May social clubs are in full swing and there's one club we're particularly looking forward to – our visit to Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park! To find out more about this historical local landmark we chatted with Claire, Heritage Officer for Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park.
When did you join THCP and what you brought you to the park?
I joined in September 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic. I'd been looking to move from the general charity sector and into the heritage sector for a while having completed my MA in Folklore Studies and this opportunity just popped up at the right time. I've loved burial grounds since I was young, burial grounds being tranquil, reflective spaces that tell stories of life and death through the stones amongst them, so this was the perfect role for me. I now share these stories with our community and help to conserve this beautiful historic landscape for future generations to enjoy and learn from.
What’s your favourite thing about the cemetery park?
My favourite thing about the Cemetery Park is this unique mix of people, heritage and nature that you can find here. I love being able to connect these elements through our activities and workshops and use our surroundings to help us understand the lives of those who lived here before us. Although I must admit that meeting all the dogs (and their people) that pass through on their daily walks is definitely a bonus of working here too!
East London Cares brings together older and younger neighbours in Tower Hamlets and Hackney to build new friendships and community connection – do you have any advice for people wanting to feel better connected to their local community?
As someone who has moved around a lot (I'm from Yorkshire originally), my advice for feeling better connected to your local community is to explore your space as much as you can. Go for a walk and look up at the architecture, see what wildflowers grow along your communities' wild spots, join that walking or crafts or exercise group you've been thinking about trying and say hello to as many people as you can. It takes a little time, but you'll soon find yourself making connections as you explore and learn.
Other than joining our Social Club this month, how can people get involved with TCHP?
There are loads of ways to get involved! You can join in with our other events and activities, come for a walk and follow a guided trail or simply explore on your own, become a member or a donor and support our work or even become a volunteer for us. You can find out more at www.fothcp.org.
We'll be joining Claire for a history walk at the park on Monday 23rd May. If you'd like to join your older and younger neighbours for this social club and more, follow the link below to sign up.
Posted by Priyanka Chauhan on Thursday 5th May 2022
Priyanka is the Social Clubs Coordinator at East London Cares, designing and delivering free events for older and younger neighbours across East London. Priyanka is also an inclusive dancer and has previously worked with Jacksons Lane Theatre and Union Chapel on their creative community outreach.