Emma Hayward explains Why She Loves Thornton Heath.

I’ve lived in Thornton Heath for around 15 years. I originally moved here as it was an affordable place to buy a house and the transport links to my job in the City were good.

I didn’t know too much about the area at the time and I only intended to live here for a couple of years. However, I didn’t realise how much I would love Thornton Heath and I never imagined I’d also end up working here.

During the time I have lived here, I feel I have really become part of the local community. I decided to give up my job in publishing and retrain to be a primary school teacher.
I got a job at St. Cyprian’s Greek Orthodox Primary School here in Thornton Heath in 2012 and I’ve worked there ever since.

The school, on Springfield Road, is unique as it is the only Greek Orthodox primary school in the UK. However, the school is a huge part of the local community as we have children from all backgrounds attending – and you don’t need to be Greek to work there or send your children there!

It is a fantastic place to work and I love being able to make a difference to the children in the community where I live.

I worked throughout the Covid pandemic and the lockdowns and I had a brilliant time teaching the children of NHS staff and other essential workers.

A lot of the children have parents who work at Croydon University Hospital so I felt like in some small way that I was helping to do my bit.

There is an amazing sense of community here in Thornton Heath and I can’t imagine living anywhere else now.
I’ve attended neighbours’ weddings and birthday parties, celebrated Eid and Diwali with friends I’ve made on my street.

When I first moved to London from north-east England I didn’t think I’d even talk to my neighbours!
If anyone were to ask me if they should move to Thornton Heath, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to them.