Havering Changing

Engaging local communities in arts and culture
Public Acts 'As You Like It' community on stage at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch.
Public Acts 'As You Like It' community on stage at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch.
Photo: Camilla Greenwell

Where: Havering
With: Queen's Theatre Hornchurch; The Mercury Shopping Centre; Clarion Futures; Havering Asian Social & Welfare Association (HASWA); Havering Interfaith Forum; London Borough of Havering Youth Service and myplace (youth and community centre); Havering Colleges; Rainham Association for Village Events (R.A.V.E); Havering Volunteer Centre

Our vision for Havering Changing is a place with stories to tell, old and new; where different people create and celebrate together


Havering Changing will:

Rebalance the availability of arts and culture experiences across the borough
Co-create inspiring and magical arts experiences
Contribute to a thriving and dynamic cultural sector within the borough
Increase tolerance and understanding amongst the borough’s changing communities so they are better equipped to live, work and play together
Enable genuine local decision making 


Our key outcomes are amongst local residents, who will:

Be involved in new cultural activities, both within and out of the borough – as audiences, participants and originators
Feel connected with and more understanding of people who are not like them 
Recognise and celebrate the unique contribution that people from different backgrounds can make
Be confident and proud of their area
Feel that they can make a difference
Be inspired 

We also hope to impact on individual artists, creatives and cultural organisations that are involved with Havering Changing; they will:

Be confident producing quality work that is valued by audiences and other arts professionals
Be supported successfully accessing income from a wide variety of sources
Be better connected within the borough, across London, the UK, and beyond
Be working in partnership - with each other and the wider voluntary and community sector
Be proud - to consider themselves a member of Havering's creative community
Recognise the value and have practical experience of - working in a co-produced way alongside communities 

The primary responsibilities of the Steering Groups will be to lead 'On Your Doorstep'consisting of three strands of locally based arts programming:

Orchard Village/Rainham/Romford/Harold Hill Presents 
This will entail booking artistic work that is already in existence; and will be based on a series of Go See Visits for the Steering Group to experience a range of different art forms and presentations. The Area Worker will facilitate discussions with the Steering Group and organise Go Sees accordingly. We anticipate that the Steering Group will need considerable support in their first year to consider their aims and develop their understanding of the mechanics and the practicalities of programming. As well as artistic Go Sees, the Steering Groups can also visit other CPP programming panels for ‘process’ Go Sees to see their programming process in action – for example, in neighbouring Barking and Dagenham or Hounslow, or further afield to other CPP areas.

Orchard Village/Rainham/Romford/Harold Hill Creative Community Support    
This strand will be a commissions fund in which local or national artists and companies apply for funding to produce work/events/projects that are bespoke to each communities’ needs and aspirations. The aim is that these awards will be matched by other sources of co-funding that the applicants will be expected to help put in place. Other criteria and priorities for the commissions fund will be developed by the Steering Groups and facilitated by the Area Worker. Each SG will have an annual budget of £18k for this fund and we anticipate that each group will award a maximum of three commissions per year. 

Our place, our people            
In years three and four, as the Steering Groups capacity has been developed & research & development undertaken, each Steering Group will commission and create a large-scale participative piece of artistic work that explores & celebrates the place in which they live. The form, scale and location of these projects will be determined by the SG, potentially involving wider consultation with local residents.  Each SG will have a £20k per year budget for this.

Working across Harold Hill, Romford, Rainham and Orchard Village, radical new ideas will be explored to engage local Havering communities in arts and culture. A partnership of eight local organisations has been formed to support local decision makers, share learnings and evaluate the project, by trying out something different through the working themes of 'On Your Doorstep', 'In the Know' and 'Communities Celebrating'.

Havering is changing - in many ways - a £1billion regeneration scheme is creating over 3000 new homes; the Elizabeth line (Crossrail) will transform connections to central London and Heathrow; and a shifting population (the 11th fastest changing in the country) - that is more ethnically diverse and younger - is bringing different perspectives to long established and proud communities. The most interesting things happen around the edges, and Havering is sandwiched between the City and the Essex countryside; there was even a short-lived 'Hexit'campaign in 2019, for the borough to secede from Greater London.  It's also a place with one of the last remaining greyhound tracks in the country; a vibrant, some might say notorious nightlife scene in Romford; the elegant National Trust Georgian mansion of Rainham Hall; huge swathes of parks, woods and green space, and a vast industrial estate on the banks of the Thames.  

Despite being home to the London Theatre of the Year, in Queen's Theatre Hornchurch, and a thriving community and voluntary arts scene, arts and creativity doesn't currently play a big part in some people's lives, especially beyond the super engaged hot spots (and more wealthy areas) of Upminster and Hornchurch.  We are committed to re-balancing this, putting residents in Rainham, in Orchard Village, in Romford and in Harold Hill at the heart of a vibrant arts programme. We know that younger people have work and family commitments, and older people can be challenged by health and transport issues. We also know there is an enthusiasm to do more. More practical activities, more family events, more things outdoors, more music, more history; that came through loud and clear in our consultation.

The organisations that have come together to lead Havering Changing all passionately believe putting local communities at the heart of cultural decision making will enable residents to tell new and different stories about Havering; it will help people to feel at home in the world and in Havering; it will create moments of delight and inspiration; and that it will lead to a more connected, ambitious and confident community that believes they have just as much right to amazing cultural experiences as everyone else.  We don't yet know what those stories will be - but we are excited at the prospect of facilitating and supporting the people of Havering to create them.

Queen's Theatre Hornchurch - Our lead organisation, Queen's Theatre Hornchurch (QTH) is acknowledged as one of the most dynamic and successful producing theatres in London (and beyond). Most recently the theatre was awarded The Stage London Theatre of the Year.

In 2018 the Clothworkers'Theatre Award enabled Queen's Theatre to deliver Essex on Stage, an ambitious two-year programme championing positive notions of Essex, celebrating theatre made by working class people and raising aspirations for emerging artists from Essex and Outer East London. 

QTH's role as a producing theatre enables Havering Changing to benefit from its in-house expertise across the whole spectrum of theatre-making, as well as its contacts and networks, both in the UK and internationally. As an active member of UK Theatre QTH connects Havering Changing to a broad range of arts and culture expertise and resources.

The Mercury Shopping Centre - The Mercury is one of five shopping centres in Romford Town centre, however it is set apart from others by its award-winning community engagement. A centre of essential, discount and small businesses, The Mercury champions and enables its local businesses and customers whether possible.

Clarion Futures
Clarion Futures is the charitable arm of Clarion Housing Group, the U.K.'s largest social landlord and landlord of Orchard Village and Passive Close in Rainham. Clarion Futures Communities commissions a variety of projects at Orchard Village and Clarion Housing has an office base at Orchard Village.

Havering Asian Social & Welfare Association (HASWA) - HASWA is established particularly for the benefit of persons of asian origin residing in Havering to advance education, relieve poverty and provide or assist in the provision of facilities for recreation or leisure time occupation, with the object of improving the conditions of life of such persons. HASWA promotes positive integration and community cohesion.

Havering Interfaith Forum - Exist to promote cohesion and religious harmony for the benefit of the whole community in Havering. Working towards the advancement of public education and understanding of different religious faiths and beliefs in Havering, and towards enhancing communication between faith communities and other agencies. With a vision of all people of faith in Havering creating and sharing opportunities for life.

London Borough of Havering Youth Service and myplace (youth and community centre) - Havering Youth Service provides a wide range of opportunities for young people to grow and develop new and existing skills, make a positive contribution to their community and, where relevant, reduce their involvement in risky, antisocial or criminal activities. myplace is a youth and community centre in Harold Hill. We serve the community by providing a welcoming space for residents to visit for educational, health, cultural and social activities.

Havering Colleges - Havering Colleges was formed by the merger of Havering Sixth Form College with Havering College of Further & Higher Education and New City College on 1st August 2019. With a wide range of courses for all ages.

Made up of three main campuses: the Sixth Form in Wingletye Lane which is predominantly for students aged 16-19, and for those undertaking Foundation Learning programmes; Ardleigh Green offer courses for all ages and abilities, including Higher Education courses; and Rainham which is a specialist Construction and Engineering Centre.

Rainham Association for Village Events (R.A.V.E) - R.A.V.E is a voluntary, self-funded, unincorporated organisation who work together in the local community alongside the London Borough of Havering to promote and unite Rainham Village and its community. They are local residents and local shopkeepers who want to make a difference and improve the community. Who dedicate time and resources by providing activities and events to benefit the whole community. These activities and events are designed for everyone and are dedicated to bring the community together.

Havering Volunteer Centre - Havering Volunteer Centre (HVC) is the only licenced Volunteer Centre operating in Havering and works within the recognised Quality Accreditation Scheme operated by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), who are the national body for Volunteer Centre's, with HVC attaining accreditation status in 2019. HVC exist to enable positive change to lives and communitites through volunteering. To make a difference through creating thriving and diverse volunteering opportunities for individuals, working with our partners to support, enhance and develop their volunteering opportunities. 

Havering Changing is a new Creative People and Places project, funded from November 2019. 

Image: Public Acts 'As You Like It' community on stage at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch. Photo: Camilla Greenwell