Further information about Winstanley and York Road

Community voices

The following people have provided their views on the Winstanley and York Road Estates regeneration project.

Andrew Griffin, York Road Estate resident 

I've lived on the York Road Estate since 1999. The communal areas are better than they were then, but largely it's the same as when I moved in.

I'm moving to a one-bedroom flat from a studio, so it should be a lot bigger. I'll be able to have guests visit so it's going to be so much better for me.

I've heard there are going to be many more leisure facilities too. I'm not so worried about me but there has to be something for the youngsters to do.

Mariana Paulo, former Winstanley Estate resident

I lived in a third floor maisonette on the Winstanley Estate for five and a half years with my two young children. There was no lift, which was a nightmare when I had lots of shopping and my little one was scared of heights. There were sometimes groups of teenagers hanging around my building, which was a little intimidating for me especially when it got darker.

The support from the Regeneration Project Team has been amazing. They discussed my options with me and offered me an early move to an area which is more familiar to me. We now live on the first floor in a new build property, and we have a lift! In this way, the regeneration has helped us a lot and my children love their new home.

I hope that the new plans for the estate provide community clubs or something to keep the young people active.

Robert Musgrave MBE, Director of youth and community work at Providence House

I first came to Battersea in 1973. I was fresh out of college and came to gain experience in youth work at Providence House. Forty three years later I am still here.

In those days the estates of York Road had only been open a few years, and now they are scheduled for redevelopment. The work of Providence House began in an old chapel pulled down in 1969 to make way for new housing; and now change has come full circle - it is all coming down again.

Change is never far away. People come and go. Housing and buildings change. There is one thing that does not change - the importance of community, and the importance of faith in the community. Providence House has witnessed all these changes as the generations have passed through, but we are still here - providing an essential service to the community.

We are open every day for young people or families, for educational or sporting groups, for opportunities to think and reflect. We are a stone's throw from the regeneration area, on Falcon Road. Come in and see what we do.

Richard Hangoway, former York Road Estate resident

I have lived in a one-bedroom flat on the York Road Estate for the past three years. The main reason I opted for an early move was to move away from the area, as I did not wish to be in such a central part of London. Although my new flat isn't as spacious as my former flat on the York Road Estate, it is still very reasonable and in a location that I am very happy with.

The early move process is good, you do need to be patient with waiting for offers but if you know which area you like, the allocations team will try their best to match your request. I was extremely grateful when my first offer was a one-bedroom flat in Wimbledon - this was my first choice area. On the day of my move, the regeneration project team organised for a removals company to assist me with transferring my belongings, I found this to be very supportive.

Don't be afraid to decline the first offer if it is not what you want. If your reason is valid you will get further opportunities and if you decide not to move early you will still have a place on the regeneration scheme for a new build property. Additionally, it would be very useful to put some financial savings to one side - just enough to set you up in the first few weeks of your move whilst you are waiting for the Home Loss compensation payment to come through. The regeneration team will support you with reimbursements of reasonable costs to get your flat to as it was before. These have to be agreed, but this is why the team did the pre-move check at my old flat.

Marlene Price BEM, York Road Estate resident and community figure

A resident of the York Road Estate for nearly 35 years, I have been actively involved in the Residents' Associations in York Road for almost all of this time. Two of my significant anniversaries this year are completing 30 years representing Battersea residents at the Borough Residents' Forum; and as their Vice Chair for the last 15 years.

I have chaired several working groups, including the re-writing of the Tenants and Lease Conditions and the Residents Participation Strategy. One of our greatest achievements was improving the way in which we consult with residents; this has changed to a position now where residents are actively shaping the way forward.

My greatest passion is to help others which has led me to hold positions on many community projects, some of which are: Trustee and Member of the Battersea Crime Prevention Panel; representing Housing at Wandsworth's Safer Neighbourhood Board; member of the Partnership Executive of Big Local SW11; Chair of the Latchmere Ward Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel, and Appropriate Adult representing Battersea residents coming into contact with the Police.

I feel honoured to have been recognised for my contribution to the Wandsworth community over the past 30 years. In 2013 I was awarded a Civic Award; but my proudest achievement was to receive the British Empire Medal in the 2014 Queen's Birthday honours. 

I feel that I have played a key role in discussions which led to proposals to refurbish the York Road Estate. This was the precursor to the Winstanley and York Road regeneration, as our refurbishment plans were put on hold in favour of wider regeneration. I fully understand the scepticism of residents as so much has been promised in the past and the negativity and poor treatment of residents in schemes run by other local authorities has been well publicised. Our regeneration is long overdue and the residents would like to see this started as soon as possible. I feel that priority should be placed on getting homes built first so that the community can be kept together.

Hermine Caesar, former York Road Estate resident

I lived in a two bedroom flat on the York Road Estate for nearly 40 years. I moved into Pennethorne House in August 1979 and, very fittingly, I moved into my new property in August of this year. I have seen many people come and go on this estate, including members of my own family, and having lived by myself in the two bedroom flat for the last six years I decided it was time to downsize to a one bedroom flat to make my life that little bit easier.

The Regeneration Team found me a lovely property in Battersea. I have to say the early moves process was amazing and the Regeneration Project Team was very helpful, considerate and understanding of my particular needs. The process was really quick, which I was very happy with, if somewhat surprised! In all honesty, I haven’t always had the best relationship with Wandsworth Council but this process - and the Regeneration Team in particular - have restored my faith in them. The removals process was especially easy. The team that carried out the move was fantastic and I cannot fault them. They removed all stress from something that can be particularly difficult, and they went above and beyond their usual responsibilities.

I love my new home; it is calm and quiet and has given me peace of mind. I was feeling very stressed and under pressure living in the two bedroom property in Pennethorne House and I feel that I am back to feeling myself; even my son has said that the dragon has gone and that he has his mother back! I am eternally grateful to the Regeneration Team for their support with this move and their continued help with decorations and the few teething issues I had with the new property. 

Christian Gordon, York Road Estate resident and young entrepreneur

I have lived on the York Road estate for almost my whole life, but my Grandma lived in the same block as us for 10 years before my family moved in next door. My Mum and her 10 siblings saw a grittier side to the estate when they were growing up here, so I think she has been a lot more protective of me. I grew up going to the local youth centres where I got to know other young people from the estate, and I particularly enjoyed playing table tennis and being part of the Providence House football team.

My real passion is music and I try to encourage and provide a platform for other young people who are interested in the same. I host concerts and open mic sessions in Providence House, giving new artists the opportunity to showcase their music. I also successfully applied for a £20,000 grant from the Evening Standard and used it to build a brand new studio in Providence House. I now run the studio, hiring it out to young people for a small fee and mixing and mastering the artists’ vocals.

I want young people to thrive more and to not put themselves down - we’ve seen this quite a bit on the estates recently. When young people rap about dark matters in the studio, I try to show them another side through happier music.

I also hope that attitudes in the estate will change after the regeneration, due to how it will look. I want people to walk around the new area and feel safer and more positive. The Regeneration Team gave me the opportunity to document the estate as it is now, and I chose to do this in the form of a picture book. This was so there will always be a copy of how the estate is before it changes. Through this project I was linked with a mentor who gave me guidance and I found him really inspirational.

In the same way, I am trying to inspire and be a positive influence on my friends – I have helped some to take up video blogging, make recordings and take photographs. I was recently asked to speak about the work I have done and intend to do at a House of Commons event for young entrepreneurs sponsored by Jane Ellison on behalf of Battersea Arts Centre.

I was really happy to do this as BAC was where I started my business, when they gave me my first grant. I was also honoured to speak on the TV channel London Live about the voluntary work I do with the Jimmy Asher Foundation where I host a radio show and debate about relevant news stories from a young person’s point of view. The charity opened up many opportunities for me, and I hope that I can positively impact the lives of other young people in a similar way. 

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