Among the 2020 New Year’s Honours List was Grenville Chappel, who was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM). Grenville’s honour comes as recognition for his work with the Beacon Community Regeneration Partnership. Along with his work with the Penwerris Tenant and Residents’ Association.
The Beacon Community Regeneration Partnership (BCRP) was right at the beginning of the C2 story. It was formed by residents and service providers – housing, police, fire service and education – collectively.
Grenville, who is also a town councillor and former Falmouth mayor, told the Falmouth Packet: “I was very shocked when the letter came through the door seven weeks ago. I thought it was something about the election.
“It’s something you never ever ever think you’d be on. It’s a standing joke every year that you’re going to be on it.”
After 21 years of working with people, the Beacon Community Regeneration Partnership came to an end in 2018. Grenville said the BCRP had become a ‘victim of its own success‘.
That success was quick in coming. Within five years, The Penwerris Tenants’ and Residents’ Association had become the Beacon Community Regeneration Partnership – a multi-agency group, led by the tenants. And from the Guardian reporting on the transformation of Falmouth’s Beacon and Old Hill estate in 2000, that success endured and was getting noticed.
Grenville said: “I’m feeling very hopeful about the estate. It’s come a long way. Compared with 23 years ago when we started, we have got a different type of community. We’ve got people who work together.
“It’s no worse than any other area in Falmouth, and in fact we are better than most.”
C2’s Hazel Stutley said: “It’s been my privilege to know and work with Grenville and his wife June since 1995, when working as Health Visitors, my colleague and I co-founded the community-led Beacon Project, dramatically reversing the decline of the troubled Penwerris Estate in just 4 years.
Commitment to the community
“That this was achieved with no start-up funding is testimony to his total commitment to the community in which he was born and lives to this day. As coordinator of the Beacon Resource Centre and Beacon Community Regeneration Partnership for over 25 years, the Centre became the ‘beating heart’ of the estate, accessed by local people and agencies, meaning a whole new generation has grown up in good quality housing without the threat of violence and anti-social behaviour that previously blighted the community for decades.
“As part of the C2 Connecting Communities Programme, partnered by the University of Exeter, Grenville and June have inspired communities the length and breadth of the UK, and to date remain active and valued members of the C2 national team. That they have also recently retired after 3 years as Mayor and Mayoress of Falmouth speaks volumes about their dedication to community led partnership working.”
Congratulations to Grenville Chappel for his BEM. And a big thank you to him for all his work – we still think it should have been a knighthood!