The Queen Edith’s Community Forum aims to be a grass-roots organisation for everyone in our neighbourhood… and also its environment.
We aim to build a greater sense of community within and around the Queen Edith’s area of the city (below) and to help make it a better place to live, work, study or visit.
We have a steering group and several regular volunteers who lead on or support the active projects:
- Sam Davies – Chair, and lead on strategy, events, and local neighbourhood planning
- Rebecca Jones – lead on Queen Edith’s in Bloom, Queen Edith’s Abundance and also working on communications and events
- Roger Lilley – lead on the Queen Edith’s ‘Capturing our History’ local history project
- Chris Rand – Communications Manager
- Judith Salmon – Listings Editor
- Rebecca Peckham – Treasurer
We have plenty of opportunities for more people to become active members.
Who we work with
- The Forum will remain politically neutral, but we will work with any local politicians for the benefit of the area. We aim to attend every City Council South Area Committee meeting and encourage others to do so.
- We are building stronger links with all faith-based groups in the area and meeting with other community groups.
- We work closely with City Council community development officers, housing department, Street and Open Spaces, Ed Nugent our City Ranger and CHYPPs. We aim to get the best for our area from the services the Council provides and offers.
What we do
Since we started in 2015, our first priority has been communication:
- Queen Edith’s Community News – There was an initial requirement to publish three issues of the (then Council funded) local newsletter. We wanted to increase the print run and get it delivered reliably through every door in the ward, which we achieved. Now, we are independent of Council funding for the newsletter, and publish an increased number of pages, to over 3,500 homes plus public places. We pay for professional audited delivery. The news is immediately available online via this website.
- Online Information – We started this queen-ediths.info website, initially focusing on local events, and a weekly e-mail to subscribers. In Spring 2016, we started a Facebook page for the Forum. Our next priority is to enhance the website, adding pages for each of the currently active themes.
- Networking – since we started we have sought to ‘meet everyone’ – to understand what people are doing and how we might work together. We now know lots of good places to have coffee (and cake) – do get in touch if you think we could help your group, if you’d like to start a new project or get involved in an existing one.
- Events – when we began, we had a funding obligation to run an Xmas event and also take part in the ‘skip day’. In 2015, we enthusiastically re-vamped the skip day into an environment-themed community action morning, took part in the Cambridge Celebrates Age ‘Flu action day’ in October, and held a multi-site ‘Winter festival’ in December.
- In 2016, we have organised:
– Local-election hustings alongside an open meeting of the Forum;
– Our ‘Walk to the Beechwoods’;
– A presence at the Queen Edith’s School fete;
– A ‘Queen Edith’s After 2016’ community information evening;
– An Olympics-themed CHYPPS Summerdaze event for families;
– The second Community Action Morning;
– And still to come, the Winter festival on 10 December;
- From Autumn 2015, we have been successful in gaining sponsorship from local businesses for our work, especially to support the newsletter.
We have responded to your ideas, and especially offers to lead projects. Currently we are working on the following projects:
- Queen Edith’s Abundance – led by Rebecca Jones. We have welcomed into our fold (or website) the former Rock Abundance project, which is based in the ward. In 2016, it held three pop-up stalls: 23 July at the Rock Rd Library, 14 August at the Nightingale garden and 3 September at the Community Action Morning. The volunteers also have some capacity for fruit harvesting between stalls. The Queen Edith’s GP practice will probably host a ‘help yourself’ box during the glut season.
- Queen Edith’s Active and Connected – a small project to gather what already exists on local places, groups and ways to stay active and connect with people. We hope we can promote these and it might also show gaps for future projects. We will make a webpage on this website soon.
- Queen Edith’s – Capturing Our History – led by Roger Lilley and working with the Museum of Cambridge ‘Capturing Cambridge’ project and local groups including St John the Evangelist Church and Friends of Rock Road Library.
- Queen Edith’s in Bloom – led by Rebecca Jones. This is in its very early stages but aims to work with city councilors, City Council Streets and Open Spaces, Friends of Rock Road Library, Friends of Nightingale Park, Rock Allotment Society and anyone else interested in the green and open spaces in our locality and making them better for people and nature. It is registered with Anglia in Bloom, part of the RHS national ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ non-competitive community-building project.
- Neighbourhood Planning – led by Sam Davies – investigating whether and how we should get involved with influencing local housing (and related) developments.
- Nightingale Rec/Park – this well-loved recreation ground is the largest and most diverse of our three green spaces. Using S106 ‘developer’ funding:
– a community garden ‘for everyone to enjoy’ is being created in the former bowling green,
– the almost derelict pavilion will be re-built with a multi-use community room and kitchenette,
– there will also be enhancements to the play area.
– We would like to see the community involved fully in designing these changes – do contact the Friends of Nightingale Park if you’d like to be involved.
- Wulfstan Way Shops – the area around the Wulfstan Way shops, cafe and pub are a key focus for local people. We’d like to support the traders (and GP practice) here and also investigate how we might use the area better and more frequently for getting the community connected.
Our doors are always open to local people – as individuals or groups. We are the sum of your time, energy and enthusiasm and we need your ideas and input.
We want to build a group that welcomes everyone, is representative of the area’s diversity, and is active in bringing people together for the benefit of our part of Cambridge. Do get involved!