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Cultivating Kensington and Chelsea: Green fingers in the Greenhouses

A group of enthusiastic local volunteers are busy growing a great range of herb and vegetable seedlings at the Cultivating Kensington and Chelsea Market Garden site, on a disused railway platform at Kensington Olympia station, ready for the start of the new growing season.

Cultivating Kensington & Chelsea (CKC) is a charity that has been set up to promote community gardening and raise funds to support the Community Kitchen Garden scheme in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. One of the ways they raise funds, is through locally-grown plant sales..

Weekly plant sales will be held at: Olympia Kitchen Garden site on Saturdays from 8 April 2017 – 11 am to 2 pm (entrance on the Russell Road side of Kensington Olympia station)

Seedlings are priced very competitively and proceeds will benefit the 74 kitchen garden sites that have sprung up throughout the borough and help grow the project.

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One of the new greenhouses at CKC’s Olympia Market Garden site

The project was started with an Innovation Grant from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea about three years ago and to celebrate its success the volunteers and trustees of CKC hosted a visit by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Nick Paget-Brown, Councillor Gerard Hargreaves, Cabinet Member for Civil Society and Lady Elizabeth Arnold, Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London on 14 February at the Market Garden Site. CKC also recently launched its first grant scheme and awarded funding to seven Kitchen Garden Clubs in the borough.

 For further information about the plant sales or the project please email secretary.ckccio@gmail.com

For information about volunteering with CKC please email Lisa.communitygardener@gmail.com or telephone 07542 718133

Closing soon: Beatrix Potter’s London at the V&A – ends 28/4/17

Have you had chance to catch the V&A’s free display exploring the role of London in Kensington-born Beatrix Potters life and work? If not, you’ve only got a few weeks left…

The free display marks the 150th anniversary of her birth in Bolton Gardens, Kensington (where Bousfield Primary School now stands after the house was destroyed in the Blitz). Being a local gal, Beatrix’s childhood was full of local memories – especially the museums of Exhibition Road, which helped inform her thinking on science, art and nature.

The display complements the V&A’s permanent collection (which is the world’s largest collection of BP’s drawings, manuscripts and correspondence).

The display runs until 28 April 2017 in Gallery 102 at the V&A (Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL)

 

Put your best flipper forward and raise funds for Marie Curie at the 30th Swimathon – 7-9/4/17

Swimathon, the world’s biggest annual fundraising swim turns 30 this year, and Kensington Leisure Centre will be one of more than 600 venues hosting Swimathon events.

On Sunday, 9 April, the centre will welcome swimmers to take part in the Swimathon from 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm.

Swimathon challenges people to swim 1.5k, 2.5k or 5k (you can also do the 1.5k and 5k swims as a relay with friends). Even if you decide to swim solo, you won’t be going it alone as a host of plans are available on the Swimathon website, complete with tips from liquid legend Duncan Goodhew MBE.

The entry fee for the Swimathon is £13 for individuals (any distance) and £26 for the team 5k and 1.5k swims. Concessions are priced £9.75 and £19.50 accordingly.

Over £46million has been raised by Swimathon over the past 30 years, and this year the chosen charity is Marie Curie.

For more information, including registration, tips and a full list of the swimming pools taking part nationwide do visit the Swimathon website.

Registration closes at 11pm, Wednesday 5 April. 

 

RBKC’s Corporate Grants – find out more about the organisations…

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Corporate Grants process provides funding to a host of community groups and charities to deliver key services all around the borough. The grants are worth around £2.3m in total and this year the decisions were made on how these funds would be allocated from 2017-19.

Some of the groups are well known, others perhaps less so. So here’s a rundown of the groups who were funded – do check out their websites for further information on the work they do and how you can access their services or get involved!

Al-Hasaniya Moroccan Women’s Project to offer specialist support, activity and advocacy for older Arabic speaking marginalised adults and women.

Chelsea Theatre LTD to support the community development work at Chelsea Theatre.

Citizens Advice Bureau to deliver the Citizens Advice service for residents in Kensington and Chelsea.

ClementJames Centre to support the Centre’s employability and isolation projects for over 2000 residents.

Community Accountancy Self Help (CASH) to offer financial advice and guidance for local community organisations.

Cruse Bereavement Care to provide support to people who are suffering the complex effects of bereavement.

Dalgarno Trust to offer a range of health, education, community engagement and employment projects from the Dalgarno Centre.

Eritrean Elders Welfare Association to tackle isolation amongst older people from the Eritrean community.

Hodan Somali Community (Partnership) to provide advice and support to the Somali community in partnership with three other Somali organisations. 

Kalayaan to increase users (Migrant Domestic Workers) of their employment and immigration rights as well as identifying victims of slavery and trafficking.

Kensington and Chelsea Forum for Older Residents to run a programme of activities for older people.

Kensington and Chelsea Social Council to support locally focused voluntary and community organisations.

Latymer Christian Fellowship Trust to provide inter-generational activities.

Making Communities Work & Grow to continue to offer social, educational and recreational activities to marginalised young people.

Further information, including the Key Decision Report, can be found on the RBKC website.

 

City Living, Local Life: Celebrating 1957, 67 and 77 with Colville Community History – free talk 2/3/17

It’s seventh heaven for Tom Vague and the Colville Community History Project as they celebrate the years 1957, 1967 and 1977 and the pop culture and community action that shaped not only Kensington and Chelsea but the world beyond.

On Saturday, 25 March from 3-4pm join the Colville Community History Project at North Kensington Library for a free talk and slideshow that features beatniks, Rastafarians, punks and hippies. The talk covers the effects of the 1957 Rent Act and Rachman, the 1967 summer of love and then 1977 punk-reggae party including the Sex Pistols, the Clash and Bob Marley’s Exodus.

Supported by the Colville Councillors, through City Living, Local Life the Colville Community History project produces a range of talks, exhibitions and newsletter focusing on the rich cultural and social history of the area.

Free tickets can be booked online or in person at North Kensington Library.

 

 

Sherlock Jr – A night of silent film and a church organ at St John’s Notting Hill, 5/5/17…

 

The excellent, etheral sounds of St John’s Church organ will be returning for the next St. John’s Notting Hill Film Night – and this time the game is afoot…

On Friday, 5 May from 8pm-9:30pm, Sherlock Jr (1924) – a film directed by, and starring, Buster Keaton – will be accompanied by Donald MacKenzie, Resident Organist at The Odeon Leicester Square for an evening of laughs.

Sherlock Jr is Buster Keaton’s portrayal of the legendary detective long before Benedict Cumberbatch glared penetratingly into a camera lens. This classic comedy, famous for its technical wizardry and daring stunts, will be shown as part of a double bill with Laurel and Hardy’s short comedy caper Do Detective’s Think?

This is the sixth film he has accompanied at St John’s Notting Hill (Lansdowne Crescent, W11 2NN), all previous of which have sold out. Get your ticket in advance and come along for a rare showing of this classic silent film.

Tickets are £10 and can be ordered online. Tickets are also available at the church, weekdays 10am – 1pm.

Unchosen: A night of film about modern slavery – Kensington Town Hall – 28/03/17

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea will be holding a free film evening with Unchosen on Tuesday, 28 March in the Small Hall at Kensington Town Hall (W8 7NX) from 6-8pm to mark the UN’s International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Millions of people around the world and thousands in the UK are sold into exploitation and slavery every year – but it is a crime that takes place in the shadows. The evening of film hopes to shed a little light on modern slavery.

Unchosen is an anti-trafficking charity that organises film campaigns to raise public awareness and combat all forms of human trafficking, forced labour, sexual exploitation and domestic servitude in the UK and Ireland. They believe that film is a powerful tool that explains modern slavery in ways words cannot.

Unchosen’s films show the real life cost of modern slavery in the UK, and some are rated 15 – please bear this in mind when booking.

Doors open at 6pm to give attendees the opportunity to visit one of the stalls by organisations working to combat modern day slavery. The event will begin at 6.30pm and there will be a post film talk and Q&A with a panel of local experts.

For more information, and to book your free place please visit: unchosen2017kensington.eventbrite.co.uk

Calling at Big Cheeses: New loans for budding businesses and entrepreneurs available in Kensington and Chelsea…

Budding business brains and eager entrepreneurs! A new scheme to support residents who are struggling to borrow start-up cash funds from mainstream lenders in Kensington and Chelsea is now up and running.

The ‘Big Cheese Loan’, the brainchild of Kensington-based Your Credit Union and Portobello Business Centre, will administer £100,000 in loan guaranteed funds on behalf of the Royal Borough.

The new partnership – believed to be the first of its kind in the UK – will specifically support the self-employed and new micro-businesses with loans. Typically loans will be for a few thousand pounds but could go up to £10,000.

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea is supporting the scheme to help the two organisations work together and offer finance to start-ups as well as business and financial advice.

The scheme is intended to help residents who have not been able to raise start-up finance from traditional sources, such as banks, which can be difficult, particularly if a person is currently out of work. Newly trading, small and micro businesses will also be able to access loans to help them become more sustainable.

For further information on affordable loans and business support for small businesses contact Portobello Business Centre on: 020 7460 5050.

City Living, Local Life: Free public speaking masterclass for 16-29 year olds in Golborne ward

Does the thought of public speaking bring you out in cold sweats? Or want to learn how to make that killer pitch? Well, if you’re aged 16-29 and live in Golborne ward, the London Film Foundation have a free 10 week course to help you overcome your fears and brush up on your skills.

With support from the Golborne Councillors, the 10 week course start on Thursday, 6 April from 6.30-8.30pm at Making Communities Work and Grow (19 Golborne Road, W10 5NY – under Trellick Tower).

To register your interest, or to find out more, please email londonfilmfoundation@gmail.com or telephone 07786 014459.

Fundraisers: Art auctions and more for the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation

Art appreciators! Take a look at some of the world’s leading artists and help raise funds for The Kensington and Chelsea Foundation at the turn of this month with the following auction and free view…

The London Art Biennale

With over 120 artists from 40 nations, the London Art Biennale transforms Chelsea Old Town Hall into a world of painting, sculpture and digital art from 29 March – 2 April.

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The opening night (29 March, 6:30-9:30pm) sees a charity auction where over 30 lots will be sold to raise funds for London’s Air Ambulance and the borough’s own Rotary Club and Kensington and Chelsea Foundation. Works for auction include a piece of Jose Van Roy Dali, son of Salvador, Marco Lodola and Paul Kostabi.

Attendance is free, but RSVP is essential and can be done online.

25 Blythe Road – For dogs and their owners

For those of you who think art has gone to the dogs, or for budding canine caricature collectors, the esteemed auctioneers at 25 Blythe Road are hosting a fundraising private view of art that celebrates man and his dog.

The morning viewing takes place on Monday, 3 April from 8:30-10am. There will be around 25 paintings on show, many from the Victorian era and doggy treats aplenty.

The morning will be raising funds and awareness of the Foundation. Again, attendance is free but RSVP essential online.

 

Are your smoke alarms in working order? Free checks and installation available from the London Fire Brigade…

After a recent fire in Shepherd’s Bush started by a faulty tumble dryer, the London Fire Brigade are encouraging everyone to check their smoke alarms are in working order or fitting one if they haven’t already done so.

The Brigade’s figures show there is, on average, one fire in London every day involving white goods. Around 90 per cent of the fires caused by these are not down to human factors but by faults beyond the control of the householder.

Since 2011, London firefighters have attended 2,072 white goods related fires – almost one blaze a day. The Fire Brigade say that they are still attending fires where there are no working smoke alarms. Everyone should have at least one smoke alarm on every level of their home and the safest option is to have them linked together.

Fires and fire deaths continue on a downward trend, but the Fire Bridgade want to ensure they reach those most at risk from fire and the most in-need residents across the borough.

The local fire brigade wants to identify people who:

  • live alone;
  • have a physical, mental health or learning disability;
  • are over 60;
  • are single parents with a child under 15;
  • smoke

Homes can be assessed and smoke alarms installed where needed, with officers able to give important fire safety advice – all free of charge.

If you are concerned that your home may be at risk, or if you know anyone who meets one or more of these categories and would benefit from a home fire safety visit, you can request one via www.london-fire.gov.uk , calling 0800 028 44 28, or emailing swcfshfsv@london-fire.gov.uk

Panel discussion: Understanding and tackling extremist propaganda – 16/3/17 at Kensington Aldridge Academy

Join the audience for a panel discussion on Thursday, 16 March for an informed and open discussion on the radicalisation threat in West London.

Organised by Baraka Community Association in partnership with Kensington Aldridge Academy, the event seeks to explain how extremist propaganda targets vulnerable individuals, to discuss different methods of tackling extremist propaganda, and to suggest what more can be done as proposed by the panel and audience members.

The discussion takes place from 6.30-8.30pm at Kensington Aldridge Academy (1 Silchester Road, W10 6EX). Doors open at 6pm.

**Registration is essential for the event **

You can register online via Eventbrite. For more information please contact Baraka Community Association on 07747781056.

This weekend – A Celebration of Shakespeare with the Earl’s Courtiers…

At a loose end this weekend, with much ado about nothing planned? Then good news! The Earl’s Courtiers are performing A Celebration of Shakespeare on Friday (3 March) and Saturday (4 March).

Taking place at St. Cuthbert’s Church from 7.30pm each night, tickets are £10 (£5 for children) and can be booked online through the Earl’s Court Community Trust.

The evening will be packed full of the eternally famous monologues, duologues and scenes from comedies, histories and tragedies that define Shakespeare’s work – just as you like it.

The transformation of St. Cuthbert’s Church into a theatre space for performances such as these was made possible though City Living, Local Life with support from the Earl’s Court and Redcliffe Councillors…

 

City Living Local Life focus: Chelsea Riverside

Down in the south of the borough we go, for a look at Chelsea Riverside and how Councillors and local community groups have been working together through City Living, Local Life.

In recent years, Chelsea Riverside councillors have supported a range of projects from environmental improvements to community get-togethers as well as support for older residents and those looking for employment.

The World’s End piazza has been a focus, with City Living, Local Life helping members of local mental health charity SMART to maintain the World’s End and Lots Road Big Local planters. The piazza has also been brought to life with the annual Chelsea Youth Festival that is organised by, and for, local young people.

But, it’s not just the World’s End that has benefited from City Living, Local Life as the Cremorne Residents’ Association of Lots Village threw a summer fete, Fetters Lane Church saw Ernest and Mary Gillick being commemorated with a blue plaque and the Chelsea FC Foundation’s Premier League Kicks programme was extended in the south of the borough helping young people in the area remain active and healthy. In 2016, councillors also helped to make Christmas that bit more special, supporting festive lights on the Kings Road and a celebration for the World’s End Over 50s’ social club.

For more information about the area, and local activities taking place, visit the Chelsea Riverside ward page on the City Living, Local Life website.

CLLL: Call the Community Nurse – shared bike scheme launched at Pembridge Palliative

With support from the Dalgarno and St Helen’s councillors through City Living, Local Life, North Kensington-based Pembridge Palliative Care have set up a shared bike scheme for their community nurses, social workers and therapists.

Pembridge Palliative Care provides support for people with terminal illnesses and those who require end-of-life care. This is provided from Pembridge’s St Charles Hospital base and at people’s homes. The bike scheme will help reduce journey times when visiting patients at home – meaning that more time can be spent with patients and their families relieving pain, anxiety and loneliness in these difficult times.

Pembridge currently support 82 Kensington and Chelsea residents at home, and more than 50 people who attend the inpatient unit and day hospice.

The recycled bikes will be on the roads from March – so do keep an eye out!

You can find out more information on the work of Pembridge Palliative care and how you can get involved on the hospice website.

With thanks to Nick Le Reche, Fundraising Manager at Pembridge for help putting this together!

Last chance: Do you know someone who will benefit from the borough’s Home Energy Service?

Although it may feel like the worst of the winter weather is over, there is never a bad time to spread a little WARMTH – Kensington and Chelsea’s Home Energy service for the borough’s most vulnerable households.

WARMTH  is free service that provides in-home visits to give health and financial advice, tips on efficient energy usage and using heating systems as well as free installation of energy saving measures such as lightbulbs, draft proofing and energy monitors. Where relevant, the scheme also helps people to access grants for larger home improvements.

The scheme is primarily aimed for:

  •         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
  •         Older Person (Over 65)
  •         Young Person (16-25) on a low income

Referrals are accepted up until the end of March 2017 and can be made using Groundwork UK’s online formemailing WARMTH@groundwork.org.uk or by calling 0300 365 5003.

For more information on the scheme do check out the RBKC Greener Borough webpages.

IWD 2017: Be Bold For Change – Free talk and tour at the V&A…

Borough-based, cultural space The Victoria & Albert Museum are celebrating International Women’s Day with a free talk & tour on this year’s theme – Be Bold For Change.

On Thursday, 2 March from 1pm-2pm, join Nikke Ariff on a tour as she chooses objects that reflect the spirit from the V&A collection. The objects chosen reflect artists and works which were bold in their day and inspired personal and social change.

The meeting point for the talk is the Grand Entrance.

This IWD 2017-themed tour is one of many free talks and tours provided year round by the V&A. For more information on the other tours on offer do visit the V&A website.

Getting a Healthy Start on Portobello and Golborne Market…

Kensington and Chelsea families – are you part of the Healthy Start scheme, or think you may be eligible? If so, then good news as the fruit and vegetable stalls along Portobello and Golborne Road have signed up to accept Healthy Start vouchers!

Launched on Friday, 20 January, the following stalls are now accepting Healthy Start vouchers:

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At the launch, market shoppers were also treated to a special Healthy Start promotion stall that was organised by Go Golborne and Mytime Active that provided samples of healthy recipes made with fresh ingredients from the market.

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Cllrs Monica Press, Tim Ahern and Emma Dent Coad with the ‘Mushroom Man’, Tom Dean to celebrate the launch of Healthy Start in Portobello.

The NHS Healthy Start scheme provides vouchers to families with young children who are on a low income to spend on milk, fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, and infant formula milk.

To find out more about the scheme, and if you’re eligibile, please visit www.rbkc.gov.uk/healthystart

Watch: THE CLUB – inspiring young people at Earl’s Court Youth Club…

Eager readers and local Earl’s Court residents will remember the Earl’s Court Community Trust’s local Film Festival that was held last November.

The festival showcased a series of short films and documentaries shot in and around the Earl’s Court area and was won by Kid Gloves, a tale that unravels after Merle lends a pair of gardening gloves to her young neighbour Lucy.

The Earl’s Court Youth Club also got in on the act, and with support from the Redcliffe councillors through City Living, Local Life, produced THE CLUB – a 4 minute showcase of how the Club helps local youth to realise their ambitions…

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