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The Kensington and Chelsea Crowd – Help the Playground transform a bus depot into a theatre! Pledges open now!

Anyone who has taken a stroll down Latimer Road recently may have seen an old bus depot slowly being transformed into a community cafe and a theatre space for artists to practice, share and learn.

This is the Playground Theatre, and for a number of years artists have used this space to develop their talents away from public gaze – but the next stop for this former depot is to become a fully fledged, public theatre – and your help is needed!

The Playground Theatre are looking to raise around £47,000 to create this unique space for North Kensington and Notting Hill. The funds will be used to purchase everything that’s needed to open a public theatre, including staging, seating, sound and lights.

As well as bringing some of the best in international theatre, classical music and film to the area, the Playground are looking to embed themselves in the community and help tell the fascinating stories of local people.

Already the cafe/bar is becoming a hub for the local community, and you can help them take the next step by pledging a few pounds today at www.spacehive.com/playgroundtheatre.

As with all Spacehive projects, donations will only be taken should the Playground reach their target, so please share far and wide to help bring about a new community space in Kensington!

Exhibition: A Larry Smart RETRO-spective, The Muse Gallery: 21/6 – 2/7

Borough-based The Muse Gallery is hosting Larry Smart RETRO-spective, the first ever solo exhibition by iconic 60s pop artist Larry Smart. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, this exhibition of original paintings and prints is the first time that the artist’s work has been brought together under one roof – in Larry’s former Notting Hill neighbourhood.

The exhibition features Larry’s famous and widely recognised images of 60s pop icons, landscapes and topiary images, as well as mandala paintings lit by a lightshow based on the original UFO Club performances. Following a global quest for missing Larry’s, the exhibition features works previously feared lost.

Larry Smart RETRO-spective revives the spirit of the Summer of Love in Portobello and aims to celebrate the work and life of Larry Smart and his role in British pop art history.

The exhibition is free and runs from 21 June – 2 July, daily from 12-6pm. The Muse Gallery can be found at 268 Portobello Road.

Team Kensington and Chelsea: Volunteers wanted to mentor a young person in care

The Royal Borough are looking for locals who are interested in establishing a long-term friendship and mentoring role with a young person in care.

Independent Visitor Mentors are there to listen and support their young person, and to take them out on day trips and activities. As well as activities planned by the Mentor themselves there is a wider network of trips, events and training opportunities that Mentors can access.

To become a Mentor, you have to be over 18 years old, have plans to live in London long-term and be willing to commit to a minimum of 2 years. No prior experience with young people is necessary, but welcomed.

The role is suited to someone who feels they are a reliable, independent and consistent role model and can bring flexibility, fun and energy to the role.

Recruitment is ongoing. For more information, or to register your interest, contact Crystal Crawford, Independent Visitor and Mentoring Coordinator via email or telephone 07739 317367.

Exhibition: Pink Floyd – Their Mortal Remains @ The V&A, opens 13 May 2017

From 13 May, Exhibition Road’s Victoria and Albert Museum opens the first international retrospective of one of the most iconic and influential bands in the world – Pink Floyd.

In keeping with the band, the exhibition is a unique audio-visual journey through music, design and staging from Pink Floyd’s 1960 debut to the present day.

Although the exhibition has an international focus, the foundations of Pink Floyd are very much rooted in North Kensington (which you can read more about in issue 17 of the CLLL-supported Colville Community History newsletter).  During the 1960’s, Ladbroke Grove was the place where Syd Barret’s Pink Floyd Sound held sound and light workshops, where they played their first gigs at the fledgling Notting Hill Carnival and where they dropped the ‘Sound’ from their name to become the band known across the world today.

Tickets are £20-£24 (concessions available) and can be booked online. The exhibition closes on 1 October 2017.

Volunteer opp: Help map Kingston’s rich music heritage…

Kensington and Chelsea residents! Do you have an interest in musical history, want to learn research and interview skills, or just feel like doing your bit for Queen and country by helping a fellow Royal Borough?

If so, then Kingston-based charity, Creative Youth are on the look out for volunteers to help explore the rich, varied history of music in their borough.  While we have Notting Hill Carnival and the sounds of The Clash and Pink Floyd, Kingston has Decca Records, the jazz music of the war-time US army station, the Folk Barge and the launch of Ziggy Stardust.

Creative Youth are looking for a team of volunteers to research, record and transcribe the stories across May, June and July to contribute to –  and accompany – a public exhibition.

Full training in oral history recording will be provided, as well as travel expenses and a £15 subsidence per day.

For more information, or to register your interest, do contact Jarek Zaba, Heritage Researcher and Facilitator at kingstonrpm@creativeyouthcharity.org / 07786 265992.

 

 

Advance Notice: Road Closures for RideLondon, 30 July

Prudential RideLondon returns to the borough’s streets on Sunday 30 July 2017.

The annual mass-participation cycling event will, once again, attract many thousands of amateur and professional cyclists to the streets of London and Surrey.

While a great spectacle and exciting challenge for those taking part, many of whom are riding to raise money for good causes, the event does cause disruption to roads and public transport.

Residents, community groups and businesses planning any activities on Sunday 30 July need to be aware that there will be significant traffic disruption in the borough.

Last year, roads in Kensington and Chelsea were closed from 5am and reopened at about 8pm.

Final details of timings and road closures for this year’s event are not confirmed but the route is likely to be the same as last year which will mean the following roads will be closed:

  • Knightsbridge
  • Brompton Road
  • Cromwell Road (A4)
  • King’s Road
  • Ashburnham Road
  • Cremorne Road
  • Cheyne Walk
  • Chelsea Embankment

Other local roads will also be affected with restricted access. It is expected there will be additional disruption this year as a result of ongoing gas works on Fulham Road between Beaufort Street and Edith Grove. This work cannot be suspended on the day of the event, however the Council is working closely with National Grid and TfL on plans to help minimise the level of disruption.

As the route for the event goes through east, central and west London before heading out to Surrey it requires over 100 miles of road to be closed which will have a major impact on getting around the Capital. If you are planning any special events such as a wedding, or making a journey to or from an airport, it will be advisable to plan ahead. The event organisers also have a helpdesk which can be contacted for more information on 0345 894 9773 or via email at helpdesk@ridelondon.co.uk

Councillor Tim Coleridge, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “Prudential RideLondon is really growing in popularity. It’s a huge event involving thousands of cyclists of all abilities. With so many roads closed across London and the borough, the best way to minimise disruption is to put the date in your diary and plan ahead.

“I would urge any residents or community groups who have other plans on Sunday 30 July to check the event organiser and TfL’s websites for the latest information.”

Further information can be found on the organiser’s website www.prudentialridelondon.co.uk

TfL will have details of road closures and any alterations to public transport routes and timetables on its website www.tfl.gov.uk.

Donation: 2 ladders on offer for a local community group

Kensington and Chelsea charities, groups, churches and associations!

A generous local resident is offering two aluminium ladders for free, for collection. There is an 8ft single ladder and 2 part, extending ladder (2x8ft) on offer for pick up from their home.

If you are interested, do get in touch at locallife@rbkc.gov.uk

Imperial’s Festival of Science – 6-7 May, 2017

Join researchers, students, support staff and alumni from 6-7 May for a weekend of science at the Imperial Festival in South Kensington. The Festival – first held in 2012 – welcomed over 15,000 visitors last year and 2017 promises to be the biggest and best yet.

A huge range of events and activities are scheduled including a tour of Imperial’s Cancer Research UK facility. You will also have opportunities to run rings around your friends by learning about the current Cassini mission to Saturn, discover how science will change food over the next 50 years and come ‘face-to-interface’ with our future robot masters.

But it’s not all lab based as there will be a range of workshops, wellbeing activities, live music and food. With some of the most renowned researchers and scientists in the world, you’re sure to learn a thing or two (just don’t listen to the atoms – they make up everything).

To book your free tickets, please visit the the Imperial College website.

Portobello Live! The heart and art of West London: 30 April – 1 May

Portobello Live! returns to North Kensington for the third year running, bringing some of the best of West London music, cabaret, spoken word, performance and art.

Held over the May Day bank holiday, this year’s festival also takes a retrospective look at Rock Against Racism, a movement which sprang into life 40 years ago.

A stunning line up of new bands, performers, rock royalty and special guests will play out across the stages of Portobello’s iconic pubs, clubs and venues. This year, punk performance poet John Cooper Clarke is a headline act, along with Bandante (The Bad Seeds), Glen Matlock (the Sex Pistols), The Egg, Youth, Salad Undressed, Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot (Curiosity Killed The Cat), Don Letts, Rusty Egan and Noel Watson, with more to be announced.

Portobello Live! is embedded in the community, and the ‘It’s Behind You’ exhibition looks back over 25 years of the iconic Portobello Panto while local music academy The Rhythm Studio will hold drumming sessions.

Rock Against Racism photographer Syd Shelton will also reflect on the movement which came to public attention 40 years ago through music and marches, or ‘carnivals’, inspired by Notting Hill’s annual event. Portobello Live! also features the Oasis World Choir, composed of refugees from Sudan, Syria and Afghanistan.

Full access to all acts and venues can be obtained with a wristband (that is substantially cheaper than other weekend festivals!), and under 16s go free. All tickets can be booked online via the Portobello Live! website.

Kensington and Chelsea’s Small Grants Fund opens again on 1 April.

Charities and community organisations! The Royal Borough’s Corporate Services Small Grants Fund will open again on Saturday, 1 April 2017.

This fund is available to organisations working within Kensington and Chelsea that have charitable objectives. Organisations must meet the criteria and address at least one of the following priorities:

  • information and advice
  • community engagement
  • infrastructure and capacity building

In total, £15,000 is available in this first round, with a further £15,000 available later in the year.

Closing date for applications will be Saturday, 22 April 2016.

Previous successful applications include funding for:

  • the provision of some costs for community events
  • communication materials
  • essential computer equipment/technology, including new computer systems and website upgrade
  • training for volunteers and volunteer expenses
  • small scale improvements to facilities, refurbishment and repairs of buildings and spaces, e.g. repairing of broken lift.

You can also look back at the organisations funded in the last round on this blog.

For further information, including the Small Grants criteria, and details of how to apply, please visit the RBKC website.

Kensington and Chelsea residents! Could you be a shared lives carer?

Do you have a spare room and the commitment to share your life with an adult who needs extra support? If you can help someone make choices, lead a meaningful life and develop their independence, then you could be a Shared Lives carer.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, along with Westminster and Hammersmith & Fulham, has launched a community service called Shared Lives which helps adults with learning disabilities and other social care needs.

The service is being delivered by the charity Grace Eyre and all carers will receive training, 24-hour support and payments of between £400 and £600 per person per week.

Cllr Mary Weale, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “This is a very worthwhile project which will give greater choice to vulnerable adults. There is evidence which shows that this type of community-based support for adults with disabilities can help them develop skills to live more independent and active lives.

“I hope people who feel they have the time to look after an adult with learning disabilities will get involved and find out more about being a Shared Lives Carer and contact Grace Eyre.”

For more information please call 020 7924 0631 or email sharedlives3b@grace-eyre.org or visit www.sharedlives3b@grace-eyre.org

Ask Me: Join the fight against domestic abuse with free awareness training…

Do you know how to spot the signs of domestic abuse or what a helpful response is when you hear of domestic abuse?

Free awareness training is being provided by Women’s Aid, Standing Together and Advance for anyone who lives or works in Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster or Hammersmith and Fulham and comes into the contact with the community. From bar staff to hairdressers, reception staff to window cleaners, dentists, doctors, pharmacists, retail staff and volunteers – whatever your role, you can help.

As well as increasing awareness of helpful responses, the training will also provide information to help you signpost people towards specialist support. The free two-day training will be held in Westminster and North Kensington.

The upcoming training dates are 5 & 6 April, 7 & 8 June and 21 and 22 June. 

For more information and to register your interest please email the Ask Me programme or call Laura on 07799 801642 or visit www.womensaid.org.uk/askme

Cultivating Kensington and Chelsea: Green fingers in Greenhouses

A group of enthusiastic local volunteers are busy growing a great range of herb and vegetable seedlings 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. To celebrate its success the volunteers and trustees of CKC hosted a visit by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Nick Paget-Brown and other guests on 14 February at the Market Garden Site. CKC also recently launched its first grant scheme and awarded funding to seven Kitchen Gardens in the borough.

For further information about the plant sales or the project please email secretaryckccio@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 the chance to catch the V&A’s free display exploring the role of London in Kensington-born Beatrix Potter’s 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 largest collection of Beatrix Potter’s drawings, manuscripts and correspondence in the world.

The display is open 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 solo, or 1.5k and 5k with friends. But don’t worry – if you decide to swim solo, you won’t be going it alone as a range of training plans are available on the Swimathon website, complete with tips from water wizard Duncan Goodhew MBE.

The entry fee for the Swimathon is £13 for individuals (any distance) and £26 for the team 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 total around £2.3m and the 2017-19 allocations were made to 28 organisations.

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, activities and advocacy for older Arabic-speaking 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 from the complex effects of bereavement.

Dalgarno Trust to contribute towards the core costs in delivering community 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 awareness for 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.

Meanwhile Gardens Community Association to maintain Meanwhile Gardens and involve local people through volunteering.

Midaye Somali Development Network to reach out to isolated adults and carry out basic needs assessments and increase access to services.

Migrants Organise to help capacity build minority ethnic/refugee community organisations and offer information, advice and training to vulnerable and marginalised people.

North Kensington Law Centre to help people get appropriate legal advice in areas such as debt, housing, welfare benefits, immigration and asylum.

Nucleus Community Action to provide advice services, particularly around legal rights and responsibilities.

Open Age to assist their work in reaching out to isolated older residents and offering low-cost activities to improve health and wellbeing.

Persian Care Centre to support older people to meet through a weekly self-help group.

Response Community Projects to support their community centre work in Earl’s Court.

S.P.I.D Theatre to offer social and recreational activities for young people in North Kensington, as well as maintaining their community space.

The Golborne Forum to represent Golborne ward residents and help inform people of emerging issues in the area.

The Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre to strengthen relationships with local agencies, groups and increase use of the Centre by all local communities.

Venture Community Association to offer a range of activities from their community centre and adventure playground.

Volunteer Centre Kensington and Chelsea to offer volunteer recruitment, training and placement opportunities as well as their core volunteer brokerage service.

Westway Community Transport to continue their community transport service across the borough.

World’s End Neighbourhood Advice Centre to provide advice services for the local area.

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

 

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 classic portrayal of the legendary detective long before Benedict Cumberbatch donned the deerstalker for the latest, modern incarnation. The 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 that has been shown at St John’s Notting Hill (Lansdowne Crescent, W11 2NN). All previous nights have sold out, so 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 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 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.

 

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