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Company Drinks hold community open house

Emdad Rahman

THE TEAM AT Company Drinks welcomed the community back to their home and garden in Barking Park with a wide range of attractions – including tours of the garden, hands-on workshops and the launch of new art and design works.

Over the course of a pleasant and sunny September day visitors enjoyed activities such as herbal demonstrations, remedy making, stretching and wellness time with the Grow Club, a wellbeing tombola and tasty food and drinks. Special guests at last Saturday’s event included the Good Food Collective, Mobile Apothecary, #bookbikelondon and the Happy Hoppers.

The pavilion is now fully refurbished and accessible, with new design work by local architect and designer Sahra Hersi in the Club Room, and local artist Susanna Wallis has made beautiful drawings for the different planting and wellbeing parts in the garden.

The Good Food Collective and the Happy Hoppers picked hops, made food, and celebrated the heritage of the area in a session with plenty of cake going around. There was a feature on the community consultation work for Stoneford Cottage (owned by the National Trust) which was collecting more opinions about and ideas for how local heritage can be used and made public.

Free family fun included Molecular Fizz kits, craft and creating workshops, art sessions and design ideas. With the event having an emphasis on making things, visitors concocted their own drinks using a smoothie bike. There was also a bike repair workshop alongside a workshop from local resident Emdad Rahman, Team Captain at #bookbikelondon.

Vi Charlton spent a pleasant day at the fabulous community event and brought her personal collection of knitted dolls along to showcase to visitors. Vi, originally from Wapping, has knitted many dolls which are part of her unique collection, with each one representing a significant person in her life.

Vi said, “It’s been lovely, and the weather has been very pleasant. I’ve picked hops all day, made new friends, caught up with old ones and showed off my dolls – brilliant day all round!”

Shaun Tuck from Company Drinks added, “We have had a stream of people visiting all day. It’s been terrific being able to mingle at a community event once again. We’ve had visitors from our community, and we’ve created such a happy spirit all day. It’s tremendous to be able to bring people together again.”

Company Drinks is a community space and social enterprise based in Barking & Dagenham, bringing people together and reconnecting with local green spaces and nearby countryside.

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