Category Archives: young people

Trinity Buoy Wharf Cabins: big boost for Woodbridge’s Jetty Lane

Due to the generosity of Eric Reynolds, ( owner of Woodbridge Boatyard and founding director of Urban Space Management) Jetty Lane have been gifted cabin classrooms from Trinity Buoy Wharf so the charity can start addressing the huge pool of unmet need in greater Woodbridge, while  continuing to fundraise for the building.

The Jetty Lane Centre project in Woodbridge was given an amazing boost last month by the sudden, unexpected and very generous donation of 2 cabin classrooms by Eric Reynolds, of Woodbridge Boatyard. These can act as temporary activity spaces while the charity continues to raise the £3.5million required for the final building work.

“The Jetty Lane Youth, Community and Arts Centre has been urgently required to fulfill unmet needs in Woodbridge since the previous longstanding Youth and Community Centre was  of course demolished.And though the youth centre went, the need didn’t go away. In fact, as Woodbridge has become more expensive there has been much less affordable and available accommodation for community groups. Now, the proposed closure of the Caterpillar Childrens Centre, the sudden closure of Age UK and therthe effects of the pandemic have increased this problem.  We could not have received a better gift at a more appropriate time!

The Spaces themselves were originally part of Trinity Buoy Wharf Jubilee Pier and are constructed from four 20 ft shipping containers. “They will be ideal for small groups of people to meet in, they’re quirky, fun and centrally located and will be an asset to our project and the wider community,” says ViceChair Caroline Rutherford. “Jetty Lane’s priority has always been to provide space for people to meet and use in Woodbridge at a cost that they can afford. These cabins will enable us to start doing that  – and people will be able to see we are doing it.”

 

“When we were fortunate enough to get a phone call offering us these cabins, we jumped at it” says Cllr Page. “Eric Reynolds is definitely Renaissance man: both Man of Thought and Man of Action. He thought we would find them useful, and when we said yes please, they were on our site -practically before we could blink – with Eric, in his overalls, very much at the forefront of getting them installed. We cannot thank him enough.”

Eric has set up and ran/runs some of the most important people places in London since the early 1970’s including Camden Lock Market, Spitalfields Old Fruit and Vegetable Market, Gabriels’ Wharf, and Trinity Buoy Wharf and winner of the Regeneration & Renewal “Lifetime Achievement Award” for Regeneration in 2012.

Project Manager Cordelia Richman confirms: “Jetty Lane has achieved so much since 2017 but it hasn’t been visible. Now that we have the Activity Spaces everyone can see where Jetty Lane will be and our vision for the site is clear. As soon as we’ve completed a basic refurbishment of the Activity Spaces we will start putting them to use providing facilities for our community.”

MAKE A DONATION
Will you help build Jetty Lane to make a positive and lasting difference for local people?
Go to www.jettylane.org and click on DONATE or Telephone 01394 383128 or Email info@jettylane.org

 

 

BLACK LIVES MATTER

The Shire Hall in the heart of Woodbridge has been decorated with BLM posters for the last 2 weeks. Young people want us to understand the problem really exists,  here     (Photo: Booie Bowers)

Yes, BLACK LIVES MATTER.

In Woodbridge. In Suffolk. In Britain. In  the world.  And I want to state unequivocally that I stand firmly behind this – and most particularly everything the young people of Woodbridge are  doing to raise awareness and alter perceptions.

I shouldn’t really have to put this out here, because it should be a no-brainer. Of course black lives matter.  Stands to reason.  We’re all human. Black lives, white lives, all lives  are begun by the same process, have the same potential, face the same difficulties, end in the same way.  We’re all in this together. Right?

Wrong.

Years after the Equality Act, it turns out that we’re still living in a country where your life, your life chances, your safety, your self esteem will be  threatened just  by being born with black skin. You’ll have a lesser chance of anything good (like a fair share of the pie). You’ll have a greater chance of anything bad (like a kick in the face).

Seems there’s discrimination even with Covid19: “The unequal impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities may be explained by a number of factors ranging from social and economic inequalities, racism, discrimination and stigma, occupational risk as well as inequalities in the prevalence of conditions that increase the severity of disease.”(PHE)

This inequality is not just ‘in the inner city’. It’s here, in Woodbridge. As Woodbridge-born #BLM campaigner Nadia Khan puts it: “People think racism is skinheads and swastikas. No, hun, it’s your auntie Karen.”

BLM peaceful demonstration poster for Woodbridge SuffolkAt the deeply moving, thought-provoking and utterly peaceful Black  Lives Matter demonstration, held in Elmhurst Park and  organised by Naomi Keeble, Harry Raithatha and others last Saturday,  a significant – and socially-distanced  crowd  of hundreds  gathered to hear simply-voiced stories of utter outrage: the 11 year old boy whose daily walk home from school took him past  two middle-aged men who shouted racist abuse at him. The teen who went to buy a birthday present, and was accused of shoplifting because she was the only black shopper. The 15 year old who was followed and punched – in broad daylight – by an adult. The child who was always left at the bottom of the drive, because she didn’t get to go into her friends’ houses.  The baby who ‘was really very light.’ The other pale-skinned baby, who “must have been adopted” because its mother was black. The remembered outrage of the white boy walking home with his black friend and who suddenly witnessed an episode of racist abuse without understanding why or how it could happen.  All in our nice polite white little town. Powerful, powerful – shaming – stuff.

Socially distances, the pople of Woodbridge, Suffolk, take the knee at a peaceful BLM demonstrationWe then ‘took the knee’ for the 8minutes and 46seconds it took for George Floyd to die. Some people were young, some over 80. For all of us, it seemed an immeasurable and horrifying  length of time to be kneeling. Again, very powerful.

I congratulate the young people of BLM Woodbridge for the peaceful, polite and determined manner in which  they have made this town sit up and take notice.  I am proud of the calm and reasoned means  they have used to raise awareness of innate white privilege and to try and change people’s mindsets. I am thrilled to  have heard people say how their views have been changed.

And I am also proud to live in a town where the Town Councillors can respond in such a positive and collegiate spirit to the concerns of these young people.

I am proud to represent this  town.

BLACK LIVES MATTER

 

Come support Jetty Lane planning decision, Thurs 21 Feb!

In the early 60s, the Woodbridge Club was long established, and clearly popular with both the young people of Woodbridge and the older residents who lived nearby. Note – this dancing was till 11pm, under the aegis of the magnificent Mike Warden and the late, much lamented, Don Spall! And as the article puts it “And those of the older generation must say ‘and why not?'”

Update: The district planning committee voted unanimously to give permission, and said some very complimentary things about the Jetty Lane  plans and intentions. We couldn’t be better pleased! This is another real vote of confidence in the project

The vital planning meeting  for  Woodbridge ‘s proposed Jetty Lane Community Youth and Arts Centre is being held tomorrow, Thursday 21 February, at Suffolk Coastal’s new headquarters in Riduna Park.  It’s a public meeting – do come and support us and the community of Woodbridge. We’re expecting the discussion to take place early – around 9am – so please get there before 9.

When the Community Youth Centre was pulled down in 2017, many groups were forced to move out of Woodbridge simply  because there was nowhere to house them. The Jetty Lane  site (Jetty Lane being the original name of The Avenue) – has been used uninterruptedly for Youth and Community clubs and meetings since 1949 : that’s SEVENTY years!  It is now the last site suitable for such a centre in Woodbridge.

The County Council have such faith in the need for this project to have offered a 125y lease on the land. We are really hoping that the district council will have similar faith!

It is clear that Jetty Lane has a great deal of community support. However, despite a number of community consultations (still ongoing) a few residents still have personal concerns about this project. This is understandable. As chair of Jetty Lane I would like to assure them that the cic – soon to be a charity – will work with them at all times to endeavour to allay their concerns . After all,  this site has been occupied for the same purposes for seventy years. It’s not exactly new.

Slightly more startling however,  are the two letters of objection sent to the Planning department  from a central London-based planning consultancy on behalf of unnamed and unknown ‘local interests’.  We do not know whether these ‘local interests’  are people, or companies, or even people who are associated with companies.  What, do you think, is their agenda?  Is it to benefit the community of Woodbridge?