'Help us make Highgate a better place to live and work'
Andrew Sulston, Infrastructure & Projects group, Highgate Society
- Credit: Andrew Sulston
The Highgate Society aims to make Highgate a better place to live and work and its infrastructure and projects group is an important part of this.
Our group takes on projects and campaigns that contribute to the local environment and infrastructure. An early highlight was our successful campaign in 2016 to save Pond Square toilets from closure. Council budgets are under huge pressure, but we worked with Camden Council to find solutions to keep the toilets open. They are a valued local asset and remain open today as they have been throughout the pandemic.
In 2019 we worked with pH.7 Life in Balance, a local fitness and lifestyle coaching business, which raised funds to purchase two public defibrillators. We arranged for installation and also London Ambulance Service training for our volunteers.
The pandemic has been very challenging for our local businesses, and we carried out a local business survey last autumn to identify best practices and solutions from the businesses. We made this widely available and have worked since then with Haringey Council on their campaign to support shops across the borough. Our survey showed how businesses have made huge efforts to remain open but really need us all to use them wherever we can. Footfall is everything.
For several years we have held monthly tidy up events where we meet to collect rubbish with litter pickers and bags. Many passers-by thank the volunteers and some offer to join in. The councils collect the filled rubbish bags each time. Search for the Love Clean Streets app in your app store where you can report rubbish or other local issues as we do. We have been able to make a real difference and are always happy to welcome new members.
We also help monitor trees and hope to improve biodiversity with more wildflower planting where possible.
Andrew Sulston is chair of Highgate Society's infrastructure and projects group.