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Meet our Local Hero!
Parisa is the Founder of Bromley environmental charity, Greener and Cleaner, which operates a community Hub in the shopping centre, The Glades.
Here we learn about Parisa, the invaluable work she does in helping the community to be more sustainable, and how she plans to make use of her free membership at Mytime Active.
Parisa says: “I was inspired to set up Greener and Cleaner by the School Climate Strikes in 2018. As a mother, I felt sad that so many children were putting aside their childhoods to ask for a safer future. After three years of juggling my full-time job, looking after my young children and running Greener and Cleaner, I gave up my job as a media lawyer in order to concentrate on the charity and its wider vision. It wasn’t where I saw my career heading, but I’ve not looked back. I’m passionate about raising awareness of the local day-to-day impacts of climate change and to encourage little steps to sustainability within the community, but to do that in a tangible and relatable way.
“Most people are concerned about climate change and want to do something to help, however, it’s common for people to feel overwhelmed about making decisions or have information overload. The Hub, which has been running for 16 months, meets the community where they are.
“Having a safe space in a familiar setting can take away people’s anxiety, as it’s in a mainstream setting. Sustainability doesn’t look ‘scary’ at The Hub. And because we cover all areas of sustainability, be that cost saving initiatives, mending clinics where you can repair rather than throwing away, a sharing library of equipment, as well as community and social programmes such as crochet and sewing groups, there really is something for everyone
“The other thing that makes The Hub unique and especially welcoming is that it is run by local people for local people. It's all about peer-to-peer learning and adding local social value.”
The Hub is open five days a week, hosting five events each and every week. It regularly hosts 1000 people each month, who come along to seek guidance or join in. It has had a transformative impact on normalising community care and community projects in the area.
Parisa says: “The charity is forever evolving to improve inclusion, accessibility and impact. The aim of our approach is to make a blueprint of The Hub, so other communities, groups, charities and councils can benefit and be empowered by our experience and learnings. Sharing our learnings would have a positive knock-on effect across the country. Imagine the impact on community resilience and spirit when there are engaging community hubs, or similar projects, happening on every high street.”
Parisa was nominated for Mytime Active’s Hero of the Month by Emilie Macmullen, who volunteers for Greener and Cleaner after being inspired by Parisa. The Local Hero initiative was created by Mytime to celebrate people in the community who go above and beyond. As a recognition of their efforts, Mytime Active is giving winners a free leisure membership.
Parisa says: “I’m really chuffed to have been nominated and won Hero of the Month from Mytime Active. Like so many busy people, I sometimes find it hard to make time for myself and my family, so with this membership I plan to take my children swimming more and hopefully to pop along with a friend for some self-care yoga and Pilates sessions at Mytime Active’s Pavilion, too.”
You can find out more about Greener and Cleaner via the links below: