This week, I launched ‘Sustainable, Clean and Creative Balsall Heath’, a series of portraits of Balsall Heath based people and projects for Balsall Heath Neighbourhood News Online. They illustrate the ambition of people who live and work here and show the sheer hard graft put into making good things happen.
Balsall Heath Neighbourhood News Online is all about amplifying the positive work that happens in our community on a daily basis, signposting people to services that can support them in their daily lives and making connections with one another to build a better Balsall Heath.
You can link to each of the articles below. Thanks to Elisabeth Charis for her work on interviews and writing these articles as well as to The Active Wellbeing Society for funding this strand of work.
If you think this work is important, get in touch for a chat about how you can get involved in making Balsall Heath Neighbourhood News a sustainable community media project, representative of the many people who live and work in our neighbourhood.
Cannon Hill Litterpickers have come together to make a tangible difference to the streets of Balsall Heath West. They began in early 2020 when a small group of local residents shared concerns about how the amount of litter on the streets in West Balsall Heath gave a very negative impression of the area.
The Bike Project is a charity which takes second hand bikes, fixes them up and donates them to refugees and asylum seekers. Yasmin Nestor talks about the project, the impact of the pandemic and her own involvement with the project.
Deb progressed from an amateur seamstress, making clothes for herself, to launching a space at The Old Print Works where she teaches people to sew their own creations in a dedicated ‘Sewing Room’. She speaks about how she has built her business and developed new skills – and why The Old Print Works was the perfect base.
Elliott is a Balsall Heath based artist whosework is inspired by a broad range of modernist architecture, with a particular passion for the bold structural forms of brutalism. He discusses his perfectionism, art in lockdown and what painting and sport have in common.
Mel Berman of Metallix creates hand embossed pewter items such as journals, keepsake boxes and original mixed media canvases – and is looking forward to returning to in-person markets and workshops. She discusses the versatility of pewter and how she has needed to adapt to change.
Hannah Greenwood, Chair of Trustees at The Old Print Works chats about making things happen in a Grade II listed building, the challenges from Covid-19 and being part of a designer-maker community, as the charity ‘Make it Sustainable’ approaches its 10-year anniversary.