Your Brent - Spring 2022

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Spring 2022 www.brent.gov.uk/yourbrent The magazine about life in Brent, published by Brent Council

Park runners spring into action

RECOVERY FUND

SKILL UP TO GET AHEAD

JAZZ UP YOUR JEANS

Cash boost to bounce back from the pandemic. Page 32

Improve your job prospects by learning new skills. Page 24

Wuzzy’s top tips to revamp your old denim. Page 22


LOCAL ELECTIONS 2022

REGISTER TO VOTE

Local elections in Brent are taking place on Thursday 5 May 2022. This is your chance to decide the future of your borough. ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE? The deadline to register to vote is Thursday 14 April 2022 The deadline to register for a new postal vote is Tuesday 19 April 2022 You will need your National Insurance Number and must also be a British, Irish, qualifying Commonwealth or European Union citizen. REMEMBER You are not automatically registered to vote. Even if you have registered for council tax or other council services, you will still need to fill out a separate registration to vote. For more information, please visit www.brent.gov.uk/elections


YOUR BRENT

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NEWS A round- up of the latest news in Brent

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SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY WINNERS

IN THIS ISSUE...

MY COVID JAB STORY

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CLEANER FRONT GARDENS

YOUNG VOICES HEARD

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facebook.com/BrentCouncil

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SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY WINNERS

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COMMUNITY SKIPS Heading to a location near you

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GO GREEN TO MAKE ENDS MEET Money saving tips

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JAZZ UP YOUR JEANS Turn them into something else

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SKILL UP TO GET AHEAD Learn a new skill

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WATER WAY TO LIVE New affordable council homes for local people

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ON THE RIGHT TRACK Join our free exercise classes in parks

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£17M RECOVERY FUND Revitalising our high streets and town centres

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COMMUNITY CASH GRAB Community projects benefiting from grants to improve your neighbourhood

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LEARNING TO LIVE WITH COVID Priya tells us why she got jabbed

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ARTS & CULTURE AND WHAT’S ON Events, activities and much more

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USEFUL CONTACTS Your cut out and keep council services page

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twitter.com/Brent_Council

Brent Customer Services 020 8937 1234 www.brent.gov.uk

YOUR BRENT is available in large print. Please call 020 8937 1234 Issue No.171 SPRING 2022 Distribution queries and editorial: yourbrent@brent.gov.uk EDITOR Marilyn Ayoade Marilyn.ayoade@brent.gov.uk PRODUCTION EDITOR Charlie Graham Edwards graham.edwards@brent.gov.uk ADVERTISING SALES advertising@brent.gov.uk

CASH FOR YOUR COMMUNITY PROJECTS

Published by Brent Council Brent Council does not accept responsibility for any goods or services offered by advertisers. Publication of an advertisement does not imply recommendation by the council of goods or services advertised. Printed on 100 per cent FSC paper. Please use your local paper bank when disposing of this magazine and other paper. 8596BDU0820

YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

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A BOROUGH OF OPPORTUNITY After two years of the pandemic, there is light at the end of the tunnel and new possibilities ahead. Despite everything, there is a lot to look forward to. As spring approaches, I am looking forward to a year of culture, face-to-face community events and a more normal way of life than the past few years. The world is changing quickly and the council is 100% committed to supporting each and every one of us to not just survive but thrive as we recover from COVID-19. As a council, we have worked hard to reinforce the safety net to protect people and businesses. This important work continues and that means protecting and, where we can, enhancing vital frontline services and investing in projects that give local people a brighter, better future. Our £17 million Recovery Fund has already helped Brent’s children with catch-up classes, as well as free training for people out of work so they can get a good job. With many of us commuting again, we are making your journey to work smoother by filling thousands of potholes. Two major high streets are getting a refresh and we have boosted support for independent businesses. We also have projects tackling the biggest health issues local people are facing. We are helping people to gain the skills they need to boost their job prospects and building hundreds of new council homes as well as breathing new life into neighbourhoods across the borough. Thanks to the resilience, hard work, creativity and – above all – community spirit of residents, Brent is a borough brimming with opportunity. So, in these pages, I hope you will get that sense of optimism because, in spite of all the challenges we have faced, we are a borough on the up.

Boundary changes come into force for May’s London Local Election At the Local Election on 5 May, Brent residents will be voting to elect 57 councillors to 22 wards as changes to the borough’s ward boundaries come into force. Brent is split up into lots of different ‘wards’, or areas. Residents in these wards elect councillors to represent them at a local level. Under the new arrangements, there will be six fewer councillors and one more ward than at the last local election. The Boundary Commission for England consulted on these changes and made recommendations to Parliament who agreed them in January 2020. Carolyn Downs, Chief Executive of Brent Council, said, “Please register to vote by Thursday 14 April to make sure you can take part in these elections. Voting means having your say on who represents you on issues that directly

Carolyn Downs, Chief Executive of Brent Council

affect day-to-day life here in Brent, so it is important.” You can register to vote at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote Everyone should check their poll card, when they receive it in the post, to find out where to go to vote. Some polling stations have moved since Brent last went to the polls. For more information: www.brent.gov.uk/elections

New Year’s Honours 2022 Two inspiring people who work for organisations that partner with the council are recipients of a New Year Honour. Jennifer Ogole, who fled the civil war in Uganda before forming BANG Edutainment, has been awarded an OBE by Her Majesty The Queen in recognition of her services to young people. Jennifer said: “I would like to say a massive thank you and accept the OBE award on behalf of my family and everyone that has contributed to the vision and mission that is BANG. I am thrilled and deeply honoured to have been awarded this prestigious accolade” Congratulations also goes to Rajesh Makwana – Director of community food and support hub Sufra NW London – who has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services to the community during the pandemic. “I feel very honoured to be receiving a British Empire Medal, especially after an immensely challenging period for the charity responding to the devastating impact of COVID-19 in and around Brent,” said Rajesh “Sufra’s phenomenal staff and volunteers are the ones that make what we do possible. This award is really for them.”

Cllr Muhammed Butt Leader of Brent Council

Jennifer Ogole, CEO of BANG Edutainment

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YOUR BRENT | WINTER 2021 Cllr Muhammed Butt

Leader of Brent Council

Rajesh Makwana, Director of Sufra NW London


NEWS

Residents vote for CO2 to GO Brent residents have cast their votes to choose which projects should share a £500,000 funding pot that aims to reduce carbon emissions in the borough by at least 100 tonnes. Around 250 residents attended Brent’s first ever ‘YouDecide’ Decision Day, which was open to any Brent resident, to vote for the green projects they felt would make the biggest difference in their communities. The first pot of £400k is set to make clusters of 39 flats, maisonettes and houses more energy-efficient to reduce their carbon footprint. Two community buildings in Willesden were also selected for energy-saving makeovers. The second pot of £100k is set to go to Brent-based community groups who will run educational

projects to help residents reduce carbon emissions, save money, and make positive and healthier lifestyle changes. Councillor Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council said: “It was amazing to see so many people coming forward for the first resident-led Decision Day in Brent. The quantity and quality of the submissions was brilliant; local people, local ideas for local change. Thank you to everyone who submitted a bid and congratulations to the winning projects. The residents’ choices are subject to formal ratification from the council’s Cabinet. For more information visit www.brent.gov.uk/youdecide

CO2 to GO resident group panel member Renata Azar

Kenton pupil Timothy, scoops £300 top prize in competition to scrap food waste

Gisela Endres, Senior Contract Manager, Veolia Brent, presents Timothy with his award

A schoolboy from Kenton has won £300 to tackle food waste at his school as part of a borough-wide sustainable schools competition. Timothy, 14, won the top prize for St. Gregory’s Catholic Science College. The competition, which was run by the council’s recycling partner Veolia, encourages young people to submit ideas on how to combat important ecological issues in their school or community. Timothy decided to educate his classmates on how to prevent food waste, introduced on-site composting for the schools canteen, and started a new competition on how classes can cut food leftovers. “I will use the prize money from this competition to work with my fellow students, raising awareness of this issue and showing students how they can reduce food waste at a local level in our school.” The runner up prize was awarded to a group of sixth form students from Preston Manor High School in Wembley who will use their cash prize to plant wildflowers and grow their own bee garden. YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

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NEWS

Free egg-citing activities for children

From cooking to sports, fun activities for children are available for FREE during the Easter holidays in Brent. The activities are for school children and young people in Reception to Year 11, who are eligible for and receive benefits-related free school meals. The sessions, which take place between 4 - 28 April, are part of the council’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme, funded by the Department for Education which supports the physical and mental health of children and young people. Cllr Margaret McLennan, Brent Council’s Deputy Leader, said, “We want children to be happy, healthy and active this Easter school holiday so hope to see as many as possible getting involved.” Cllr Thomas Stephens, Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, added: “It is wonderful that we can continue to offer children and young people in Brent the opportunity to take part and enjoy these activities for free.” To find out more, visit www. brent.gov.uk/haf

Brent Biennial gears up for 2022 events Get ready for the second Brent Biennial from 8 July to 11 September 2022. Produced by Metroland Cultures, who delivered the first one, as part of Brent 2020 ‘London Borough of Cultures’ programme. The Brent Biennial is a visual arts exhibition featuring everything from sculpture to sound art, murals to installations taking place all over the borough, with world-renowned artists on an equal footing with local creatives and community groups. Find out more: www.metrolandcultures.com

L-R: Jamila Prowse, Lauren Wright, Eliel Jones, Adam Farah, Abbas Zahedi.

‘Say no to diabetes’ says poster winner A schoolboy from Wembley has scooped the top prize in a competition to design a poster that raises awareness of diabetes. 11-year-old Haroon Mehar won vouchers worth £125 for his winning design of a lion encouraging us all to ‘Say no to diabetes by eating a rainbow diet’ Haroon and the other shortlisted entrants gathered at the Jason Roberts Foundation in Stonebridge in February to hear the announcement. All participants received a certificate and the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners received vouchers worth £125, £75, and £50 respectively. Community Diabetes Events have been taking place throughout February at Chalkhill, Willesden, Stonebridge and the Central Mosque of Brent as the Brent Heath Matters programme works to tackle health inequalities across the borough.

Winner Haroon Mehar

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YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022


NEWS

Power up your engine with new electric charging points The power to charge up your electric vehicle has arrived in Brent with 242 new lamp column charging points available across the borough. Using the new Ubitricity ‘smart socket’ technology system, which embeds the point into streetlights, the new charging points are convenient and easy to use. Road transport is the third biggest contributor to carbon emissions in Brent – representing 22% of the total levels – so making the switch to electric vehicles will be an important part of decarbonisation across the borough. The council, which declared a climate emergency in 2019, is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of all communities and making the borough cleaner and greener. Find your nearest EV charging point: www.brent.gov.uk

Reflection inspires hope for the future Residents, community leaders, councillors and schoolchildren came together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day at a special online event in February. Themed ‘One Day’, this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day urged people to remember the six million Jews murdered by the Nazi’s during the Holocaust and the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. With special guests and performances, the event was designed to encourage people to reflect, learn and hope for a future free from genocide.

Small acorns lead to mighty oaks

Brent resident Tom Wright, at Electric Vehicle (EV) lamp column charging point

Green screens reduce school pollution levels by a quarter

Two oaks have been planted at ceremonial tree-planting events in Roundwood Park, Harlesden, and King Edward Vll Park, Wembley, as part of the 80 trees for 80 years campaign. The Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) and Brent Council came together to mark the 80th anniversary of the national charity that provides social and welfare services to Holocaust refugees and survivors in the UK. Councillor Krupa Sheth, Cabinet Member for Environment at Brent Council, said: “The history of the Jewish community and the horror endured 80 years ago has not been forgotten, so it is a privilege to both protect our environment by planting these oak trees as well as celebrating the contribution of Jewish refugees.” The oak trees were sponsored by the Blackstone family and the Field family. To find out more about AJR’s work visit: www.ajr.org.uk

New Brent Customer Promise

Two primary schools on busy roads in Brent have installed ‘green screens’ made from vegetation to protect pupils and staff from air pollution and increase biodiversity. Harlesden Primary School and Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School expect their barriers of ivy to reduce pollutants in the air by around a quarter. Children at the two schools are also learning about planting and the benefits of biodiversity at workshops during the spring.

The Customer Promise outlines the standard of expectation between the council and residents. How you are communicated with is important to us so please have your say on the new Customer Promise survey. We want to find out what you value the most, giving you the opportunity to influence how the council interacts with everyone. In addition, you will be entered into a prize draw for a £50 Love2Shop voucher. https://haveyoursay.brent.gov. uk/en-GB/

YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

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NEWS

Council steps in to help as sky-high Celebrating 20 years of energy bills turn the heat up As the cost of living continues to rise – with food, fuel and other bills going up – many households across the country are feeling the pinch. In Brent, help is available to households who are struggling to make ends meet. If you are aged 18 or older you can apply to the Residents’ Support Fund for help with the cost of essential items, such as gas, electricity or food bills. Councillor Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader of Brent Council, said: “The increasing cost of

food and other essentials are having a great impact on people. “The end of furlough and changes to Universal Credit, along with rising living costs are affecting lots of people. Brent Council is committed to supporting residents when they need help and the money available through the Residents’ Support Fund is a vital part of that.” For more information visit: www.brent.gov.uk/residentssupportfund

the Living Wage

To mark two decades of the Living Wage, the council is developing a new strategy to encourage more local employers to pay fairly for a hard days work. Low-paid workers have shared over £1.6 billion in extra wages since the start of the since the start of the Living Wage movement in the UK. It’s calculated yearly and is based on the real cost of living. Nearly 9,000 UK employers now pay it – including Brent Council, which is proud to have been a Living Wage employer since 2013.

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BACK INTO WORK

Has COVID-19

Are you sending

Are you selling

left you

applications and

yourself short

struggling to find

not hearing

in job

work?

back?

interviews?

e hard s e h t g in r u d support you o t t n a w e W ceive free e r o t le b a e u may b times and yo aw Trust. h S m o fr t r o upp specialised s Features and benefits of the JETS Programme

Find out how we can help you by scanning the QR link above or going to: https://tinyurl.com/BrentSupport Alternatively, to speak to your local Brent representative you can contact Tristan WLAintegration@shaw-trust.org.uk

Personal advisor Direct access to live vacancies CV building and Interview skill building Learn new skills and change sector Confidence building and job search guidance

YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

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NEWS

Top marks for school governors Do you have what it takes to be a school governor? Brent has 87 local schools with 95% rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted, well above the national average. You will need to be passionate about education, offer your time and skills as well as champion the school you represent across Brent. In addition, in line with the objectives of the Brent Black Community Action Plan, the council is working with schools to ensure governing boards reflect the communities they serve by encouraging those from under-represented communities to apply. Cllr Thomas Stephens, Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, said: “School governors are crucial to the way schools are run. I want to urge people from different backgrounds, different professions, to come forward. You will be offering up your time, energy, skills and

Kilburn Park School Governor Cheryl Benjamin

expertise, to help improve the lives of Brent’s young people.” Ayala Lerner, who is a governor at The Village School school, said: “I’m a big believer in giving back to the community

and was happy to give this challenge a go. As a governor you need to be open minded, passionate and build positive relationships with the leadership team, fellow governors, teachers, parents and pupils.” Vishnu Hariharan, a governor at The Kilburn Park School, said: “Being able to use and sharpen the skills I have developed during my career in a different setting was a major draw. Meeting other school governors who have a shared passion for education and diverse perspectives all make the role incredibly rewarding.” Five years into her role at The Kilburn Park School, Cheryl Benjamin added: “I wanted to become a school governor to gain new skills and give back to the local community. I like making decisions that support the teachers, children and the school.” To apply or find out more visit: www.brent.gov.uk/schoolgovernors

Small changes make a big difference Climate change can seem overwhelming at times but small actions by each of us can make a big difference. Brent’s Together Towards Zero ‘count us in’ campaign encourages everyone to make realistic and practical changes that help reduce your carbon footprint. There are 16 pledges to choose from. You could pledge to walk or recycle more, produce less food waste or perhaps buy fewer new clothes. Mayor of Brent, Cllr Lia Colacicco, said: “I meet a lot of people who worry about climate change, but don’t know where to start making individual changes. They are bewildered. So ‘Count us in’ is a fun and simple way to start. It strips it down to 16 suggested actions, simply sign up, choose one or more pledges, and stick to it for two months. Then, the amount of carbon you have saved is calculated.“ Small savings can make a big difference. Please see @Mayorofbrent for details.” So far, 1,906 pledges have been made and the top pledges are connected to food waste and eating less meat.

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YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

Children from Park Lane Primary school, Wembley, making climate pledges


NEWS

BuyBrent shopping app is a hit A free app to support small businesses in Brent is proving a big hit with shoppers after being downloaded more than 2,000 times since its launch in October 2021. The app makes it quick and easy to access a range of exclusive walk-in offers and discounts from more than 150 independent businesses in Brent. You can also buy goods for collection, delivery or book reservations. Start your local love affair and download BuyBrent from your App store today. If you don’t have a smartphone – then pick up a rewards card from council libraries. Follow BuyBrent on social media for the latest news and offers. Facebook and Instagram: @BuyBrent. Twitter: @Buy_Brent

Joshitex Fabric Shop, Ealing Road

‘A game we have to win!’ – ideas to give climate change the boot It all kicked off on a cold winter’s evening at the Bridgestone Arena, Stonebridge, as 150 teenagers turned up to play football and discuss new ways to tackle climate change. From wanting companies to label their products better so it’s easier to tell what you can and can’t recycle to encouraging people

to re-wear and swap clothes, lots of ideas for making local neighbourhoods greener and more sustainable were suggested. Watford FC legend Derek Payne, who played midfield for The Hornets before turning to coaching, was there to cheer on the players. He said, “Events like these go a long way in encouraging our community to

think about these important topics.” Cllr Krupa Sheth, Brent’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Young people’s voices are central to helping shape the future of the borough. Thank you to the Jason Roberts Foundation for co-organising the tournament and to everyone who came and for all your brilliant ideas.” The event was part of a series of community conversations designed to get feedback that will help shape how the council manages waste and recycling, keeps the streets clean and maintains green spaces.

YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

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NEWS

Cupid’s arrow leads to wedded bliss “We decided to get married on Valentine’s Day, as it meant something special to us,” says Deborah Brooks from Willesden Green. “I got a special delivery of flowers from a secret admirer on Valentine’s Day and was super annoyed that our mutual friend gave out my home address. Five years later here we are on Valentine’s Day tying the knot.” Deborah, 43, and Adrian, 41, chose to get married at the Brent Registry Rooms saying: “It has the most beautiful manicured gardens and the room is nicely decorated and spaced out.” Chuffed that the rooms are right on their doorstep, Deborah added: “I love that they have fresh flowers delivered every day.” If you would like to get married at Brent Registry Rooms visit: www.brent.gov.uk and search for ‘get married’

Moving on Up wins national award A programme that helps young black men find skilled jobs and reach their career goals has won a national award. Moving on Up, which is part of the Black Community Action Plan (BCAP), won ‘Community Partnership of the Year’ at the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) 2021 Employability Awards.

Cllr Thomas Stephens, Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, said: “Creating opportunities locally is a huge part of our Black Community Action Plan. That’s why we’ve invested over £300,000 in Moving on Up and I’m delighted it’s already helped hundreds of young men and will continue to help many more.”

L-R Aswad Martin, Keifer Royal, Cameron Aitcheson-Labarr and Ian Moya at the Ambassador focus group event

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YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022


BRENT REGISTER OFFICE Ceremonies Suite and Garden available for your best day ever!

My Council

Explore our services: Marriages I Civil Partnerships Baby Naming Ceremonies I Renewal of Vows Telephone 020 8937 1010 Email reg@brent.gov.uk @brentweddings

www.brent.gov.uk

Brent Civic Centre Wembley HA9 0FJ

Brent


MY COMMUNITY

Young voices heard Youth voices are at the forefront of the Brent Black Community Action Plan (BCAP) thanks to a group of passionate and dedicated young people.

T

he BCAP is all about working hand-in-hand with local Black leaders to stamp out inequality, create a level playing field and improve lived experiences and outcomes for Black communities in the borough. The BCAP has already seen some brilliant results. Last year, more than 300 young people attended an employment skills event where they met with employers from across the borough to talk about job opportunities and professional development. The BCAP Youth Advisory Group (YAG) has emerged from listening and responding to young people with a passion for making and owning decisions that will make a real difference to Black residents in Brent. The members of the YAG are enthusiastic young movers and shakers, whose ambition and drive is taking the BCAP to another level. They all have roots in Brent, including Kensal Green resident Harold Lisk. Not one to shy away from hard work, Harold has a love for creating opportunities within the community saying, “With my skills and experience, I want to give back”. True to his word, Harold has used his reach, network and influence to propel forward multiple initiatives. He facilitated a Pro-Vax or No-Vax livestream, inviting hesitant young people to get the answers they need about the COVID-19 vaccine from healthcare experts. He has also accelerated the conversation about how best to meet the mental health and wellbeing

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YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

needs of a young BAME population, speaking directly to senior decision-makers in the NHS. His commitment to giving back to community projects doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. “It takes a village to raise a child and growing up, I had the experience of being part of a community,” says Harold. Harold’s desire to support young people goes beyond the council. He is the founder of Always Furthering and Nurturing Development (AFND), which provides career mentorship and paid work for those interested in the creative industry. He has also launched H Boss Official Creative Consultancy, an organisation that specialises in production, education and entertainment. Harold’s dedication to his local community is clear to see and his hopes for Brent are high. “I like the diversity of Brent,” he says. “There is so much opportunity to mix and share resources to produce a great economy.” With initiatives like BCAP, Harold is certain Brent is on the right track. “I can see the foundation of things we have laid, now come to fruition.” Community leaders such as Harold are the bedrock of the BCAP. If you are interested in delivering change, please get in touch. For further information, visit www.brent.gov.uk/BCAP


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BUSINESS

High street T

The winners of the fifth annual Brent Small Business Saturday Awards have been revealed.

he awards celebrate the independent businesses, restaurants and cafés that have gone the extra mile to support local communities across Brent and adapted in difficult financial times. “This was one of our most hotly contested competitions ever with over 100 nominations from businesses across the borough,” said Councillor Shama Tatler, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Property and Planning. “I was blown away by the entries and the innovation, adaptability and resilience businesses have shown during the N BUSINESS E E R G most challenging of years. T S O M “Congratulations to all the winners for their fantastic work in the community and everything they have achieved during the past year. When you are next out and about, make sure you pay them and other local businesses a visit.” You can also show your support for local businesses near you by downloading the free BuyBrent app. It has great products and services from more than 150 small businesses and is jam packed with exclusive offers and WINNER: Greenkit discounts. Just search BuyBrent in your Unit 7/8,Cygnus Business Centre, NW10 2XA App store or visit: onelink.to/buybrent.

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YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

BEST SHOP FRONT

WINNER: Pinks Nail & Beauty

224 Church lane, NW9

8SN


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INTERIO S S E N I S BEST BU

t Eden WINNER: Swee9P Q

BUSINESS INK BEST PLACE TO EAT/DR

WINNER: Masala Bowl

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135 Ealing Road, HA0 4BP

217 Kingsbury Rd, NW

FRIENDLIEST

BUSINESS

O SHOP T E C A L BEST P

BEST CONTRIBUTION TO THE COMMUNITY

WINNER: The Beauty Bar Wembley 2 Peel Road, HA9 7LU

WINNER: Kiln T heatre

Barbers WINNER: Olympic

269 Kilburn High

0 2LL

709 Harrow Road, HA

ESENCE R P E N I L N BEST O

WINNER: Makes Miso Hungry Makesmisohungry.com

Road, NW6 7JR

TNERSHIP BEST BUSINESS PAR

WINNER:

Neasden Business Association YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

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CLEANER & GREENER

Green Borough

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Brent in Bloom back with a buzz

Blooming Community roundabouts skips for your spring into life bulky items

The Brent in Bloom 2022 competition is back with a buzz – with winners set to receive up to £100 worth of vouchers. Categories range from: front garden planting, awarded to the most colourful and imaginative front garden visible from the street, to communal gardens, where a group of residents get together to spruce up a communal area. There is also a prize for the most sustainable idea that uses recyclable materials. For more information visit www.brent. gov.uk and search ‘Brent in Bloom’. Entries must be in by 29 August 2022.

Green fingered schoolchildren and residents came together to plant more than 500 bulbs on three roundabouts in Kingsbury. Pupils and teachers from Oliver Goldsmith Primary School joined with the Springfield Estate Residents Association and gardeners from Veolia to plant the donated bulbs. As spring approaches, everyone is eagerly awaiting the first signs of the bulbs bursting into bloom and attracting more birds, bees and insects.

YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

This spring, from 21 February to 15 March, look out for community skips across the borough to drop off your unwanted bulky items, like sofas, broken chairs and other bits and pieces you no longer need and want to get rid of. The arrival of the skips coincides with the Great British Spring Clean which is back bigger and better than ever with more dates and locations added to make it easy for residents to drop off unwanted items to be recycled and reused by others. “If you have unwanted bulky items, it’s easy and free to drop them off at one of our community skips,” says Councillor Krupa Sheth, Cabinet Member for Environment. “Together we can reduce illegal rubbish dumping on our streets which is unpleasant for everyone and costly to clear up. All you need is proof of a Brent address to drop off bulky items free of charge. Let’s keep Brent clean.” For details of skip locations and dates visit www.brent.gov.uk


CLEANER & GREENER

Budding gardeners rose to the occasion Love where you live Husband and wife duo, Franco and Inma Doldan take great pride in their front garden in Wembley and strive to keep it looking trim and tidy. “We have lived in our home for 44 years,” says Inman. “We had no clue about gardening when we first moved here, but thankfully our lovely neighbour and good friend Neville, who has since sadly passed away, helped us a lot, teaching us about the different types of plants and weeds. “Franco and Neville spent a lot of time in the front garden chatting, gardening, and

exchanging tips and seedlings. My husband shapes all the bay trees that he planted all over the garden, and keeps them looking trim. “I love to buy the plants and flowers. In the summer, the garden is in full bloom with colourful flowers. “It takes a lot of time to keep it looking neat and tidy, our daughter Belinda, had to take over as gardener during lockdown as we were abroad when the pandemic started. She did a fantastic job considering she works long hours all week.”

Don’t have a front garden? No problem, you can still show your love for where you live by sprucing up the space around you. If you are a resident or part of a community group, you can apply for a grant of up to £1,000 to improve your area as Chalkhill residents did by coming together to plant flowerbeds in the green space between the parking bays. To find out more email: lovewhereyoulive@brent.gov.uk or visit: www.brent.gov.uk/lovewhereyoulive

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Go Green CLEANER & GREENER

With heating, food and other bills going up and inflation rising to a 30-year high, the nation is facing a cost of living crisis that is leaving many families looking for ways to save money.

R

esidents who are struggling to pay household bills can now save money and help protect the environment at the same time, thanks to the Green Doctors. Green Doctors are a charity who specialise in helping residents stay well, keep warm and save money on household bills. “We are here to help residents who are struggling financially to make ends meet,” says Euan Herries, Project Coordinator at Green Doctors. “We offer a friendly ear, as well as providing tips to reduce your energy bills and the overall cost of living. Please don’t miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of the support that is available for you.” Brent Hubs work with residents who need extra support including making sure you are receiving the correct benefits. You can also apply for the Brent Residents Support Fund if you are facing financial hardship and struggling to pay for food, utility bills and other household essentials.

Green Doctors

www.greendoctors-london.org Tel: 0300 365 5003

Brent Hubs

www.brenthubs.com Tel: 020 8937 1234

Brent Resident’s Support Fund www.brent.gov.uk/residentsupportfund

Energy Saving Trust

www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/energy-at-home

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We are here to help residents who are struggling financially to make ends meet

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Euan Herries (left), Project Coordinator at Green Doctors YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022


CLEANER & GREENER

to make ends meet TOP energy saving tips:

Put a little extra cash back in your pocket and help the environment:

1

2

Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need to boil

Turn off

appliances at the plug and don’t leave in standby mode

3

4

traditional light bulbs with energy saving LED bulbs

Have a 3-minute shower instead of taking a bath. Fit a water efficient shower head

5

6

Replace

Boiler check:

Service your boiler to make sure it is safe and working properly. Always use a Gas Safe Registered engineer.

Food: Refrigerate or freeze leftovers

to save them for another day, or turn them into a completely new meal! Eat more plant-based meals and think about growing your own vegetables.

YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

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MY COMMUNITY

Jazz up your Jeans 22

Thinking of throwing your old jeans away? Well don’t, not yet at least because 23-year-old Wuzzy Omilaye wants you to consider an eco-friendly alternative.


MY COMMUNITY

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hat started out as a hobby, quickly turned into a thriving business during the 2020 lockdown. Wuzzy discovered a talent for revamping old denim. Upcycling vintage Levi jeans to bespoke pieces and sharing the images on social media, her creative approach to sustainable fashion attracted attention, which led to many orders and requests. “People started asking me where they can get the pieces,” says Wuzzy and what started as a hobby to help deal with the difficult job

market as a recent graduate, transformed into a business with orders flooding in.” With business booming from her brent based studio, Wuzzy stayed committed to her core values, with workshop opportunities to show others how to go green and reuse old jeans. “It’s important for me to promote sustainability,” she says and alongside taking a slow fashion approach to producing her bespoke pieces, Wuzzy teaches people how to be sustainable and revamp their old denim. See Wuzzy’s jacket and bodice on left.

Wuzzy’s Top Tips for Upcycling Old Denim: • Before throwing away your jeans try patching them up with a piece of fabric and making it your own. • If you have an old sewing machine put it to work and with some simple online tips you can make a small makeup bag. • With some cardboard and a hot glue gun, you can transform your denim into place mats and coasters.

Follow @by.wuzzy on Instagram Tips on taking care of your jeans • Air-dry - Tumble dryers are not good for your denim, the lint makes the denim breakdown and lessens the quality. Turn them inside out and hang them out to dry. • Wash on a cold cycle - A cold wash keeps the blue dye in your jeans and protects them from shrinkage. • Washing your jeans at least once a month can save over 2,000 litres of water a year. • The less you wash your jeans the better the fit and the look.

YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

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JOBS & SKILLS

Up skill to get ahead S Improve your job prospects by learning new skills and developing your knowledge.

To boost your confidence and stay one step ahead!

Neelam Batool

upport is available to guide you on your journey to discover your passion and open the door to new opportunities in the ever-changing world of work. With courses ranging from Maths and English to fashion design and enterprise, Brent Start Adult Education College courses help students unlock their potential with no time limit on learning something new. Neelam Batool, said: “The teachers are very skilful and have helped me improve my confidence and knowledge. It proves that you can learn new skills whenever you want and there is no age limit!” Monika, another student added, “I’ve always wanted to start my own business. Brent Start helped me develop skills and build confidence. I’ve met amazing people in the community, made new friends and made myself proud.” With digital skills at the top of every employer’s list of requirements, the college has expanded its free range of essential digital skills courses. New Health, Social Care and Mental Health and Wellbeing courses are now also available to help put you on the path to finding a fulfilling career in the care sector. Course fees are dependent on your circumstances. To find our more email: brent.start@brent.gov.uk or call: 0208 937 3950 or visit www.brent.gov.uk/brentstart

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Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council said:

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YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

‘‘

Monika

“Having digital skills opens up a world of opportunities. Lockdown nudged more businesses to look towards new technologies, accelerating the shift online, and job adverts are increasingly looking for people with skills that match. “Today one in five adults in Brent don’t possess essential digital skills and many more would benefit from training to access the jobs of the future. Our borough is awash with opportunities and, as a council, we want to help local people develop the skills and the confidence they need to get out there and snap them up.”


SKILLS & JOBS

Gain new digital skills anytime, anywhere

Supported internships 24-year-old Catering Assistant, Will Mathias-Smith from Harlesden, completed a supported internship at Charing Cross Hospital before gaining a permanent contract in September 2020. He said, “The DFN Project Search Supported Internship helped me to get new skills and I loved that when I got a little bit stuck, I got help and after that I could do it independently” If you are aged 17-24 and hold an active Education, Health and Care Plan, (EHC), you may be eligible to a supported internship transition to work programme carefully designed to help young people with special educational needs and disabilities gain new skills and find jobs. The programmes are based at Brent Civic Centre, including neighbouring employers and the Charing Cross Hospital. To register your interest or for more information, please contact Rachael.heppenstall@cwc.ac.uk, or call 0207 258 5695.

Will Mathias-Smith

More than 6,000 people are already signed up to Springboard – a fantastic new free website – offering more than 200 zero cost online courses, including coding and cyber-security training. The website, which launched last year, is thanks to a partnership between Brent Council and global tech leader Infosys and is perfect for anyone wanting to improve their digital skills and give their CV a boost. Courses can be completed anytime, anywhere on your computer, laptop or mobile. Sign up: www.infyspringboard.uk. onwingspan.com/en/login

Brent residents and community groups arrive at the launch of the Infosys Springboard digital skills platform in Brent.

YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

25


REGENERATION

Water way to live Grand Union is the council’s flagship new development of 3,330 homes, a new community centre, shops, restaurants and leisure facilities along the canal front in Alperton.

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YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022


REGENERATION

T

‘‘

housands of the new properties are affordable homes, including 115 council homes. With the shortage of council homes a nationwide challenge for most local authorities, Brent is committed to building 1,700 new council homes by 2028, to ensure that each family has the right size home for their needs.. A high quality medical centre, new open spaces and nearly 200 square feet of workspace with be built – creating around 650 permanent jobs. 600 electric car-charging points are being installed, coupled with a new canal and riverside walk that will improve walking and cycling routes to and from Stonebridge Park Station. Councillor Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: “The idea that everyone should have a permanent safe home comes from the overarching vision to make the borough fairer and more equal.” Mohammad Dehzad, 63, said “Currently the home we live in is too big for the three of us, now that my other children have flown the nest. We visited Grand Union in December, and now I feel very happy and excited to move to our new home. I can’t wait to settle in and get to know the area.” The council has also invested in forging stronger relationships with housing providers to supply more new affordable housing that meet residents’ needs. The overall aim is to build 1,000 new affordable homes in Brent every year for the next five years. The council wants 70 per cent of these homes to be for affordable rent and 30 per cent for affordable home ownership.

The idea that everyone should have a permanent safe home comes from the overarching vision to make the borough fairer and more equal.

‘‘

Councillor Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

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HAPPY & HEALTHY

On the right Meet Born Barikor, 39, the man who created Our Parks – a community focused exercise hub that is helping Brent residents to get fit and healthy through free exercise in local parks.

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YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022


track O

ne of the barriers to exercise can be cost”, says Born whose commitment to providing accessible fitness classes is not at the cost of quality. “We are very specific about the people we choose to be trainers; it’s about being personable and caring about families and communities.” Inclusivity and openness are the core values of Our Parks with more than 8,000 Brent families using the hub since it launched seven years ago. “The consistency of the programme has helped Brent residents move from inactive to healthy”, says Born. “Seeing people become healthier is one of the best things about my work. There are inspiring stories of those who have been severely unhealthy or unwell who have gone on run marathons or half marathons.”

HAPPY & HEALTHY

“So many friendships have been formed, when people talk to each other they realise they have more in common and families become friends. Many families take part in Our Parks with parents invested in exercises classes also inspiring their children to be healthier.” Our Parks, which is funded by the council, provides everything from box fit to body weights training and some members of the Our Parks classes, nicknamed ‘parkers’, have even gone on to become instructors. To find out more visit www.ourparks.org.uk

Born Barikor creator of free exercise hub Our Parks

YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

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MY COMMUNITY

Dealing with diabetes The COVID pandemic has exposed deep-rooted health issues such as diabetes – with one in three people who died in hospital in England with COVID-19 also having diabetes.

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YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

At an event at the Central Mosque of Brent on 4 February, Brent GP Nigel De Kare-Silver said: “The trouble with diabetes is it can sit in our bodies for many, many years and be causing underlying low level damage on a continuous basis and give us the awful illnesses which maybe can kill us or maybe leave us severely debilitated for the rest of our lives.” Mistura Yusuf, a Harlesden Community Champion, who helped at an event at the Jason Roberts Foundation, on 6 February, said, “It was great to see so many local people getting an assessment, a health check and advice about how to combat diabetes.” Diabetes has been discussed at the BHM monthly health session on The Beat 103.6FM, and there are resources on the BHM webpages and new social media groups for residents to connect with one another. The BHM website content is available at www.brent.gov.uk/bhmdiabetes. Watch the Beat session and other videos about diabetes at: youtube.com/user/ BrentCouncilLondon/videos’

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Diabetes is a really important issue and one of the key health inequalities we need to address.

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D

iabetes causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high and can come about through inactivity, obesity and a poor diet. The poorest people in the UK are 2.5 times more likely to have diabetes and people of Black African origin are up to three times more likely to develop diabetes. In Brent 17 per cent of all deaths can be attributed to diabetes; which can lead to serious complications, such as reduced circulation, kidney disease, blindness and heart disease. Cllr Neil Nerva, Brent’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Culture and Leisure, said: “Diabetes is a really important issue and one of the key health inequalities we need to address as part of Brent Health Matters”. Brent Health Matters (BHM) is a joint programme between Brent Council, local NHS services and the community to address health inequalities. BHM has organised events attended by over 1,000 residents everywhere from Hindu Temples to supermarkets, sports centres and factories.

Cllr Neil Nerva, Brent’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Culture and Leisure


MY COMMUNITY

Tea, time and a side order of poetry Care home residents are enjoying poems especially written for them by poet, Charlotte Baldwin, who wanted to use her time as a way of giving back to the community.

G

ypsy Rose Poetry and Brent Libraries developed a programme to give vulnerable customers the opportunity to experience poetry in their own homes, with funding from the Mayor of London’s Culture Seeds fund. Charlotte visits home library customers and care homes around the borough getting to know each resident and having a cup of tea and a chat before creating unique poems for each person. The experience gives residents the opportunity to reminisce about the past and

take away a memento of their life captured in a poem. Charlotte said, “This was a very rewarding project which could not have happened without the hard work and dedication of the Home Libraries team. It was a joy to learn more about the lives of people living in Brent and to see how moved some were to read the resulting poems. I will treasure their gratitude and hope they will treasure their poems.” For more information visit: www.brent.gov.uk/libraries YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

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MY COUNCIL

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YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022


MY COUNCIL

A £17million Recovery Fund is one of the ways the council is helping local communities and businesses bounce back even stronger from the pandemic.

T

he new money from the council is focused on tackling three of the most pressing issues of our day: inequality, poverty, and the climate and ecological emergency. Of the total package of measures, which include 33 projects in total, £6.4million is going towards vital town centre improvements. The worn pavements in Wembley High Road are getting a makeover, followed by new lighting, greenery, public art and seating areas. It promises to be in ship shape for an exciting summer of events to get more people on our high streets. On Church Road, more trees will be planted and pavements widened to make the streets more attractive. Separately 99 new genuinely affordable homes are being built in Church Road along with a new youth hub, pocket park and café for local people to enjoy. Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council said: “We are determined to build back better from the pandemic and for our town centres to become vibrant, attractive and inclusive spaces that residents can be proud of.” Visit www.brent.gov.uk/highstreets to learn more.

How the £17m Recovery Fund is making a difference: £10.3million

£943,000

Is going towards helping local people back into work, as well as

Will go towards improving the borough’s health, including

£4.4million

£183,000

Is supporting the green recovery, with plans including

Will make communities safer by installing knife bins and new security cameras, and providing bespoke training to prevent reoffending

keeping financially squeezed traders in business with grants, marketing support and high street improvements

making council buildings more eco-friendly and freshening up our streets by patching potholes, improving footpaths, reducing waste and decluttering pavements

through tackling childhood obesity and tooth decay, and providing more tailored mental health support

£17m £1.6million

Will support education recovery for young people who have missed

£168,000

Will go to Black Community Action Plan projects, aimed at

encouraging and empowering black entrepreneurs

out on face-to-face learning, and scale up support for children and their families

Eco-friendly injection patching vehicles can fill 60 potholes a day

YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

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MY COMMUNITY

Pots of cash for Community community projects Want to improve your local area, got an idea to spruce it up? Well, you can apply for cash to do just that. There are many grants available to bring your idea to life and benefit people living in your neighbourhood. Love Where You Live

Edward Harvist Trust Fund

Together Towards Zero

With grants of up to £1,000 available for residents, community groups and schools to develop one-off projects to improve the environment, tackle social isolation or help to build better community relations in Brent. In the past 12 months, over £19,500 has been awarded to 30 local community groups. The Sunah’s Crisis Team project were successful in receiving funding to provide over 200 hundred hot meals, both at the Lewinson centre in Willesden, and directly to homes where people were shielding or incapacitated as a direct result of COVID 19. Email lovewhereyoulive@brent.gov.uk to find out more.

Up to £5,000 is available for local registered organisations, for projects that work to improve the quality of life and opportunities for residents. A total of £62,000 was awarded to 14 projects to improve local areas from April to December last year. Brent Centre for Young People – installed a new outdoor lift to improve disabled access. Springboard Youth Academy started a new club for young asylum seekers and refugee young people to provide holistic learning over February and October half terms. A young person who attended Springboard said, “In my opinion, Springboard is a great place to enjoy free time, make new friends,learn cool stuff, do activities and learn about other religions.” Friends of Barham Library – hired a cleaner for a year as a response to COVID 19 to enable safe reopening of services. For more information email edwardharvist@brent.gov.uk

Grant applications are open for one-off environmental projects or initiatives that contribute to the climate emergency in Brent. You can apply for up to £1,000 to support your community. Councillor Promise Knight, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement said, “These community grants have added tremendous value in supporting local groups, residents and organisations in delivering various local community based projects. “These grants provide a great opportunity for individuals to improve where they live and to make a difference. Please step up and apply for a grant.” For more information email ecogrants@ brent.gov.uk Deadline: 31 March 2022.

L VE WHeRe You LiVe 34

YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022


MY COMMUNITY

Sunah, director of Sunah’s Crisis Team said, “The Love Where You Live (LWYL), funding helped open a new door for our community interest company. We have since gone onto secure funding from the National Lottery as they recognised the support from Brent Council. This enabled us to offer our services to the food bank Sufra and the Lewinson centre, cooking over 300 meals for residents.”

‘‘

‘‘

Sunah Arhtar’s Crisis Team project

These grants provide a great opportunity for individuals to improve where they live and to make a difference. Please step up and apply for a grant. Councillor Promise Knight, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement

To find out more about the funding and grants available in Brent visit: www.brent.gov.uk/ funding YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

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HAPPY & HEALTHY

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YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022


HAPPY & HEALTHY

Learning to live with COVID As COVID restrictions are lifted and the world returns to something closer to ‘normal’, each of us will have to decide how we go about our lives knowing COVID hasn’t gone away.

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I am a type 2 diabetic and have a BMI of over 40, so I felt it was important to protect myself against COVID.

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Piriya Jeganathan from North Wembley

N

o one is kidding themselves that the COVID crisis is over,” said Cllr Neil Nerva, Brent’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Culture and Leisure. “People are still falling ill. People are still being admitted to hospital. People are still dying. We must all learn to live with COVID.” Personal responsibility has never been more important as the safeguards of negative testing to enter venues and self-isolation becomes a thing of the past. What does remain the same is the only real answer to the virus – the vaccine. If you are unvaccinated – or you have not topped up your level of protection with a booster – you are now putting yourself at even greater risk of catching the virus. Recent data from the Office of National

Statistics revealed that the risk of reinfection from the Omicron COVID variant is 16 times higher than the Delta variant. Piriya Jeganathan, 39 from North Wembley, has had all three vaccine doses and told Your Brent that she would encourage everyone to get themselves fully protected. “I am a type 2 diabetic and have a BMI of over 40, so I felt it was important to protect myself against COVID. “When I had my first dose I did feel a bit unwell for a couple of days, but that was all. The way I see it, a few days of feeling a bit under the weather against the threat of death doesn’t really compare.” If you need a first, second or booster jab, check out all the local options at www.brent.gov.uk/vaccine YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

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FOOD & DRINK

Catering for tough times ‘Overnight we went from thriving business to zero, we lost everything and it was quite scary’, said life-long Brent resident Abed Hijazi, who launched small family business Gurkin Catering 13 years ago.

B

efore the first COVID 19 national lockdown was introduced in March 2020, Gurkin Catering was a booming business providing breakfasts, lunches and dinners to London’s corporate world as well as private clients and then everything changed. “Within hours of the lockdown announcement everything came to a halt,” said Abed. Thinking lockdown would last a few weeks, 18 months later and the future

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YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

of Gurkin Catering looked uncertain and on the brink of collapse. A new baby on the way and plans to move house, the timing couldn’t have been worse for Abed, who was determined to keep the business afloat. A business support grant from the council was crucial to help keep things ticking over. With a second skill up his sleeve as a fitness trainer, Abed began hosting online fitness classes to pay the bills.

As the months rolled by, he watched as friends in the catering industry filed for bankruptcy. “There were more businesses failing than making it. I started to question myself; can we do this?” continued Abed. “Lockdown has taught me so many lessons, that I am grateful for and will never take for granted again. We were able to refocus our aims, strategy, and plan for the future.”


DON’T END UP IN INTENSIVE CARE.

GET YOUR COVID-19

VACCINE UNVACCINATED PEOPLE ARE EIGHT TIMES MORE LIKELY TO NEED A HOSPITAL BED.

DON’T JOIN THEM – BOOK YOUR JAB TODAY. Find your nearest vaccination centre at Brent.gov.uk/vaccine

YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

39


MY COUNCIL Frontline workers and an army of volunteers have been hailed as heroes as the country wrestled with the Covid 19 pandemic, which took its toll on families and businesses across the country.

D

octors and nurses from the NHS were stretched to breaking point but carried on in the toughest of circumstances to save lives. Hundreds of volunteers delivered food supplies to the elderly, helped at food banks – by cooking or donating fresh food – and checked on elderly and vulnerable neighbours. Council key workers – from carers, social workers, refuse and street cleansing teams and many others – also went above and beyond to keep vital services going during the various restrictions and lockdowns caused by the global pandemic.

Key workers making a difference 40

YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

Brent Hubs Coordinator TJ Agard “We have five Brent Hubs, all providing free face-to-face support to residents who find it hard to get help through mainstream services. “Working with our 45 community partners, we purposely make sure the Hubs are friendly places to visit. “We carried on working throughout the pandemic and in the last six months alone, have successfully dealt with over 5,000 enquiries. “My wish is always to empower people to be the best they can be. If you need help, no matter what that issue is, come on down to your local Brent Hub, we are here and ready to help!”


MY COUNCIL Porter Lucien Dake Lucien, 55, has worked as a Porter, with Brent Council since 2015, at different locations from Willesden Library to the Civic Centre, where he is now based. “No two days are alike in my job,” says Lucien. “From preparing meeting rooms to delivering parcels and large packages to stocking paper for the printers. “The best part of my job is meeting different people. I enjoy the daily routine of checking the facilities helpdesk to see the type of requests to doing the post run.”

Parks Samantha Haines, Project Officer for the Brent Parks “During the pandemic, parks were safe spaces where people could exercise and meet while remaining socially distanced. My mother worked in the parks service for over 40 years, so I grew up knowing about the facilities and benefits of open spaces. There are over 80 parks and open spaces in Brent and every day in my job is different.”

Customer Services Nahima Begum Nahima grew up in the borough and currently lives in Wembley and has worked for the council for over three years in customer services. “The pandemic was tough. As a front-line service, we are the first point of contact for our residents, many of whom are vulnerable. I often spoke with residents who were isolated and had no support and it was difficult to hear about their hardships and not get emotional. “I’ve been recognised on many occasions outside of work - one particular resident refers to me as “Brent Lady” and made me feel like a celebrity!”

Customer Services Team Leader Carer

Naomi Thornton, carer for her mum Eileen “I’ve have been my mum Eileen’s carer for 2 years after she was diagnosed with dementia, but this became full time in June 2021, when dad started cancer treatment. It was at this point that I gave up my job as a special needs teaching assistant. “It was an awful time during the pandemic, as mum didn’t understand what was going on and why I couldn’t go in or have contact with her. I would sit on the wall chatting to her. “The most rewarding part of being with mum is that I get to repay all the love she gave me as a child”.

Rohena Sharma, “I learned so much during the pandemic”, said Rohena Sharma, Brent Customer Services Team Leader, who has worked at the council for 18 years and praises her team for being resilient, dedicated and always wanting to help every resident that called the council for help and support during this time. “We are the first point of contact, the face of the council. Knowing we were making a difference, even if we didn’t have all the answers to hand is why I love this job. My team are a happy workforce, inclusive, supportive and go the extra mile to help.”

Brent 2020 Legacy Manager Zerritha Brown Zerritha has worked for the council for 13 years, supporting the community and creative sector to unlock cultural opportunities. “The pandemic threw things upside down, with all the planning for Brent 2020, London Borough of Cultures. We managed to pull off an amazing programme which was a true reflection of a talented and diverse community.” On February 14, Zerritha was awarded the ‘Best Arts Champion’, in the Hearts for the Arts awards 2022, in the category of local authority or cultural trust worker.

YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

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ARTS & CULTURE

Arts &

Culture

Book events on eventbright by scanning the qr code:

LIBRARIES FAMILY PROGRAMME MATHS TO THE RESCUE DELIVERED BY BRENT START KINGSBURY LIBRARY WEDNESDAYS, 4 – 6PM

Maths support for all the family at KS1 and KS2. Aimed at skilling up parents to support their child’s learning as well as helping children. Ages 5-11.

DROP IN TO THE LIBRARY MATHS ON TOAST ONLINE 12.30 – 1.30PM ONSITE AT EALING ROAD LIBRARY, 2.30 – 4PM 9 MARCH 23 APRIL Monthly STEM family learning fun workshops focusing on maths. Ages 5 – 11.

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DROP IN TO THE LIBRARY, ONLINE SESSIONS BOOK YOUREVENTBRITE. BRENT | SPRING 2022 VIA

STEM CLUB EALING ROAD LIBRARY WEDNESDAYS, 4 – 5.30PM 23 FEBRUARY 16 MARCH 20 APRIL Monthly fun workshops for children aged 8-11 in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

DROP IN TO THE LIBRARYOR BOOK VIA EVENTBRITE BOOK TRUST STORYTIME AND RHYMES KILBURN LIBRARY: TUESDAYS, 11 – 11.30AM KINGSBURY LIBRARY: WEDNESDAYS, 11 – 11.30AM

>> Exhibitions >> Theatre >> Cinema >> Music >> Talks >> Dance >> Tours >> Comedy THE LIBRARY AT WILLESDEN GREEN: WEDNESDAYS, 11 – 11.30AM EALING RD LIBRARY: THURSDAYS, 11 – 11.30AM WEMBLEY LIBRARY: FRIDAYS, 11.15 – 11.45AM HARLESDEN LIBRARY: THURSDAYS, 11 – 11.30AM Weekly story and rhyme time session for children under 5.

EATS, SHOOTS AND LEAVES! EALING ROAD LIBRARY WEDNESDAY 6 APRIL, 11AM – 1.15PM

Amazing plant pot fun for all the family.

BOOK VIA EVENTBRITE

GET READY FOR AN EXPLOSION OF BLACK LOVE BLACK LOVE, a new play about love, music and memories comes to the Kiln Theatre for a limited season from 28 March. It celebrates and investigates the Black experience through R&B music, real-life stories and imagined worlds as siblings, Aurora and Orion begin a journey to confront their own worst fears. The play, set inside their small London flat explores stirred up emotions, as they reflect on their parents memories.

PUPPETRY FUN THE LIBRARY AT WILLESDEN GREEN: WEDNESDAY 6 APRIL, 2.30 – 4.45PM WEMBLEY LIBRARY: SATURDAY 9 APRIL, 11AM – 1.15PM EALING ROAD LIBRARY: SATURDAY 9 APRIL, 2.30 – 4.45PM Learn to make and create your own puppets. Fun for all the family.

BOOK VIA EVENTBRITE SPRING ART AND CRAFT FUN TUESDAY 12 APRIL EALING ROAD LIBRARY: 11AM – 12.30PM


ARTS & CULTURE THE LIBRARY AT WILLESDEN GREEN: 2.30 – 4PM Get creative with fabric, paper, scissors and glue to make some fabulous crafty items to take home. Fun for all the family. Ages 5 – 11.

BOOK VIA EVENTBRITE TERRIFIC TANGRAMS! SHAPES & PUZZLES WITH MATHS ON TOAST WEMBLEY LIBRARY WEDNESDAY 13 APRIL, 2.30 – 3.30PM

LIBRARIES ADULT PROGRAMME THE DAY I FELL OFF MY ISLAND THE LIBRARY AT WILLESDEN GREEN THURSDAY 31 MARCH, 6.30 - 7.30PM

The heritage tile murals outside Wembley Park station will be on display in March as the variety of events that have graced Wembley are celebrated. The tiles, which show scenes from famous sports and entertainment events at Wembley Stadium and the OVO Arena Wembley, date back to September 1993 when they were dedicated to the legendary footballer Bobby Moore. The tiles will be on show from 1-21 March 2022.

Conversation with Ben Bailey Smith actor, comedian and children’s author. A story of reluctant immigration from Jamaica and the relationship between children and the people who parent them.

Join Maths on Toast to create your own tangram puzzle and explore 2D shapes with this fun engaging workshop. Suitable for families with children aged 4 -12. A parent/guardian must accompany children

BOOK VIA EVENTBRITE

NEW ARTS PROGRAMME FOR YOUNG PEOPLE to develop creative careers, but opportunities to gain paid experience in the borough are limited so young people either miss out or leave the borough to pursue their ambitions. The programme is about paying Metroland Young Associates is young people to learn more a six month paid programme for about the arts and creative young people aged 18-24 living industries and have a real role in in Brent. the work Metroland does in the Lois Stonock, Director at borough.” Metroland Cultures said, Applications are now open “The programme has grown and the deadline is 7 April. For from the hugely successful further information or to apply Blueprint Collective programme visit: www.metrolandcultures. of Brent 2020. com/get-involved/ It recognises that young people in Brent have tremendous potential MetrolandYoungAssociates Young people can apply for a place on a paid art programme to develop skills and access opportunities to enter employment in the arts and creative industries.

TILE REVEAL AT BOBBY MOORE BRIDGE

HERITAGE NEW EXHIBITION: REFLECTIONS ON THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. REVIVAL, LONDON 1989-1993 THE EXHIBITION SPACE, 2ND FLOOR, THE LIBRARY AT WILLESDEN GREEN 14 MARCH – 29 MAY 2022 Revival presents recently rediscovered photographs taken by Roy Mehta in Harlesden and Willesden from 1989-1993.

FIND OUT MORE AT WWW.BRENT.GOV.UK/MUSEUM

YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

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ARTS & CULTURE

What’s On COMMUNITY EVENTS Place of Welcome, Brent Hub Community Enterprise Centre 6 Hillside, London 10am-12pm Mar 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 April 6, 13, 20, 27 May 4

The Place of Welcome at Brent Hub provides the community with a place to interact with one another enjoy games and have engaging conversations.

Contact email enquiries@brenthub.co.uk The Welsh Harp: History Connects with Nature, Welsh Harp Reservoir Open Space, Birchen Grove Walking tour along the Welsh Harp Reservoir

Sunday, 27 Feb 2022, 11am-1pm Saturday, 26 March 2022, 3 pm Website https://brentheritage.co.uk/ Contact email irinaporter@outlook.com In and around Queens Park, Meet outside M&S, 31 Salusbury Rd, London, NW6 6BF Saturday, 12 March 2022 10.30am to 12.30pm

Guided walking tour of Queens Park and the streets around it

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SPORTS AND FITNESS

Brent Dolphins Swimming Club, Vale Farm and Willesden Sports Centres Feb 23, 25, 27, 28 March 1-31 April - 1 - 29 May – 1 - 6 7pm-10pm Brent Dolphins Swimming Club aims to promote the teaching and coaching of all aspects of swimming, including teacher training and lifesaving for those aged 5 and over

http://www.brentdolphins. org.uk Contact email info@brentdolphins.org.uk Bootcamp in Roundwood Park, Roundwood Park, Harlesden Road, London NW10 March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 April 6, 13, 20, 27 May 4 6:30pm- 7:30pm Sign up here: https:// ourparks.org.uk/ Get fit for free with OurParks.

your guide to what’s on in Brent during Spring 2022

Bootcamp at Queen’s Park, Queen’s Park Kilburn London NW6 6SG Feb 24 March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 April 7, 14 , 21, 28 May 5 10am- 11am Sign up here: https:// ourparks.org.uk/ Get fit for free with OurParks.

Bootcamp in One Tree Hill Rec Ground, One Tree Hill Rec Ground, Norton Rd, London HA0 4QR Feb 24 Feb March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 April 7, 14, 21, 28 May 5 6:45pm- 7:45pm Sign up here: https:// ourparks.org.uk/ Get fit for free with OurParks.

London Netball Academy Ark Elvin Academy Wembley, Ark Elvin Academy Cecil Avenue Feb 26 Feb March 5, 12, 19, 26 April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 May 7, 1pm – 2:30pm

Pilates in Barham Park, Barham Park. Feb 23 Feb, March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, April 6, 13, 20, 27 , May 4, 6:30-7:30pm Sign up here: https://ourparks.org.uk/ Get fit for free with OurParks.

London Netball Academy run weekly training sessions at Ark Elvin Academy in Wembley (Term time Only ) for girls aged 11 years to 18 years.

Bootcamp at Stonebridge Rec, Stonebridge Rec Feb 26 March 5, 12, 19, 26 April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 May 7 10am- 11am Sign up here: https:// ourparks.org.uk/ Get fit for free with OurParks.

Bootcamp in Roe Green Park, Roe Green Park Feb 26 Feb March 5, 19, 26 April 2,9,16, 23, 30 May 7 9:30am- 10:30am Sign up here: https:// ourparks.org.uk/

Get fit for free with OurParks.

Brent Family Weight Management Course, Harlesden, Newman Catholic Church NW10 3RN (February) 5:15-7:15pm Free course to help you make healthy changes for ages 5-15

To reserve your free place call: 03308186308 Beezeebodies.com

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YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022


ARTS & CULTURE

Brent Family Weight Management Course, Dollis Hill, Our Lady of Grace Infants School, NW2 6EU (February) 5-7pm

Free course to help you make healthy changes for ages 5-15

To reserve your free place call: 0330 8186308

Brent Family Weight Management Course, Wembley, Barham Primary School HAO 4RQ (February) 5-7pm Free course to help you make healthy changes for ages 5-15

To reserve your free place call: 03308186308 Beezeebodies.com

Beezeebodies.com Brent Family Weight Management Course, Kingsbury, St Robert Southwell RC Primary School, NW9 8YD (February) 5-7pm

Free course to help you make healthy changes for ages 5-15

To reserve your free place call: 0330 8186308 Beezeebodies.com

Wembley Stadium Tours (ends 28th Feb 2026)

Soak up the history of Wembley in our dedicated exhibition spaces and then our guides will take you to the heart of Wembley Stadium. Have a picture in the UK’s largest Press Conference room, find the shirt of your favourite England team member in our brand new dressing room, line up in the players tunnel before following in the footsteps of legends and walking out pitch-side! There is something for the whole family to enjoy so pre-book your tickets below because it matters more at Wembley. Wembley Stadium Tours run most days, with multiple tours per day. Find out more here: www.bookings.

wembleytours.com/stadiumtours/booking Wembley Stadium Tours (ends 28th Feb 2026)

Bubble with DJ Nate, 8pm-1am, 24 Feb – 25 Feb, Boxpark Wembley

DJ Nate’s BUBBLE brings the Caribbean Party vibes back to Boxpark Wembley! Music Policy: Dancehall, Soca, Hip Hop & more ft. special guest performers & DJs! Previous BUBBLE guests include The Rara, K More, IQ, Ras Kwame (Capital Xtra), DJ Nate, The Heatwave, Younger Melody plus more... so pull up - you never know who you might see! Due to limited capacity, all free registrations don’t guarantee entry and we will be operating a first come, first serve policy. Anytime after this, it will be ‘one in, one out’. This event is 18+. We operate challenge 25. ID required on entry.

www.boxpark.co.uk/wembley The Vitality Women’s FA Cup Final 2022, 15 May, Wembley Stadium

The Vitality Women’s FA Cup Final returns to Wembley Stadium connected by EE on Sunday 15 May! For the very first time, the Emirates FA Cup and Vitality Women’s FA Cup will played on

the same weekend and is sure to be another spectacular and unmissable event in the domestic football calendar!

TICKET PRICE AND DETAILS *Early Bird Ticket Prices (1-8 tickets) £20 – Category 1 (Adults) £15 – Category 2 (Adults) £10 – Concessions (Over 65s & Students) £2.50 – Child (Under 16s) www.wembleystadium. com/events

Champions League Screenings – Round of 16 (2nd Leg), 8pm-10pm, 8-16 March Boxpark Wembley

With HD screens, huge bars, and the best street food offering in London, BOXPARK is the place to be to catch the Champions League! Enjoy food from our traders and drink from our bars whilst watching the number one competition in Europe! Physical photo ID is required. This is an 18+ event. Sign up to the BOXPARK Black Card here to receive exclusive discounts and priority ticket access to certain events.

www.boxpark.co.uk/wembley

Soak up the history of Wembley in our dedicated exhibition spaces and then our guides will take you to the heart of Wembley Stadium. Have a picture in the UK’s largest Press Conference room, find the shirt of your favourite England team member in our brand new dressing room, line up in the players tunnel before following in the footsteps YOUR BRENT | SPRING 2022

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CONTACTS

FOR THE LATEST COVID-19 INFORMATION

ACCESS SERVICES ONLINE

www.brent.gov.uk/coronavirus

Pay for council tax online www.brent.gov.uk/counciltax

EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION

Make a claim for housing benefit www.brent.gov.uk/housingbenefit

Call 999 for the police, fire brigade or ambulance services. Call 101 to report a crime that is not an emergency. Call 111 if you have a medical problem that is not an emergency.

OTHER LOCAL SERVICES Find your local GP using the NHS search tool www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/GP/ LocationSearch/4 If you want to help someone sleeping rough, go to www.streetlink.org.uk If you are worried about domestic abuse, call Advance Brent on 07398 454898 Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm or email brent.admin@advancecharity.org.uk If you are concerned about a child, call Brent Family Front Door on 020 8937 4300

SUPPORT AVAILABLE Community grants and funding www.brent.gov.uk/funding Financial support www.brent.gov.uk/ coronavirusfinancialsupport 46

YOUR BRENT | WINTER 2021

Apply for a parking permit www.brent.gov.uk/parking

COUNCIL MEETINGS February 2022 23 Planning Committee 24 Full Council (Budget & Council Tax setting)

March 2022 1 2 7 9 10 14 15 15

Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Sub-Committee Trading Standards Joint Advisory Board Cabinet Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Welsh Harp Joint Consultative Committee Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Audit & Standards Advisory Committee Joint Committee of the London Boroughs of Brent, Lewisham and Southwark 16 Brent Health and Wellbeing Board 23 Planning Committee 24 Pension Board

April 2022 11 Cabinet 20 Planning Committee

STAY CONNECTED Keep in touch with the latest news and service updates in Brent by signing up for e-alerts at: www.brent.gov.uk/stayconnected


Wembley High Technology College is one of the highest performing schools in England. North Brent School is based at Wembley High premises until July 2023 and pupils transfer to the new school building in September 2023. This is a unique opportunity for your child to attend an excellent school in Wembley Multi-Academy Trust. 2020

61% of all GCSEs were awarded GRADES 9 – 7 (A*/A)

2021

48% of all A Level GRADES A*/A, with 75 A*s

65% of all GCSEs were awarded GRADES 9 – 7 (A*/A)

54% of all A Level GRADES A*/A, with a record 124 A*s

Wembley Multi-Academy Trust is comprised of three schools: WEMBLEY HIGH TECHNOLOGY COLLEGE EAST LANE PRIMARY SCHOOL NORTH BRENT SCHOOL (Opening in September 2023)

CEO/Executive Headteacher: Ms G. Bal OBE Executive Headteacher: Mr P. Bhatia | Head of School (North Brent School): Dr L. Bonelli See www.whtc.co.uk for Wembley High Technology College and North Brent School


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