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Reflecting on the Past, Embracing the Present, and Shaping the Future in Dagenham

Updated: Aug 1, 2023


Event Poster for the event series from https://exhibitions.weebly.com/project-overview.html

This year saw the local community come together throughout the Spring to commemorate its rich heritage, celebrate the achievements of the present, and envision a promising future through a series of exhibitions, celebrations, workshops, talks, walks, concerts, food, and more. The annual “Dagenham: Past, Present, and Future” event series by Art Catcher Ltd, once again, served as a poignant reminder of the area’s journey through time, reflecting on its roots, while looking forward to new horizons.

Honouring the Past and Embracing the Present The event series kicked off at Valence House in early April with local printmaking artists showcasing their talents alongside the official opening delivered by Cllr Donna Lumsden and former Mayor Peter Chand. Across the multitude of events that followed, Dagenham’s vibrant past and contemporary achievements were on show, including heritage lectures, a talk by Stacey Hickling on prominent women of the borough, and a film screening of Made in Dagenham. As the event series ran into June, Coronation parties were also incorporated, adding to the sense of community spirit.


Event calendar from https://exhibitions.weebly.com/project-overview.html

Shaping the Future On 25th of April and 3rd of May, we gave tours of PEARL to showcase how we are revolutionising the way research is performed and how we are tackling the big problems facing our world. We also spoke about how proud we are to be working alongside the community, continuing the legacy of research and innovation in Dagenham.


Nick and Helen in The Space giving one of the tours


Our contribution to the event series allowed us to demonstrate the scope of the work we do and the unique ways we go about achieving our goals, from urban planning solutions like sustainable infrastructure and green spaces, to education, creative arts and more. Most crucially, though, we aim to play a key role in shaping a greener and more liveable Dagenham for generations to come, which can only be done working together with our neighbours, from the young minds in our schools to council leaders and businesses.

This year’s Past, Present, and Future event was another great success that left us with with a renewed sense of pride and hope for what lies ahead, and we are proud to go on this journey with the people of Dagenham. We share in the collective responsibility to preserve local heritage, while actively shaping a prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable future for everyone, boldly forging ahead to create a brighter and more promising future.

By Craig Smith Community Partnerships and Engagement Team craig-smith@ucl.ac.uk

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