Many residents in Thornton Heath know that the Friends of Thornton Heath Recreation Ground came about from yours truly knocking on doors to find out what concerns they had. This process helped me understand that some families didn't feel safe using the park. The 'rec', as it is affectionately known, was the place I used 'hang out' when I was 11 years old. Many summers were spent playing football and cricket there.
Thankfully, doorstep encounters with some fantastically driven community minded individuals ended up in the formation of a Friends of park group of which I am Treasurer. I am incredibly proud of my association with the group, especially when one considers all our achievements.
Our success hasn't gone unnoticed because the Croydon Advertiser ran a feature on our group - one that the Labour MP Malcolm Wicks certainly noticed because he promptly invited himself to the AGM. A couple of weeks later he next posts a video on You Tube doing his best to connect himself with the Friends of Thornton Heath Recreation Ground. I should be annoyed by this cynical ploy but instead I am pleased because we have finally got the local MP to pay attention to the park - without our hard work he just wouldn't have been interested!