By Raodot Olayiwola
A successful seven-month campaign to bring back the benches in Bramley Shopping Centre has received national recognition, after it came runner-up at a prestigious awards ceremony yesterday (Thursday).
The ‘A Place to Sit’ Campaign was nominated for the SMK National Campaigner Awards for Best Community Campaign.
Local residents gathered at Bramley Community Centre to watch the awards ceremony on the big screen.
Although the campaign did not win the award – it missed out to Wards Corner Community Plan – they were delighted to be shortlisted and were the runner up of all campaign awards.
There was a lot of joy in the air as members of the campaign expressed their pride at the campaign getting national recognition.
Bramley’s Collette Milligan said that she wanted the campaign to get as much recognition as possible. She said:
“I was so proud of being part of the campaign, to have even got nominated and shortlisted was unbelievable.”
Colette thanked everyone in the community who put in their effort for Bramley. She also felt that the campaign brought many in the community together.
Val Hewison, another member of the campaign, expressed her pride over the spirit of Bramley people. She felt that the campaign revived the hearts of the people in the community and brough them together. She added:
“Bramley’s got a heart and a soul, and something like this showed the heart and soul of the community and what strengths we have when we come together as a community
“We were thrilled to be shortlisted as there are so many great campaigns out there. COngratulations to the winners.”
A Place to Sit held weekly peaceful sit-down protests every Saturday morning after the new owners of the shopping centre removed all 22 benches last June. They also gathered a petition of more than 1,700 people.
A total 13 benches were restored earlier this year, after it was found their removal breached a planning application dating back six years.