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Guest feature: The National Army Museum reopens.

With thanks to the National Army Museum for the piece below.

The National Army Museum, located on Royal Hospital Road has reopened in March following a three year £23.75 million project (including £11.5 million from the National Lottery).

The bright new, free, Museum provides a 21st century visitor experience. As a bridge between the British Army and the public, the National Army Museum encourages greater public engagement with ideas of defence and security, openly asking questions to visitors on their thoughts of both soldiers and the army.

The new thematic galleries – Soldier, Army, Battle, Society and Insight – contain over 2,500 objects, two thirds of which have not been seen before. The temporary exhibition space War Paint: Brushes with Conflict displays over 130 paintings and objects whilst children aged up to eight years old can enjoy Play Base, the museums soft play facility. There is also a light new café that looks out onto Royal Hospital Road which serves hot and cold food and drinks.

An extensive public events programme includes events such as ‘Feminism Late’ on 14 June, the museums first ever late opening, exploring whether feminism has been good for the army. Building on this is a full day conference about women in the army on 24 June. There are also regular free tours and talks on topics such as Indian Independence and Passchendaele.

For more information do visit www.nam.ac.uk

The National Army Museum is open daily from 10.00 am – 5.30pm. Entrance is free.

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, all donations will be returned should the Playground not reach their target, so please share far and wide to help bring about a new community space in Kensington!

Ask Nick Returns! A conversation with the Leader of the Council – Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Kensington and Chelsea businesses, community groups and residents – Leader of the Council, Cllr Nick Paget-Brown is going out and about for the next Ask Nick to meet residents and hear about issues first hand.

Ask Nick will be held on Tuesday, 20 June 2017 at the Church of the Latter-Day Saints (64-68 Princes Gate, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2PA) from 6pm for light refreshments with the question and answer session taking place from 6.30pm-8pm.

The event is an ideal opportunity to put the Council Leader on the spot about the issues that affect you. Where can the Council improve the way it works? Is there something it is doing well? What do you want to see happen in the future?

To register your attendance (you can book up to 3 tickets) and to submit your questions please visit www.rbkc.gov.uk/asknick.

The Earl’s Courtiers present The Wizard of Oz, June 28-July 1 2017

Kensington and Chelsea residents, lions, tigers and bears! The Earl’s Courtiers are transforming Barkston Gardens into the magical and mystical land of Oz at the end of June, and helping to raise money for local charities in the process.

Starting on Wednesday, June 28 with a performance at 7.30pm each night to Saturday, July 1, you can follow the yellow brick road and the adventures of Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion in this open air, summer evening performance.

The production has an even more local feel with over 120 borough-based schoolchildren auditioning, and 40 taking part in various roles.

Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for under-12s with all proceeds going to local charities. These can be booked online or by getting in touch with Toby Brown via email or telephone 020 7370 4000.

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

Kensington and Chelsea residents! The Royal Borough are looking for locals who are interested in establishing a long-term friendship – and mentor 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 and events you can access, along with opportunities to link up with fellow mentors and taking part in training and development sessions.

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.

Crowdfunding returns! Help Chelsea’s SMART Centre renovate their community cafe and gardens

The Kensington and Chelsea crowd! Get ready as the SMART Centre in Chelsea are set to launch the latest crowdfunding drive to renovate and improve their much loved community centre and green space project on the World’s End Estate.

In 1985 St Mary Abbots Rehabilitation and Training (SMART) was registered as a charity to support people affected by mental illness on their path to recovery.

The founders recognised the importance of meaningful activity and training as a way to rebuild lives and give people purpose, confidence and skills. As the charity grew it also recognised the importance of friends, music, laughter and fun.

Launching this month, the project looks to raise nearly £15,000 for costs including gardening equipment, café furniture, new flooring and music equipment.

This will help them to provide relaxing activities for the community like arts and crafts, Yoga, mindfulness and chair based exercise, whilst offering a vibrant café and garden for families in the local area.

The project lead, José Veiga from SMART said:

“We hope that the improvements to our centre and green space will enable residents to learn from each other, develop new skills and build their self-confidence.  We’ve been supporting the local community for over 30 years and we hope locals recognise the vital work we do.  Please support our crowdfunding efforts!”

To pledge to SMART’s project, visit their project page on the civic crowdfunding platform, Spacehive: https://www.spacehive.com/chelsea-hub

City Living, Local Life: Sing for lung health with Royal Brompton Hospital…

With the support of Stanley ward Councillors through City Living, Local Life, rb&hArts – a charity focused on improving the wellbeing of Royal Brompton Hospital patients and the local community – is getting AIRBORNE by singing for lung health and you can get involved!

The AIRBORNE team are looking for local people to take part as singers and collaborators to help design the composition and performance. The opportunity is open to all singing abilities, so there’s no need to be able to read music as it is all taught by ear.

Led by composer, performer and musical director Verity Standen, the rehearsals will be gently paced to allow for singers who live with breathlessness and limited mobility.

If this opportunity grabs your interest, please pop along to one of the taster sessions on Wednesday, 3 May OR Wednesday, 24 May from 5:30pm-7pm at Royal Brompton Hospital, Sydney Street, SW3 6NP.

Following this, rehearsals will be on:

Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14  and Thursday 15 June, 5:30pm – 8pm at Royal Brompton Hospital

The rehearsals include a warm up and tea breaks. During these sessions, Verity will teach all the music and develop the skills of the ensemble. AIRBORNE will be a totally new composition and devised and adapted to the group through these sessions, so please attend all three evenings to help shape the piece.

And then the performances will take place on:

Friday 16, Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 June

Performances will be short (5-10 minutes) in pop-up locations around the borough and easily walkable. We expect these to take place in short bursts with breaks between, for up to 2 hours each day.

If you have any questions on the project, please email arts@rbht.nhs.uk or telephone rb&hArts on 0207 352 8121 x4087.

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.

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.

 

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

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