Wanstead Society chairman Scott Wilding explains why the group’s social events are just as important as their work to protect, preserve and improve the local area
The Wanstead Society was formed in 1997 with the aim of protecting and enhancing the built environment in Wanstead, Snaresbrook and Aldersbrook. But for a long time now, we have aimed to bring the community together through a series of annual social events in local businesses.
We have long sought to enhance the local environment by working with developers to ensure good design in new buildings, by planting trees in public spaces and funding gardening schemes across the area. But there is little point in improving the area if we don’t bring the people who live in it together.
This year, we held a summer social in the Nightingale pub, and a winter one in More Italy. Both laid on great food and a welcoming atmosphere, and we would like to say thank you to every pub or cafe that has held one of our socials. We are lucky to be spoilt with such good choices in such a small area.
These are informal events with free nibbles and a drink provided by us. We have been overwhelmed by the support from local businesses who have offered us rooms for free and discounted rates on food and drink. This is our opportunity to thank Wanstead Society members for their support and offer a chance to meet other members for a catch-up over a few informal drinks.
Ideally, we would like to have a social event every quarter in a local venue and open the society up to more people interested in what we do. Our aim is to hold a different event in a different part of Wanstead throughout the year. This is not only our chance to showcase what we do and bring people together to discuss local issues, but also to showcase a local business and what it can offer. The High Street, and its shops, cafes and restaurants, are more than just businesses. They are part of our community too. We need to support our many independent businesses as much as possible, and what better way than over a glass of wine and some good food?
The Wanstead Society has long campaigned for good urban realm and quality design for our area, but there is little point in protecting the fabric of a place if the people who live in it don’t feel part of a community.
Wanstead is lucky in that, unlike many parts of London, it has a thriving community. We hope we can play a small part in bringing people together and showcasing our fantastic local businesses.
If you would like to help us organise a social event, or offer your business as a venue, please let us know and together we can continue to help our community grow.