Posted 26/06/2020

Swan Housing continues innovative community engagement in Laindon during lockdown

Swan Housing Association remains dedicated to engaging local communities during the current lockdown we are all experiencing. The Laindon Place regeneration Project Team have worked with year 10 students at the local James Hornsby School since early this year to produce pieces of artwork with a 'Love Laindon' theme. The plan was for a selection of their artwork to be printed and displayed on the hoarding surrounding the site in Essex. Ten pieces of artwork were shortlisted and put on display just as the whole country entered lockdown.

Plans to celebrate the student's work and select an overall winner at a face-to-face event were rapidly replaced with a digital alternative. A digital judging booklet was produced and circulated to VIP guests who had accepted an invitation to attend the cancelled event. The judges were John Baron MP, Mark François MP, a former student at the school, Deputy Mayor Cllr. Derrick Fellowes and local historian Ken Porter. A local resident who lives opposite the scheme helped to judge the entries; she requested a hard copy of the judging booklet as she isn't comfortable using a computer, so the team worked to ensure this was received.  

The judges selected their winners (see below) and Swan has delivered the prizes to the school for distribution to the winning students. The winner of first place had received a £50 voucher, the second place winner has received a £30 voucher and the third place winner has received a voucher for £20.

Once lockdown is lifted, and life returns to normal the three winning students will be invited to have their photograph taken alongside their art.

Geoff Pearce, Swan's Deputy Chief Executive said:

"Swan's Laindon Project team remain dedicated to ensuring the wider community are involved with the Laindon Place regeneration. The team were determined to find a way to recognise the student's hard work even though there were restrictions on face-to-face engagement. The quality of the students' artwork is outstanding and it will remain on display long after lockdown restrictions are lifted."

John Baron MP who helped to judge the competition said

"I commend Swan and the pupils at James Hornsby School on this excellent initiative to celebrate our local area. At this challenging time it makes even more sense to record our strong community spirit in this way, and I would like to extend my special congratulations to the winners."

Councillor Derrick Fellows, Deputy Mayor of Basildon said:

"It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to be asked to be one of the judges in this competition.  Making my choices was far from easy, as there were so many amazing entries from very talented young people.  In fact, Basildon is truly blessed with so much talent covering all of the "arts", spanning the many generations.

As the Laindon Centre project is progressing, it is obvious it will be accompanied by necessary significant infrastructure upgrades, which regrettably will temporarily impact the local community, so I am very pleased that Swan have reached out and embraced the local community with this "art" project and displaying such talented work."

Mr. Steel, Head Teacher at James Hornsby School said:

"We are so proud of our students contribution to the community. Thank you to Swan Housing for inviting us to be part of this unique project. We have really enjoyed being a part of this great opportunity."

Mrs Frend, Head of Creative Arts at James Hornsby School said:

"Our Year 10 photography students have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the "Love Laindon" project. It is fantastic to see their photography work displayed in the local area, and to show their amazing talents. We are extremely proud of all their entries and hope that everyone in the local community will visit and enjoy their work for years to come."