The Campbell Gordon Way Residents' Residents who love where they live in Dollis Hill are keeping Brent in bloom with a string of prestigious awards
Bernie Fitzpatrick and his 30 green fingered neighbours (including 15 children from ages 3-15 years) have joined forces to improve the appearance of Campbell Gordon Way and are celebrating winning the top prize in the esteemed London in Bloom awards, for the third year in a row.
"We're all over the moon with the hat trick," said Bernie. "This is our fifth year in London in Bloom and we've improved from four stars in 2012 and 2013 to five stars in 2014, 2015 and again this year."
Explaining how it all started, Bernie said: "After the recession, my hours reduced at work and I found myself with extra time on my hands. I decided to take up gardening and plant some flowers outside my home. My garden got bigger and bigger and my neighbours started to take notice. I encouraged them to start planting and make their gardens nice too. If they bought the flowers I would help with the planting and show them what to do - and the rest is history."
As well as winning the five stars again this year, The Campbell Gordon Way residents' association also achieved gold in London in Bloom's new 'Our Community' award. "One of the criteria for a 5-star 'our community' award is that you have to inspire, and we have," Bernie said. "We want to inspire other communities in Brent to do what we are doing. We aren't in competition with each other. You can have as many gold communities as possible. For example Kingston and Chelsea go home with 25 awards whereas we take home the only awards in Brent. I just want to say 'come on Brent!' take pride in where you live.
The community will get involved it just takes one person to be the driving force and get it up and running."
"The community are starting to see what can be achieved and the Torah Temimah Jewish primary school has even asked me to help the kids work on gardening patches!"
The Campbell Gordon Way Residents' Association are one of only six communities in London to win the gold award in the 'Our Community' category of the London in Bloom awards.
The project has also done much more than just improve the area's appearance according to Bernard, who is also a Brent Community Champions Award recipient.
He said, "It's a very multicultural neighbourhood with people from all over the world living here, and before hardly anyone talked to each other. But now it's a really great community and everyone is really getting along. We've even inspired overseas relatives of our neighbours to start their neighbourhood initiatives, in places as far-flung as Mumbai and Egypt."
The awards celebrate the efforts of local authorities, community groups and schools across London who work tirelessly to make their local area a safer, cleaner, greener and all-round better place to be.