One in five London households (20 per cent) do not have access to a private or shared garden, according to the Office for National Statistics. This is the highest percentage of any region in the UK, so whether it’s a quick catchup party or a big do, let’s take advantage and have more get-togethers down in the gardens!

The Coronation Big Lunch was organised at remarkably short notice by a dedicated few and everyone had a great time on the day. Parties such as this one are amazing at bringing our community together. They create a sense of unity and help people realise they are not alone on the Estate. Whether it’s a small get-together or a big community event, these gatherings have a special way of uniting people from different backgrounds and building community. In fact, it may be more the norm that we have ad-hoc smaller parties like the Big Lunch rather than grand affairs like the Summer Party last year, because the smaller ones are simpler to get approved and organised. In a world where we often communicate through screens, face-to-face interactions become even more valuable. A get-together down in the garden allows people to have real conversations, share experiences, and build genuine relationships. Perhaps most importantly, I believe we do have a real problem in our community groups with succession. We need for the next generation of residents to join in and get more involved in having our say on the Estate (House Groups / Barbican Association / service charges / repairs and replacement projects etc). By nurturing relationships and harnessing the collective wisdom of our residents, community get-togethers lay the foundation for a thriving and successful community.

Our last summer party donated its takings to the Hackney Food Bank and we have an update this issue on how it’s going up there. The Hackney Food Bank is a real game- changer for folks in need. It’s right smack in the middle of Hackney and helps out people who don’t have enough food on their plates. With the help of awesome volunteers and support from local businesses and groups, they’re making sure nobody goes hungry. But it’s not just about the food, they also offer a friendly space where people can get advice and support without any judgment. The Hackney Food Bank is all about caring and making a big difference in the lives of those who are going through tough times.

Like the parties, and the food bank, the Barbican community and resident committees only work because of volunteers. Volunteers are absolute rock stars! We owe them a massive thank you for all they do. They selflessly give their time and energy to make our communities better. Whether it’s feeding the hungry, planting up the parks and gardens, or campaigning on service charges, these amazing folks make a huge impact. They show us the power of kindness and remind us that we can all make a difference. So here’s a big shout-out to all the volunteers out there. You’re awesome, and we’re incredibly grateful for everything you do!

From our House Groups to our Barbican Association, though, we could always use more hands, so please get in touch if you can spare some time.

Have a stupendous summer!