I recently twittered (tweeted? twitted? twatted?) about applying for my I Heart Hammersmith privilege card after seeing the posters and also getting a leaflet through our flat door. They, Hammersmith London, claim they deliver a business improvement district (BID) to the area. Now don't ask me what this is but it seems to be a not for profit get-up involving (presumably being financed by) local businesses. I'm not going to lie, it caught my eye because the leaflet said something about getting discounts and free stuff and I am my bargain bin loving father's daughter.
However it got me thinking today, despite a hazy hangover, about community and what this means. Now the scheme itself is business backed and business focused which is understandable in current credit crunched climate, however I'd like to think that the initiative isn't solely about business but is ultimately about community - i.e. creating jobs, making it a safer place to work and live and encouraging pride in our area.
London is a very easy place to feel very lonely in. There are too many people here, too many different languages, cultures and social backgrounds. Not to mention the sheer size of the city. I'm soon to go on a city break to Stockholm and still can't believe Rough Guide that I will be able to walk from one side of the city to the other in half hour. It's impossible to walk across an eighth of London in that time. Because of the size, diversity and overwhelming concept of London, it's incredibly heart-warming that all across the capital you can find little but proudly defiant communities. All over there are people, businesses and council initiatives who aim to include, involve and encourage local residents to appreicate, enjoy and share where they live. I could bore you with my personal take on this but hopefully my blog in itself tells you what I think about the community I live in. What I do want to say, before I go back to talking about boys who do or don't call me and the fun I have nightbuses, is how valuable these communities can be to people for any number of reasons - so I applaud any attempt to strengthen them.
Ironically I am actually not within the area specified for this BID so I will take that opportunity to be a voice from outside looking in - also Primark Hammersmith is an all too regular haunt for me and my running routes are all around on the Smith (it's flat near the river innit). As soon as I get my card and abuse all the discounts I will keep an eye on the positives I am optimistic this scheme could mean for the area...