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US ambassador to paint East End community centre

PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:28 05 October 2010

THE US ambassador to Britain is rolling up his sleeves to paint a community centre in London’s deprived East End. Louis B Susman is joining his embassy staff who are volunteering to spruce up the Neighbours in Poplar’s centre to mark America’s Martin Luther King’ Day

By Mike Brooke

THE US ambassador to Britain is rolling up his sleeves to paint a community centre in London’s deprived East End.

Louis B Susman is joining his embassy staff who are volunteering to spruce up the Neighbours in Poplar charity’s St Matthias centre to mark America’s Martin Luther King’ Day on Monday.

“Martin Luther King Day in the US is a commemoration of this great American,” said the ambassador. “It’s a national day of service, so I’m pleased we’re able to celebrate by coming to volunteer in Poplar.”

He and his staff are painting the interior walls and garden benches as well as stuffing envelopes for a mail campaign. They will also hear about the community and the history of London’s Docklands.

Sister Christine Frost, who has run Neighbours in Poplar for 40 years, said: “St Matthias is the heart of the community, so I’m delighted to have the ambassador and his staff help us keep St Mathias in good repair.”

The makeover’ is being organised by the Winant Clayton volunteers’ charity, which has arranged annual exchanges between London and New York for 50 years.

The charity, which has its UK headquarters in East London, is now accepting applications for the 2010 exchange programme to New York, with bursaries available to qualifying candidates living or working in Tower Hamlets and Southwark. It was founded in 1948 by The Rev Tubby’ Clayton and the US wartime ambassador in London John Winant, to promote cultural understanding between Britain and America.


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