Tea with the US Ambassador and Wandsworth Mayor at The Big Help Out

Published: Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Battersea residents and volunteers enjoyed a cuppa and a chat with the US Ambassador to the UK Jane Hartley when she was welcomed to the Doddington and Rollo estates during the Coronation Weekend.

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Sharing time: US Ambassador Jane Hartley (third from left) chats with residents at Battersea's Doddington and Rollo estates
  • Wandsworth welcomes US Ambassador to help out  
  • Local voluntary sector supported by the council  
  • Communities across the borough came together over the weekend  

The Ambassador joined Wandsworth Council’s Mayor and the Deputy Leader Kemi Akinola, together with Battersea MP Marsha de Cordova to find out more about the work of the STORM charity from CEO Marie Hanson and their volunteers.

Gardeners and volunteers from the Doddington and Rollo Community Roof Garden then showed their special guests around the half-acre urban garden which sits on top of a converted car park.

The Ambassador helped to plant a row of hazel trees before chatting with garden volunteers and being presented with a home-grown bunch of leeks by Malissa Ritchie, chair of the roof garden.

Councillor Kemi Akinola said: “There is a real sense of community in Wandsworth – we are an open and welcoming borough where people are keen to be part of their neighbourhood and come together as a community. We were delighted to welcome the US Ambassador who wanted to meet some of her neighbours and hear about the work of some of our community organisations.

“Here at Wandsworth Council we are now giving more support to local voluntary organisations and charities. We’d love residents to consider volunteering if you can spare some time, so that together we can make our borough more compassionate to others.”

Welcoming: (l-r) Mayor of Wandsworth, STORM's Marie Hanson, US Ambassador Jane Hartley, Marsha de Cordova MP and Wandsworth Deputy Leader Kemi Akinola

Marsha de Cordova, MP for Battersea said: “It was great to welcome Ambassador Hartley to Battersea as part of the Coronation celebration’s Big Help Out Day. Battersea is home to some fantastic community organisations including the Doddington and Rollo Roof Garden where we planted a tree. The garden is a wonderful initiative by residents to create a shared green space for the local community to enjoy and learn more about the role they can play in tackling the climate crisis.”

Community spirit: (l-r) Councillor Kemi Akinola, Marsha de Cordova MP, Mayor of Wandsworth and Marie Hanson join the US Ambassador (centre right) to plant hazel trees with the community garden's Malissa Ritchie (centre left)

Marie Hanson MBE said: “A very special thank you to the US Ambassador Jane Hartley for coming to STORM’s Family Centre on the Big Help Out Day. It was a privilege and a pleasure to have her here to see the good work STORM does within the community - to have her kind acknowledgement and time means so much to the charity.”

More news: Wandsworth celebrates the Coronation

See a piece of Coronation history at Wandsworth Town Hall