Competition winner Rithvi Reddy Vaddepally, from Gascoigne Primary School

Local school pupils’ artwork, celebrating the past, present and future of the Gascoigne neighbourhood in Barking, is being displayed on hoardings surrounding redevelopment sites.

The art by students from Gascoigne Primary School was created as part of the ‘Gascoigne Your Place’ competition run by Be First during the first lockdown in 2020.

This week local councillors, Cllr Cameron Geddes, Cabinet Member Regeneration and Economic Development; Cllr Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Engagement; and Cllr Abdul Aziz, visited the site and met competition winner, six-year old Rithvi Reddy Vaddepally, and staff from Gascoigne Primary School.

Rithvi’s parents, Harika Vaddepally and Ramchander Reddy Vaddepally, said: “Rithvi was exited to participate in the competition and she was really surprised to win. Thank you for giving her the opportunity to be part of this competition and for encouraging the kids.”

Cllr Ashraf said: “It’s fantastic to see this artwork – it’s a testament to the love, passion and engagement local youngsters have for their neighbourhood.”
The art competition was run by Be First who are delivering the redevelopment of Gascoigne on behalf of Barking and Dagenham Council.

Gascoigne Primary School students were asked to create a piece of art or write some words about their neighbourhood.

For the Early Years category, entrants were asked to draw or paint a picture of a place that they liked in their neighbourhood on their way to school.

For Key Stage 1, entrants had to draw a map of their journey to school highlighting interesting new buildings, places, streets, trees and playgrounds. Key Stage 2 entrants were asked to make a drawing and write a few sentences describing how their neighbourhood is changing due to the current construction and how they would like it to improve.

Ben Addison, Construction Manager at Be First, said: “The community is at the heart of what we do at Be First so it’s great to give local young people a chance to contribute as we work to make the new Gascoigne neighbourhood one of the most liveable places in London. It’s about hearts and minds as well as bricks and mortar – it’s what we call real regeneration.”