Brenda is an inclusive access consultant by profession and in her spare time is a transport activist.
She is chair of Hackney Living Streets and on the committee for the Hackney Cycling Campaign and has campaigned for many years on local transport issues.
In the summer of 2017 after being turned down for a parklet permit by the parking authorities, Brenda took direct action and transformed a parking space outside her home into a parklet. It was an instant success with residents regularly using the space with its bench and table, bright red umbrella, grass bed and planters to rest, relax, talk and play.
The Council took legal action to make her remove the parklet, though she then moved it to other locations to outflank evictions where it was equally successful. A petition to allow the parklet to remain received over a thousand signatures. A year later, the idea of ‘community parklets’ appeared in the Council’s election manifesto, and an offiicial programme to permit these began in August 2018.
Brenda’s original parklet has been displayed in the London Transport Museum, in a number of festivals, on many streets in East London, and has also been tested by Jeremy Corbyn MP who said it was more comfortable than sitting in a car.
There are now 6 residential community parklets in Hackney and many more are planned, all legally. Brenda now fundraises for community parklets and supports activists in other boroughs to achieve a community parklet programme.