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Crowdfunding returns! Help Chelsea’s SMART Centre renovate their community cafe and gardens

The Kensington and Chelsea crowd! Get ready as the SMART Centre in Chelsea are set to launch the latest crowdfunding drive to renovate and improve their much loved community centre and green space project on the World’s End Estate.

In 1985 St Mary Abbots Rehabilitation and Training (SMART) was registered as a charity to support people affected by mental illness on their path to recovery.

The founders recognised the importance of meaningful activity and training as a way to rebuild lives and give people purpose, confidence and skills. As the charity grew it also recognised the importance of friends, music, laughter and fun.

Launching this month, the project looks to raise nearly £15,000 for costs including gardening equipment, café furniture, new flooring and music equipment.

This will help them to provide relaxing activities for the community like arts and crafts, Yoga, mindfulness and chair based exercise, whilst offering a vibrant café and garden for families in the local area.

The project lead, José Veiga from SMART said:

“We hope that the improvements to our centre and green space will enable residents to learn from each other, develop new skills and build their self-confidence.  We’ve been supporting the local community for over 30 years and we hope locals recognise the vital work we do.  Please support our crowdfunding efforts!”

To pledge to SMART’s project, visit their project page on the civic crowdfunding platform, Spacehive: https://www.spacehive.com/chelsea-hub

City Living, Local Life Focus: Courtfield

It’s further south we go this month, to South Kensington and Courtfield ward.

Stretching from Cromwell Road in the north to Fulham Road in the south, a key theme in Courtfield has been supporting residents to come together and shape the area they live in. This has included helping Ashburn Garden Square Garden Association gain a greater voice on local developments and the fledgling Courtfield Neighbourhood Forum to garner interest and membership.

Improving the area around Gloucester Road has also been a focus with residents coming together and organising flower baskets along the street and there are also plans afoot to replace the ageing fruit kiosk outside the tube station.

Recently, Evolve Housing’s Beacon House – a homelessness service for young people – was awarded funding to run fashion, art and IT workshops, culminating in an exhibition attended by the Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea.

If you would like to find out more, or to share your ideas for projects in Courtfield ward, do visit the City Living, Local Life website.

AGM: Celebrate the achievements of the World’s End and Lots Road Big Local – 16/05/17

Something big has been happening in the World’s End and Lots Road area over the past couple of years, and recently it’s been getting a whole lot bigger…

The World’s End and Lots Road Big Local have just completed their second year of their 10 year quest to improve their local area. Made up of local residents, the Big Local Partnership are inviting everyone to share their successes and look to the future at their AGM and social on Tuesday, 16 May from 7pm-8:30pm at the World’s End Community Centre (16 Blantyre Street, SW10 0DS).

The Big Local initiative is supported by the Big Lottery Fund to help make lasting, positive change in areas. In the World’s End and Lots Road, the Big Local works towards improving the following themes:

  • Jobs, training and enterprise
  • Young people
  • Green areas and open spaces
  • Community events and activities

Already, achievements have included setting up a youth radio station, brightening up the World’s End with large marble planters, running activities for children and older residents, helping with life skills such as first aid training and of course, bringing everyone together with big events throughout the year. Just last month, all 6 local residents who signed-up to undertake SIA security training have passed the course and have future work lined up.

BigLocal3
4 of the 6 successful SIA students – congratulations!

And if that’s not enough to celebrate, a few more recent goings-on are featured in the latest Big Local Spring Newsletter [pdf].

If you are interested in attending the AGM, please email vanessa@welr.org.uk.

City Living, Local Life: Sing for lung health with Royal Brompton Hospital…

With the support of Stanley ward Councillors through City Living, Local Life, rb&hArts – a charity focused on improving the wellbeing of Royal Brompton Hospital patients and the local community – is getting AIRBORNE by singing for lung health and you can get involved!

The AIRBORNE team are looking for local people to take part as singers and collaborators to help design the composition and performance. The opportunity is open to all singing abilities, so there’s no need to be able to read music as it is all taught by ear.

Led by composer, performer and musical director Verity Standen, the rehearsals will be gently paced to allow for singers who live with breathlessness and limited mobility.

If this opportunity grabs your interest, please pop along to one of the taster sessions on Wednesday, 3 May OR Wednesday, 24 May from 5:30pm-7pm at Royal Brompton Hospital, Sydney Street, SW3 6NP.

Following this, rehearsals will be on:

Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14  and Thursday 15 June, 5:30pm – 8pm at Royal Brompton Hospital

The rehearsals include a warm up and tea breaks. During these sessions, Verity will teach all the music and develop the skills of the ensemble. AIRBORNE will be a totally new composition and devised and adapted to the group through these sessions, so please attend all three evenings to help shape the piece.

And then the performances will take place on:

Friday 16, Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 June

Performances will be short (5-10 minutes) in pop-up locations around the borough and easily walkable. We expect these to take place in short bursts with breaks between, for up to 2 hours each day.

If you have any questions on the project, please email arts@rbht.nhs.uk or telephone rb&hArts on 0207 352 8121 x4087.

Exhibition: Pink Floyd – Their Mortal Remains @ The V&A, opens 13 May 2017

From 13 May, Exhibition Road’s Victoria and Albert Museum opens the first international retrospective of one of the most iconic and influential bands in the world – Pink Floyd.

In keeping with the band, the exhibition is a unique audio-visual journey through music, design and staging from Pink Floyd’s 1960 debut to the present day.

Although the exhibition has an international focus, the foundations of Pink Floyd are very much rooted in North Kensington (which you can read more about in issue 17 of the CLLL-supported Colville Community History newsletter).  During the 1960’s, Ladbroke Grove was the place where Syd Barret’s Pink Floyd Sound held sound and light workshops, where they played their first gigs at the fledgling Notting Hill Carnival and where they dropped the ‘Sound’ from their name to become the band known across the world today.

Tickets are £20-£24 (concessions available) and can be booked online. The exhibition closes on 1 October 2017.

Volunteer opp: Help map Kingston’s rich music heritage…

Kensington and Chelsea residents! Do you have an interest in musical history, want to learn research and interview skills, or just feel like doing your bit for Queen and country by helping a fellow Royal Borough?

If so, then Kingston-based charity, Creative Youth are on the look out for volunteers to help explore the rich, varied history of music in their borough.  While we have Notting Hill Carnival and the sounds of The Clash and Pink Floyd, Kingston has Decca Records, the jazz music of the war-time US army station, the Folk Barge and the launch of Ziggy Stardust.

Creative Youth are looking for a team of volunteers to research, record and transcribe the stories across May, June and July to contribute to –  and accompany – a public exhibition.

Full training in oral history recording will be provided, as well as travel expenses and a £15 subsidence per day.

For more information, or to register your interest, do contact Jarek Zaba, Heritage Researcher and Facilitator at kingstonrpm@creativeyouthcharity.org / 07786 265992.

 

 

City Living, Local Life: Colville Community History’s latest newsletter – 1957,67 and 77 – is out now!

Colville residents and history buffs! The latest offering from Tom Vague and the Colville Community History project is out now – and the focus is on the 40th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of community action in North Kensington.

Starting in 1957 with the Rent Act and Rachman the newsletter explores the role of Ladbroke Grove in the British hippie and punk movements, the emerging Caribbean identity of the area and of course, the formation of Notting Hill Carnival through the years 1967 and 1977. In keeping with the history of the area, these iconic events are discussed against the backdrop of some of the most influential music of modern times such as the Sex Pistols, The Clash and Bob Marley and the Wailers.

As well as reading this latest Colville Community History newsletter, Issue 18 [pdf], there are also two exhibitions planned around the newsletter on:

Sunday, 30 April – Monday, 1 May @ Bay 56, Acklam Village Theatre as part of Portobello Live

Saturday, 24 June @ North Kensington Library (time TBC)

Exhibition: California @ The Design Museum opens 24/05

Kensington High Street’s Design Museum is taking a look across the pond from May with an exhibition focusing on the Golden State and the role of California in modern design and culture.

Starting in the 1960s and the counterculture movements to today’s Silicon Valley tech culture, via LSD, skateboards and iPhones, the exhibition will reveal how we’re all a little bit Californian.

The exhibition opens on 24 May 2017 and runs until 15 October 2017. Tickets are priced at £14.50 (concessions available) and can be booked online.

Image: Icon for the Apple Mac, 1984, Susan Kare notebook, kareprints.com

Advance Notice: Road Closures for RideLondon, 30 July

Prudential RideLondon returns to the borough’s streets on Sunday 30 July 2017.

The annual mass-participation cycling event will, once again, attract many thousands of amateur and professional cyclists to the streets of London and Surrey.

While a great spectacle and exciting challenge for those taking part, many of whom are riding to raise money for good causes, the event does cause disruption to roads and public transport.

Residents, community groups and businesses planning any activities on Sunday 30 July need to be aware that there will be significant traffic disruption in the borough.

Last year, roads in Kensington and Chelsea were closed from 5am and reopened at about 8pm.

Final details of timings and road closures for this year’s event are not confirmed but the route is likely to be the same as last year which will mean the following roads will be closed:

  • Knightsbridge
  • Brompton Road
  • Cromwell Road (A4)
  • King’s Road
  • Ashburnham Road
  • Cremorne Road
  • Cheyne Walk
  • Chelsea Embankment

Other local roads will also be affected with restricted access. It is expected there will be additional disruption this year as a result of ongoing gas works on Fulham Road between Beaufort Street and Edith Grove. This work cannot be suspended on the day of the event, however the Council is working closely with National Grid and TfL on plans to help minimise the level of disruption.

As the route for the event goes through east, central and west London before heading out to Surrey it requires over 100 miles of road to be closed which will have a major impact on getting around the Capital. If you are planning any special events such as a wedding, or making a journey to or from an airport, it will be advisable to plan ahead. The event organisers also have a helpdesk which can be contacted for more information on 0345 894 9773 or via email at helpdesk@ridelondon.co.uk

Councillor Tim Coleridge, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “Prudential RideLondon is really growing in popularity. It’s a huge event involving thousands of cyclists of all abilities. With so many roads closed across London and the borough, the best way to minimise disruption is to put the date in your diary and plan ahead.

“I would urge any residents or community groups who have other plans on Sunday 30 July to check the event organiser and TfL’s websites for the latest information.”

Further information can be found on the organiser’s website www.prudentialridelondon.co.uk

TfL will have details of road closures and any alterations to public transport routes and timetables on its website www.tfl.gov.uk.

Donation: 2 ladders on offer for a local community group

Kensington and Chelsea charities, groups, churches and associations!

A generous local resident is offering two aluminium ladders for free, for collection. There is an 8ft single ladder and 2 part, extending ladder (2x8ft) on offer for pick up from their home.

If you are interested, do get in touch at locallife@rbkc.gov.uk

Imperial’s Festival of Science – 6-7 May, 2017

Join researchers, students, support staff and alumni from 6-7 May for a weekend of science at the Imperial Festival in South Kensington. The Festival – first held in 2012 – welcomed over 15,000 visitors last year and 2017 promises to be the biggest and best yet.

A huge range of events and activities are scheduled including a tour of Imperial’s Cancer Research UK facility. You will also have opportunities to run rings around your friends by learning about the current Cassini mission to Saturn, discover how science will change food over the next 50 years and come ‘face-to-interface’ with our future robot masters.

But it’s not all lab based as there will be a range of workshops, wellbeing activities, live music and food. With some of the most renowned researchers and scientists in the world, you’re sure to learn a thing or two (just don’t listen to the atoms – they make up everything).

To book your free tickets, please visit the the Imperial College website.

Portobello Live! The heart and art of West London: 30 April – 1 May

Portobello Live! returns to North Kensington for the third year running, bringing some of the best of West London music, cabaret, spoken word, performance and art.

Held over the May Day bank holiday, this year’s festival also takes a retrospective look at Rock Against Racism, a movement which sprang into life 40 years ago.

A stunning line up of new bands, performers, rock royalty and special guests will play out across the stages of Portobello’s iconic pubs, clubs and venues. This year, punk performance poet John Cooper Clarke is a headline act, along with Bandante (The Bad Seeds), Glen Matlock (the Sex Pistols), The Egg, Youth, Salad Undressed, Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot (Curiosity Killed The Cat), Don Letts, Rusty Egan and Noel Watson, with more to be announced.

Portobello Live! is embedded in the community, and the ‘It’s Behind You’ exhibition looks back over 25 years of the iconic Portobello Panto while local music academy The Rhythm Studio will hold drumming sessions.

Rock Against Racism photographer Syd Shelton will also reflect on the movement which came to public attention 40 years ago through music and marches, or ‘carnivals’, inspired by Notting Hill’s annual event. Portobello Live! also features the Oasis World Choir, composed of refugees from Sudan, Syria and Afghanistan.

Full access to all acts and venues can be obtained with a wristband (that is substantially cheaper than other weekend festivals!), and under 16s go free. All tickets can be booked online via the Portobello Live! website.

Spring and summer at Brompton Cemetery…

Grab a slice of spring and summer sun at Brompton Cemetery over the coming months with a lively range of free walks, talks and events…

Brompton Cemetery Gardening Group

You can help take care of the glorious grounds of Brompton Cemetery every Wednesday from 1:30pm, and the following weekend sessions from 10am-1pm:

 Saturday 6 May

Saturday 13 May |Saturday 3 June.

The meeting point is the South Lodge Project Office. To attend, you must register as a volunteer with the Royal Parks/Friends of Brompton Cemetery which can be done by emailing bromptonproject@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk


Catacomb Tours | Saturday 6 May and Saturday 15 July, 11am-4:30pm

Tours of the Catacombs take place every half an hour. A £5 donation to the Friends of Brompton Cemetery is welcome.


Brompton Bird Chorus by RSPB London Group | Sunday 14 May, 5:30am

One for the early risers. The meeting point is the South Gate of the Cemetery. Booking is essential via email: bromptonproject@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk


Walking with Trees | Saturday 3 June 2:30pm-4:30pm

Brompton Cemetery is home to over 600 trees, including 50 different species. Come and find out about this tree treasure trove with The Royal Parks’ Arboriculture Officer, Greg Packman.  The meeting point is the  front entrance to the Chapel.


Autumn Plants  | Sunday 3 September at 2:30pm-4:30pm

Join Roy Vickery of the South London Botanical Institute to explore the grasses and fauna within Brompton Cemetery. The meeting point is the front entrance to the Chapel.

For more information on all the events, do check out the Brompton Cemetery website.

Kensington and Chelsea’s Small Grants Fund opens again on 1 April.

Charities and community organisations! The Royal Borough’s Corporate Services Small Grants Fund will open again on Saturday, 1 April 2017.

This fund is available to organisations working within Kensington and Chelsea that have charitable objectives. Organisations must meet the criteria and address at least one of the following priorities:

  • information and advice
  • community engagement
  • infrastructure and capacity building

In total, £15,000 is available in this first round, with a further £15,000 available later in the year.

Closing date for applications will be Saturday, 22 April 2016.

Previous successful applications include funding for:

  • the provision of some costs for community events
  • communication materials
  • essential computer equipment/technology, including new computer systems and website upgrade
  • training for volunteers and volunteer expenses
  • small scale improvements to facilities, refurbishment and repairs of buildings and spaces, e.g. repairing of broken lift.

You can also look back at the organisations funded in the last round on this blog.

For further information, including the Small Grants criteria, and details of how to apply, please visit the RBKC website.

Kensington and Chelsea residents! Could you be a shared lives carer?

Do you have a spare room and the commitment to share your life with an adult who needs extra support? If you can help someone make choices, lead a meaningful life and develop their independence, then you could be a Shared Lives carer.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, along with Westminster and Hammersmith & Fulham, has launched a community service called Shared Lives which helps adults with learning disabilities and other social care needs.

The service is being delivered by the charity Grace Eyre and all carers will receive training, 24-hour support and payments of between £400 and £600 per person per week.

Cllr Mary Weale, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “This is a very worthwhile project which will give greater choice to vulnerable adults. There is evidence which shows that this type of community-based support for adults with disabilities can help them develop skills to live more independent and active lives.

“I hope people who feel they have the time to look after an adult with learning disabilities will get involved and find out more about being a Shared Lives Carer and contact Grace Eyre.”

For more information please call 020 7924 0631 or email sharedlives3b@grace-eyre.org or visit www.sharedlives3b@grace-eyre.org

City Living, Local Life focus: Colville

Back up to the north of the borough this month, and to the east of Ladbroke Grove, with a look at Colville ward’s City Living Local Life activity.

Colville on average supports around 15 projects a year, and Councillors have focused much of their City Living, Local Life activity on inclusive art and history projects, as well as projects for younger ward residents.  Of particular note has been the Sound of the Westway, a 2016 talk and exhibition of the musical history wrapped up in the Westway.

Elsewhere, inclusive music classes (Joy of Sound), classical dance teaching (Mark Elie Dance Foundation) and local creative workshops from ArtHouse involving around 800 local residents, were developed through City Living, Local Life.

More recently, an extensive archive project of local printer and community activist Mike Braybrook was given a helping hand into the British Library, and the Volunteer Centre’s Kensington and Chelsea Ambassadors who greet and assist visitors to Portobello Market were also supported.

One of the main ways local people can get involved in Colville is through the Colville Community Forum. The forum is a fully constituted community organisation, with each of the three ward councillors as trustees and Forum members made up of local people and organisations. The Colville Forum also acts as the host of the Colville Community History project, that produce regular newsletters and talks on the colourful history of the area.

If you would like to find out more, or share your ideas for projects in Colville ward, do visit the City Living, Local Life website.

Ask Me: Join the fight against domestic abuse with free awareness training…

Do you know how to spot the signs of domestic abuse or what a helpful response is when you hear of domestic abuse?

Free awareness training is being provided by Women’s Aid, Standing Together and Advance for anyone who lives or works in Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster or Hammersmith and Fulham and comes into the contact with the community. From bar staff to hairdressers, reception staff to window cleaners, dentists, doctors, pharmacists, retail staff and volunteers – whatever your role, you can help.

As well as increasing awareness of helpful responses, the training will also provide information to help you signpost people towards specialist support. The free two-day training will be held in Westminster and North Kensington.

The upcoming training dates are 5 & 6 April, 7 & 8 June and 21 and 22 June. 

For more information and to register your interest please email the Ask Me programme or call Laura on 07799 801642 or visit www.womensaid.org.uk/askme

Cultivating Kensington and Chelsea: Green fingers in Greenhouses

A group of enthusiastic local volunteers are busy growing a great range of herb and vegetable seedlings on a disused railway platform at Kensington Olympia station ready for the start of the new growing season.

Cultivating Kensington & Chelsea (CKC) is a charity that has been set up to promote community gardening and raise funds to support the Community Kitchen Garden scheme in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. One of the ways they raise funds, is through locally-grown plant sales…

Weekly plant sales will be held at Olympia Kitchen Garden site on Saturdays from 8 April 2017 – 11 am to 2 pm (entrance on the Russell Road side of Kensington Olympia station)

Seedlings are priced very competitively and proceeds will benefit the 74 kitchen garden sites that have sprung up throughout the borough and help grow the project.

image001 (4)
One of the new greenhouses at CKC’s Olympia Market Garden site

The project was started with an Innovation Grant from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea about three years ago. To celebrate its success the volunteers and trustees of CKC hosted a visit by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Nick Paget-Brown and other guests on 14 February at the Market Garden Site. CKC also recently launched its first grant scheme and awarded funding to seven Kitchen Gardens in the borough.

For further information about the plant sales or the project please email secretaryckccio@gmail.com

For information about volunteering with CKC please email lisa.communitygardener@gmail.com or telephone 07542 718133

Closing soon: Beatrix Potter’s London at the V&A – ends 28/4/17

Have you had the chance to catch the V&A’s free display exploring the role of London in Kensington-born Beatrix Potter’s life and work? If not, you’ve only got a few weeks left…

The free display marks the 150th anniversary of her birth in Bolton Gardens, Kensington – where Bousfield Primary School now stands after the house was destroyed in the Blitz. Being a local gal, Beatrix’s childhood was full of local memories – especially the museums of Exhibition Road, which helped inform her thinking on science, art and nature.

The display complements the V&A’s permanent collection, which is the largest collection of Beatrix Potter’s drawings, manuscripts and correspondence in the world.

The display is open until 28 April 2017 in Gallery 102 at the V&A (Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL)

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