Tower residents depend on public parks

A tower block in Enfield borough

Gordon Hill resident Paige Ballmi fears for tower block residents lacking their own private outdoor space

Living in a tower block has its ups and downs, but during this lockdown it’s been nothing but downs.

I consider myself lucky to live next to an amazing green space which I’m sure has been a godsend for many of us since the lockdown began. It’s all I currently have as an escape from being stuck between these four walls all day long. As an introvert, it’s never really bothered me having to stay home, yet there is only so much I can endure while living with the extrovert that is my husband! Especially since the sunshine started to appear.

Our private outdoor space is confined to a very tiny second-floor balcony, with a view overlooking the roof of a garage building and facing another tower block – it prevents us from seeing much daylight. We tried our best to make the most of the nearby outside spaces over Easter weekend, but it was extremely difficult to relax.

Questions crossed my mind, such as whether people were judging us for being outside, and whether anyone would try to challenge us and force us to go home. It felt really uncomfortable and unfair that we should feel like this, considering we don’t have any freedom right now because of the lack of space we have at home. I feel for those who have even less than we do – I am sure we share the jealousy towards anyone with a garden!

Of course I am happy to do what I can right now to make sure I comply with the government guidelines, and protect our NHS, but the longer this goes on, those who are not fortunate enough to have access to outside space will need to know what other options there are.

We ask not to be forgotten about. It’s extremely vital for our mental health.