The Draper housing Estate is in Elephant and Castle, an area very much defined by post Second World War re-development where Victorian slums were destroyed during the Blitz and governments were compelled to replace them with modern and desperately needed, affordable public housing.
The area has been subject to many shifts in urban policy initiatives and Draper itself is one of the few remaining results of the ‘experimental’ 1960s urban improvement plans. Elephant has been a travel hub for central London for a century and the Draper Estate’s geographical position is convenient as it is so well served by public transport nearby (train, underground and multiple bus routes) but this means it is also hyper-urbanised with a large roundabout right in front of the Estate.
Now, yet again, the area is undergoing rapid change due to a large and ambitious regeneration scheme; a master-planned redevelopment, budgeted at £1.3 billion called Elephant Park. This is a public/private enterprise between the London borough of Southwark and several property development partnerships.
The most significant change to the Draper Estate was the demolition of the largest housing estate in Elephant and Castle, the Heygate Estate, from 2011 to 2014. This has galvanised the decision to become a charity with the possibility that the Draper Estate could be next and so the safeguarding of our space and the people of this embedded community has become one of the central motivations for our work.
During a time of great upheaval and change for many established residents in the Elephant and Castle, Draper Together aims to act as a bridge to help them cope with these changes as well as welcoming the newer residents of the area to meet and discover the older communities local to them. Draper Together aims to support community cohesion on the Draper Estate and in the Elephant and Castle neighbourhood during this period, by creating opportunities for residents to learn, share and experience together, for a brighter future.