Well done us! OPOF wins the Newton Prize!

Just need to say huge ‘well done us’ Emily O’Mara, Jessica Jacobs and Andrea Morreau crucial team members of the Our Past Our Future (OPOF) AHRC funded workshop in Southern Jordan who have just been awarded the Newton Prize by the Newton Fund. Working on this Newton Prize winning project as been so rewarding and special.So happy that the OPOF workshops we developed with the women in Faynan have now been expanded into two new projects focusing on gender equality and sustainable development goals establishing women’s handicraft initiatives with the University of Petra. What a team we make!!

‘Our Past, Our Future, All Together in Faynan’ AHRC 2019-21
Faynan is an impoverished region of southern Jordan that is mostly populated by members of four different Bedouin tribes. It has a remarkable landscape of archaeology that has received more than 40 years of research, principally by UK, US and German research teams. The Department of Antiquities, supported by the AHRC has begun to develop a local museum with the joint aims of developing eco-tourism to generate income into the local community for sustainable development, and build community engagement with the museum for social cohesiveness and well-being. This project will build community engagement with the Faynan Museum and facilities for eco-tourism to support social cohesiveness, individual well-being and sustainable economic development in Faynan. The two year project is structured into six different sub-projects. Jessica, Emily and Andrea worked on the sub-project  ‘Local Voices’ running a series of workshops with members of the tribal communities in Faynan. Our role is to work with the local community to devise, design and manufacture ‘community history/story maps’ using wool felt, and other local materials. By sharing our skills and building on the amazing craft heritage skills of the local women of Faynan we will create handcrafted storymaps about their lives. These maps will be displayed in the museum alongside video and other material gathered during the research period.

Community-led Social Housing for Murphy’s Yard

Our first meeting for everyone interested in building and living in your own social rented housing was held at Think & Do in Kentish Town on March 7, 2020.

It was standing room only as we heard from

Brendan Conway
GLA-funded Community Led Housing Hub

Fabian Watkinson
author of ‘The golden age of Camden housing’

Cooperation Town

There was also a screening of our film ‘Consequences‘.

Our next step will be to begin work on developing our
Camden Community Makers’ Action Plan

If you are interested in joining our steering committee and participating in our working groups but couldn’t make it along on the day then do get in touch.

Camden Community Film Festival

Parly Party 2018 saw our first Camden Community Film screening, showcasing music videos and short ilms made by or about the local community. We returned in 2019 with even more films! You can watch two of the films below:

Here (7:49 mins)

Directed by Indigo Lowndes

HERE is a tangential telling of a life story, offering an intimate portrait of a Kentish Town local, using architecture and social conditions as indicators of a wider socio-political environment. Dealing with themes of isolation of the elderly and race and class division, this film explores the experience of growing up in a gritty, working class area in the immediate period after the war, and the incredible moment of moving from an urban slum into social housing, followed by the catastrophic dismantling of the system that followed in the decades after and how it ultimately most affected the worst off.

Consequences (6:69 mins)
Directed by Jessica Jacobs and Emily O’Mara

In the heart of North London a huge new development is being planned by Camden Council and local landowners. We wanted to find out what impact this is going to have on the local community….

MADE BY CAMDEN COMMUNITY MAKERS AS PART OF THE CAMDEN COMMUNITY FILM FESTIVAL 2019

Save Mortimer Terrace Nature Reserve!

Mortimer Terrace Nature Reserve is an Asset of Community Value and much loved nature reserve originally established by a covenant in the late 19th Century, as a green buffer for the purpose of protecting the houses along Gordon House Road from the pollution of the railway network. It remains a vital lung for the local community who live on one of the busiest streets in the area as well as a offering a haven for wildlife.

Managed by the local community since 1987
Our very own local hero, Jeanne Pendrill, has been managed the site for over 30 years, for a time together with the London Wildlife Trust. Thanks to Jeanne’s hard work and an army of volunteers, the site has always been open to the community and local schools, clubs and groups. They have all had regular use of the site, always accessible, always free.

Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (Grade One)
Mortimer Terrace is a Grade One Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), it is featured in the Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum Local Plan as a designated green space. The  local plan was adopted via referendum in 2019

Asset of Community Value
Mortimer Terrace Nature Reserve has been registered as an Asset of Community Value since 2016. It was one of the first designated ACV sites in Camden, the application was made by Jessica Jacobs and Emily O’Mara and submitted via Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum. The renewal of the ACV was submitted by Emily O’Mara.

Woodland Tree Preservation Order
The reserve is also a rare Camden Woodland Tree Preservation Order, meaning not just one tree is protected but ALL trees.

Board of Trustees
In 2016 Mortimer Terrace formalised itself as a community managed nature reserve with constitution and board of Trustees. This constitution was renewed in 2018.

Under Threat from Speculative Buyers tempted by the Murphy’s Yard Development
In June 2019 the owners suddenly announced they were terminating the least and changed the locks on the site, arriving when schoolchildren from Gospel Oak school were visiting and telling them to leave. They locked the gates and put the site up for sale at auction – the community was mobilised to save the nature reserve, pushing through a stalled renewal of its status as an asset of community value. Thanks to the efforts of the trustees and the local community the owners had to remove the site from sale. The strength of community feeling remains strong and we are ready to purchase the land for the community.

In 2019 Camden Community Makers made Consequences, a short film about the pressures on the city farm and the nature reserve caused by speculation surrounding Murphy’s Yard Development.