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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.

 

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.

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.

londonart

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.

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.

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…

Consultation: Heathrow Third Runway – open until 25/05/17

The Government has began a four-month consultation on plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport. It believes a new runway will strengthen the UK’s links with the rest of the world, offering new and improved opportunities for tourism and trade.

But a third runway will also have an environmental impact. The Government promises to address that impact with a package of measures it describes as “world class”. It believes expansion can be delivered within existing air quality requirements though this would, in any case, be a condition of planning approval.

Formally speaking, the consultation is on a draft National Policy Statement (NPS) on expanding runway capacity and airport infrastructure in the south-east of England.

The draft NPS sets out:

• the need for additional airport capacity in the south-east of England
• why Government believes that need is best met by a north-west runway at Heathrow Airport
• the specific requirements that the new runway will need to meet to gain development consent on issues such as pollution, climate change, habitats, health, good design and cost.

You can participate in this consultation online. All the background documents and consultation response forms are available at:

www.gov.uk/dft/heathrow-airport-expansion

The consultation ends at 11.45pm on Thursday 25 May 2017.

To address the worries about noise, climate change and air quality, the Government is proposing a range of counter measures that includes legally binding noise targetsmand new technology to make airspace more efficient.

“We remain very concerned about the environmental impact of a third runway,” said Cllr Tim Coleridge, RBKC Cabinet Member for Transport, “Our hope is that the ‘world-class package of measures’ that has been promised will address our concerns. We will be studying it closely before making our own submission to the Government.”

Funding advice: Everything you always wanted to know about Civic Crowdfunding but were too afraid to ask

Residents and community groups are invited to attend a drop-in surgery about Civic Crowdfunding at Westway Trust on Friday 24 February between 2pm-5pm.

Have you ever looked at a nearby green space and thought it could be livened up? Or maybe you have an idea to improve a publicly used building or to install some public art?  Communities across the UK are using crowdfunding to make their ideas come to life. Crowdfunding has been used to raise the profile of projects, gather public support, and raise the money that’s needed to make things happen.

Via Civic Crowdfunders, Spacehive, Kensington and Chelsea has seen five successful projects crowdfunded in the borough so far with approximately £30,000 raised and over 200 backers pledging to a variety of projects from grass root football teams to community art projects.

So if you are busy gathering your costs together and are ready to launch, if you need some tips about social media or who to approach for pledges support, if you have an idea but don’t know what to do next, or just curious to learn about civic crowdfunding and how it works, come and speak to members of Westway Trust, RBKC’s Community Engagement Team who will be on hand to advise where possible.

Come along to the reception area at Westway Trust, 1 Thorpe Close, London W10 5XL between 2pm and 5pm and you will be guided into the surgery.

For more information about crowdfunding in Kensington and Chelsea visit the links below:

https://www.spacehive.com/movement/kc

https://www.spacehive.com/movement/WestwayTrust

For more information about the drop in surgery, contact Westway Trust on 020 8962 5720 or email info@westway.org

 

Get Cleaner and Greener with The Royal Borough’s guide to waste and recycling…

Always been a little unsure about collection days? Or how you can recycle in Kensington and Chelsea? Then help is at hand with the Council’s new Cleaner, Greener Guide.

The handy guide has been delivered to households in the Royal Borough and can also be viewed online [pdf]. A pdf version that is easier to download to your device is also available here.

Cleaner, Greener includes the location of mini recycling centres in the borough, what waste goes in what bags and information on environmental projects that you can get involved in. If you would like more information on the guide – or have any questions related to the local environment – do contact Streetline on 020 7361 3001 / streetline@rbkc.gov.uk

 

 

Community Reporters: London Belongs To Me…

Community Reporter, Stan Moorcroft is back with an excellent piece for the Institute of Community Reporters. The original post can be found on the ICR website.

I have lived in London now just over thirty years, having moved here on 4th July 1983. I don’t know how long you normally must wait to claim squatter’s rights, but thirty plus years seems a good enough period to me. So, let me state my claim now, London belongs to me.

The glory of London is its parks and open spaces, you are rarely ever far away from a London park, common or heath. I am within fifteen minutes’ walk of Kensington Gardens or Holland Park, much closer to several smaller areas with grass and flowers and benches on which to sit, all maintained by Kensington and Chelsea Council who also still believe in the value of trees. Those who would see what they call ‘the state’ shrink rarely mention such items in their calculations. What does it cost to maintain a tree? Too much for some, who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Holland Park is one of the less known London parks – and one of my favourite – combining as it does areas of uncultivated and semi wild ground, with the ordered gardens around Holland House. Like most London parks it too is mercifully well provided with wooden benches, the metal ones being considerably inferior. I think leaving a park bench as a memorial is as great a gift to the world as the planting of a tree. Sitting on one of the park benches in Holland Park in the Autumn of last year I was moved to pen a poem.

Each one chooses its moment
then a letting go,
the moment of separation
Falling slowly through the damp autumn air.
No, not fluttering
more acceptance,
a closing of the eyelids.
In choosing your moment
you chose less carefully.
For Caspar Ringrose 11/1/71 – 26/6/94

As you can see I dedicated it to Caspar Ringrose on whose bench I was sitting when I composed the poem. I never knew him, but hope he would approve.

Kensington Gardens is a different sort of open space to Holland Park, providing passage for cyclists and joggers between Bayswater and South Kensington. Kensington Gardens isn’t a separate park at all, but is an adjunct to Hyde Park. I used to walk to work taking a route through Kensington Gardens, then Hyde Park, Green Park and finally St James Park before finally reaching my office just around the corner from New Scotland Yard. The geography of each park brushing against the other allowing for such a pleasant journey into the heart of London.

… continued on the Institute of Community Reporters website

 

Community Groups: Build Your Own Discovery at Kensington Palace…

Kensington Palace, the home of Kings and Queens until the 19th Century and London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is opening its doors to local groups and offering them the chance to discover the palace in their own way.

Build Your Own Discovery (BYOD) is an access scheme for adult community and education groups based within Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham and the City of Westminster. In addition to providing free access to the Palace, BYOD aims to engage people with the stories, collections and historic spaces in ways that are meaningful to them. This is done by training up and supporting group leaders and adult learning tutors to lead visits for their own groups.

To help you get the most out of your Discoveries, the scheme offers one-day training for group leaders, free group visits, discount entry tickets for members of the group and staff support to help leaders and tutors plan their activities.

2016_byod_openagevisit
Borough-based group Open Age taking part in their own BYOD session.

If you are interested in this right royal offer, there are training sessions available twice a year (spring and autumn), and the next sessions are:

  • Friday 21 April 2017, 10:00-16:00
  • Monday 24 April 2017, 10:00-16:00

For more information, or to register your interest, email Kim Klug or Jatinder Kailey at kim.klug@hrp.org.uk and jatinder.kailey@hrp.org.uk.

Mothers of the borough! Stretch, dance and de-stress with Wonderful ‘Womb’man…

Mothers of the borough! Are you looking to get active? If so, local resident Emmanuelle Marcel has created a series of dance classes tailored for ‘womb’men and mums at Kensington Primary Academy (Community Room B1, Warwick Road, W14 8PU)

The dance classes are a basic level and provide a safe relaxing place to de-stress, stretch, stay fit and learn some fun moves. As well as increasing your self-confidence, rhythm and coordination the classes aim to enhance strength through technique.

The classes include contemporary, hip-hop and street, ballet, salsa, tap and musical theatre dance.

Term dates & Prices  (There are no classes during half-term):

Spring Term dates:

Tuesdays, 9-10am from Monday 16th January – Fri 31 March :£120 (£100 until end of January)

Tuesdays, 9-10am from Tuesday 21st February – Tuesday 28th March: £90 (£72 until 18 February)

Summer Term dates: 

Tuesday 18th April – Tuesday 18th July: £150  (£130 until 18 February)

Drop-in Price:  £15 per session (£12 until end of Feb)

The entrance for the Community Rooms at Kensington Primary Academy is opposite the Hilton Olympia (the door is on the left before the stairs for the school!)

The classes are run on a not-for-profit basis with proceeds going back into the running of the programme.

For bookings and enquiries, please contact Emmanuelle Marcel: ka.1@hotmail.co.uk

I really enjoyed your dance class this morning, it incorporated all the elements of stretching and bending, relaxing and bouncing with fun dance movements thrown in. I loved your choice of music and will come again. – Kitty Mason, (Headmistress of Holland Park Pre-Prep School and Day Nursery, 1990-Present)

Very competent teacher and knowledgeable about her subject, really enjoyable and fun, friendly atmosphere, good choise of music to the particular dance routine, very helpful. -Jacinta, 31 (Ex-Dance student and previously Events Manager at London Eye)

Date for your diary: Neighbourhood Watch Conference, Saturday 18 February 2017…

Kensington and Chelsea residents! Are you part of your local neighbourhood watch, or would you like to know more about the scheme and community safety in the Royal Borough more generally?

If so, the next Neighbourhood Watch Conference is taking place on Saturday, 18 February 2017, from 10:15am-2pm in the Small Hall, Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, W8 7NX.

There will be a range of information stalls and presentations from the RBKC Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator, Metropolitan Police, RBKC Community Safety and Online Watch Link.

Refreshments will be provided and stalls will be open until 2:30pm.

If you would like to attend, please register via the Kensington and Chelsea Social Council website.

 

Get into gear this new year with Bikeminded…

Now entering its seventh year, the Royal Borough’s Bikeminded campaign to get people cycling is kicking off 2017 with commuter rides, an eBike loan offer, cycle skills and the return of the Bikeminded Film Club.

New to cycling?

To help local residents get in the saddle, Bikeminded offer all new cyclists free lights to help them keep safe in the dark. Simply email cycling@rbkc.gov.uk with the subject line ‘NEW RESIDENT’ to add a little light to your nighttime journeys.

Want to upskill?

Got all the gear, but want a better idea? If so, Bikeminded offer a free, be-spoke 2-hour session with experienced cycle trainers for people who work, live and study in the borough.

Training can take place at a convenient location to you and at a time that suits your needs. For more information on the offer, check out Bikeminded’s Cycle Skills page.

You can also join Bikeminded on their Monday Commuter Rides and ride with others along the route from Shepherd’s Bush Library (W12) to Blackfriars Bridge. The route uses quiet roads and parks where possible, depending on where people want to be dropped off.

You can register for the event, view and suggest pick up/drop off points online.

Or get green…

The Council also has 3 eBikes that are available to loan for residents and businesses. These electric bikes are sure to get you through any journey around London and come with an optional trailer. For more information, check out the eBike Loan page.

And when you’re all cycled out, 2017 sees the Bikeminded Film Club return for the fourth year, and the first film is definitely one you want to phone home about…

On Tuesday, 31 January, ‘E.T. The Extra-terrestrial’ comes to Kensington Central Library at 7.30pm.

Tickets are free, but registration via Eventbrite is essential.

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