Pop along to Pollards Hill

A Pollards Hill bus shelter block which had been empty and unloved for years will play host to a series of cultural activities and workshops over the next three weeks, as a result of a collaboration between the local community and Merton Council.

Starting tomorrow (Saturday 14), Pollards Pop-Up on South Lodge Avenue, which formerly housed public toilets, will see temporary cafes, tours of the local area, health and wellbeing events, arts and crafts workshops, employment training, yoga classes and a film screening.

Refreshments on offer will include Caribbean street food, barista-style coffee and fresh juices.

The initial drive behind the project came from local residents, led by Martin Miranda Antelo and Toby Podger-Taylor, who worked with Merton Council and local stakeholders to develop the idea.

Two design teams were engaged by Merton to help bring residents’ ideas to fruition: Okra, a studio based on Old Kent Road, and Counterculture, a creative consultancy who specialise in community engagement projects.

Members of the design teams will attend on Saturday to find out what people have and haven’t enjoyed and this feedback will influence what the future plans for the bus shelter become.

Councillor Martin Whelton, Cabinet member for Housing, Regeneration and the Climate Emergency, said: “The summer programme of free activities and workshops organised at the South Lodge Avenue bus shelter in Pollards Hill is a great opportunity for the community to feedback on what they would like to see here and how this space can be utilised.

“I would encourage local people to get involved and drop in as it will help shape its future along with offering a range of different activities to join in with on over the next three weeks.”

Check out the schedule of events and more information at www.pollardshill.space