If there is one thing Londoners (if not everyone) are, we are very tribal.
When it comes to our area it doesn’t matter if you grew up there or moved into the area, everyone thinks their area is best.
Let’s not even get started on divide between north and south of the river.
One group of mums have gone above and beyond to highlight the good in their corner of the city.
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(Image: George Clerk)
Queen’s Park Folk is a cross-community platform using social media and newsletters to highlight the best of Queens Park, North West London.
It is run by Alexia, Tala and Dede, all local mums from different backgrounds but with one major thing in common – they all want to showcase their ‘wonderful local area’.
Alexia was a primary school teacher, Dede was in a successful band and Tala is a global events organiser.
Each wanted to find a way to celebrate their local area, so began an Instagram and the following quickly grew.
Speaking to MyLondon, Alexia said: “At first, we were called Queen’s Park Mums and they were our focus. Our children all go to the same school in the area.
“I took over running in January 2020 and midway through 2021, we realised that due to the lockdowns, it was hard to promote what was going on as we were all at home.
“We also saw that a lot of people signing up to our newsletter weren’t just mums. So we swivelled and changed our focus to how people can help each other in the community.”
In August 2021, Queen’s Park Mums became Queen’s Park Folk. Their mission was to showcase the best things in the area and to inform local people of what is going on.
Now, they have more than 2,500 people signed up to their newsletter and 3,800 Instagram followers.
She continued: “In Queens Park, there’s a real community feel. People have tabs with their butchers, local shops. There’s a pavement culture. You can walk everywhere. As well as lots of independent businesses so you end up shopping and doing stuff locally, lots of great schools for your kids to go to school in the area.
“As more people were forced to stay home, they stayed in the area more. So we showcase local businesses in the area.
“I think it’s really important to highlight different neighbourhoods in the city. That’s how I see London. A city made up of lots of little villages.”
People can sign up for a newsletter or follow on Instagram which gives them access to a host of businesses and with some, even discounts. As well as the option to sign up for a digital loyalty card.
They will spotlight different businesses in the area on their platforms. The Island is a pub in Queens Park that is also run by locals.
It is one of the businesses currently showcased on the Queen’s Park Folk website.
Alexia, Dede and Tala are currently being recognised for their work in an exhibition at Spacemade, The Loft in Queens Park. The exhibition called ‘Local Heroes’ recognises and highlights innovators and heroes in the local community for their work.
Expanding from just focusing on mums in the area, Queen’s Park Folk were able to become more inclusive. They saw that the people signing up for their newsletter weren’t just mums – there were dads, single parents and just locals – so they became a platform for everyone.
For the locals there and for the ones who moved into the area, Queen’s Park Folk makes it easier for everyone to know what is going on in their area.
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In the end, everybody wins.
“It’s rewarding when we get feedback from businesses saying how busy they were and talk about how many people turned up.
“And then the people who sign up to our newsletter get discounts they wouldn’t get if our platform wasn’t here,” Alexia said.
Do you think your area is best? If so, please email [email protected]
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