Here former councillor Matthew Kyeremeh explains why he loves Thornton Heath

“I came to live in Thornton Heath in the summer of 1994 from Hackney, east London. 

“Thornton Heath, like any other south London destination, appeared so far away for those of us who lived anywhere on the other side beyond the London Square Mile. 

“It was with a great deal of mixed feelings that I tried to embrace my new-found life way beyond the other side of the river to an area that had such bad reputation of crime and very bad press.

“But little did I know that I would not experience these but rather love the area with such fondness as my daughter was born the following year at the then May Day Hospital on May 5th. 

“I had the opportunity to support students out of mainstream education. Very soon I was offered a position to teach in a local school while getting to meet wonderful youngsters and their friendly and supportive parents in numerous events of music, rich culture and exquisite food. 

“I even got to coach and lead some of talented boys and girls to Oxford and Cambridge universities to debate and mingle successfully with others from well renowned schools around the country. 

“Some of these students of mine from unassuming social, ethnic and economic backgrounds worked hard to gain admission and studied in the Russel Group of universities. 

“I left full-time teaching and became a councillor in 2006 until early 2018 serving the people I cherished so much through the Heathset Project for the youth, involvement in the Friends of Grangewood Park and funding projects of healthy lifestyle of exercise for the over-50s and this very newspaper with my allocation of community ward budget as a councillor.

“I would choose Thornton Heath many times again as a place to call home away from home should I have to do what I did in 1994.”