We are proud to be launching a competition celebrating London's social housing buildings & communities, a London-wide competition looking for London’s Best Council Block 2021.
The two categories are
Best block – 1stprize £500 of pots and plants
Best transformation of a block – 1stprize £500 of pots and plants
The winning building in each category will receive £500 of pots and plants for their building and will be featured in a city-wide campaign to sing of your success. In addition to holding the title for a year, a plaque will be erected on the winning building, naming it London’s Best Block 2021.
Who has the best block or who can transform theirs the most? To register your interest please email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive an emailed application form. We will need to see before and after photos.
The inspiration for the competition;
Shortly after lockdown, I was waiting for a viewing in Vauxhall and I got speaking to a resident who was doing a bit of gardening in the communal gardens. He told me that he’d been doing a bit of weeding during lockdown for something to do, and it had turned in to planting some vegetables. Long story short, when they were ready, he gave some to an elderly resident, word got around and other residents came to get some of the produce too. It had gone from a little bit of gardening to a really good community activity.
It got my interest in particular because I had done something very similar myself this year, although no potatoes were involved. I live in a block of flats with a communal garden that’s boring and overgrown and generally is a mess. Out of boredom during lockdown, I decided to tidy the place up a bit myself. Apparently, we have a gardener who comes every month, but I think he’s been going to the wrong address.
I weeded the paths, swept, got the kids picking up litter, we then dug some flower borders in the boring bit of grass, and planted flowers which we all enjoyed. I ended up talking to residents who I had never so much as said ‘hello’ to before and then they were getting involved and donating plants and planting their own plants too.
It only takes one person to get the ball rolling and before you know it you could have completely transformed the overall look of your building.
Anyone can win! Whether you live in a tower block, low-rise, brick-built, or concrete building, we would love to hear from you. The only criteria is, the building must be a residential council building.
I see a lot of fantastic council buildings across London and of course, I’m a big fan but I often think some small additions could make such a big difference to some buildings. There are so many different things that could be done, what could make your block look or function better? Get creative, how could you brighten up cold corridors/stairwells, maybe artwork from artists within the block or kids artwork? Maybe a big pot with an apple tree in it at the main door, or turning a patch of grass into a vegetable patch, or painting the stairwells or steps if there’s a painter in your building, try and do something unique!. You could take advantage of council grants available but please make sure you get permission from the local authority via your Residents Association prior to undertaking any work.
We are really excited to see what you do to take your building to the next level.
Contribute and grow your exposure
Over the winter we will be sending out flyers to over 60,000 council homes in London, hopefully, you will have received one through your letterbox. If you are a young resident/entrepreneur with a local business or talent and would like to get involved and sponsor the event to get your name out there for free, get in touch to discuss and we could end up featuring your business in our next mail out. If you are interested please email Bestblock2021@exlalondon.com