr Hurd said: “It’s been a fantastic inspirational morning. You
can sit in an office in Westminster and devise a programme, but
getting to meet people in their local community where the Community
Organisers have really made a difference makes it become very
“The organisers have encouraged and motivated the residents to
help them help themselves. The residents have set up a choir which
is open to everyone and have really embraced getting things done as
a community by organising activities for young people such as
football clubs, sports days and more.
“I am proud to say that the residents and Community Organisers
have restored pride to a community that had previously been named
Community First, an £80million government initiative, is also
helping to get people thinking about what they would like to change
and offering small grants to get things done.
The Community Organisers Paddy Bates, Hannah Terry and Marc
Canton are funded by the Office of Civil Society and have been
trained to encourage local people to work together and make their
community a better place to live.
Paddy Bates said: “It’s been a pleasure to meet the minister and
hear the residents tell him about all the fantastic things that
they have achieved in less than 10 months.
“It was also great to hear the local police, fire brigade and
council talking about the positive impact that the residents
involved have helped to make in the reduction of antisocial
behaviour in Northcourt.”
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