Baroness Floella tells of her young life in Beckenham

PUBLISHED: 09:43 25 November 2010

Floella Benjamin

Floella Benjamin


Writer, broadcaster and television presenter Baroness Floella Benjamin was guest speaker at a neighbourhood meeting in her first official visit to a town since she entered the House of Lords.

Lady Benjamin, who became Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham in June after she was nominated as a life peer by the Liberal Democrats, visited a Copers Cope Residents’ Association meeting on November 17 at Christ Church, Fairfield Road.

A former resident of Mackenzie Road, Beckenham, Lady Benjamin spoke to an audience of about 70 people, including MP Bob Stewart and London Assembly member James Cleverley.

She told of her early life in Trinidad and her move to England in the ’60s, and what life was like growing up in Beckenham.

The former presenter of children’s television show Play School said had started a project in schools called Touching Success, to teach children social skills and the difference between right and wrong.

She said: “Childhood lasts a lifetime. We need to tell children they are special because everything we do affects them. We each have a responsibility for our actions and how we speak to children because if we don’t we break a heart.

“I am here to ensure that the wellbeing of children is in the public consciousness.”

Lady Benjamin is also an accomplished musician/actress and vice president of children’s charity Barnardos, as well as being chancellor of Exeter University.

She added: “I was the first with the name Benjamin in the House of Lords, so didn’t need to attach a place name to my title, but I wanted to claim Beckenham for my mum and show how much Beckenham has changed.

“I hope I will make Beckenham proud and put it on the map and be a beacon and make Beckenham a place of pride.”

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