City Living, Local Life

Kensington and Chelsea's Community Noticeboard

Light, Land and Sea at the Lacey this month…

Join Lacey Contemporary Gallery (8 Clarendon Cross, W11 4AP) from 17 February – 5 March for a free exhibition of British Contemporary Landscape.

The exhibition will feature artists Alison Johnson, Jonathan Speed and Carole Graslan, chosen for their atmospheric and emotive interpretations of landscape.

For more information on the artists and the exhibition visit the Lacey Contemporary Gallery website or contact the Gallery  on 020 7313 9068 /

Team Kensington and Chelsea: The Chelsea Oxfam Needs You!

The treasure trove of books, fashion and homewares along the King’s Road is looking for volunteers to lend a hand and raise thousands for charity.

Oxfam Chelsea, situated at 432 King’s Road  are looking for people to help run the shop. So, if you would like to spend a couple of hours or days a week volunteering your time to work the till, sort, price and merchandise the pre-loved items of Chelsea or simply keep the shop looking great, get in touch!

To find out more telephone 020 7351 6863 or pop into the shop at 432 King’s Road (next to Vivienne Westwood’s backwards clock).

Travel and lunch expenses will be reimbursed.


Public Meeting: The K&C Safer Neighbourhood Board AGM

You are cordially invited to the local SNB AGM on March 12 2016 at 10.30am-12.30pm, in the Small Hall, Kensington Town Hall.

The K&C Safer Neighbourhood Board has been in existence for two years. The SNB has held both open and closed meetings with the Police and the Council to discuss and challenge handling of crime related issues on Borough.

The AGM will be a round-up of the work that has gone on this last year. There will be stalls representing various groups, such as Stop & Search Community Monitoring Group, Independent Custody Visitors, Neighbourhood Watch to mention a few. You will have the opportunity to talk to those representing the groups.

Council representatives dealing with Community Safety will also be there to give advice and listen to problems you might have. There will be ample Question & Answer sessions during the meeting.

Agenda highlights

10:00             Registration

10:30             Welcome, apologies and introductions

10:35             Annual Reports from:

–         Stop and Search Community Monitoring Group | Cindy Doyle MacRae

–         Community Payback Scheme| Cindy Doyle MacRae

–         Independent Custody Visiting Panel |Vassiliki Stavrou

–         Neighbourhood Watch |Karen Clark

–         Community Safety Programme Board | Stuart Priestley

–         Borough Commander’s Report |Tariq Sarwar

–         SNB Chair Report |Eman Yosry

11:30             SNB Business

11:40             Presentations from funded projects

–         We Love West London: Youth Engagement

–         K&C Forum for Older Residents

12:00             This section of the meeting is open to the public for comments and  questions: discussion on local crime concerns

12:30                Lunch and Networking  

Register your attendance by visiting the Kensington and Chelsea Social Council website



Another chance for cash reward for recycling responsibly

Residents have another chance to scoop a cash reward for recycling responsibly in the Golden Ticket recycling prize draw.

So far there have been 30 lucky winners from Kensington and Chelsea, including latest winner Erwin Schaefer from Earl’s Court, who won £250 in December’s prize draw.

The next draw, on Friday 12 February, will be for another single prize of £1,000, two prizes of £500, and twelve prizes of £250, along with a community group prize of £2,500.  A further draw will take place on Thursday 31 March 2016, with the value of the prizes yet to be confirmed.

For more details on the draw and how to get golden tickets visit 

There is also information on what can be recycled on the Council’s website

Learn more about Al Manaar on Visit My Mosque Day

On 8 February Al-Manaar Mosque will be taking part in the national Visit My Mosque Day and inviting anyone interested in finding more about the life of the Mosque, its congregation and its classical architecture.

Based at 244 Acklam Road (w10 5YG), the Mosque will be welcoming visitors from 5pm-7pm.

For more information on the day, please read the invitation letter from the Director, Saleha Islam and for more information on Al-Manaar do visit their website:


Parents! Free half-term delights from Chickenshed K&C

The great, local inclusive theatre company, Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea are performing their interactive Big Stories from the Little Box at 3 venues for free during half-term week.

Big Stores from the Little Box takes audiences across seas, through jungles and beyond. Puppetry, storytelling and music bring vibrant characters to life in an imaginative, fun performance – proving that good things definitely come in small packages!

The performance is approximately 40 minutes long and is followed by a 15 minute ‘meet the puppets’ and storytelling workshop led by the performers.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Venue: Pimlico Library, Lupus Street, London SW1V 3EY

Times:            10:30 to 11:30am

Ages:              4 to 7 years

Price:              FREE


Venue: Chelsea Library, King’s Road, SW3 5EZ

Times:            1:30 – 2:30pm

Ages:              4 to 7 years

Price:              FREE

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Venue:            Kensington Central Library, Phillimore Walk,  W8 7RX

Times:            1:30 – 2:30pm

Ages:              4 to 7 years

Price:              FREE


February at the Mosaic Rooms: Suspended Accounts and My Love Awaits Me By The Sea

Join borough-based cultural space, The Mosaic Rooms at their 226 Cromwell Road gallery in February for some of the best in contemporary art from the Arab world…

Film Screening: My Love Awaits Me By The Sea

Thursday, 4 February 2016, 7.30pm. Tickets @ £6.50 online here, or £7.50 on the door.

Award winning director Mais Darwazah, takes us on a journey back to her homeland, Palestine, to seek out the lover she’s never met – Palestinian artist Hassan Hourani. This acclaimed documentary travelogue poetically mixes fairytale, romance and reality.

Watch the trailer below:

Free Exhibition – Suspended Accounts: Young Artist of the Year Award 

Runs until Saturday, 27th February 2016, Tuesday – Saturday from 11am-6pm, FREE

The Mosaic Rooms present a selection of work from the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year Award 2014, (YAYA14), for the first time in the UK.

The works by young Palestinian artists are diverse — spanning film, performance, installation and painting — unified through the shared theme of ‘Suspended Accounts.’

Scattered globally, or born and raised away from the land of their parents, many of these artists seek to connect with their Palestinian identity by imagining, reflecting on, or appropriating others’ experiences. Exploring the memories of others, examining archives, imagining and constructing undocumented artifacts, questioning recorded histories, and interrogating ideas of identity, the exhibition presents an insight into the practices of today’s emerging Palestinian artists.

Featured image by Bashar Khalaf. 

Consultation: Kensington High Street Local Plan review this Thursday evening

There is a Local Plan Review Issues and Options Place Workshop for Kensington High Street which is being held on Thursday 4 February at the Kensington Close Hotel, Wrights Lane, Kensington, London W8 5SP 6.00pm to 8.00pm.

Please see below the relevant chapter from the Consolidated Local Plan, which will form the basis of our discussion.

Ch11 – Kensington High St

If you are going to attend please ensure you RSVP to , so they can keep track of numbers.

Earl’s Court Road Post Office Closure – Alternative Ways to Access Services

Despite objections from residents and the Council, Post Office Ltd has decided that it will close the Earl’s Court Post Office, with the last day of opening being Saturday 30 January 2016.

Post Office Ltd has stated that “the number of customers using Earl’s Court branch has declined significantly over several years and consequently the branch is no longer commercially sustainable”.

Information on alternative ways of collecting pension and benefits, alternative local postal service providers and alternative Post Office branches in the area can be found in the following document: Earl’s Court Post Office closure – alternatives.

Become a Bereavement Volunteer with Cruse

The Kensington and Chelsea branch of Cruse Bereavement Care is charity who are currently looking for people that are interested in training to become Bereavement Volunteers. You do not need prior training or experience in counselling, but interest in this particular area through personal experience is helpful.  An ability to listen, show empathy and understanding is essential.

Cruse Bereavement Care support hundreds of people across Kensington and Chelsea & Hammersmith and Fulham every year. They have offered their free services to support those who have lost someone, since 1981.

To find out more and to apply, follow this link.  Applications are being accepted from now until 19 February, 2016.

Learn more about how they help others and how you can help them at


Ask Nick returns: Register now for a Q&A with the Council Leader, 23 February

Returning for the ninth time, Council Leader, Councillor Nick Paget-Brown will be listening to your views and answering your questions about borough life at Ask Nick.

Make sure that you don’t miss out on this chance to have your say on issues affecting the local area where you live, work or study.

Over the last two years, the Leader has held events around the Borough and on Tuesday 23 February, Ask Nick visits Redcliffe ward and St Mary The Boltons.

Ask Nick 9 begins at 6pm with light refreshments and information stalls from various services. Then, at 6:30pm, Cllr Nick Paget-Brown will kick the evening off with a short speech before moving on to a question and answer session.

Past events saw the Leader quizzed on a wide array of topics; from schools and social care to bin collections and basement developments. So whatever your query for the Leader is, be sure to submit it in advance through the Council’s website.

The event will be held in the main church of St Mary The Boltons, The Boltons, London, W10 9TB from 6pm.  There is disabled access and further details about the venue can be found on the Church’s website.

This event is free to attend and is open to all residents, businesses and organisations in Kensington and Chelsea. However, places are limited and booking is essential. Please visit or call 0207 598 4633 for further information and to secure your place!

Clean for The Queen! Help keep the borough beautiful, 4-6 March 2016

In the run-up to the Queen’s 90th birthday on April 21st 2016, a range of environmental charities, community groups and people from around the country will be taking action and enjoying a few hours making the places where they live more beautiful – and what better place to get involved than the Royal Borough?

From Friday 4 to Sunday 6 March 2016, ‘Clean for The Queen’ will blitz through the country and here in Kensington and Chelsea the Council’s ‘Cleaner and Greener’ team are looking to support people who want to do their bit for Queen and country.

So, if you would be interested in lending a hand for a couple of hours, do get in touch. The focus will be on three specific areas, but if you have your own suggestions we’d love to know!:

  • Earl’s Court
  • Portobello Road Market
  • Brompton and Knightsbridge

All materials and equipment will be provided.



Funding Focus: Introducing Christmas with Hear Women

Last October, 12 organisations received funding through the second round of the 2015 Corporate Services Small Grants Fund for a variety of local projects.

One of the organisations awarded funding was Hear Women, a charity that works with local East and North African Families. Hear Women offers a variety of services including health awareness and employment advice, which they provide with an aim to empower women and girls.

In December and with the help of RBKC’s Small Grants Fund, Hear Women held a Christmas event that aimed to teach attendees about Christmas in the UK, as well as providing an opportunity to promote their educational, empowerment and advice services.

“The timing was perfect as schools are now closed and I did not know where to take children, so Hear Women’s Christmas party was very nice. I liked the fact everything is free and my children had great fun. Thank you.” – Fatima, Dalgarno resident

The event attracted over 80 women and children. The grant awarded contributed to the cost of the venue hire, as well as face painting, a professional magic show, a DJ and plenty of refreshments! Whilst the children were entertained by the variety of offerings, the women in attendance had a chance to catch up with other members of the community and Hear Women were able to successfully promote their local health and work programmes.

For organisations operating in, or serving residents of RBKC, keep your eyes peeled for the first round of the 2016 Small Grants Fund, due to open in April!

‘Tis the season for colds and sneezing… keep them at bay with a Cultivating K&C recipe!

Lisa’s role as a Community Kitchen Gardener sees her out and about in the Royal Borough helping residents to keep their community kitchen gardens growing. Her role is also seasonal between February and November so she needs to fight off any cold symptoms as soon as they appear!  So, next time you feel like your coming down with a cold, why not try her recipe below?

  • 15-20 black pepper corns
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of honey

Crush the peppercorns and garlic and stir into the honey and add to half a cup of warm water. After drinking, head to bed… you should wake up feeling much better!

For more information the Borough’s Community Kitchen Gardens project and the new social enterprise, Cultivating Kensington & Chelsea, do visit their website.

Share your ideas for local crowdfunding now with the Kensington and Chelsea Hive

A reminder that residents and community groups are able to share their ideas for crowdfunding on The Kensington and Chelsea Hive – simply sign up to share your idea!

Only once the project has been verified will your crowdfunding journey begin, so there is no need to have all the answers together at this stage.

The Kensington and Chelsea Hive is a great platform for a variety of groups to showcase the best ideas for improving their local area. North Kensington-based Meanwhile Gardens have already taken advantage of the Kensington and Chelsea Hive to improve their local skate park.

Spacehive, who support crowd funding initiatives, are on hand to advise you further – email with any questions.



Are you registered to vote in the upcoming elections?

Voters! The National Voter Registration Drive kicks off from February 1-7 2016 and the Electoral Services team at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea are taking the opportunity to ensure that as many eligible residents as possible are on the Electoral Register so that they can vote in the London Mayoral Elections, on Thursday 5 May 2016, and any future elections where they are eligible to cast their vote.

You need to be on the Electoral Register by no later than Monday 18 April 2016 if you want to vote at the London Mayoral Elections and have your voice heard about issues in London that matter to you.  At the elections you will be able to vote for each for the following:

  1. the Mayor of London;
  2. the Constituency member for West Central (which is made up of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council); and/or
  3. a London wide member of the London Assembly.

So, if you have any questions about registering to vote, the Electoral Services team will be hosting stalls on Thursday 4 February at :

  • North Kensington Library:  10 am – 12 pm
  • Kensington Central Library:  2pm – 4:30 pm

The Community Engagement Team will also be pitching up at Portobello Green Market on Friday 5 February until 4 pm. 

Come along and meet the teams, find out more about the electoral process and register to vote if you haven’t already – you can register on the spot if you bring your national insurance number with you.

If you cannot make the above events and are not sure if you are on the register you can email the Electoral Services Team at or telephone 020 7361 3444.

Spotlight: Innovation in the Royal Borough

This month we turn the spotlight on the charities and social enterprises, supported by the Innovative Projects Funding programme, set up by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in 2012.  The fund was set up to support the local voluntary sector to find new, sustainable ways of delivering services that benefit local residents and help tackle council priorities.

Over the three years of the programme, there have been two rounds of funding and 15 projects have been supported for either one, two or three years, with over £1 million invested by the borough.

Below are three of the projects that have benefitted from the investment:

  • A pop-up crèche has been set up by Westway Trust, in partnership with locally based organisations the Venture Centre, the Clement James Centre and Catalyst Housing. In the first year of this mobile crèche’s operation it provided almost 1,500 hours of crèche provision, allowing 210 parents and carers access to training courses they would otherwise not have been able to attend. The initiative has also created 16 jobs, many of which are flexible enough for parents of young children to be able to take up.  The Royal Borough provided an investment of £27,433 through its Innovative Projects Funding Programme to help make this project a reality.
  • The seeds were sewn for community kitchen gardens across the borough as part of the two year Cultivating Kensington & Chelsea project that has been coordinated by Groundwork London.  A grant of £101,437 from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea kick-started this project and you may have seen the volunteers involved selling products made from locally grown fruit and vegetables at Portobello Road market.  You can get involved in reducing food miles whilst increasing growing spaces within the borough by becoming a community gardener or helping this organisation develop by contacting Cultivating K&C on 020 7960 2678 or emailing Rukshana at
  • £106,846 from the Royal Borough made it possible for Age UK Kensington and Chelsea to set up its At Home service to help older people with the tasks that many of us take for granted, such as doing shopping, laundry and getting dressed.  Such assistance can mean the difference between an older person staying in their own home and being required to move to an older people’s home – a costly and usually unwelcomed necessity for many.  The nominal fee that is charged to clients is used to support the wider work of this Age UK branch including befriending services, information and advice and day trips to reduce isolation amongst local older people of the borough.  If you are interested in accessing this service please contact Age UK Kensington and Chelsea on 020 8960 8137.

All of the above projects show that with an initial investment to get new ideas off the ground, projects with a social purpose or that generate trading income to support the work of charities can be both sustainable and improve the lives of local people.

For more information on the Innovative Projects Funding programme, please contact the Community Engagement Team on 020 7598 4633 or email

RBKC Refugees Welcome Committee

In response to the Syrian refugee crisis the Council agreed in October that the Royal Borough should offer to resettle 50 refugees from Syria.

The Council is now working with the RBKC Refugees Welcome Committee to make the necessary arrangements. Chief amongst these is the identification of suitable accommodation. Because of high housing prices and existing pressures on Council and housing association properties the refugees will need to be housed in private rented accommodation. At market rents such accommodation would be too expensive for refugees to afford, so our ability to accept refugees in Kensington and Chelsea rests on the generosity of private sector landlords willing to provide suitable accommodation at lower rents than they would normally charge. Because of the depth of public sympathy and support for Syrian refugees’ plight the Council and the Welcome Committee are hopeful that such offers will emerge.

Once suitable housing is identified the Council will work with other public services and with the wide range of local individuals and organisations who have offered to assist the refugees. Our aim will be to provide the range of services, support and help that the refugees need to provide them with the best possible start to life in the Royal Borough.  A meeting between the Council and Refugee Welcome Committee representatives to design a suitable programme for the refugees will be held in February.

For Syrian children arriving alone in the UK a London-wide scheme is in place whereby Councils (including the Royal Borough) will look after these children, placing them with foster carers or in children’s  homes and supporting them to attend school or college and become integrated into the community.
The RBKC Refugees Welcome Committee is made up of faith organisations, voluntary and community groups and other local organisations such as schools and colleges, who are working in partnership to provide a coordinated local response to the Syrian refugee crisis.

Landlords interested in offering suitable accommodation in the Royal Borough at affordable rents should get in touch with the Council’s Syrian Refugee contact via e-mail or telephone 020 7361 3008.

If you would like to know more about or get involved in the work of the Kensington and Chelsea Refugees Welcome Committee, contact Migrants Organise (formerly the Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum) at or on 020 8964 4815.

Can you help The Kensington & Chelsea Foundation’s campaign to keep local older people warm this winter?

The Kensington & Chelsea Foundation’s Winter Warmth campaign is now in full swing and it is becoming even colder as we enter mid-winter.

The campaign’s aims are simple; it asks local people who receive the Government’s Winter Fuel Payment to donate some or part of it to a neighbour in need if they are able.
Response to the campaign has been very positive with nearly £30,000 raised, but more donations are needed.

100% of all donations received are redistributed.

If you are able to help with this campaign and would like to help a local older person , please call 020 7229 5499, or email

For more information please visit the Kensington & Chelsea Foundation’s website.

National Lottery support breathes new life into Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Cemetery, one of the oldest Grade I garden cemeteries in the country, will help to be transformed by a £4.5million funding pledge from the BIG Lottery and Heritage Lottery Funds.

This pledge along with a £1.2million investment from The Royal Parks and £500,000 from  The Royal Parks Foundation will allow Brompton Cemetery to:

  • turn the North Lodge into a visitor centre, shop, cafe and accessible toilets with two small pavilion extensions
  • restore the majestic chapel, central colonnades and catacombs
  • help conserve the historic landscape, buildings and monuments
  • aid wildlife conservation to maintain and improve existing habitats
  • create a volunteering programme to help conserve and interpret the cemetery; and
  • improve the funerary business to reinvigorate it as a working cemetery where families can lay their loved ones to rest.

This includes funding from City Living, Local Life in Redcliffe ward that brought in the local community with a range of events and activities with local youth organisations, older people’s groups and residents as well as support for the initial investigation into the condition of the Chapel.

Arthur Tait, the Chairman of the Friends of Brompton Cemetery, said:

“The project will help bring a new lease of life to the cemetery; from conserving the landscape and buildings to providing visitor, volunteer and information facilities. It will be a hub for volunteering, training, and a place of relaxation for children and families while still being a haven for those who want peace, quiet and beauty.”

The Lottery funding will be released once The Royal Parks Foundation have match-fundraised the £500,000 required – and they’re halfway there already!

If you would like to make a donation to the project, either as a gift or by dedicating a bench to a loved one, information can be found on the Royal Parks Foundation website.

As well as donations, the project is also calling out for volunteers who will play a huge part in the future management and enjoyment of the cemetery. To find out more about volunteering opportunities contact The Brompton Cemetery Project Office on, telephone 020 7349 8161 or write to The Partnership and Community Engagement Office, c/o The Chapel Office, Brompton Cemetery, Fulham Road, London, SW10 9UG.

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