Special day brings community together
VIDEO A sense of community is flourishing at Ipswich's Waterfront today thanks to a day designed to bring people together.Fears that the area was developing without residents interacting prompted the creation of the Waterfront Community Group.
A SENSE of community is flourishing at Ipswich's Waterfront today thanks to a day designed to bring people together.
Fears that the area was developing without residents interacting prompted the creation of the Waterfront Community Group.
And on Saturday the group held its first community day, designed to discover what people wanted near their homes.
At the pirate-themed event swashbuckling music played out loudly, youngsters got their faces painted, and visitors enjoyed free food from local restaurants.
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Jay Harvey, the administrator of the Waterfront Community Group, said he was thrilled with the success of the day which saw hundreds of people visit the Old Custom House.
He said: “The whole point of the day is getting information from people. We need to know what people like and what they don't like, what they want and what they don't want.
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“Once we have proof of what people want, for example toilets or a play area, then we can try to get it.
“There is no definitive Waterfront resident but we hope we can bring people together.”
In total, 2,300 new homes are being built in place of Ipswich's old industrial dock.
Construction of a handful of the developments is complete and several hundred tenants are already calling the Waterfront home but many of the developments are still under construction.
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Residents Lorna and Brian Hammett have lived in Neptune Square for almost four years.
Mrs Hammett, 67, said: “I hope more of a community feel comes out of this event but it will be an uphill struggle because of the nature of flats. Hopefully when there are more students it will gel together more.
“The more people who mix socially the better.”
While Mr Hammett, 69, added: “Four years ago there wasn't much of a community but it has developed over the last couple of years.
“In our block there are quite a lot of owner-occupiers which means people care more about the area.
“There is even a neighbourhood watch scheme in our complex.
“It is too early to tell what the new Waterfront Community Group will mean and if it will get established but in general it is a very good thing.”