Great Estates Programme on the Brandon

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The Brandon was one of the estates selected to be a part of the Great Estates pilot scheme, and it has been one of the most successful & engaging programmes we have seen. The programme was led by David Suen and his team who were refreshingly engaging, and had a real urgency to ‘make things happen’ and deliver the outcomes in a timely manner. It has offered far more flexibility than existing CGS funding, and has really got the support and buy in from all residents.

The Great Estates concept is surprisingly simple – A small percentage of the annual estate budget is allocated to implement resident led ideas & proposals, and the Great Estates team provide the project management role, to run resident consultation, engage the contractors, and oversee the delivery of the projects. Much of this spending would be done by LBS anyway, but the Great Estates team seem to have a more focused urgency in getting the projects delivered.

Even more importantly, the Great Estates resident consultations have inspired some bigger thinking, and discussions around bigger issues, such as the renovation and regeneration of the Maddock Way shopping parade. The great estates outcomes have been the catalyst in sparking a wider discussion and bringing other Southwark departments on board to join in the greater vision for our public space. A big part of the success of Great Estates has been the fresh, get things done approach taken by the project team, and being willing to explore different ways of involving genuine resident engagement.

Residents Comments

“The Great Estate Project has given me and my family a sense of community. We have been living in Brandon for close to 7 years, and it was only through the project that we began meeting and socialising with our neighbours. It wasn’t the lack of will to socialise but the lack of activities. From watching the local kids meet up to garden, play, and attend events to seeing more green space and encouragement to grow your own produce, this feels like the beginning of something great for Brandon, for which I am very grateful” – Silviya, Napier House

“The Great Estates initiative has given residents a sense of ownership of the projects they engaged with. As a result, residents are really engaged with the outcomes, and feel that they have a say on making projects happen. This experiment has delivered exceptional value to us, and to Southwark, and it should be the model for estate regeneration moving forward. The Great Estates team, led by David Suen, were a breath of fresh air, and far less rigid than the other funding vehicles, such as Cleaner, Greener, Safer. Well done for trying something different” – Tom, Bateman House

“The project has made our community more green and growing – and our green growth has become infinitely more communal.” – Charles, Morton House

“The Great Estates Project has been a huge success and has made a big difference to our estate and improved the life of our residents thanks to the team engaging with residents and getting things done” – Siobhan, Bateman House

“So far the Great Estate project has really made a difference to how much we enjoy the space on our estate, I no longer walk into my block seeing a whole pile of rubbish and fly tipping around the bins which is nice. The use of the green space as a growing area has also contributed to building a sense of community. I can’t wait to see the Maddock way refurbishment delivered next, I really hope it will bring the much needed improvement to that central but derelict area of the estate” – Helene, Maddock Way

“The Great estates project has been very beneficial to me and my family. I was give a raised bed to plant fruit and vegetables. Everyday when I look out my window I am happy to see my risen bed full with green leafy vegetables that I can used in my everyday cooking.”  – Farrah, Molesworth House

“The Great Estate project has made a huge difference in our estate and a community. The estate became greener and the residents were given the space to grow their own fruits and vegetables” – Olga, Morton House

The new gardening spaces are a fantastic project, very rewarding and enjoyable, great for mental and physical wellbeing. I am very grateful to be part of it.  – Mihaela, Cornish House

“Thank you Great Estates for being there! Much appreciated your support and encouragement to help our community to be part of the of this project. The updated planting in front of the tower blocks has really smartened up the entrances, and makes us proud to live here. – Paula, Bateman House

“I think that the Great Estates Project is a great initiative bringing neighbours together and allowing us to grow our own food. This helps to support healthy living and eating it also helps to keep the costs of meals down. Especially important in these financially challenging times” – Angela, Walters House

Great Estates project…. I never thought it will be a live change for myself. Am so grateful to be part of the ones that look after our gardens it’s really very nice to have the support from the Council, it’s also a opportunity to know people around and getting involved in other activities to, I really enjoy seeing from my balcony the changes so far – Nancy, Cruden House

What a great year we had working with David , Ruth and Sophie and Tom our estate has drastically improved, with new flower beds , a allotment to grow vegetables a orchard ,garden workshops ,bin enclosures , new gazebos that TRA Brandon 1,2,and 3 have used for the jubilee celebration and other events . We currently working on transforming a shipping container into a parklet … our Brandon estate is now a Great Estate to live in and be proud of! – Giovanni, Napier House

“The Great Estates projects have made a huge difference to how the estate looks and feels. It’s particularly good to see people of all ages out gardening. Thank you Southwark for listening to residents” – Verity, Molesworth House

“I live on my estate for over five years and have never had a conversation with any one who live on this estate because I did not have time or see anyone to talk to.
With me getting involved with the Great Estate , I am total involved with gardening , TRA meeting , getting to know what happening in my community and willing to help out when every I can.
Getting to meet people with similar interest help with my well-being and I am thankful for such a opportunity” – Marion, Morton House