People power can work. I think the Tilling Green Residents’ Association is proof of that. It was formed in 2003 at a time when 18 residents were holding regular meetings at the Strand Cafe to discuss problems affecting their day-to-day lives. They felt that their complaints were not being taken seriously and that they might achieve more if they became a legally constituted group. So the TGRA was born and it started talking the problems affecting the well being of all residents on Tilling Green in Rye.
The association is now in its 11th year and it has made a positive difference to our community. We:
- took on the problem of lack of sound insulation between flats on the estate.
- campaigned against the closure of our local post office.
- have representatives on committees of Rye Town Council.
- instigated and campaigned for the closed Tilling Green Infant School to be opened as a community centre.
- worked in partnership with Amicus Horizon, Help the Aged, the youth development service and sound architect to produce the documentary film A Future for Tilling Green
- run regular monthly bingo nights.
- organised litter picks in order to highlight the problems of littering and dog fouling
- made a major contribution to running the successful Diamond Jubilee event
- organise annually successful events at Easter, Christmas, as well as a summer fete and a bonfire night
- organise volunteers to clear snow from the estate if we have bad weather
- work with Transition Rye to organise and run the Swap Shop at the Tilling Green Community Centre.
- produce regular newsletters.
- and have a regular column in Rye’s Own magazine.
Last year we were as busy as ever. We finally got our new dog waste bins and the estate is looking cleaner. In March 2013 at the Tilling Green Community Centre we organised a free event for children to come along and make Easter bonnets, we also had a kids corner, a display from after school dance group Movers & Groovers, face painting and refreshments. We had over 200 people through the door.
In July the events committee outshone itself with the summer fête. We had over 650 people through the gate at our community centre. We had live rock’n’roll performed by Ricochet, dance displays from Movers & Groovers and line dancing from Step Up & Dance. We also had pony rides, stalls, a bouncy castle, face painting, Happy Graham children’s entertainer, a falconry display, penalty shoot-out run by Rye United, a beer tent, fish & chip van and ice cream van. We also had a visit from Peppa Pig which the kids absolutely loved. This was organised and funded entirely by the association with no grants from anyone.
Last September the association worked together with Rother District Council and Amicus Horizon to deal with anti-social behaviour on the estate. We also started weekly Friday Fun Football where 5 to 15 year olds can come along and learn new skills by a qualified football coach in a fun environment.
The association has a committee of tenants and home owners who meet monthly to discuss issues that impact on residents’ lives. If you would like to join the committee and live on the Tilling Green estate or would like to be a volunteer contact Dan Lake on 07584-435732 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Lake is chairman of the Tilling Green Residents’ Association