The Benhill Community
The Benhill Community
Benhill has a long standing community with resident involvement at the heart of its success. Residents (many of whom have lived on the estate since it was built) are proud of their neighbourhood, its unique character and diversity. They are also keen to improve the lives of their community to create a better place for families to live and grow.
The Benhill Residents' Association
Benhill has consistantly had an active and community focused Residents' Association (RA) made up of passionate residents keen to participate in the management of the estate. However, at the last Annual General meeting (May 2018) the previous members of the Residents’ Association committee stepped down, creating a void in the Association.
As one of the largest estates in the borough, the Council and Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP) would like to work with residents from the estate to re-establish the RA and help a new committee to develop and lead the RA based on the needs of the community. Membership is free and open to all residents of Benhill Estate over the age of 16, including all tenants and leaseholders.
According to the Benhill RA constitution, the three main committee roles that need to be filled in order to be an active and fully functioning RA are: Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. We are looking for residents to fill these positions. There is no expectation for the new Benhill Residents' Association to undertake all the activities that have happened in the past. The roles are voluntary and the committee will need your support and understanding as they take on these positions in their spare time. They meet on a regular basis to discuss common concerns and issues about their estate and the local area.
If you are interested in becoming the Chair, Secretary, or Treasurer of the Benhill Residents’ Association but you’re not sure if you have the right skills, please don’t let this put you off. SHP is willing to support new committee members by providing any relevant FREE TRAINING through a verified educational institute.
For more information about joining the Benhill Estate Residents' Association and how to get more involved, please contact Sutton Housing Partnership, Community Development Team on: 020 8915 2000 or via e.mail: email@example.com. It’s a great way to connect with others in your community who have similar interests.
Achievements of the Benhill Residents' Association
The Benhill RA has achieved a lot over the past years including helping individual residents’ addressing their concerns, resolving issues around the estate and arranging community events. The RA has also been pivotal in promoting the interests of residents, the estate and wider community, working in collaboration with the Council, SHP and other local partners and stakeholders:
Benhill Spring Clean (2006)
Benhill Residents' Association received funding from the Environment Agency Action Earth enabling them to join forces and host a clean up day at Benhill. Working with the Council; residents were able to identify abandoned vehicles for removal and blitz the estate with a litter picking initiative. SHP were in charge of graffiti removal and grass cutting on the day. Residents, local children, the Safer Neighbourhood Team and SHP staff worked together to 'spring clean' the estate, leaving everything bright and shiny!
Get Your Kickz (2007)
Working with the Benhill Residents' Association and supported by SHP, the Kickz project worked with young people at Benhill to deliver a community programme aimed at tackling youth unemployment, anti-social behaviour and vandalism in the area. Sessions offering football, boxing, rock climbing, dance and health awareness were on offer and 362 young people took part in the weekly sessions. Some of the outcomes from this programme included a reduction in crime, improved youth engagement and police relationships on the estate.
Kickz community football project was originally introduced by Crystal Palace FC. The project also encouraged young people to take part and work toward obtaining an FA level coaching qualification.
The The Big Lunch (2009)
The Big Lunch is one of the largest annual get together for neighbours in the borough, aimed at bringing people together for a day of food and community spirit. Benhill's connection with the Big Lunch began in June 2009, with 130 residents attending the first year. Since then the event has grown every year, helping to bring neighbours together and tackle isolation.
Involving Everyone (2010)
Children from the Benhill Estate have been involved in different projects, including choosing layout designs and play equipment for the playground. Working with SHP and local artists from the charity WEAVE, young residents made a huge dragon and a giant robot which they proudly showcased at Sutton's Imagine Arts Festival.
Community Award (2011)
Benhill resident Melanie Chiwera, was recognised for her hard work in the community with the 'Doing More With Less' category at the Sutton Council's Community Leadership Awards. The Beanstalk Project involved young people from the estate with planting and growing fruit and veg in raised beds and hanging baskets. Melanie said "I'm really proud of the project, which I set up to bring the community together and teach my own children to learn about growing their own food."
Sowing the Seeds (2013)
Working together with the Residents' Association, SHP's external services team plant wild flower beds in some unused areas of green space at Benhill. Residents enjoy a colourful display of flowers in the mini meadow on the estate. These areas now bring a yearly display of colour and have proved to be a very popular feature which also attracts a wide variety of wildlife to the area.
Our Place (2014)
The Our Place project, which launched in 2014 was a joint project delivered in partnership with the Benhill Residents' Association, Sutton Mental Health Foundation, SHP and London Borough of Sutton. The project has helped to tackle the stigma around mental health and has helped break down barriers to reduce social and economic isolation. Former Chairs of the Residents Association (Paul and Pauline Nathan) were recognised for their work on the project through the 2014 Community Award
Christmas Cracker Smile (2015)
Working jointly with the Benhill Residents' Association and local schools, SHP launched this intergenerational event to recognise the issue of loneliness and social isolation at Christmas time. Held on the Benhill estate, 160 local residents supported the event, along with local ward councillors and schools. Children from the participating schools were there to hand out the gifts they donated and wrapped for the event.
New signage (2017)
Benhill Residents' Association obtained funding to enable children on the estate to get involved in making a new sign for Benhill.