Street named after community hero Jenny Huggard-Sena
A community within St Albans turned out in force to name a new street after their local hero - Jenny Huggard-Sena.
Mum-of-two Jenny, who died four years ago aged 53, was a popular teaching assistant and child health campaigner.
Now St Albans City and District Council has named a road near where she lived in Sopwell as Jenny Lane as a moving tribute to her.
The street was created to serve a Council development of seven new family and sustainable homes, near Leyland Avenue, on the site of the former Sopwell Youth Centre.
St Albans Mayor, Councillor Anthony Rowlands, joined an official naming ceremony on Saturday 27 January along with Cllr Paul De Kort, Lead for Resources, and Jenny’s family, neighbours and friends.
Cllr Robert Donald, who was the Lead for Commercial and Development when the Jenny Lane project was initiated and built, presided over the ceremony.
A plaque, commemorating Jenny, was unveiled and many people wore something purple or red – flamboyant Jenny's favourite colours.
The Mayor said:
Jenny made an immense contribution to the strengthening of community bonds in Cottonmill. It is a tragedy that she died at such a young age.
I hope this road naming and plaque will act as a tangible and meaningful tribute to Jenny which enables everyone, and especially her grieving family, to remember Jenny and to celebrate her life and memory.
Jenny, a long-time resident of the area, worked at Sopwell Children’s Centre before becoming a teaching assistant for 12 years at Mandeville Primary School.
She set up the Holyrood Crescent Residents Facebook page as a community forum and was a founder member of the Cottonmill Community Improvement page.
Jenny was also an advocate of the rights of children who were under the care of CAMHS, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, helping other parents to do the same.
The Council’s development at Jenny Lane consists of seven three-bedroom, energy-efficient houses sold at market rate to help finance the building of the nearby Cottonmill Community and Cycling Centre (CCCC).
Jenny’s husband Jose, who was at the naming ceremony with their daughter Charlie, said:
Jenny would have been so pleased to see the Cottonmill community hub up and running - somewhere for us all to congregate, have fun, relax, learn, party or just walk the dog; a space for us all to enjoy.
Cllr Donald said:
Some years ago during the building of this housing development, we consulted with the community about an appropriate name for the new road.
A shortlist was compiled from the submissions made and the community voted on the final decision. It is testament to what a great character Jenny was that she came top.
Jenny was very active within the Sopwell area, a much loved and valued community member who helped so many other people and children in the area, and this is a fitting tribute to her that will be cherished by her family and friends for years to come.
The delivery of this much-needed, new family housing was crucial in providing funds towards the development costs of the outstanding new Cottonmill Community and Cycling Centre which replaced the old Marlborough Pavilion off Old Oak in 2022 and the former Sopwell Youth Club on this site.
Without the £1 million-plus proceeds from these house sales, we simply would not have been able to finance a new community centre of such high quality for local groups to use or provide the amazing cycling hub facilities available at the CCCC for cyclists around the District to enjoy.
Photos by Simon Jacobs: top; from the left, Cllr Robert Donald, Mayoress Annie Stevenson, Mayor Cllr Anthony Rowlands, Jenny’s husband Jose and daughter Charlie; bottom, the Mayor along with Jenny’s family, friends and neighbours at the naming ceremony; top; from the left, Cllr Robert Donald, Mayoress Annie Stevenson, Mayor Cllr Anthony Rowlands, Jenny’s husband Jose and daughter Charlie; Charlie and Jose; the Jenny Lane plaque; Jenny Lane sign with new homes in the background; Jenny Huggard-Sena with Jose.