The major issue that Hackney Downs User (HUG) group faces is a lack of awareness in the local community of who we are and what we do. We have many great ideas and potential projects, but getting people involved in them is a difficult endeavour.
One of the future projects that we are still very keen on implementing is converting a disused bowling green into a community garden, but we needed buy-in from local Council stakeholders. So on the 14th July 2018 HUG organised the first ever cricket fun day and invited Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney and Michael Desmond, Hackney Ward Councillor to participate.
The event involved ‘soft’ cricket equipment and was conducted in a safe, supervised environment. It was a ‘match-type’ environment, where anyone present – adult or young person – were able to have a go at batting, bowling and fielding. There was also be a little bit of associated advice imparted by a HUG member Gary Horsman who lead the session and, due to his local contacts with cricket organisations, brought a number of SEN children to play. We had around 15 people attending.
The day was really enjoyable as shown by the pictures and the Mayor and Councillor were able to not only see what HUG was doing but heard our ideas for the community garden. It was a good foundation to build on and showed what HUG could do when it organised itself and other willing volunteers.
We were able to get local Council stakeholders involved because they can see what HUG is trying to achieve, and they have great sympathy for our work and activities. After this cricket event, there were calls to do it again, and we hope to turn it into an annual event, expanding it into other potential sporting events with user groups, like a basketball or football tournament.
Hackney Downs Users Group