City Living, Local Life

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City Living, Local Life: The Elephant In The Kitchen at Al-Hasaniya

With support from the Golborne councillors and City Living, Local Life, The Nour Festival teamed up with Al-Hasaniya to cook up a storm and share stories over great food. Thanks to Ines Tercio for the article below and to Jalaikon for the fantastic pictures. If you would like to hear more about Nour, check out their blog.

From the 26th to the 30th October 2015, a diverse group of 12 women from Al-Hasaniya Morroccan Women’s Centre, worked alongside chef Mike Knowlden and storyteller Surya Turner to exchange recipes and cook new dishes from around the world.

Each day, we cooked a new dish, beginning with a starter on Monday and ending with a delicious dessert on Thursday. On Friday 30th October we prepared a feast with some of our favourite dishes and exchanged stories of celebration.  Throughout the week we cooked soda bread, sushi, an Asian salad, a Yemini fish rice dish, quiche and a sumptuous pistachio trifle. We also exchanged our most cherished food memories and wrote down our favourite recipes.  On the last day, we reflected on what we had learnt throughout the week.

The women particularly enjoyed working with a professional chef and storyteller, and felt they gained more confidence in practicing English and gained new ideas on how to cook new healthy and fresh dishes. They also loved learning about different cultures and getting to know other local ladies from places like Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, Eritrea, Syria and Lebanon.

And for a flavour of the food the women cooked up at Al-Hasaniya, grab your baking gloves and try out this Irish Soda Bread recipe…


250g plain white flour

250g plain wholemeal flour

100g porridge oats

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp salt

25g butter, cut in pieces

500ml buttermilk or yoghurt & milk


Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C and dust a baking sheet with flour. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then rub in the butter. Pour in the buttermilk and mix it in quickly with a table knife, then bring the dough together very lightly with your fingertips (handle it very, very gently. Now shape it into a flat, round loaf.

Put the loaf on the baking sheet and score a deep cross on the top. (Traditionally, this lets the fairies out, but it also helps the bread to cook through.) Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Take part in The Met’s annual Christmas Tree Project!

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Christmas Tree Project is already well under-way. You can still get involved this Christmas and give a present to a child in your borough, who might not otherwise receive one….

Head down to your local police station and take a gift tag from the tree outside to take part. Or, you can visit the Met’s virtual tree online and select your area.

The Met are also collecting donations to buy presents for children in need this Christmas, donations can be made via their Just Giving page.

Residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea can find their local tree at Kensington Police Station, 72 Earls Court Road, W8 6EQ or can contact PC Richardson on 02082460667.

There will be an official launch of the Christmas Tree Project on Tuesday 1 December, 11am at Kensington Police Station.

KCSC’s Private Renters Rights report published…

Kensington and Chelsea Social Council, the borough’s Council for Voluntary Service, have published a report examining private renting in the borough.

The report brings together the experiences of  private renters in the borough highlighting the current state of private renting in Kensington and Chelsea, with a particular focus on cost of living and housing conditions, offering recommendations to protect and extend the rights of private renters.

To view the report please visit KCSC’s website: 


Festive frolics with City Living, Local Life

Twas’ the month before Christmas, and all through the Borough, 

CLLL told you about the Christmas events, and made it quite thorough…

The temperature has dropped,  the decorations are going up, the wine is getting mulled and the mittens are firmly on… that’s right, Christmas is upon us… Let’s have a quick glance across Kensington and Chelsea and find out how your local neighbourhood is getting festive with City Living, Local Life.

Earls Court Road/Kenway Road Christmas Light Switch on, Earls Court


The Earl’s Court Road will be having a Christmas Lights Display for December 2015!  To celebrate, the local businesses and community have come together to provide canapes and mulled wine for our fellow spectators before the Deputy Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea switches on the display at 6pm.

Location: Corner of Earl’s Court Road and Kenway Road

Date and Time: Tuesday December 1 at 5pm (switch on at 6pm)


South Kensington Community Christmas Event

onslowThe Onslow Neighbourhood Association, the South Kensington Estate and the Exhibition Road Cultural Group are putting on a festive fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Society.  Come and enjoy mulled wine, mince pies and an illuminated Christmas tree, as well as carols sung by the Exhibition Road choir.

Location: Lower Exhibition Road

Date and Time: Thursday December 3, 6pm-8pm


Stratford Road Christmas street party, Abingdon

strafford roadThe annual Christmas street party returns to Stratford Road.  Having recently established a business forum for the road, Stratford Road are proud once again to invite you to celebrate the inner city village atmosphere by bringing people together through food, drink, shopping, music, entertainment and games.  The Mayor will be set to open proceedings.

Location: Stratford Road

Date and Time: Wednesday  December 9, 5pm-8pm

Tel: 020 7937 9976


And we are also pleased to support King’s Road Christmas and their mission to install lights from Sloane Square to the World’s End



Portobello’s Christmas Shopping Passport launches!

Gift grabbers and present perusers – the festive period is well underway at Portobello and Golborne Road Market with the lights switching on and the Christmas Shopping Passport launching.


With Portobello’s Christmas Passport, you have until Christmas Eve to shop at the 24 fantastic independent stalls and stores taking part for your chance to win a host of goodies donated by the participating businesses.

Every time you shop at one of the participating 12 stalls and 12 stores, you will collect a stamp for spending  £5 and another if you spend £10 or more. Once you’ve collected 5 stamps, simply fill in your details and leave it with the shopkeeper and stallholder and you will be entered into the prize draws!

The main prize draws of goodies (worth at least £100 each) will be made on 9 January but for those fleet footed shoppers who fill in their passport by 4 December there are extra prize draws for 5x£20 shopping vouchers on Small Business Saturday (5 December).

For more information and a list of participating retailers visit:

And that’s not all! There will be Christmas treats galore at the market, including live music at Portobello Green on Thursday December 3 from 2.30pm-9pm and the Salvation Army brass band will perform outside the Salvation Army hall on Small Business Saturday. But for those of you who can’t wait, check out the local a capella singing group, The Treblemakers at the Christmas switch-on…


RBKC Small Grants Fund: The Awards

The Community Engagement Team at Kensington and Chelsea Council recently opened the Small Grants Fund for the final round of applications for 2015.  This last round of applications saw 24 voluntary and community organisations applying for a share of £15,000. Organisations needed to meet a series of eligibility criteria including being based primarily within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to qualify for a grant from this Fund.

Potential projects must also focus at least one of the following priorities:

– Information and Advice

– Community Engagement

– Infrastructure and Capacity Building

The organisations set to benefit from this round of the Small Grants Fund are as follows; Action Disability Kensington and Chelsea, Epic CIC, Ethiopian Women’s Empowerment Group, Hear Women, Hestia, The Kensington and Chelsea Foundation, Lancaster West Children’s Community Network, Standing Together Against Domestic Violence, The Forum, WAND, Women’s Pioneer Housing Residents’ Association and World’s End Neighbourhood Advice Centre.

All of these organisations have charitable objectives that will benefit a wide range of residents in Kensington and Chelsea. From a Christmas celebration for BME families from challenging economic backgrounds, to a Winter Warmth campaign targeting vulnerable older residents, the Small Grants Fund is helping organisations undertake good work around the Borough.

As well as funding campaigns and events, the Small Grants Fund also helps to improve organisations’ sustainability by contributing to crucial improvements in resources and community facilities.

The Small Grants Fund is a small but important source of funding for many local voluntary and community organisations. The fund is set to open again in April 2016. So, if you are an organisation that fits the eligibility criteria and funding priorities, keep your eyes peeled!

To find out more about the Small Grants Fund, please click here.

Feature: Kalayaan – supporting domestic workers in the UK

Kalayaan is a small charity based in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and part-funded by the Council’s Corporate Services Grant and works with migrant domestic workers in the UK to help them access their rights.

Migrant domestic workers are predominantly women who have entered the UK with a named employer to work in the employer’s private household. Whilst many of these workers are in good employment, some are seriously exploited, some are abused, and some subjected to forced labour or have been trafficked to the UK for domestic servitude.

Kalayaan offers individual advice and support to migrant domestic workers, as well as using this experience to produce data and briefings on the situation of such workers in the UK, to feed into policy and to push for improvements of their rights.

The Corporate Services Grant helps Kalayaan carry out vital work from its community centre in the Borough at Hippodrome Place. At the centre, Kalayaan provide free English classes on a Sunday, qualified immigration advice and referrals, support in accessing services, emergency assistance and much-needed social space.

Kalayaan has been supporting and fighting for the rights of migrant domestic workers in the UK since 1987 and continues to be a vital olive branch for many.

To find out more about Kalayaan’s work please click here and to donate to the charity please click here.

Jobs: Come join our team as Community and Third Sector Support Officer

A new opportunity has arisen within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council’s Community Engagement Team. This is an exciting time to work within a team which is at the forefront of some of the Council’s most creative and innovative initiatives.

The successful candidate will support new and well established community engagement projects both within and outside the Council. You will be working with a range of voluntary and community sector organisations, helping to administer grants and enabling residents to play an active role in how services are delivered in the borough. Your role will also include supporting this busy and lively team in its work with members of the public, partner organisations and Councillors. You will also have the chance to be involved in projects and work with a variety of other Council teams.

Well organised and with excellent communication skills, you must be able to work with others at all levels across the organisation to help deliver projects and coordinate events as required.

Job Details:
Full Time
Salary – £23,658 – £27,879 per annum
The deadline for applications in 2 December 2015. 

Share your views on Eligibility for Adult Social Care Services in RBKC

The Care Act 2014 set out a new national framework for providing care and support services, including a National Minimum Eligibility Threshold (N-MEC), from 1st April 2015.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea are proposing to continue to provide services that not only meets, but exceeds, this minimum statutory requirement. In order to do this the Council must consult with and take into account the views of residents, adult social care customers and key partner agencies. Anyone wishing to take part in the consultation can do so by visiting   

Heritage Lottery Fund grant First World War: then and now

Explore the heritage of the First World War with grants of £3,000–£10,000. This programme has a short application form, and is suitable for everyone, including first-time applicants.

The First World War affected millions across the globe and shaped the world we live in. The Centenary is a chance to understand the war better, uncover its stories and explore what it means to us today.

Everyone should have the chance to discover more about the war and mark the Centenary. That’s why HLF are providing this special grant programme for community projects. You can apply at any time up to 2019. They also  provide grants of more than £10,000 for First World War projects through Our Heritage, Young Roots and Heritage Grants.

For more information, visit the Heritage Lottery Fund website

Christmas Craft Fair in Chelsea

It’s nearly time for St Thomas More Language College’s annual Christmas Fair!

Open to parents, the local community and anyone who would like to sell their homemade crafts, the College has lots of Christmassy goodness to offer…

Previous years have seen stalls selling candles, chutneys, cakes, hot chocolate, mulled wine, Christmas decorations and jumpers, cushions, homemade cards, jewellery, children’s books and wooden toys, sweet trees and more!

The College will be opening its doors to festive browsers and buyers from 5 to 7:30pm on Wednesday 2nd of December.

If you’re interested in renting a stall for the evening then please contact Mrs V Brackenbury on 02075899734 or

St Thomas More Language College can be found on Cadogan Street, Chelsea, SW3 2QS.

Twilight tours, Open Access and your chance to get involved at 18 Stafford Terrace

18 Stafford Terrace, the former home of Punch cartoonist, Edward Linley Sambourne, his wife Marion and their two children from 1875 just got easier to enjoy with the museum opening its doors on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2pm-5:30pm without the need to pre-book!

Originally decorated by the Sambournes in-keeping with fashionable Aesthetic principles, the interiors evolved into wonderfully eclectic artistic statements within the confines of a typical middle class home.

And that’s not all! As a festive treat, 18 Stafford Terrace is also offering an evening of Victorian intrigue and drama, based on the Sambourne’s family diaries on Thursday, 10 December and Friday, 11 December. This evening of performance in the untouched interiors of the house offers a voyeuristic view of unspoken Victorian eccentricity along with mulled wine and mince pies.

Tours start promptly at 7:00pm and 8:30pm. Tickets are £22 and can be booked here:

Book a Twilight Tour on 10 December

Book a Twilight Tour on 11 December

Get involved!

18 Stafford Terrace are looking for Room Guides to help with their new Open Access arrangements (2pm to 5:30pm on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays)

So, if you think you can lend a hand, learn more about the house and its Victorian owners and guide others around the eclectic rooms then do contact / 020 7471 9158 for more information.

Crossrail 2 Drop-in at Chelsea Old Town Hall

Chelsea residents now have another chance to find out about plans for a Crossrail 2 station on the King’s Road following Transport for London’s (TfL) decision to put on an additional drop-in event.

The extra session will be held on Saturday 28 November from 11am to 3pm at Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Road, SW3 5EE.

TfL’s proposals are currently out for consultation and you have until Friday 8 January 2016 to have your say.

To take part in the consultation, go to

There are also a range of factsheets, maps and other information about the scheme at

Victim Support in Kensington and Chelsea

Have you been a victim of hate crime or antisocial behaviour?

Hate crime and antisocial behaviour can have a devastating impact upon people’s lives. They can cause distress and affect the quality of your life, especially if continued over a long period of time.

Whatever you are going through, Victim Support can help you find the strength. They give information, emotional and practical support. Their support is independent, free, confidential and non-judgemental.

A Victim Support stall with information and help is available every Thursday, 2.30 to 4.30pm in the Customer Service Centre, Kensington Town Hall, W8 7NX

If you live in Kensington and Chelsea and are experiencing hate crime or antisocial behaviour, please contact Charlotte or Sian – your local Victim Support champions-

02072442550 or

SMART’s Mindfulness Garden at the World’s End to open…

St. Mary Abbots Rehabilitation and Training (SMART) will be unveiling a garden at the World’s End Estate next month. The space will be designed for peaceful reflection and based on their Gold Award-winning RHS Hampton Court show entry (featured on the blog, here) and SMART will offer monthly mindfulness sessions that are open to all in the garden.

These mindfulness sessions will build upon the support already available at their Gertrude Street premises every Monday morning at 11am. If you would like more details and to be kept up-to-date on the progress of the garden then email José Veiga or telephone 020 7376 4668.

SMART have been supporting people with mental illness since 1985 and have been at 15 Gertrude Street since 1993. For more information on what SMART offer check out their website –  or watch the following fundraiser video which highlights the work the organisation does…

Their services are not just for members too, as SMART provides a number of community services, including a Stop Smoking Service in partnership with Kick-It. If you would be interested in finding out more, attending a Stop Smoking workshop or accessing one-to-one sessions with qualified Stop Smoking Advisors then do give SMART a call.

Thinking about volunteering? Then pop down to Volunteer Centre Kensington and Chelsea’s winter volunteer fair!

Volunteer Centre Kensington and Chelsea’s next volunteer fair will take place on Monday 30 November at Latymer Christian Centre, 116 Bramley Road, W10 6SU, from 10am – 2pm.

Volunteer fairs are the perfect opportunity to meet a range of local services, charities and community groups where you can lend your time to make a difference in Kensington and Chelsea. For more information please contact / 020 7598 4633.

Feature: Create-ing celestial music at Chamberlain House

Thanks to Joe at Create for the following submission showcasing their great work with older residents in the borough!

Between August and October, award-winning charity Create looked to the skies with older people in Kensington and Chelsea to produce a collection of original songs about starlight.

Each week service users at Chamberlain House, who experience dementia and other age-related illnesses, explored their creative side and developed relationships with each other as they shared their thoughts and ideas in this collaborative musical project.

Under the guidance of Create’s professional musician, John Webb, participants wrote songs, soundscapes and melodies, influenced by diverse musical genres from around the world. The multisensory workshops, which incorporate flags and other visual stimuli, encouraged participants to experiment with xylophones, bells and different singing techniques to achieve the twinkling effect of starlight.

The Chamberlain House participants also put together the lyrics:

We’re down here they’re up in heaven

They come out when it’s seven

Cold and fresh, you go to rest

Cold and fresh you go to rest

We are over the moon

We are under the stars

The moon is going down, down, down

Everybody’s dancing now

The moon is going down, down, down

Under the stars

The moon is going down, down, down

Everybody’s dancing now

The moon is going down, down, down

Under the stars

“When you live on your own it is good to meet others and share points of views, learn from each other and to know that what we say is considered and is important.”

“Listening to music changes our moods. It’s uplifting. It makes you remember songs you used to sing even when you were a child. And songs make you remember other things in your life.”

– – Participants from Chamberlain House

Over 1 million older people in the UK admit to always or often feeling lonely and nearly half say that television or pets are their main form of company. Create’s art:links programme provides older people with a stimulating environment for individual and group expression, promoting social interaction and reducing isolation. The project helps participants to develop relationships, communication skills and teamwork that improve their quality of life and increase their health and happiness.

For more information on the work of Create visit their website:

Algerianism- exhibition review from Nour Festival

Another big cheer, for community reporter, Stan Moorcroft, who has been reviewing features for Nour Festival.

Algerianism, if considered at all, in this country tends to be conceptualised as coming in a box marked pied noir, – often wrongly associated with the work of Albert Camus. The French rather than Algerian element taking precedence. This Exhibition however represents a confident exploration by Algerians seeking to explore their own complex identity, though the ghosts of French occupation, colonial presence and influence on Algerian culture is very much present as well.


Now of course the idea that Algeria and metropolitan France were as one was not only absurd but also camouflaged the reality of French imperialism, racism and brutality. That said the French presence in Algeria introduced a unique element into Algerian culture, and it is the ghost of this presence that haunts the pictures of Patrick Altes, a French artist, in which images of the past and present are fused together to suggest continuity rather than the sudden fracture we imagine when we think of revolution and the attainment of independence.
The exhibition represents a direct assault on stereotypes of, more generally North African, and specifically Algerian culture. The exhibition ranging from a young girl dressed in football kit to the more conventional images of Arab culture. Pictures too that display the complex interweaving of the traditional and the modern, as in Mizo’s ‘Once Upon A time El Haik,’ portraying in a variety of poses the traditional white fabric worn by the women of Algiers.
For me the most startling pictures were those of Yasser Ameur, whose modern Take on Delacroix’s Raft of Medusa, Babor Dzaiyer, stayed with me long after I had left the Tabernacle.

Algerianism is as complex and diverse as Algeria itself, but the idea has survived. Indeed a society almost destroyed, especially its democratic and secular elements, by a fascistic Islamist Fundamentalism has survived. And this exhibition celebrates that survival, displaying the work of young original artists seeking to explore continuity and change in this culturally rich North African Republic

Armed Forces Community Covenant Fund Small Grants – Round 2 now open

The new Armed Forces Community Covenant Fund, established in August 2015, was set up to fund local projects which strengthen the ties or the mutual understanding between members of the Armed Forces Community and the wider community in which they live.

Registered charities, registered community interest companies, statutory bodies, and armed forces units with a UIN can apply for small grants of up to £20,000.

The funding is for one-off projects, which have lasting impact, and clear exit or sustainability strategies.

Projects must address the MoD’s priorities for 2015-16, which are:

  • Community integration – projects should help integrate Armed Forces and civilian communities across the UK. It is expected that most projects will be for local community projects.
  • The coordination and delivery of support to the Armed Forces community – projects should offer support for serving armed forces personnel, veterans, and their families across a number of areas: financial, housing, mental and physical health, employability and social support. It is expected that most projects will offer strategic solutions and be funded through the Large Grants scheme.
  • Former service personnel in the criminal justice system – projects should help provide a joined up service to former members of the armed forces that come into contact with the police, courts and prisons. Although it is expected that most projects will offer strategic solutions and be funded through the Large Grants scheme, there may be some local schemes that fill gaps and would thus be suitable for small grant awards.

The funding can cover most of the things needed for the project, including paying for people’s time, buying or hiring equipment or minor improvements to land or buildings.

For more information, please visit the council website

Stoll Annual Carol Concert 2015 – Wednesday 16 December 2015

Stoll is the biggest provider of supported housing to vulnerable and disadvantaged Ex-Servicemen and women in the UK.  The annual Carol Concert will be held at the beautiful Victorian church of St Paul’s in Knightsbridge.

The event, held in aid of Stoll, will be a delightful evening of Christmas music and readings led by The Band of the Honourable Artillery Company and the Choir of St Paul’s.  There will be serving delicious mince pies and mulled wine after the Concert.

Tickets are priced at £25 for adults and all children under 16 years-of-age are free, including refreshments.  Tickets can be purchased at or call 0800 411 8881.

Sponsored by Palmer Capital, all proceeds from the sale of tickets will go towards work in housing and supporting Veterans.

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