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Cody Dock, 11C South Crescent, Cody Road, Canning Town, London E16 4TL

NEWSLETTER Issue 4 September 2017

GASWORKS DOCK PARTNERSHIP GDP is proud to be a Leaway strategic delivery partner Cody Dock, 11c South Crescent, Canning Town London E16 4TL Office: 020 74 73 04 29 Charity Registration No. 1141523 Company Registration No. 7135282 _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________

Board of Trustees Marcus McKenzie – Chair David Asuni – Treasurer Suzanne Rankin – Trustee, Arts Lead Bianca Mawani – Trustee, HR Lead Pat Fitzsimons – Trustee Martin Torres – Trustee Committees & Specialist Advisors Celia Cummings – Communications Tom Randel-Page – Architect and Planning Committee PUP Architects – Masterplan Architects Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design – Planning Consultant Acknowledgments Simon Stone – Trustee, Company Secretary, Legal and Property Lead 2009-2015 Steve Rattray – Trustee, Treasurer 2009-2014 Clive Dutton – Trustee, Regeneration and Planning Lead 2011-2015 Chris Westwood – Vice Chair 2009-2016 Peter Ellis – Chair 2009-2016 Julia Briscoe – Trustee, Engagement Lead 2009-2016 Simon Myers – Founder, former Trustee 2008–2015 and current CEO Email us Phone us 020 74 73 04 29 Volunteer Programs and Corporate Engagement

GDP would like to thank the following organisations for their support

WELCOME TO CODY DOCK David Asuni, GDP Trustee and Treasurer Chair of Governors at Park Primary School Director of Newham Partnership Working Ltd I believe that we all benefit when we feel welcomed and connected to the broader community that we live in; and that a sense of welcome, connection and shared ownership is particularly important for young people. In my view for this to have meaning there must be freely accessible, attractive, safe and sustainable spaces that draw people together to work, to learn and to create. I was happy to join in with the work the GDP had already undertaken to rehabilitate and develop a contaminated dock in a way that provided work, learning, and community cohesion. I was particularly impressed that the very process of cleaning and rebuilding has been done in a way that brought together volunteers, engaged the community and created opportunities for work experience. Recently I have been delighted to participate in activities, led by our engagement officers, to develop links with local schools and to deliver services for young people. It was great to experience the fantastic dockside choral performance given by the pupils of Star Primary School. We know that it is important to continue working with our community while also building for the future. A lot of progress has been made toward GDP’s long-term goals, however more work is needed to realise that future and to ensure that progress to date is not lost or diluted. I am very grateful to all of the people and organisations that have contributed so much time and resource to bring us to this point. The vision that will bring public activity to the dock and on the river is a commendable one and with your support, the trustees, the staff and volunteers are working hard to bring that vision fully to life.

INSPIRING COMMUNITIES Simon Myers, CEO Gasworks Dock Partnership In June 2016, Big Lottery awarded us a ‘Reaching Communities’ grant of £468.424 providing 3 years of much needed core funding to support our ‘Inspiring Communities’ volunteering program – involving local people in the regeneration of Cody Dock and providing a sustainable future for the local area. One year in and having transformed how we work it feels time to reflect and share with you our learning and successes – none of which are possible without our army of volunteers and supporters. Life before ‘Reaching Communities’ We achieved huge successes in the initial clear up of the site - mainly done with volunteers and local businesses. I hope all those who were involved look at what we achieved and are proud of it – I know I am. A great first step but still a long way to go to put in place our plans to eventually sustain our charity. While I was delighted with the level of volunteer engagement we couldn’t carry on managing it on an ad-hoc basis. I was worried our core volunteers would burn out and people offering their services wouldn’t get the attention or support they deserved – the solution – a temporary site office with a core team to muster and marshal the army of volunteers taking us forward. We had successfully applied for smaller pots of money before but nothing nearing the amount needed to fund what we needed so how were we going to pay for it?

Successes • 999 lease agreed with Thames Water • Removed fly tipped waste worth millions of pounds • Built Pocket Park (with support from GLA) • Transformed and opened up our river frontage with funding support from Veolia Environmental Trust) • 1500 volunteers involved • Received a string of flagship awards • Over 1200 site visitors

‘Reaching Communities’ funding journey A stroke of fortune – one of our volunteers came across the Big Lottery’s Reaching Communities core funding program; the eligibility criteria seemed a perfect fit for our work. We successfully submitted an expression of interest and a first round application and moved on to the second round. This is where the hard work really began.

The challenge For us it was defining how we monitored and measured the success of our project. If we wanted to deliver a ‘decrease in unemployment’ or ‘teach people how to speak English’ where you focus on a particular niche you can readily say how many people used your service to achieve this – these are commonly referred to as ‘hard outcomes’. It was more challenging for us as our aim is to deliver what are referred to as ‘soft outcomes’ - ‘improving people’s sense of community, confidence, environmental awareness and civic pride.

The scale of the task We had to focus to ensure our project proposal was on the right track – always relating back to what it is we wanted to achieve whilst not losing focus on the ‘Reaching Communities’ funding criteria.

Funding application questions • What are your aims/objectives? • What are you going to do? • Outline the key activities, • Why are you doing it? beneficiaries of the project? • What are you going to spend • Specify your outcomes and how they will the money on? deliver your aims/objectives? • When are you going to do it? • Provide a costing for each your outcomes • What are the outcomes going and the project as a whole? to be and how will these be • Specify how you will monitor and measured? River Princess in Royal evaluate Victoria the success Dock, 2012 of the project? Key questions

Responding to these questions forced us to focus on the job in hand and think deeply about the needs of the local communities and how this impacted on the way we did things in the future. Getting it done It took a year to complete the application. This may seem like a long time but as we discovered completing one section of the application forced you to think more about the responses for the other sections. This back and forth felt like a never ending ‘feedback loop’ – continually reviewing and revising responses attempting to provide a clear and full picture of how all the parts link together to deliver what we said we would. Its not all bad doing this – it forces you to look critically at your aims/objectives; outcomes; goals and at the end of this you have a clearly defined work programme which has the support and buy in of the local community all of which is positive. Disappointing outcome Despite all this work with great support and input from our volunteers our application was unsuccessful. The main issues were our failure to show how we could effectively monitor and evaluate our outcomes and the scope of our beneficiaries had been too broad. What a hammer blow – however we drew positives from it – our local area Big Lottery Officer encouraged us to reapply as we had real potential and had met the core criteria – there had simply been stronger applications on the day. Pause for thought When you are unsuccessful at something a lot of questions go through your head: did I do everything I could ? Could have I included more or less ? How can I improve the areas they identified as weak ? What do I have to do to make them see this is a good idea worth backing ? Is this a good idea ? The list can be endless. Another application would mean spending further time and resource on it so I had to be sure I really understood the fundamental reasons why we fell short. I drew renewed energy from the amount of learning we had done about who we were and what we wanted to achieve and my unshaken belief that what we wanted to do was important and with the support of our trustees vowed to try again.

Moving forward – the key plank So why had we been unsuccessful? Our founding trustees established a set of core objective; however, as we moved from these being based on ‘an idea’ to an active ‘project’ it was increasingly difficult to articulate a clear picture of what we were all about. Our project – involving transformation of a large and dynamic space touching the lives of different groups of people – is a large-scale challenge. Its size can mean being overwhelmed by the many possibilities continuously presenting themselves. You too easily get caught up focusing on specific issues or activities long past their point of redundancy or worse failing to capitalise on game changing offers of support simply because there is an ambiguity defining what is important. Without this being clearly defined and consistent it is difficult to convince people to give you money. So, what were we trying to achieve – what was our key plank – much soul searching and taking on board what we had learned from our earlier application provided a simple answer – ‘social cohesion’. This was in response to the lack of cohesion we had observed in our local area which can be attributed to the much higher than average levels of diversity that exist within our community but more significantly be down to the ver y tr ans ient n atur e of N ewh am ’s population. Outside help: the journey starts again… With our core aim now clearly defined our trustees supported the re-submission of an application but felt outside help was crucial to ensure we were focusing on the right areas and had the right framework in place to be successful. I turned to Business in the Community who were already providing me with mentoring support; they recommended and we brought on board CAN, an organisation specialising in providing support to social enterprises to maximise their impact through the development of their monitoring and evaluation practices. They introduced us to the Theory of Change model which we embraced when completing our application.

From this we got an in-depth analysis of our work and the development of the monitoring and evaluation toolkit. Our next port of call was to find a specialist who could help us complete the application – someone who not only understands the complex requirements of Funders like the Big Lottery but also understood us and what we were trying to achieve. A5cend fitted the bill – they specialise in supporting charities, small businesses and the public sector; they helped review our previous application and revise it from the ground up ensuring we demonstrated how our newly developed monitoring and evaluation strategy fitted into our working practices. A big thank you to them without whose support I have no doubt we would not be where we are today. We were confident the revised application addressed all the weak points of the previous application. We clearly defined our ‘soft outcomes’ in ways enabling us to monitor their success and quantify their impact.

Finally, success! We received the good news that we had got the funding and hit the ground running. I am so pleased to have found an amazing group of people to fill the Core Team roles – Liz Whitworth, our fulltime engagement officer, Claudia Burrows, Project and Volunteer Project Manager and Billy Tomney, Core Administrator – who have not only embraced the aims of the project but are dedicating themselves to making it the success it is already becoming.

Always an eye on the future The clean-up of Cody Dock and the surrounding neighbourhood is well underway but in tandem we have been focusing on our longer-term goal of making us sustainable in the future. The Community Boat restoration is nearing completion and will soon be back in the water and we are nearing the point where we can start to restore the fabric of the dock, build studios, classroom spaces, moorings for boats; new wildlife habitat and other exciting opportunities we have identified and are actively pursuing. Working with PUP architects and the planning team at Tibbalds we have consulted and exhibited our Master Plan which will form the basis of our planning application which is due to be submitted at the end of September 2017. I am very positive about a successful outcome. Final Reflections In hindsight, I am glad we did not get the funding first time round. This may seem bonkers but we learned so much from this whole experience – we are clearer about our Charities core aims and what we want to achieve; how we are going to do it and how we are going to measure the success. We have met and worked with amazing people from a wide range of organisations without who we would not have had the tools to facilitate and manage this in the best way possible; these tools are vital for us to connect and stay connected with our community ensuring they continue to be part of this worthwhile work. I continue to be humbled and inspired by the number of residents, schools and local businesses who have willingly and continue to dedicate their time and support to Cody Dock. I could give you lots of examples but they deserve their own space. You can find the first of these (written by Liz, our Engagement Officer) in this Newsletter. So a year in and I find myself reflecting on the name given to our work programme - ‘Inspiring Communities’ - which was derived from a desire to inspire communities, this still fits the bill but to me this also now includes how these amazing communities inspire me and give me the energy and enthusiasm to keep going to deliver what they deserve. With thanks for all their Support: Business in the Community – CAN – A5cend –


‘Wild About the Crescent’ is an ambitious project to clean up and transform 2 acres of currently unused and neglected hedgerows and industrial forecourts leading up to Cody Dock. Despite its urban position, the area supports a surprising amount of wildlife. The area has seen an increase in its use by local schools, residents and visitors but at the same time it has suffered from extreme fly-tipping and antisocial behaviour. This has resulted in people feeling that the area is neglected and at times unsafe. We want to try and tackle these issues by creating a harmonious environment in the form of a wonderful wildlife corridor for plants, animals and people to enjoy and share.

GDP is leading the campaign, supporting schools, local residents and local businesses to create new habitats, learn new skills and have an increased sense of civic pride and ownership. Along the way it is hoped it will enhance their knowledge and awareness of local flora and fauna in an area that belongs to us all. We are engaging local businesses through our regular business breakfast meetings as well as schools through our education and young people’s networking meetings to encourage involvement. The overwhelming response has been positive. Each keen to work alongside others in the community to get the work done through clean - up activities, planting days, small construction projects and the installation of educational boards to help people understand and learn about what is all around them. However, simply getting the work done is only half the story. We will continue to support our partners to ensure these efforts result in long lasting change – putting in place plans that will see it is maintained going forward through continued joint regular volunteering activities to preserve it for future generations.

RIVER PRINCESS, GDP’s Docklands Community Boat Supported by

With the restoration and refit of our community boat nearing completion, we wanted to share a few pictures of the work we have done.

Now recruiting

Over the next few months we will be finishing off the interior of the River Princess and starting the process of recruiting a project manager and skipper to run our service. If you might be interested in either of these part-time positions or helping us with finishing our refit, please get in touch and contact our office on

Schools’ Program

We are launching our schools service to coincide with the start of the 2018 Spring term. To mark this, we are offering a season of special introductory discounted offers to the first 10 school bookings. Take the opportunity before she goes back in the water to go on the boat and hear the restoration story. To find out more about our schools packages and book a guided tour, please contact Liz on

Boat Handling Training

In addition to providing educational boat tours for schools and heritage trips at the weekend we will be operating the River Princess as class V passenger training vessel. From January 2017 we will be looking for 15 volunteers to help crew our service; in exchange they will receive free comercial boat handling experience. So, whether you are already mad about boating and fancy spending time with other like minded folk, have recently bought a boat and would like more boat handling experience, or are considering a career working on our waterways, please do get in touch. To find out more and put your name down for our first round of training places, contact


Building Up the Next Generation Build Up is a social enterprise which puts young people in control of construction projects that make a lasting contribution to their local community. We give young people the opportunity to make decisions, influence their local area and see the real-life impact they can have. In a time when regeneration is bringing far reaching change to our cities, Build Up gives young people both a say and a role in how their communities are built. In the words of Jamal, 15: “I didn’t think we would be doing so much of it to be honest, I thought it would be more like you guys telling us what to do and us helping a bit, I didn’t think we’d be making the decisions”. We build young people’s confidence in what they can achieve, and open up a future not limited by where they’ve grown up. Build Up works to equip young people with the skills, perseverance and reliance to succeed. For communities, our projects unite housing associations, businesses, youth groups and families around a new structure built by and for those who will enjoy it.

“At first I was very shy, and if I said I did something new I would feel nervous that people would laugh at me. But after doing this, I don’t feel scared anymore; I feel like I can just be brave and achieve my goals”, Chelsea, 13. We were founded in 2014 by construction company Adventure Playground Engineers in response to a lack of opportunities for young people growing up in the London. Build Up’s story began when five teenagers and volunteer staff who borrowed tools and reclaimed materials came together to create our first structure at a playground in Stockwell. Ten projects later we have won £135,000 investment for young people and their communities, worked with over 300 participants and been nominated for a design award alongside leading architects. “Thank you for building on what’s already here. When we talk about the social cohesion that keeps communities like Tottenham together, this is where it’s at”, MP David Lammy.

Being based at Cody Dock has helped Build Up grow from humble beginnings to the organisation it is today. Last year we joined forces with East London charity Toynbee Hall to build our first structure at the Dock, a viewing platform looking out over the River Lea. This year we’re building a new forest school shelter to continue young people’s involvement in creating this unique community space.

Next year holds big plans for Build Up: our first proper building to be designed and built entirely by young people, a programme supporting wellbeing in mental health and the launch of Build Up’s South London Lollard Street Workshop. Following on from our involvement in London Festival of Architecture we will be joining eight urban organisations to talk at the Serpentine Pavilion later this summer. To find out more visit: or follow us on twitter @BuildUpFdn and on instagram @build_up_foundation If you work with a group of young people that could benefit from a Build Up project or you would like to commission a new structure in your community, please contact Huan Rimington on 07427 704291 or email

NEWHAM NATURAL CRAFTS Alessandra Palange It so happens that sometimes something beautiful is born out of a sad occasion! That’s exactly how “Newham Natural Crafts� was born. When a much loved nursery run according to Steiner principles was closed, some parents got together to keep alive the spirit that made that nursery so special. When the nursery closed its doors, we were initially searching for a place to re-open the nursery, however after several trials and errors, the project changed its shape and became a monthly parent-led, forest-school inspired, natural crafts meet up around the fire pit. Cody Dock felt like the right place because of the beautifully maintained garden and the friendly atmosphere we found there. Although the initial project changed shape, its essence remains the same: we want to provide a joyful, relaxed, welcoming and inclusive space for children to engage with nature and for parents to meet, share experiences and spend quality time with their children. The underlying idea behind this project is that doing crafts outdoors contributes significantly to the wellbeing of the child and helps them build a connection with nature (this is especially important for children who live in a big city like London).

The open spaces at Cody Dock are perfect for our monthly meet-ups: we usually meet around the fire or in the garden area, walk along the river, where children accompanied by adults gather material for the craft activities, then we make the fire while the children help prepare some food (soups, popcorn, marshmallows etc.). Children can also build a hammock or a den or can participate in the crafts activities proposed and organized by the parents.

Everyone is welcome to attend and also suggest new activities. During our past meetings, children have woven nests, learned to use a sewing needle to create simple embroidery (a work in progress!), created some mud paintings, made lanterns, embroidered masks and constructed an All Souls temple for Cody Dock’s Halloween party. In March we made a large weaving frame by lashing branches together with twine. In April, we made some puppets with sticks. In May, we dyed some fabric strips with natural materials (onion skins and turmeric, etc.) that we then tied to the willow wands that the children had created. We also joined Worldwide Knit In Public Day ( Parents came to share their finger knitting and needle knitting skills with others while the children built some tepees using sticks, wool and fabric. And finally in July (the last day before our August break), we did some papermaking by recycling old newspaper. The papers that the children created were then decorated with flowers and leaves.

Sessions will start again on Saturday the 9th of September and will continue as usual on every second Saturday of the month. We’ll run a special session on Saturday the 23rd of September, all dedicated to learning shapes and creating pigments with natural materials (coffee, tea, berries etc.). For our regular sessions, we welcome £1+ donation per family to cover the costs of materials.

If you have a craft skill you’d like to share with the group please don’t hesitate to contact us via email or phone number (Alessandra 07817205400). You can also visit our blog ( or follow us on Facebook (

HEALTHY SUNDAYS Sally Ramsden Natural Connection at Cody Dock Mindfulness and Nature Appreciation If you’ve wandered down to visit us one Sunday morning this summer you may have encountered a surprising sight - grown people wearing blindfolds wandering about stroking plants, sniffing trees, sensing the breeze and sometimes, just standing still listening to the sounds of East London. It was all part of ‘Reconnect’, the new mindfulness and nature connection sessions that have joined our Healthy Sunday programme and attracted people from all over London. The activities work at different levels and are fun and therapeutic.

Each 2 hour workshop began in the Gallery with gentle physical movement which can be done standing up or sitting down. We continued with some mindfulness meditation before everyone moved outside for fresh air and sensory exploration in the community gardens. Some participants choose to stay on for a social chat and cup of coffee or lunch together at the pop-up cafe.

Feedback was very positive with people from the first sessions not only returning for more but bringing their friends with them. “Gently nurturing in nature”, wrote one participant after her first session. “I feel fresh and full of light” wrote another. “It really does work – with mindfulness you see more”, said another. Other people’s comments included: “Relaxing”, “Enlivening”, “Inspiring”, “Inclusive”.


The last few months have seen a whirl of activity and events here at Cody Dock. On 25th March we held an event to celebrate spring. Two hundred people enjoyed outdoor games and activities whilst being serenaded by the fabulous sounds of the Stacey Cohen band.

The day also saw the launch of Peter Marshall’s ‘All About the Lea’ exhibition. Over 1500 visitors were able to enjoy his photographs showcasing 40 years of the Lea. Many who came commented on how this had sparked their own fond memories of what the area means to them. These memories encouraged people to get their cameras out to capture their own images of the Lower Lea Valley for our photographic competition. The winning pictures have been chosen and will be revealed at an exhibition starting on 16th September. They will also be used for our first calendar.

May and June saw Daniel Dressel’s ‘Polygon’ exhibition gracing our gallery and dome attracting over 100 visitors in its short run. Based on the structure of a boxing ring it explored the complex relationships between class, community, finance and capital in the context of London's former docklands. A real assault on the senses that had to be seen to be believed. This neatly led us up to the London Festival of Architecture from 10th to 18th June. Here we displayed our scale model of the masterplan for Cody Dock – giving people an opportunity to see and comment on what is planned for the future of the site. June 18th was our summer celebration which we linked to the national Big Lunch event. Almost 200 people came together on a wonderfully hot day to share food with a backdrop of music provided by Stanford Hillbillies a four piece busking band and 10 members of The Aveley and Newham Brass Band accompanied by Star Primary pupils.

Finally, over a weekend in July, Cody Dock hosted the launch of the GaiaNova 360° theater with an audiovisual immersive feast that quite literally knocked you off your feet.


Elder Flowers & Best Buds

Gardening and Social Group for energetic Elders and wise Buds. A Saturday volunteering opportunity to potter around, connect with each other and nature. For more information, please contact

Cody Dock Art School

Winter term: 12 September-14 December. Half term 23-27 October Tuesdays, Drawing, 11am-2pm Wednesdays, Workshop, 10am-4pm Thursdays, Sculpture, 10am-4pm For bookings and enquiries, please contact Tim Beswick at

Renovate the River Princess

If you’re interested in volunteering to help us restore and renovate the River Princess Community Boat, please contact us at

Nadia’s Café

Nadia’s Cody Dock Café is open 7 days a week serving fresh coffee, as well as healthy and delicious food, bustling with flavour. The Café is also open for extended hours during events and can cater for walking groups and local businesses on request. For more info, please contact


Open House weekend

16 and 17 September, 10am-5pm (Guided Tour at 2pm) Join our guided heritage tour (1.5 hours) of Cody Dock and Imperial Gasworks. One of London's most exciting creative spaces, Cody Dock provides a gateway to the Lea River Park and is home to a gallery, gardens, cafe & bar that make this the perfect pit stop for exploring The Line Sculpture trail and Lower Lea River (in Open House website). More information in

Parent and Child Natural Crafts Forest School

Every second Saturday of the month, 12pm-3pm 9 September, 14 October, 11 November, 9 December Extra session 23 September Natural Crafts is a group of parents based in Newham who like to create more opportunities for children to learn outdoors. For information on times and workshops, visit

Your River Lea Photo Exhibition

16 September – 28 October Cody Dock Gallery – Fri, Sat, and Mon, 10am-5pm | Sun, 2pm-5pm This exhibition focuses on the River Lea tapestry and is made up of the winning entries from our photo competition. The 12 winning photos are also reproduced in our 2018 Cody Dock Calendar.


28 October, 5pm-9pm A family event and a spooky destination of fun with a big fire, visuals, yummy food, live music, face painting, walkabout, trickery, workshops, entertainment and prizes for the best home-made costume and for those who bring the best carved pumpkin! Dress up and be there!

Frost Fair

10 December, 2pm-6pm Join us in our winter fair and discover our festive stalls. There will be food and drink, music, outdoor games and activities for all ages. If you're interested in applying for a stall, please contact us by email to




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Cody Dock Newsletter #4 Autumn 2017  
Cody Dock Newsletter #4 Autumn 2017  

Gasworks Dock Partnership is a registered charity based in the London Borough of Newham