French minister tours Poplar to learn about social housing and volunteering

Volunteers, campaigners and an elders’ group were among those giving tips to a visiting French minister on social housing and community work.

Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, the minister of ecology, sustainable development, transport and housing, toured Poplar with a team of researchers and visited Poplar HARCA in East India Dock Road.

She heared about the housing association’s regeneration plans for the area and toured the Chrisp Street market, a site for the new Spotlight Youth Centre in Haycurrie Street and the Teviot Neighbourhood Centre on March 4.

There she met with groups and individuals including Leaders in Community, a youth group encouraging volunteering; the Burcham Street Elders Group and Chrissy Townsend, founder of the Teviot Action Group who successfully campaigned for a new bus route.

Babu Bhattacherjee, Poplar HARCA’s director of communities and neighbourhood, said:

“We were very pleased that the minister was keen to visit Poplar HARCA and meet the residents we are working with to make Poplar a better place to live.

“It was a fantastic example of European partnership working.”