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01 September 2020

Our Community Fund heroes for 2020

Our Community Fund heroes for 2020
Here are the 11 fantastic local projects that we’re proud to support with this year’s Community Fund.

Digital inclusion for the elderly. A sensory garden for school students. Beekeeping on the farm. Hospital transport for seriously ill children. Back for its second year, the Brent Cross Town Community Fund has been distributed to local organisations to accomplish these valuable projects and more.

After careful consideration, recipients were selected for grants of up to £3,000 each, focusing this year on projects to combat the effects of Covid-19 on our North London communities. To distribute the funding, Argent Related appointed Semble, an independent group working with businesses and community projects to make change happen at the grassroot level. Applicants from Golders Green, Childs Hill and West Hendon were considered on how they reflected the ambition for this new town centre to be healthy, inclusive, sustainable and, above all, a people-first place.

Childs Hill Food Bank

A new food bank for the Childs Hill neighbourhood, where 17% of children come from income-deprived families, and the same number of over-60s experience income deprivation. Only open since mid-September, the food bank at All Saints Church has already been embraced by the community: a whopping 180 kilos of food and toiletries was donated by the Childs Hill School following their harvest celebration. For details of food bank opening hours and how to donate, go to their website.

F.U.S.E.

The F.U.S.E. youth project is teaching life skills to young people living in the Grahame Park and West Hendon estates in Barnet, through organising cooking, creative art, team sports and group discussions. Their West Hendon Covid-19 Detached Summer Youth Provision offers socially distanced physical activity to local kids, and the programme provided free meals over the summer holidays to children on the West Hendon Estate.

Camp Simcha

This scheme supports Jewish families with seriously ill children by providing hospital transport, crisis meal packages and activities for young children – all to improve quality of life. In September, Simcha volunteers delivered 70 honey cakes to hospitals across London and Manchester, and volunteers made and sold Rosh Hashanah-themed masks to raise money. 

St Agnes’ Counselling Service 

At St Agnes’ Primary School in Cricklewood, based in one of Barnet’s highest deprivation areas, this counselling service aims to boost emotional health and wellbeing for students. 

KEF Kids Covid Support 

KEF is a charity that provides fun activities for children and young adults with special needs in north-west London. Lockdown has been a difficult time for these groups, so KEF has adjusted its offerings to adhere to the requirements of lockdown and social distancing. Over the summer, 90 KEF volunteers provided a month of fun to 50 children and young adults with disabilities, spread across five Covid-safe bubbles. Keep up with the kids on Instagram

Childs Hill Library

Childs Hill Library Open Day and Volunteer Celebration will mark the reopening of the Childs Hill Library, and celebrate its volunteers. The aim is for Childs Hill Library to be a welcoming space for everyone in the community. The event will also commemorate the impact that coronavirus has had on the community.

People and Nature Thrive Together 

This local project, held at Clitterhouse Farm (photo at top), comprises 22 nature-themed wellbeing sessions, all taking place outdoors with the aim of engaging local people. This autumn, Clitterhouse Farm has already hosted beekeeping sessions, apple juicing, socially distanced poetry and the Glasshouse Theatre Company meets in the greenhouse. 

Apache Kids Club

This Friday after-school club received support from the Brent Cross Town Community Fund last year. Now they’re looking to continue the good work by providing a free games, arts and craft activity space for local children. The Apache Kids Club had to close during lockdown, but with this funding they’re able to reopen and buy some more equipment such as the new foosball table. 

BACA Older Person’s Outreach

The Barnet African Caribbean Association (BACA) runs this outreach programme to improve digital inclusion amongst the older people in its community. BACA offers support and friendship to older people with physical or mental disabilities, operating out of their base at Barnet Multicultural Community Centre in Hendon. 

Whitefield Sensory Garden 

This project by Whitefield secondary school will create an outdoor sensory garden for students, staff and visitors to enjoy. It’s the latest in a series of innovative wellbeing initiatives by the school; past programmes include equine therapy and an extensive cycle programme to encourage kids to get to school on two wheels.

Brent Terrace Residents Association 

The association’s Community Garden Allotment Project received funding from our fund last year, and will now carry on the work to develop their village green by planting new trees and adding equipment. The Brent Terrace Residents Association does a lot of greening work around the area; keep up with their litter-picking and gardening sessions for volunteers on Twitter.