For most of us, Christmas is something to look forward to, enjoying time with our families, away from work or school, feasting and exchanging presents. However, for many residents of inner city estates like Kennington Park at the Oval, Christmas can be a difficult and expensive time. Lambeth is one of the most deprived boroughs in London, with high rates of violent, sexual and drug-related crime. The level of child poverty is worse than the London and England average, with 29% of children aged under 16 living in poverty.
At Kennington Park Community Centre, our aim this Christmas is to make life a little easier for the families on our estate. We are raising funds to stage a free Christmas panto at our Community Centre, as well as pay for Santa’s Oyster Card so that he can bring presents for our children. Some of the kids on the estate will never get to go to a theatre or visit Santa in a big store, so by bringing these seasonal favourites to them we hope to make their Christmas a little more memorable.
Our Panto will be staged by Simply Smiley Productions who have experience of entertaining our kids. This will be their and Santa’s third visit so we know how popular they are. And not just with the kids. Parents and grandparents, as well as our many older residents, love to come and join in!
There is strong evidence to suggest that participation in the arts contributes to community cohesion, reduces social exclusion and isolation, and makes communities feel safer and stronger. At KPCC Oval we are proud to be able to do our bit!
So please help us to fund this Christmas panto and know that you are contributing to a happier and safer community for all.