City Living, Local Life

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CLLL: Celebrating the women of the world with An-Nisa

In Earl’s Court, the local councillors through City Living, Local Life have helped local organisation An-Nisa Women’s Empowerment Group to mark the contribution of women to society.

An-Nisa, named in reference to the Arabic word for ‘the women’, is a community group that has been running for three years providing women living in the Earl’s Court area from all backgrounds and cultures, a place to come together, make new friends and through the links made, learn more about Kensington and Chelsea and the community as a whole.

The celebration brought together forty local ladies to honour the volunteers who have devoted hundreds of hours to make the supplementary school and coffee mornings held by the group a success. As well as enjoying a buffet of homemade dishes from the countries represented by the women attending, there was the chance to learn more about wellbeing and have a health MOT.

It wasn’t just a dish people were encouraged to bring and the event was a kaleidoscope of colour with food and dress from Jamaica, India, Chile and beyond.

If you would like to find out more about the work of An-Nisa you can join them on their Tuesday coffee mornings from 9:15am – 11:30am at Response Community Projects, 300 Old Brompton Road, SW5 9JF. Alternatively, you can get in touch via email at / 07957451667

An Nisa 2


Team Kensington and Chelsea: Volunteering for all the seasons at Leighton House

Across Kensington and Chelsea, there are hundreds of ways you can lend your time and skills to help the organisations and institutions that make the borough a great place to live, work and visit.

Leighton House Museum is one of these places. The former home of Frederic, Lord Leighton – a Victorian painter, sculptor and one time commander of the 38th Middlesex Rifle Volunteers – Leighton House became a ‘private palace of art’, heavily influenced by Leighton’s love of Middle Eastern art and design.

As part of the borough’s Team Kensington and Chelsea initiative which aims to get more people volunteering locally, watch the video below to find out what’s it like to pitch in at Leighton House and the Royal Borough’s other museums.

And if this video inspires you to make a difference locally, visit to find out how you can!

RBKC’s Small Grants Fund – the results are in…

The first round of the 2016/17 Corporate Services Small Grant fund closed last month, and the assessments have been made on how to allocate the first half of the £30,000 fund.

This round saw 22 organisations apply, with grants assessed on the following priorities –

  • Information and Advice
  • Community Engagement
  • Infrastructure and Capacity Building

The second round of funding is due to open in October 2016 and more information can be found on the RBKC website. Successful in the first round however, were:

  • Abundance Arts to run a programme of activities for Caribbean elders;
  • African Women’s Care Centre to upgrade their computer systems to cope with increasing numbers of members;
  • Build on Belief to help advertise their drug and alcohol support group;
  • Centre for Armenian Information and Advice towards the costs of marketing materials for a street festival;
  • North Kensington Women’s Textile Workshop to help their volunteer leaders with training and support;
  • Open Age to help with the costs of promoting their services to isolated older people;
  • Persian Care Centre to purchase a laptop to help coordinate their services;
  • Response Community Projects to repair flood damaged carpets;
  • SPID Theatre to help with the costs of bringing a part of the Kensal Community Rooms back into use;
  • St Antonio Eritrean Refugees Women’s Group to support their year-long programme of activities for isolated older women; and
  • Venture Community Association to help revamp their IT suite at the community centre.

Transform an open space with Tesco’s Bags of Help community grants…

Ever wondered where that 5p goes when you buy a plastic bag? Well, Tesco have teamed up with Groundwork to launch Bags of Help, which provides up to £12,000 for community groups to transform local spaces.

In each area 3 successful applications, which have been assessed by Groundwork, will be put forward to a public vote in Tesco Stores over two weekends. The most popular project will be awarded £12,000, the second most £10,000 and the third will receive £8000.

The fund is intended for capital projects that provide community benefit and do not charge for access. Eligible groups include community organisations, registered charities, social enterprises, Community Interest Companies, schools and housing organisations.

The deadline for applications is 12pm, Friday, 3 June 2016.

Further information and the application process can be found on Groundwork’s website.


City Living, Local Life: The Canalside Street Party – Friday, 17th June

Dalgarno dwellers and beyond! Don’t miss the chance to have a right royal knees up as the Portobello Business Centre and other local groups throw a street party to celebrate the Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday on Friday, June 17.

With art & creative activities, face painting, music, performances, food, drink and screenings of local history and culture films, there promises to be something for everyone!

The event is supported by the St. Helen’s and Dalgarno councillors through City Living, Local Life and kicks off at 3pm and finishes at 8pm.

Canalside House is found at Canal Way, 383 Ladbroke Grove, London W10 5AA (next to Sainsbury’s car park).

Happy 25th Birthday Westway Community Transport!

Party poppers at the ready – Westway Community Transport (WCT) is celebrating its 25th year anniversary this year!

Over the last two and a half decades WCT has transformed from a small scheme with only six minibuses, to a thriving, community enterprise employing over 50 people with a fleet of 50 vehicles and the help of an even bigger taskforce of volunteers. All of this is supported in part by The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea through a grant of £112,000 to help fund its work in transporting members of local groups who would otherwise be unable to take part in activities.

Despite this success WCT still retains its focus on the provision of affordable, accessible transport for local people. And now, the organisation is no longer limited to minibuses and operate wheelchair and mobility scooter hire, as well as a community car service. And the best bit? The income from all of these services is put straight back into the work of WCT.

As it entered its silver anniversary year WCT also started an Innovation Fund that encourages groups to create new projects and activities for their users that will utilise the WCT minibuses during quieter times of day. The fund has made £20,000 available as transport credits.

The Innovation Fund is a great way to encourage members to think ‘outside of the box’ and create new opportunities for the local community at different times of the day. It is important in these days where money is tight, that we make the most use of our resources while meeting the demands of our members’  Andrew Kelly, Director.

And you can help WCT celebrate their birthday!  If a group you know could benefit from the Innovation Fund, keep your eyes peeled as the second round will open later this year.

And importantly, if you can spare a few hours to join WCT’s volunteer taskforce, it has a range of different roles available such as Travel Buddies and Drivers. For more information about these opportunities or the Innovation Fund, contact Westway Community Transport on 020 8964 4928 or visit

Parents! Check out Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea’s June performances…

Parents of the borough! Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea are returning this June with two performances for children…

Tales from the Shed on Tour at The Tabernacle

Where?: The Tabernacle, Powis Square, W11 2AY
When?: Saturday, 11 June, 10am-11.30am
How much?: £6 | Free to babies under 6mths
Who is it suitable for?: 0-6 years
How do I book?: You can telephone Chickenshed’s box office on 020 8292 9222
or email

Tales from the Shed are vibrant, interactive theatre shows that are perfect for young children. They are informal, lively and engaging as the performers and audience share the same space. Children are always encouraged to make a lot of noise and to make the story happen.

A Brimful of Grimm

Where?: Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King St, London W6 0QL,
When?: Tuesday 28 June and Wednesday 29 June from 7pm
How much?: £8 (£5 concessions)
Who is it suitable for?: Ages 7+
How do I book?: Telephone 020 8741 6850, email or book through the Lyric’s website.

A Brimful of Grimm is a fantastical original play written directly for the Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea’s Children’s Theatre 2.

The Chickenshed Team have put their own unique spin on the Grimms’ Fairy Tales, featuring some well-known characters. Watch out for wheeler and dealer Rumplestiltskin and his gold-loving Gang and the worrywart Queen who won’t let her daughters out of her sight. And of course, no fairy tale would be complete without a Stepmother; and A Brimful of Grimm has two sisters who want to get rid of all the children in the kingdom including Hansel, Gretel and their less well-known younger sister, Ida.

And for those of you who would like to find out more about Chickenshed Theatre and their inclusive theatre process, do have a peek at the short documentary below:

EU Referendum: Dates to note if you want to vote…

Kensington and Chelsea voters – the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union will take place on Thursday 23 June 2016.

And to help you, the Royal Borough’s Elections Team have put together a few FAQs and key dates:

What is the referendum about?

A referendum asks you to vote on a question.

This referendum the question is ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’

Can I vote in the referendum?

You can vote in this referendum if you are registered to vote in the UK, are 18 or over on 23 June 2016 and are:

  • A British or Irish citizen living in the UK, or
  • A Commonwealth citizen living in the UK who has leave to remain in the UK or who does not require leave to remain in the UK
  • A British citizen living overseas who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years
  • An Irish citizen living overseas who was born in Northern Ireland and who has been registered to vote in Northern Ireland in the last 15 years

Key dates to note for the referendum

  • Deadline for Registering to Vote:  Tuesday 7 June 2016
  • Deadline for Postal Vote applications: Wednesday 8 June 2016
  • Deadline for Proxy Vote applications:  Wednesday 15 June 2016

City Living, Local Life: Capturing history in Kensington and Chelsea

Regular blog and Cuppa readers will have noticed the recent history projects City Living, Local Life has supported, and we are now pleased to present the Maxilla Archive, One Potato that explores children’s play in Chelsea and the latest edition of Colville Community History’s excellent newsletters!

The Maxilla Archive

Following the launch exhibition in May, the Maxilla Archive is now online! Documenting an inspiring journey of community action from local residents, organisations and the local authority that led to the creation of the Maxilla Children’s Centre the archive can be found at

One Potato 

Premiering at Chelsea Theatre last month, the making of One Potato saw children from Servite Primary talk with local older people to discover how play has (or hasn’t) changed over the past 80 years. Created in partnership with Age UK Kensington & Chelsea and local media charity digital:works, the children played a large role in creating, filming and producing the following short film:

A wealth of interviews and resources related to the project can be found at

Colville Community History: Muhammad Ali and the London Free School

If you missed Tom Vague’s talk on May 14, then do not worry – the latest newsletter is out for download!

In the run-up to his second fight against Henry Cooper, Muhammed Ali visited North Kensington in 1966 and spent some time at the London Free School. With interviews, photographs and Tom’s forensic insight, Colville Community History Issue 15 [pdf] may just be a knockout…

For more information on the Colville Community History Project visit

Portobello Pop-up for Dementia Awareness Week – Friday, 20 May

As part of Dementia Awareness Week, the Royal Borough’s Dementia Action Alliance is pitching up at Portobello to raise awareness dementia and highlighting how you can help.

There are more than 1500 people living with dementia in Kensington and Chelsea alone, and on Friday, 20 May from 11am-4pm you can find out more about building a dementia-friendly community, sign up to get involved with the Dementia Action Alliance and enjoy a range of activities, including:

11am: Sing to Live choir
11.30am – 3.30pm: Dementia Friends sessions
12pm – 12.30pm: local history walk-about (the record shops of Portobello Road)
12.30 – 3pm: Cartoon Connections drawing sessions
2pm – 2.30pm: Local history walk-about (history of Portobello Road, the farm and Portobello Lane)

For more information on the Dementia Action Alliance, please contact Kathe Jacob at Age UK Kensington and Chelsea – / 020 3181 0002

Spacehive update: Venture Centre hit target and more ideas on the way

The Venture Centre kids are going to carnival! With 5 days to spare, the community said yes to the first ever Spacehive project in Kensington and Chelsea –  and they even surpassed their £5,000 plus target.

Over 80 pledges were made throughout their local fundraising efforts coming from a variety of sources from individual residents,  community groups, housing associations to local businesses and the council via City Living, Local Life Golborne and St. Helen’s wards.

The kids themselves also shook their buckets hard along Portobello Road and raised money at Portobello Live and at a disco organised at The Venture Centre. Now they will get the chance to take part and dance through the streets of Notting Hill at this year’s carnival!

Here is what the kid’s had to say:

Now with proof of a community backed idea becoming a reality in Kensington and Chelsea, the hive is ready for groups to access, share ideas and generate interest in their projects. Even if your ideas are not fully ironed out, the first step is to share.

The Golborne Forum have already been working to begin their crowdfunding to support this year’s Golborne Festival, one of the most popular community events in North Kensington, and the Meanwhile Gardens have posted up a couple of ideas to coincide with their 40th anniversary celebrations, so don’t delay and share today!

Any questions or queries on how to crowdfund, get in touch with Spacehive and #CrowdfundKC


PROJECTS FUNDED: Supporting Dale Youth Boxing Club and some fun in the Sun at Lancaster West

There’s been the Thriller in Manilla, the Rumble in the Jungle and now we have the Tale of Notting Dale, with the ward councillors teaming up with Dale Youth Boxing Club to provide head guards and sparring gloves for local trainers.

Dale Youth has been part of the community for over 80 years and has helped shape countless men and women through that time, including European, British and Commonwealth Champion George Groves and current IBF super-middleweight champion James DeGale.

New members are always welcome and more information can be found on Dale Youth’s Facebook page.

Lancaster West Fun Day

Local to the Lancaster? If so, then make sure you pop down to the Lancaster West Fun Day on Saturday, 9 July.

Organised by the Lancaster West Residents Association, with a little help from City Living, Local Life and the Notting Dale councillors, there will be food, drink, sumo suits and even a talent show for any budding local performers!

Planning enforcement team tops national league table

The Royal Borough’s planning enforcement team was one of the most active enforcement teams in the country in 2015 according to figures released by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

The figures show that the team served 27 Temporary Stop Notices, more than any other local authority in the UK, which represents 11 per cent of all Temporary Stop Notices served in the UK last year. The team issued more Breach of Condition Notices than the rest of the country in the last three months of 2015 too and the second most in the country in 2015.

Putting these figures in perspective, of all the Temporary Stop Notices served in London in 2015 a third of them were in the four squares miles of the Royal Borough. Furthermore the team served more Temporary Stop Notices than the combined total of Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and every other metropolitan district in the country.

These figures are down to the Royal Borough’s tough stance on breaches of planning conditions relating to construction traffic. The planning enforcement team has a zero tolerance approach to any breach of a site’s Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP). CTMPs are required for any basement development that requires planning permission and if the CTMP is not strictly complied with both the owner and builders can receive both a Temporary Stop Notice and Breach of Condition Notice at once.

The Council receives many reports of construction vehicles failing to comply with CTMP planning conditions. In collecting evidence enforcement officers work with their colleagues in other departments, residents and even the local police. Therefore if evidence of a breach is collected the Council can issue a Temporary Stop Notice which will ensure that any further would be a criminal offence and subject to a large fine.

Cllr Timothy Coleridge, Cabinet Member for Planning Policy, said: “Our approach is tough but fair which leaves all parties under no illusion of the importance of complying with CTMPs. We have been serving more Temporary Stop Notices than the rest of the country since June last year. They are the quickest and most powerful tool to prevent construction traffic from unreasonably impacting on our residents which is why we do not use them sparingly.

“In the future we expect to be serving fewer of these notices. Not because our excellent planning enforcement team intends to rest on its laurels but because we expect developers to get the message. It is very rare that a developer makes the same mistake twice after it has received a visit from our officers which is why we only had to prosecute one site for non-compliance with a Temporary Stop Notice in 2015.”

IdahoDay: International Day Against Homophobia

Idahoday is an internationally recognised day against homophobia & transphobia.

The met police will not tolerate homophobic or transphobic crime. Brompton Cemetery lgbt awareness surgery Saturday 21st may 11:00 – 15:00 hrs to engage the general public in Kensington and Chelsea and LGBT community that live, work or socialise in the borough.

On idahoday  LGBT officers and the kensington and chelsea lgbt advisory group will be present to answer any questions you might have and provide crime prevention advice

LBGT liaision officers will be offering support and advice on homophobic hate crime

for further information contact lgbt liaision officer pcso 7561 parker

tel: 02071619165, email: miriam.parker2@met.policeweb:




Ministry of Defence Covenant Fund Opens for UK Applications

The Covenant Fund, an enduring fund established in August 2015, provides £10 million each year to support the armed forces community across the UK.

The Fund is currently accepting applications for the following priorities:

Veterans’ Gateway

A single grant of up to £2 million for a two-year pilot project to set up a single 24/7 multi-media point of contact for veterans seeking assistance. It will refer callers to existing service providers across the UK, and then follow up with the caller to ensure that they got the advice they needed. It will not compete, replicate or in any way undermine existing charities’ or government departments’ helplines. It will not provide any services but it will filter the right person to the right charity and increase the demand on their services and expertise. The Veterans’ Gateway will be funded as a two year project, with the aim that it became self-financing within those two years.

Families in Stress

Local charities or community interest companies that provide specialist services, working in close partnership with military bases can apply for grants of between £20,001 and £300,000.

Eligible projects should support families of serving personnel who are experiencing a significant stressful life event and would benefit from an intervention from a provider who can offer specialised, localised (or easily accessible) and immediate support. These life events could include: life-changing injury, bereavement, domestic abuse, relationship break-up, those subject to the civil or service justice system or mental health issues. Beneficiaries should be the families of serving personnel based both in the UK and overseas. Projects must either be new or enhance the support that is already available with an emphasis on long-term self-sufficiency. Projects should fill gaps in provision and not replicate or replace services already provided, nor create dependency. This priority will not fund capital schemes such as play parks or projects that extend to families of veterans.

Community Integration/Delivery of Local Services

Charities (including community interest companies); schools; local authorities and Armed Forces units with a UIN can apply for grants of up to £20,000. Applicants are expected to have experience and a track record of working with the Armed Forces Community, as well as a real understanding of the issues facing the Armed Forces Community.

Eligible projects should respond to the local needs of the Armed Forces Community and improve recognition of the Armed Forces Covenant, and:

  • Help integrate Armed Forces and civilian communities across the UK, and/or
  • Deliver valuable local services to the armed forces community.

The deadline for applications to the Veterans’ Gateway is 1 July 2016.

The deadline for applications to Families in Stress and the Community Integration/Delivery of Local Services is 22 June 2016.

More information can be found here:


Eat the Rainbow: Free Family Cooking Class at Goldfinger Factory

Come and discover how delicious, easy, fun and inexpensive healthy cooking can be!

As part of the Go Golborne initiative, Marie from Bain-Marie at Goldfinger Factory is offering families with children living in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea a free healthy cooking class in June. During the class, you will delve into the heart of healthy and sustainable cooking, learning how to make one savoury and one sweet recipe.

The class kicks off on June 25 form 4pm-6pm at Golfinger Factory, 13-15 Golborne Road, London W10, 5NY and you can sign up here.eattherainbow.JPG



CONSULTATION: Cycling Quietway from Mitre Lane to Ledbury Road

Residents are being informed about the Council’s proposals for a “Quietway” cycle route, which should form part of the Mayor of London’s Central London Cycling Grid.

Quietways are designed primarily for people who have considered cycling, but have been put off by the idea of sharing busy roads with lorries and buses. It is important to note that Quietways are different from the Mayor’s Cycling Superhighways, which have tended to grab most of the press coverage of cycling routes. For example, on the Quietways, there will be no painted coloured lanes on the roads, and routes are not designed for very high volumes of commuter cyclists.

The route will run from Mitre Lane on the border with Hammersmith and Fulham to Ledbury Road in the City of Westminster. This is part of a long route that will run from East Acton to Walthamstow. For the majority of the route between Mitre Lane and Ledbury Road, the council will not need to make physical changes to the roads except to paint cycle symbols on the road and to place signs at decision points. However, there are three locations where the council propose significant changes, to assist cyclists across busy junctions or to reduce the speed of traffic.

Drawings showing the proposals are available to view at

Any comments on the plans can be sent by email to, by 5 June 2016. Officers will then report the consultation responses to the relevant Cabinet Member, Cllr Tim Coleridge, before any final decisions are made.

WARMTH! The FREE home energy service now in RBKC with Groundwork

With coordination by Groundwork, Kensington and Chelsea is now part of the pan-London programme,  WARMTH, the free home energy service!

The main benefit of WARMTH is the Green Doctor service that provides 1 to 1 home visits and support on reducing your energy bills, saving energy and linking you with your local services.

What’s included in the visit:

  • Energy and Water Saving measures – such as energy monitors, energy efficient light bulbs and draught proofing (free of charge). Where possible people will be referred for home improvements such as insulation and boiler upgrades.
  • 1-2-1 advice on energy saving and fuel switching.
  • Connections to other services – such as referrals for fire safety, benefit checks, handyperson schemes and health and well-being services.
  • Help and support with claiming benefits related to energy costs.
  • RBKC Healthier Homes Scheme Referral – Help to access new boilers and boiler repairs (subject to tenure).

The scheme is primarily aimed at:

  • People with a physical disability or suffering from long term illness
  • People with mental health issues
  • Those who are pregnant or have a child under 5 and on a low income
  • People over 65
  • People aged 16-25 with a low income

If you would like a visit or would like to refer someone else you can do so through the link below or telephoning 0300 365 5003.




PROJECT FUNDED: City Living, Local Life – St. Helen’s Festival returns…

Residents of St. Helen’s and the surrounding streets – the St. Helen’s Festival is returning this year!

Last celebrated in 2013, the festival returns to the streets around St. Helen’s Gardens on the occasion of the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebration on 11th June.

So, put the date in your diary and do check back to the City Living, Local Life blog for more information over the coming weeks.


Community Reporters Review: The Iphigenia Quarter at Gate Theatre

Thanks to resident reporter Stan Moorcroft for the following review!

Four plays over two nights presenting a multi-dimensional tragedy, seen from a variety of angles, exploring fundamental issues of violence, sacrifice, and civic duty, vanity, motherhood and the predicament of women in the face of male violence. All this concerning events that occurred more than 2000 years ago. Nobody could ever accuse the Gate of lacking ambition. That it all works so powerfully is a credit to the cast who manage to fully convey the immediacy and terrible implications of the crisis faced by the primary protagonists, Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, and Iphigenia.

“I am a good man in a dreadful situation….” The drunken Agamemnon declares in the first of the four plays, Agamemnon.

“Is that ‘the line’ you’ll use?” Clytemnestra, his wife shoots back as she dissects his self-image with home truths about as devastating as home truths come. Indeed, for me, it was the performance of Andrew French as the drunken self-pitying Agamemnon and Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Clytemnestra, that provided the core of the two nights’ performances. French, as Agamemnon, a giant presence dominating the stage, though a giant suddenly exposed to the full the scale of his own fragility and weakness. Whilst Sharon Duncan-Brewster, whose sassy self-confident Clytemnestra, we see suddenly transformed, as she discovers her husband’s true intentions, and the painful mask she has worn for so long slips from her face. To descend into cliché, this was going to be a hard act to follow. And so it proved, but I will return to this shortly.

On the second night in Iphigenia, Agamemnon, now played by Anthony Barclay, presents as a far less tortured figure, a brutal wife beater, intent on dominating his family and the wider world. Clytemnestra, Suzie Trayling, now much more fragile, nervy, a woman on the edge, seeking to placate him. Iphigenia, Shannon Tarbet, a moody, sulking anorexic teenager who has come to despise her own mother.

As the Drama plays out however it is Iphigenia who faces, clearly and coldly, the reality of the predicament they now confront, in the process demolishing the pomposity of Achilles, Dwane Walcott, the temporizing of her mother and the hypocrisy of Agamemnon. That the speech Agamemnon then goes on to make to the assembled Athenian Polis: –

“And then people of Greece a miracle…”

Sounds as phony as a Hallmark greetings card is in no small part due to the passionate authenticity of Iphigenia’s words that preceded it.

Clytemnestra and Chorus both seek to connect the plays with contemporary life by lifting them firstly from the academic and scholarly, and then from the passivity of ‘spectacle.’ Both of these plays about plays poke and prod and provide stimulus for wider discussion. However, for this spectator, it was the play that was the thing in which my conscience was caught.

It would be seriously remiss of me not to mention Nigel Barrett, as Agamemnon’s singularly unpleasant brother, Menelaus and Louise McMenemy as the ‘only obeying orders,’ Messenger. They both powerfully conveyed the duplicity and treachery into which the protagonists had sunk.

To fully achieve the full impact all four plays need to be seen; two memorable nights, one highly charged drama.

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