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

US Ambassador Jane Hartley and Councillor Kemi Akinola

Published on
May 15, 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.

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.

US Ambassador enjoys tea

Wandsworth Mayor, Battersea MP Marsha de Cordova, Jane Hartley and Wandsworth’s Kemi Akinola have tea with residents.

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.”

(L-R) Councillor Kemi Akinola, Marie Hanson MBE and Ambassador Jane Hartley

(L-R) Councillor Kemi Akinola, Marie Hanson MBE and Ambassador Jane Hartley meet volunteers

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.”

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.”

US Ambassador gets ready to plant a hazel tree

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