Here Paul Macey, who many of us know from his great community work throughout the borough, particularly in Thornton Heath, explains Why He Loves Thornton Heath.

“What makes me proud of Thornton Heath? So much to say so few words to say it in, not a skill I am well known for! “The simple most honest answer is the people and the things they create and achieve in their own image. From edible gardens and planters to litter and brook clear outs to a myriad of artistic talent to business innovation to a burning desire to make the area a welcoming, and inspiring place for all. Thornton Heath has them in abundance.

“The Christmas market, the party at Brigstock Hostel and this month’s Lumiere event are examples of how the people have come together to share skills and ideas and create opportunity and positivity and there is more to come. The market day captured all of this with an energy that was a joy to behold.

“However, it’s not just the more obvious activity but perhaps more importantly the smaller seldom seen random acts of kindness that capture all that is good about our area. The tea and sandwiches for elders at the Prince George pub or the retired gentleman who takes the time to return his neighbours wheelie bins on collection day so as not to tempt anyone who wishes to visit their home whilst they are out. These are the stories that those who wish to put the area down fail to tell.

“For me there is a spirit and character in Thornton Heath which excites and inspires and is the perfect antidote to the very real challenges faced. Writing this is tinged with sadness for after 18 years we are leaving the area for family reasons. We will miss Thornton Heath for all the reasons given above and much more. We will visit with joy and take the lessons taught to us by this wonderful area with gratitude. Happy New Year and every best wish.”