City Living, Local Life gets into the Carnival Mood

29 Jul

CAPCAWith Britain’s Biggest Street Party, the Notting Hill Carnival taking place from 29-31 August around the borough, the councillors in Dalgarno have supported the Children and Parents Carnival Association to hold the annual Notting Hill Nurseries Carnival at Kensington Memorial Park, W10 on Monday 10 August.

Taking place from 10.30am-5.30pm, the day brings together children from nurseries and play schools from across Kensington and Chelsea to take part in the Childrens Costume Parade and Junior Steel Band competition. Many of the costumes are made by the children themselves and Kensington Memorial Park becomes full of colour and sound with the fantastic costumes, flags and music.

For more information on the event, download the Notting Hill Nurseries Carnival flyer

Inter Faith Youth Trust Small Grants Programme Open to Applications in UK

29 Jul

Grants of between £200 and £500 are awarded for proposals for inter faith activities by children and young people from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and other faiths and those of no formal faith in understanding and co-operation. The age range for young people is 11-25 years. Projects should take place during Inter Faith Week (15-21 November 2015).

Funding is available for the following:

  • Learning by children and young people (11-25 years old) from different faiths about different faiths, through social action.
  • Co-operation and understanding between faiths which preferably involve young people in planning, running, and evaluating; and which promote equal opportunities.
  • Increasing understanding between people of faith and of no faith.

UK based organisations are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to non-statutory organisations.

The deadline for applications is 15 September 2015.


Feature: Performance, Education and Community at Chelsea Theatre

29 Jul

by James Yabut, Community Reporter.

Think “theatre” and what comes to mind?

If your first response wasn’t table tennis, Arabic lessons and the giros and ochos of the tango, that’s only because you are unfamiliar with Chelsea Theatre.

CommunitySince 1977 the theatre, located in the south-west corner of the borough in World’s End Place, has been offering local residents a combination of arts, education and community activities. According to Michelle Abbey, community manager for the last four years, the theatre is not just a space for contemporary performance, but a place for “breaking down social barriers”.

The depth and breadth of the weekly schedule is, not surprisingly, reflected in the ages and backgrounds of the visitors to the theatre.

EducationOn the day of my visit, ex-postal worker Dennis Miles, 88, of North End Road, tells me he drops in at least once a week for a cup of tea and a chat, or to join the classic film club. “It’s fantastic. You can meet people or have a cup of tea – it’s very reasonably priced. I don’t think you could better this place to be honest.”

Sulay, from Colombia, regularly attends the massage and jewellery classes: “There are lots of activities. It’s good for the community. You have no time to feel depressed and it helps with isolation.” Her friend Josie, who attends the Sing to Live class, is equally enthusiastic: “It’s a lively group and you get a chance to meet people and to relax and to enjoy singing. And the teacher is brilliant.”

PerformanceThe theatre’s staff speak just as warmly; artistic director Francis Alexander says: “I am inspired by my job. Chelsea Theatre is a lively hub for entertainment, learning, health and wellbeing. We balance this with exciting work by artists from all walks of life and are able to showcase these talents to people from the local community and beyond.”

The theatre is funded by a combination of earned income and voluntary donations; operational costs and many of the classes are grant-funded so attendees will only pay a small fee. “Each year we work Chelsea Theatre 2hard to balance hosting affordable activities and events for the community with increasing earned income” Francis explains.

The theatre is run by a team of five full time staff and 18 volunteers, and Michelle is evidently proud of their achievements: “We all work together. Everyone mucks in and that makes this place a success. We are all on the same page. If I’m not here, I can guarantee the work will get done.”

Barbara Ofori-Boateng, Volunteer Coordinator, tells me about the benefits of the Community Champions programme she runs which gets volunteers to share important messages about health and other local services with family, friends, and neighbours.

It is a simple and effective way to strengthen ties throughout the community and to confront the evils of ignorance and loneliness. As well as providing participants with a boost to their confidence and skills, the programme has seen many previous volunteers go on to find paid employment within the health sector.

Michelle reckons the theatre can only go from “strength to strength”, and next year will see the start of redevelopment work to expand the building and improve accessibility. As Francis says:”Thanks to voluntary donations we have reached our fundraising goal for our capital project. We’re planning on making the building more welcoming, with more family friendly facilities, a large new room and a better more welcoming cafe. Watch this space!”

Chelsea Theatre 3

All images with thanks from Chelsea Theatre

CLLL: Greening Christ Church Kensington and tackling anti-social behaviour at Counters Court

28 Jul

After: With improved drainage, damage to the community used gardens should be a thing of the past

Before: works to improve the drainage and prevent flooding had taken their toll on the landscape

Earlier this year, the Queen’s Gate Councillors helped support Reverend Mark O’Donoghue and the Christ Church Kensington Team to restore their garden to its former glory after vital renovation works to the Church. For more information on the Church and the project do read our previous blog post, but the great results are plain to see…

Counters Court and Creek House in Holland ward have also been greening with support from their councillors and City Living, Local Life. The housing blocks are close to Kensington Olympia station and have suffered with anti-social behaviour with people climbing over their fences to make a quick escape from police and other enforcement officers.

With some great thinking from the Residents’ Association, instead of installing traditional security, from raised walls to spiked railings the residents have chosen to design-out the problem by growing their kitchen garden and planting raised beds, fitting trellises and placing flowers along the walls so those looking to run through can no longer access the garden. The improvements are still underway, but already Counters Court is a safer,and greener, place to live.

Counters Court plantersIMG_1822Creek House planters

Voluntary Sector: Register for the launch of the Energy UK Home Heat Helpline 2015/16 campaign with the Kensington and Chelsea Forum for Older Residents

28 Jul

On Monday 7th September 2015, the Kensington and Chelsea Forum for Older Residents in partnership with Energy UK will launch the Energy UK Home Heat Helpline 2015/16 campaign in Kensington Town Hall. with the Keynote speaker being Amber Rudd, MP, The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.


10.15, Registration, refreshments

11.05am Keynote Speaker, The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
The Worshipful The Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive, Energy UK
Samantha Mauger, Chief Officer, Age UK London

11.45am – Energy UK, Home Heat Helpline Scheme

12.30pm – Questions and comments

1.15pm – Lunch

The voluntary sector delivers a wide range of services to help older people with energy efficiency and healthy living.
This is a must attend conference for anyone with an interest in providing advice and guidance for low-income households, vulnerable people and the elderly.

How to book your place:

Email or call  0207 352 1336 by 17th August


Small Hall, Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Road, London W8, 10.15am – 2.00pm
Venue is fully accessible
The nearest underground station is: Kensington High Street (Circle and District lines)energy uk

Grab your gardening gloves and volunteer with RBKC and Farm the City

27 Jul

Want to get involved in improving our borough’s open spaces? If so, we have two fantastic opportunities for volunteering in the Royal borough to tell you about

Acklam wildflower meadow clean up…

On Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th August the Royal Borough’s Environment Team are planning a large clear out of the wildflower meadow and a few areas in and around Aklam road with 4 sessions over two days for your to get your hands dirty on:

Tuesday, August 4 at 10.30 am – 1pm and  2pm-4.30pm

Wednesday, August 5 at 10.30am-1pm and 2pm-4.30pm

Meet at244 Acklam Road , London W10 5YG UK, where you will be briefed.

Gloves and tools will be provided. Please wear trainers and boots and long trousers to avoid any cuts and bites. And bring sun screen or a hat if the weather is hot.

If you would like to volunteer for this clearance please contact Bulent Kazim: or call on 07986260433 and state which sessions you would like to join.

Chill Out in the Garden with Farm the City London

Join Farm the City to help turn the Sensory Garden into a public food growing space and outdoor kitchen. Gardening is a great way to relax after a hard day’s work, or when the kids are in school.

All volunteers will receive pick of the bunch when it comes to harvesting the organic food too so you get something to eat for your time as well as learning something new.

We give any surplus vegetables, salad and herbs away to local people who want to try organic food, but can’t afford to buy it.

Volunteer sessions run every Wednesday from 1pm until 3pm, are free and you can drop in at any time. The Sensory Garden is located on the corner of Golborne Road and Elkstone Road in W10, next to the train tracks.  If you can’t make Wednesdays, check out the notice board for other chances to help make the garden into something new for everyone to enjoy.

For more information email

Corporate Services Small Grants Fund: 2015 Round One allocation

27 Jul

The Small Grants Fund is available for voluntary and community organisation working within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea which have charitable objectives. Organisations supported by the Small Grants Fund must meet the pre-set criteria and at least have one of the following priorities:

  • Information and advice
  • Community engagement
  • Infrastructure and capacity building

The Small Grants Fund can normally be awarded for one of the following:

  1. Items of equipment
  2. Some of the costs for community events, outings and festivals
  3. Publicity material or meet the costs of taking part in events which publicise the organisation’s service
  4. Volunteer expenses and training for volunteers
  5. Small scale building work that supports the sustainability of an organisation, improves access, facilitates efficient usage, improves the security of community centres, and other buildings
  6. Unexpected one-off costs that support the sustainability of an organisation which the organisation cannot meet.

There is £30,000 available for the 2015/16 Small Grants Fund, which is allocated in the two round of £15,000. Round One was assessed and distributed in April/May of this year and funding was allocated toward the following:


Armenian Street Festival at Iverna Gardens, Kensington

The Centre for Armenian Information and Advice submitted an application for publicity costs and stall hire for the Armenian Festival. The 19 July 2015 edition of the festival is the fifth occasion it has been held and is a fantastic example of a free community festival, which celebrates a national culture whilst also bringing in and engaging the wider community. At the event one could enjoy Armenian and Middle Eastern food, live street entertainment, stalls and vendors, games and entertainment for children, a concert in St Sarkis Church and many more fun activities. Great fun!


The Dalgarno Trust

The Dalgarno Trust is a well established charity within Kensington and Chelsea, which is dedicated to providing excellent services that promote a collaborative, healthy and dynamic local community for people of all ages and backgrounds. However, a unreliable lift was getting in the way of providing that dynamic local community service. The Small Grants Fund allocated some funding toward the repair and upgrade of this left, which benefits the sustainability of the centre and ensuring that the centre is accessible for all.


Eritrean Lowlanders League (ELL)

ELL is a small charity which is established from the Eritrean community to work with members to promote and enhance the social inter-relations and cohesiveness with other communities. Funding was allocated to improving ELL’s communication materials and circulation to ensure that more Eritrean’s in Kensington and Chelsea are aware of the services that ELL provide.


Latymer Christian Fellowship Trust (LCFT)

LCFT offers a great community space for the people of North Kensington. However, it’s so popular that many of the chairs have seen better days. Funds were allocated toward replacing many of the folding chairs in the meeting space, which in turn would benefit the sustainability of LCFT and the residents that use the facilities.


Pepper Pot Centre

The Pepper Pot Centre aims to provide a comprehensive service to enable active and disabled over 50s from the African, Caribbean and BME community in the Royal Borough to live more independently in their own homes. The Centre was established in 1981 and it felt as if the IT systems had not moved on since then! The Small Grants Fund allocated funding toward a new computer system, which would not only improve the Centre’s back office function, but service users would also benefit by having greater access to the new IT system, e.g. using the internet and Skype to talk to friends and relatives.


South London YMCA – new skills centre at Beacon House

Funding was allocated to South London YMCA to support the rejuvenation of an existing, unused storage room to a new Skills Centre at Beacon House. This new centre intends to offer a space and provide resources that will empower and support homeless people to improve digital skills, confidence, and access to work and learning opportunities. These improved services and resources that support homeless people on the way to independence is a great alternative to an unused room!


Volunteer Centre Kensington and Chelsea (VCKC)

The primary goal of the VKCK is to champion rewarding volunteering opportunities and promote volunteering as a force for change and social good.  VCKC promotes volunteering opportunities that have a positive impact on volunteers, charities and the community. The Small Grants Fund allocated funding toward an update of VCKC’s website, which intends to make it even easier for the people of Kensington and Chelsea to volunteer.


As you will have read, the Small Grants Fund is a great funding stream which intends to improve the sustainability voluntary and community organisations of the Royal Borough. There is still £15,000 of Small Grants Fund to allocate and applications will re-open in October of this year. So, if you are a voluntary and community organisation within the Royal Borough that meet the criteria, we encourage you to apply.


Further details about Small Grants and how to apply can be found here.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 979 other followers