City Living, Local Life

Kensington and Chelsea's Community Noticeboard

The Big Local Block Party brings the World’s End together

In August, the sun shone brightly as the World’s End and Lots Road Big Local held a fantastic block party on the piazza to celebrate the endorsement of the Big Local plan for the area.

The bumper crowd of local residents were treated to a proper community festival – with free food provided by the Chelsea Theatre Cafe, a range of activities from African dance, cycling and fairground rides while the Lady$mith$ played all the classics.

The World’s End and Lots Road Big Local is an initiative which gives local people the say on how to spend £1m to make lasting, positive change in their area, and is completely led by residents of the area.

With the endorsement of their plan by the Local Trust this means that the Big Local can start to deliver against their local priorities, identified through events like these, talking to residents and holding open meetings.

So, if you are a resident of the area and would like to get involved in this exciting stage of the Big Local then contact Vanessa Kelly, Community Project Worker at!

CLLL: Watch – Hip Hop Shakespeare on London Live

Last month Age UK K&C teamed up with The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company for a summer inter-generational drama project aimed at breaking down barriers across ages with drama, spoken word, writing and rapping.

Supported by the Colville councillors though City Living, Local Life, the two week project culminated in a community performance at The Electric Cinema on Portobello Road, inspired by common, comtemporary and real life experiences…

‘I’ve learnt a lot about life and myself. It’s given me confidence and a more positive outlook. I feel more alive; like I was 18 again! It’s reignited my love of drama and in September I’m going to join a drama group. It’s also changed the way I think about young people; they’re not so bad – they were quite gifted, intelligent and artistic.’ – Age UK K&C member

‘Thank you to the ‘wisers’ for giving me a more positive outlook and improving my respect.’ – Young participant in the project

Thanks to project co-ordinator Samantha Schneider from Age UK K&C for putting the article together!

The Portobello Film Festival turns 20! Free Film from 4-20 September 2015

by James Yabut, Community Reporter

The Portobello Film Festival is back next month (4 – 20 September) celebrating its 20th anniversary and once again showing the work of new and ambitious film-makers from all over the world. It is, in the words of its coordinator Lee Flude, “the punk festival of film.”

And it is easy to see her point. The UK’s biggest independent film festival cheerfully welcomes anyone and everyone: unlike other festivals it costs nothing to submit a film, and attendance is completely free. “People can’t believe it’s free! It’s unique,” says technician Greg Edwards.

This broadminded approach is key to the festival’s success, and Lee is adamant that she and the others remain as objective as possible and continue to do their bit for up-and-coming talent.

“There’s nowhere else in the UK supporting independent film-makers and giving them a leg-up into the industry. The festival allows you to have publicity no matter who you are.”

The four-strong team have watched all 600-odd submissions received this year – there was roughly an even split between UK and international entrants – and picked around 200 to feature on the two big screens: one at the pop-up cinema that will sit beneath the Westway, the other at The Muse Gallery which will also be putting on a street art exhibition for the duration of the festival. The remaining films go to a video cafe where they will be shown on request.

Entries come in from independent film-makers, production companies and film students. The shortest one this year lasts a mere 20 seconds, while the longest clocks up two and a half hours. Each evening will be devoted to a particular theme such as sci-fi and fantasy or documentary and drama, and there will be something for younger film-fans too: Paddington, Spongebob, and Shaun the Sheep will all feature on screen on each Saturday of the festival.

The enduring appeal of the PFF can, perhaps, be put down to its lack of pretension and willingness to give new filmmaking talent a fair shot. This is, after all, an industry that is famously hard for newcomers to crack. The all-inclusive nature of the event extends to the judging process too: after each screening staff and volunteers will mingle with the audience in the bar area to collect opinions. The organisers will confer, and the winners will be picked.

Directors Nick Nevern and Greg Hall are both previous PFF winners – Guy Ritchie was shortlisted for a Golden Boot at the inaugural festival but came away with nothing. This year the best films will be awarded a golden Trellick Tower sewn by artist Lucy Sparrow, while the best London film will also collect £1,000.

The festival has proven to be a gateway not just for film-makers, but for volunteers too, some of whom have gone on to find work within the industry. This year’s opening night will feature a film from Saloum N’Jie, who worked on the very first festival in 1996 and has since carved out a career within TV and film.

Lee reckons there is something about Portobello Road and its surroundings that lends itself to the festival.

“It’s a really great area with a great cultural mix, a really great vibe and a lot of creativity. Portobello Road has this unique history of film and music – Ken Russell used to live around here.”

The Devils, Russell’s hugely controversial film which threw censors everywhere into a tizz on its release in 1971, will be shown on the first night after an introduction by Russell’s daughter Vicki. Such is the film’s reputation that even at this late stage it is unclear whether the director’s cut can be shown.

That sticking point seems to be the only bugbear. During my visit, a couple of weeks before the festival’s opening, the mood in the office is one of calm. But the pair’s enthusiasm is evident. “This year we have an amazing selection of London films,” Lee says. Greg agrees and adds, ”the good thing about the London films is that they are by young film-makers.” His theory is that smartphones have had a big role to play: films might not necessarily be shot on phones, but the new technology has encouraged people to experiment.

So whether or not you are a committed cinephile, this year’s Portobello Film Festival has to be worth a visit. As Lee puts it: “If you’re interested in independent film or want to have some fun, come along – it’s all free. Except for the beer!”

For up-to-date information on the Festival, including the 2015 programme visit the PFF website – or follow their twitter account @portofilmfest

Organisations: Grant Opportunities in the Royal Borough

There are a number of grants that are currently open via external organisations and trusts that may well suit voluntary and community groups that work and operate within the Royal Borough.

The Community Engagement Team would advise voluntary and community groups to always keep their ear to the ground for information about new grants that could fit in with an organisation’s aims and objectives. A good way of doing this is looking at grant database, looking at the funding section of the Social Council’s website or signing up to the Council’s own external funding e-bulletin by emailing

Some of the funding streams currently available include:

Westway Trust Community Grants

Westway Trust are making a total £100,000 in grants available to fund projects by local organisations supporting the community. Grants of up to £2,500 will be on offer for projects which celebrate North Kensington’s culture and heritage; make the most of the local talent; improve health and well-being in the local community; or improve economic opportunity.

Deadline: Monday 14 September 2015

Email:                      Website:

Armed Forces Covenant Fund

The Ministry of Defence’s new Armed Forces Covenant Fund has £10 million each year to support the Armed Forces Covenant by funding projects which address specific priorities, namely:

  • Community integration;
  • The coordination and delivery of support to the Armed Forces community; and
  • Former Service personnel in the criminal justice system.

There are two funding routes, which are small grants (applications up to a maximum of £20,000) and large grants (applications of between £20,001 and £500,000).

Deadline for EOI: 17 September and 17 December


First World War: Then and Now

Communities that are looking to explore, conserve and share local heritage of the First World War, particularly that relating to the Battle of the Somme, are encouraged to apply for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF’s) First World War – Then and Now grants scheme ahead of the 2016 Centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

Not-for-profit organisations and partnerships led by not-for-profit organisations in the UK are eligible to apply as long as they have a constitution and a bank account. Applicants could include charities, trusts, clubs, interest groups, community and voluntary groups, community and parish councils, faith groups, history groups, schools, colleges, social enterprises, residents’ associations and youth groups.

Grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 are available for community projects that explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage and deepen their understanding of the impact of the conflict. Projects should make a difference to people and be completed in less than two years.


Rosa’s Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Small Grants

Grants of between £500 are £5,000 are available for projects that deliver training, mentoring, research, networking, as well as advice and support services to tackle FGM. The grants will help funded organisations to:

  • become more confident, more knowledgeable and more skilled in tackling FGM within their communities;
  • improve their skills in engaging with, and lobbying, statutory bodies to encourage appropriate responses to FGM;
  • contribute to a unified movement across the UK bringing together a range of organisations engaged in tackling FGM.

Deadline: Monday 14 September 2015, 17.00

Email:         Website:

Spotlight: Supporting Nucleus’ Core

This month’s spotlight on voluntary organisations features Nucleus Legal Advice Centre, who operate from a base on Old Brompton Road in Earls Court and provide free legal advice, help and representation to disadvantaged local residents. Over forty years, thousands of Kensington and Chelsea residents have benefited from the assistance offered by their team of highly experienced legal professionals, staff and volunteers.

Nucleus is supported by a grant of £215,233 from the Council this financial year towards its core costs: helping it continue its face-to-face advice sessions, telephone advice, seminars and legal representation, and an additional project for this year to run a legal advice appointment service to residents two evenings a week.

Over 4,000 different queries have been dealt with by the organisation in the last year alone.  These primarily included debt advice, housing advice and welfare benefit issues, as well as several other advice areas including family law and employment issues also supported through the confidential advice, assistance and legal expertise Nucleus provides.

For more details about the work of Nucleus, do visit their website, contact the advice line on 020 7373 4005 or drop in to one of the quick advice sessions provided at 298 Old Brompton Road (SW5 9JF) on the following days and times:

Monday: 1.30pm – 4.00pm
Tuesday: 3.30pm – 6.00pm
Thursday: 10.00am – 12.30pm

Public hearing on The St Quintin and Woodlands Neighbourhood Plan Tuesday 22 September 2015

The St Quintin and Woodlands Neighbourhood Plan has reached the stage of ‘independent examination’. This follows the 6 week ‘publicity period’ during which Kensington and Chelsea Council published the Draft Plan on its website and invited further comments. This consultation ended on July 16th 2015.

The Draft Plan and supporting documents, along with responses to the final consultation exercise, can be found on the RBKC website or

The Draft Plan is currently being reviewed by independent examiner John Parmiter FRICS MRTPI. His role is to ensure that the Plan, with any modifications that he considers necessary, meets the ‘basic conditions’ for a neighbourhood plan as set down in the 2011 Localism Act.

His examination will include a public hearing, to be held on Tuesday 22nd September 2015  at 10am. The venue is St Helens Church (rear part of the church itself), St Helens Gardens W10 6LP.

The purpose of the session will be for John Parmiter to ask questions of interested parties (the Council, the StQW Forum, and a selection of participants invited by the Examiner). While held in public, there will not be an opportunity for general discussion of the Draft Plan or its individual policy proposals.

John Parmiter has prepared an agenda for the public hearing which can be downloaded.  This gives approximate timings when specific issues will be explored with participants at the session.  Provision has also been made to extend the hearing to Wednesday 23rd September should this prove necessary.

Subject to the agreement of the Examiner, the StQW Draft Plan will then be voted on at a local referendum. If supported by a majority, the neighbourhood plan will be adopted by the Council and its policies used in deciding on planning applications in the StQW neighbourhood area.

The Mask You Live In at the Portobello Film Festival 2015

Thursday 10 September, 6.30pm for 7pm

Portobello Pop Up Cinema

3 Acklam Road, W10 5TY

Free – please come early to ensure you have a place.

Presented by the Shared Services Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategic Partnership in Kensington and Chelsea, City of Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham.

The Mask You Live In (directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, 97 mins).

This documentary explores how the culture in the US and its narrow definition of masculinity is harming boys, men, women and society at large and unveils what we can do about it.

The Portobello Film Festival has been running for 20 years and is held an iconic part of London that has become known for its counter-culture. It was developed to provide a forum for new filmmakers and to give exposure to films on a wide variety of topics, especially those that may be regarded as controversial. Directors such as Shane Meadows and Guy Ritchie have debuted films at the Portobello Film Festival. They invite submissions from local and international filmmakers and all the films are shown for free in order to encourage the widest audience possible.

For more information please see:

There will be discussion and networking opportunities at the theatre after the screening.

New Fund for UK’s Aged Veterans launched on 20 August

The fund will provide grants of £5 million per year for the next five years. Grants of up to £1 million are available for the rest of the 2015-16 financial year.

The funding is aimed at projects that support non-core health, wellbeing and social care needs for UK veterans over the age of 60 years. This includes veterans who have survived World War Two, those who undertook National Service and other voluntary enlisted veterans who may need some focused support in relation to their health and social care needs.

Projects should have a real and lasting impact on the quality of life of lives of older veterans and directly benefit them and support them. Families and carers may also benefit from the projects indirectly.

The Government is ‘particularly keen’ to see portfolio applications from not-for-profit organisations that have a good track record of managing similar strategic partnership projects across regions and nationally. In this case, ‘portfolio’ refers to a ‘linked collection of projects coordinated by the lead organisation and provided by suitable partner organisations’.

The lead organisation must be a registered charity with a track record of managing large strategic projects and the capacity to manage and coordinate the provision of the proposed portfolio.

Expressions of Interest will be accepted from 20 August 2015 with a deadline of 21 September 2015.

For more information on applying, please visit the Government website

Finding Paradise: Lacey Contemporary Gallery

This Autumn, Lacey Contemporary Gallery is proud to welcome the new Art Season with an exciting new exhibition – Finding Paradise – featuring three contemporary female artists, Gemma Billington, Orlanda Broom and Ylva Kunze, painting lush landscapes, forgotten pasts, and the ever-changing patterns of nature.

Date of event : 2 September-19 September
Location of event : 8 Clarendon Cross W11 4AP

Time of event : T-F: 10:00-18:00, S: 11:00-17:00, Su-M: By Appointment

Cost of event : Free



Arts and Crafts Sessions with Equal People Mencap and Third Sector Potential

Third Sector Potential, Community Interest Company (TSP, CIC), is running an Arts and Crafts Project to help people with learning disabilities in Chelsea and Kensington.

They are carrying out the one year project on behalf of Equal People Mencap ( 73 Charles Square, Kensington & Chelsea W10 6EJ).  Equal People Mencap is a charity dedicated to supporting people with learning disabilities.

The Arts and Crafts sessions are to be held every Thursday until December 18 at West Way Sports Centre, 1 Crowthorne Rd, London W10 6RP between 1.30pm-3.30pm.

For registration, contact

VIDEO: Dance Showdown 2015 at Cadogan Hall with EPIC CIC

Budding young dancers from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea shimmied their way to success during Dance Showdown, one of London’s biggest youth dance events.

This year’s event, which is organised each year by Epic CIC, saw more than 210 young people compete and perform alongside established youth dance companies and guest artists such as Pineapple Performing Arts School, PDK, Crew 42 and Perspectrum.

The dancers taking part were competing for the opportunity to further develop their skills through classes and workshops with leading dance companies through scholarships and awards.  Read the full press release

Watch highlights in the video below!


Gear up and get a handle of some wheelie quite spoketacular off the chain Market Cycle Rides in Kensington and Chelsea

Enough puns….now a little word from our Bikeminded colleagues:

Bikeminded, the cycling campaign run by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, is delighted to invite you to the Market Cycle Ride as part of Portobello and Golborne Market 150th anniversary.

Join us in this guided tour through the markets in Kensington and Chelsea.

Starting in the south of the borough, at the Duke of York Square Fine Food Market, you’ll be led on a leisurely six-mile sensory journey taking in the sights, smells, tastes (and history) of Kensington and Chelsea’s markets.

The route, which will use mainly quiet residential streets, will then wind its way to South Kensington Farmers’ Market, on Bute Street, past Kensington Palace and on to the lesser-known Notting Hill Gate Market.

Rectangle-150-logoAfter this you’ll pedal to the famous Portobello and Golborne Market, arriving at about 1pm. Here you’ll get to enjoy a nice little surprise thanks to local traders and Bikeminded, have time to hunt and haggle for that vintage bargain, find a tasty bite to eat and ready yourself for the return ride.

The rides take place on Saturdays 26 September and 17 October

Dr Bike – from 10:30am to 11:00

Ride starts at 11am – Duke of York Square, SW3

Ride finishes at about 1.30pm – Portobello and Golborne Markets

Length of the ride – about 6 miles

Age -14 year olds +

Young people under 16 should be accompanied by an adult

Group size: up to 35 participants

Tickets cost £5 and should be purchased in advance

To get tickets for 26 September click here

To get tickets for 17 October click here

The ride will be marshalled.  An ability to ride a bike is all that is required.

If you need to brush up your cycling skills, you can take part in a free cycle training session. For more info please check here.

For more information email

The Community Covenant Grant scheme 2015-16 launched

The Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) new Armed Forces Covenant Fund has now been launched and the application process is now open. It replaces the previous Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Scheme.

The Covenant Fund has £10 million each year to support the Armed Forces Covenant by funding projects which address specific priorities (see below).

There are two funding routes:

  • small grants, for applications up to a maximum of £20,000 and
  • large grants, for applications of between £20,001 and £500,000.

The following three priorities have been set for the financial year 2015-16 and will be reviewed for 2016-17:

  • Community integration
  • The coordination and delivery of support to the Armed Forces community
  • Former service personnel in the criminal justice system

For more information about applying, visit

The webpage also contains useful contact for armed forces support services and advice groups.

City Living, Local Life: A fun update from the Venture Centre

Thanks to Jasmine Thomas, Arts Administration Apprentice at the Venture Community Association for the words.vc3

On Saturday 8 August 450 local people attended the Venture Centres well-loved Family Fun Day. There was food, music, face painting, stalls, bouncy castle, Spider Mountain, animal magic and great entertainment from African Dance and Tip Top Dance School. It was an amazing opportunity for all generations to come together and have a lovely day in the sunshine.

Venture is a community centre that is all about being there for local people and being run by local people; all the volunteers and staff that put the wonderful day together were all from the North Kensington area. There was a real feeling of togetherness and community.

Notting Hill Nurseries Carnival

The Venture Centre’s children won the Notting Hill Nurseries Carnival for the first time ever on Monday 10 August. The theme for this year was ‘Emerald City’ and under the creative direction of Randolph, our new Activity Worker, thechildren and a team of enthusiastic volunteers, designed and made their own decorative costumes.


They produced a range of magnificent costumes that led to the children becoming award winning. This was a learning experience for everyone involved, and all those involved had to think on their feet as they were working with a limited amount of material and equipment.

For instance when making the head dresses they had to use foam board, chicken wire and wrap around foam when normally they would be made with better quality materials. Randolph says that “it was a great learning curve and amazing way to kick off his new role with potential of doing Sunday carnival for kids next year” and that “it was a lot of hard work but it had great rewards.” The kids played a massive part, not just in helping putting it together by wearing costumes, but also by taking on their roles and doing a fantastic performance.

Hopefully we can win again next year!vc2

Have Your Say: Athlone Gardens redevelopment

Athlone Gardens is managed and maintained by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.  To facilitate the Wornington Green development project the park has undergone a number of changes over recent years.  In 2016 the park will reach its next major phase which will then remain in place for at least 7 years. This open space is available for public use, forming a park until the development is completed in 2022. The remaining area will then be released to the council, to form a permanent public park.

he council would like to work with local community to make sure that the new temporary park is a great open space, designed by the people who will use it. We have taken on board the feedback received from previous consultation and have a proposed design.

Deadline for comments is Sunday 20 September 2015

The Council will be holding some drop-in sessions at Althone Gardens on the following days:

  • Thursday 20 August 2015 at 1 to 3pm
  • Saturday 12 September 2015 at 1 to 3pm
  • Thursday 17 September 2015 at 3 to 5pm

To view the design and leave comments, please visit

Not eating well – picking up the clues with People First

As message from our colleagues at People First:

“I’ve lost interest in cooking” ….. “I forget to eat” ….  “I find it painful to chew and swallow” … I often do not feel like eating” …. “Food tastes and smells different these days”

As people get older their attitude to food can change. This can be as a result of a bereavement, loneliness, depression, ill health, poverty, maybe just a lack of energy. Malnutrition in the elderly is an increasing problem, often interwoven with other issues.

to-go-on-website2Sentiments expressed like those above are clues that someone may not be feeding themselves well and putting themselves at risk. It may indicate they have other issues which are undiagnosed and which may get worse.

On People First we’ve got a wealth of information about helping residents stay well-nourished.

What is People First?

People First is the core Information and Advice web service for residents, staff and fellow professionals, run by the Adult Social Care departments of Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster. Our aim is to provide easy-to-use, jargon free and engaging information in a bright visual way that will help keep people stay safe, well and independent.

Summer Health Celebration

VIDEO: City Living, Local Life case study: intergenerational history project in North Kensington

Readers may recall the sterling efforts of digtial:works who have run a couple of history projects in North Kensington, and who had the honour of appearing on last year’s annual report.

In their most recent project, the excellent ‘More Hot for No. 5’ (filmed, edited produced and directed by  pupils from Barlby Primary School), supported by Dalgarno, St. Helen’s and Notting Dale councillors, the City Living, Local Life Team visited the school, and filmed a short ‘making of’ feature.  Sit back and watch the action come together.

See the other case studies we’ve done so far, by visiting the City Living Local Life website.  If you’ve been funded by CLLL, and think a video is just what your project needs, let us know! Email:


New support service listings for armed forces veterans and their families in RBKC

Veterans of the armed forces and their families can now access a list of useful support services on the council website, from charities, advise organisations and council services.

The Armed forces page is part of The Royal Borough’s commitment to the Community Covenant. The Royal Borough signed the Community Covenant on 10 March 2012 to renew its commitment to servicemen and women.

A Community Covenant is a statement of mutual support between a civilian community and its local armed forces community. It is intended to complement the Armed Forces Covenant, which outlines the moral obligation between the Nation, the Government and the Armed Forces.

If you know or represent an armed forces charity which serves residents in RBKC and would like your service listed, please get in touch via the website.

Armed Forces Poster FINAL

Consultation on proposals to close Earls Court Post Office

The Post Office has started a consultation with local residents on its proposals to close the Earls Court Post Office and merge it with its Kensington High Street branch.

Residents who want to question Post Office officials about these proposals can do so at a special meeting organised by the Council on Tuesday 8 September at St Cuthbert’s Church, Philbeach Gardens, SW5 9EB. The meeting starts at 7pm and runs until 9pm.

Local ward councillors have already met Post Office officials to protest about the proposals. They stressed the closure will cause considerable hardship to many local residents, particularly those that are elderly, those living in supported housing, and people who do not have a car and pointed out that there are plans for a number of new residential developments in the area.

The Post Office says the proposed merger is necessary if it is to create a modern and sustainable network and says that the number of customers using the Earls Court branch has declined in recent years.

To take part in the Post Office consultation, go to: and search ‘Earls Court’. The twelve-week-long consultation closes on Wednesday 16 September.

Council Leader, Cllr Nick Paget-Brown said: “I want to urge all residents to respond to this consultation and to come along to the public meeting at St Cuthbert’s and make their views heard. This branch is a valuable community asset in an area that is home to a high number of supported and sheltered housing complexes.”

Residents can also email their view to the Post Office at or call 03457 223344.

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