Our top ten highlights, in no particular order...
1. Getting Bankside speed walking!
2013 saw the launch of Bankside Speed Walkers, a fantastic initiative that has benefited staff from over twenty local businesses. Run in partnership with The Bridge, Bankside Speed Walkers aims to get employee out and about during their lunch breaks; increasing fitness levels, mental wellbeing and knowledge of Bankside and the rest of SE1.
2. A new vision for streets in Bankside?
July 2013 saw the publication of a report by the Mayor's Roads Task Force. It sets out a new vision for our streets and how they can work better both in terms of 'living' and 'moving'. Better Bankside published its own response to the report and set out a vision for Bankside to be one of the pioneers in making even our larger streets like Southwark Street and Borough High Street more people friendly. We look forward to working with Transport for London and Southwark Council as well as all our members in 2014 to make greater steps towards this vision.
3. Helping over 300 visitors per day with the Bankside Infobike!
This summer our mobile tourist information office helped over 300 people per day of operation to discover, navigate and get the most out of Bankside. The staff manning the Infobike assisted visitors young and old from all over the world find the best ‘things to do’ in Bankside. We were extremely pleased to hear that our ‘One Big Summer Guide’ was of the most popular items of print picked up from the racks on the bike.
4. Bankside's green and pleasant land
2013 saw some amazing new green spaces emerge in Bankside: the Verdant Viaduct on Stoney Street, the new Market Hall in Borough Market and the Planted Canopy in Flat Iron Square all demonstrated that urban greening isn't confined to ground level! Our local community also showed their keen interest in urban nature by attending gardening sessions at The Bridge, as well as guided walks looking at birds, bats and trees! In 2014 will continue this good work with the help of Veronica, our apprentice gardener.
5. Connecting young people with businesses all year round
Our award-winning Events Academy young people's project received from Southwark Council's youth community restoration fund to provide year-round work experience and work exposure sessions. We have therefore successfully expanded in 2013, from a summer scheme to year round opportunities. This means that businesses will be more able than ever to welcome local young people to get early experience of the working world on their doorstep. Read more…
6. Community Stars Accreditation launched
April saw the launch of a scheme acknowledging business participation in the community - Community Stars. So far there are 44 businesses on track to be awarded the accreditation! Read more…
7. Two additions to the Bankside Cycling offer
This year Better Bankside launched two more services for cyclists. Our Pink Pitstop is makes is easy to make simple repairs 24/7 with a stand to keep bikes in place and a pump to keep tyres inflated. And who knew that our Cycle Cleaning Breakfasts would be so popular! We provide the warm water, cleaning products and brushes. Cyclists get stuck in making their bikes grime free ready to be security marked by our Met Police colleagues. These two add to our popular range of services from Dr Bike to Lorries for Savvy Cyclists and cycle maintenance training sessions. Look out for more events in 2014.
8. Business Toolkit launched
Better Bankside has welcomed over 50 experts speakers to Bankside in the last couple of years, and so have been able to learn a lot with members.
However, we know that business schedules don't always allow time for staff to attend useful events hence; the Better Bankside Business Toolkit: an online one-stop shop for resources given to us by our many expert speakers. Content on everything from contingency planning to writing effective emails.
9. Inaugural Community Connections Networking evening a success
In May, delegates from around 30 local businesses and charities shared information on what they want to give, and what they need, with each other, along with a glass of wine! Chairing the event was Lisa Henshaw from Fourth Day Public Relations (and Corporate Responsibility group chair) who began by explaining why creating community connections is so important as a means of achieving Better Bankside’s vision of being the best neighbourhood in the world.
10. Wellbeing@Work Fair success in Community Space
The Community Space was the perfect venue for Better Bankside’s Wellbeing@Work Summer Fair in July. Bankside is home to a wealth of health and wellbeing providers who came to the space to offer massages, testers, assessments and info to Bankside employees. With stress and postural problems the biggest health problems in Bankside, the fair served to help employers and employees discover what is on offer locally to combat these issues.