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Chelsea area, including Cremorne, Stanley, Royal Hospital and Hans Town wards

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 bright, 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

The National Army Museum is open daily from 10:00 am – 5:30pm. Entrance is free.

Looking to learn more about the music industry? Catch up with some Local Legends with The Rhythm Studio – 24/05

Join North Kensington’s music academy, The Rhythm Studio, on Wednesday, 24 May for an informal chat with two leading West London music industry experts.

From 7:30pm-10pm, the Studio’s Local Legends series welcomes Caroline SM and Duncan Ellis at the Moncada Brewery (Middle Row, W10 5AT) to talk about their beginnings in the industry, their ups and downs and what keeps them at the top of their game.

Caroline SM is one of the leading figures in grime at the age of 22. Starting as an online content editor and radio presenter, Caroline is now A&R Manager at XL Records. Duncan Ellis is the Managing Director of Atlas Artists Management and Scruffy Bird Management and has helped launch the careers of musicians such as Young Knives, Foals and Kodaline.

The event is 16+ only with free, ticketed entry for people aged 16-18. Tickets for those aged 18+ are £5. All tickets can be purchased or reserved online via Eventbrite.

This Local Legends event is part of the New Youthquake celebrations, that form Portobello and Golborne Road Markets ‘Love Your Local Market’ activities this year. Taking inspiration from ‘Youthquake’, a term coined by British Vogue editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland in 1965 to describe a London-centred movement of youth-led music and fashion, New Youthquake aims to re-kindle and expand on that movement, with Portobello and Golborne at its heart. New Youthquake is designed to give opportunities to West London’s young business minds and creative talent. For more information on New Youthquake, do visit

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.

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:

AGM: Celebrate the achievements of the World’s End and Lots Road Big Local – 16/05/17

Something big has been happening in the World’s End and Lots Road area over the past couple of years, and recently it’s been getting a whole lot bigger…

The World’s End and Lots Road Big Local have just completed their second year of their 10 year quest to improve their local area. Made up of local residents, the Big Local Partnership are inviting everyone to share their successes and look to the future at their AGM and social on Tuesday, 16 May from 7pm-8:30pm at the World’s End Community Centre (16 Blantyre Street, SW10 0DS).

The Big Local initiative is supported by the Big Lottery Fund to help make lasting, positive change in areas. In the World’s End and Lots Road, the Big Local works towards improving the following themes:

  • Jobs, training and enterprise
  • Young people
  • Green areas and open spaces
  • Community events and activities

Already, achievements have included setting up a youth radio station, brightening up the World’s End with large marble planters, running activities for children and older residents, helping with life skills such as first aid training and of course, bringing everyone together with big events throughout the year. Just last month, all 6 local residents who signed-up to undertake SIA security training have passed the course and have future work lined up.

4 of the 6 successful SIA students – congratulations!

And if that’s not enough to celebrate, a few more recent goings-on are featured in the latest Big Local Spring Newsletter [pdf].

If you are interested in attending the AGM, please email

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 or telephone rb&hArts on 0207 352 8121 x4087.

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

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

TfL will have details of road closures and any alterations to public transport routes and timetables on its 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.

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.


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.

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 , calling 0800 028 44 28, or emailing

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.

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 or by calling 0300 365 5003.

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

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:

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.”

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 /



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.


Watch: LWT’s 1982 World’s End documentary…

The year is 1982. The Falklands War has just got underway. The Queen is celebrating her Pearl Jubilee. Canada decide to go it alone. The first Next store has opened. The Smiths are formed.

And on the World’s End, London Weekend Television follow the lives of the children of the estates capturing the ups, downs and robot dance moves of the time…

A big thank you to the World’s End and Lots Road Big Local for bringing it to our attention!

Consultation: Reducing the dominance of traffic in Sloane Street…

Running from Knightsbridge to Sloane Square, Sloane Street is one of the most well known shopping and residential areas in London and the UK, if not the world.

But being one of the top shopping and residential areas has taken its toll on Sloane Street and with a four lane road running through the middle of it, the Royal Borough and partnering with Cadogan (the majority landowner) and TfL to consider what upgrades can be made to the street.

The first exhibitions are being held over the next few weeks where you can view plans for the area through models, film and survey results. Members of the project team putting this together will also be on hand to discuss the proposed changes and answer any questions.

More detailed information on proposed Sloane Street improvements can be found on the RBKC website and the exhibitions will be held at 129 Sloane Street, SW1X 9AT at the following times:

• Thursday 26 January from 2pm to 8pm
• Friday 27 January from 10am to 2pm
• Saturday 28 January 10am to 2pm
• Saturday 4 February from 10am to 2pm

If you have any questions, please email or call 020 7361 3238.

Photo credit: 

Learn2Earn returns this month! Book your place on the free employability course…

Looking to kick-start your 2017 by boosting your employability? If so, Blenheim’s free 12-week Learn2Earn course may be just the ticket…

Open to residents of Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham, the course helps those who are finding it difficult to access employment and volunteering opportunities.

As well as improving specific employment related training, advice and tips, Learn2Earn aims to build up confidence and self-esteem to equip you with the tools to succeed.

The course starts on Tuesday, 24 January 2017 and runs for 12 weeks. If you are interesting in signing-up, or would like to know more about the programme, do email, telephone 020 8960 5599 or visit their website.


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