Camden magazine winter 2019

Page 1

Your guide to council services | Winter 2019



four page newsletter for council tenants and leaseholders

keep safe and well this winter

 Local people  Handy council contact details

 Volunteering  Recycling

 Local history  Events

Proud to care? Find a job where every day makes a difference Live in north London and looking for flexible and rewarding work or training in the care sector? Or do you want to develop your skills and career in the care sector?


Are you an EU citizen or do you know someone who is? In Camden we value our EU citizens and we want you to stay Please check if you need to apply for the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme: This website also gives help, support and guidance for the application process.

Don’t delay, register today – and help us spread this message! Camden Council is offering advice sessions and a free ID verification service to its residents:

Proudly standing with our EU citizens 2

Inside Inside

Communities Kilburn KILBURN LIBRARY


Housing 3

Contents Cover story Homes where you can thrive 16-17

Now in Camden News and consultations


Housing news Four page newsletter


Regulars How to… Day in the life Recycling Working for Camden Focus on… Local history Why don’t you… The long read Useful numbers Listings How to get into… My Camden

8 9 10-11 13 14 19 21 24-25 27 28-29 30 31

Features Bringing communities together 12 Profile of an apprentice 20 Well and warm this winter 22-23 Avalon motorcycle project 26 Published by Camden Council Distribution from 16 December 2019 Cover image: Laura Brierley Newton Printed on paper that is 50% recycled and 50% from sustainable sources.

You can request your copy of the Camden magazine in large print, audio format or in another language by phoning 020 7974 5717. 4

@CamdenCouncil 020 7974 5717

Now in Camden

Could you be Camden’s next youth MP?

Young people across Camden go to the polls in March to decide who will represent them – and we’re looking for candidates to stand in the election. To run for election, you need to be 13 to 19 and attend a Camden school or youth centre, or live in the borough. The deadline to stand is 20 January. Camden’s Youth MP and two Deputy Youth MPs have a two-year term. They are the voice for the borough’s young people and campaign on key issues from youth safety to climate change. Voting in the Camden Youth MP Election takes place in schools and youth centres from 16 to 27 March.


Starting school in Camden

text to come

Camden has some of the best primary schools in the country – and all are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted. Our 2019 provisional test results for 11-year-olds show that 73% of Camden pupils achieved expectations in the combined measure for reading, writing and maths - well above the national figure of 65%. Camden primary schools also offer a huge range of extracurricular activities - with access to worldclass venues and institutions on their doorstep, ranging from the British Museum to the Francis Crick Institute. You can apply for a reception class place for your child up until 15 January. Find out more by visiting the website below. 020 7974 1625

Homes where you can thrive Residents of our Grade II listed sheltered scheme at the Brunswick Centre in Bloomsbury told us about how their homes help them to thrive in the strong community around them. Read more about our sheltered schemes and other options for housing tailored to you, with help from Camden's housing services on page 16-17. sheltered-housing 5

Now in Camden

Fostering changes lives We need people who can offer stability and a warm, loving home to our children and young people. Fostering means looking after a child who cannot live with their parents – for a few days, months, or even years. Foster carers can be single, married or in a relationship. You don’t have to own your home and there’s no upper age limit, as long as you’re fit and healthy. The Council’s fostering team will provide support and training – including a supervising social worker. We pay a weekly allowance for each child or young person placed, plus a generous weekly fee for the foster carer. And Camden residents who foster with us are exempt from Council Tax. 0800 028 1436

Camden's 'think & do' community space

Share your stories about Camden Town Hall In early 2020, the much-needed renovation of our treasured Grade II listed Town Hall will begin.

Read more about our climate crisis work, including our recent pop-up ‘think & do’ community space for climate and eco action on pages 24-25.

Tie the knot in Camden If you’ve recently got engaged or are about to start planning a wedding or civil partnership ceremony, one of the first steps is to decide on a venue. From traditional listed buildings like Bloomsbury House to quirky venues like St Pancras International Railway Station, we’ve got a variety of places available to suit all budgets. for more information. 6

We want to celebrate the building’s history as told by our residents. Perhaps you were one of the first people to get married in the Town Hall, or can remember it being decorated for Elizabeth II’s Coronation in 1953? If you’ve got a story or photos that you’d like to share, please get in touch at the address below. Dan Murray, Corporate Services, Camden Council, 3rd floor, 5 Pancras Square, N1C 4AG To follow the renovation journey and our plans for the building go to

Now in Camden

New green spaces for the West End

We’re excited to share the final designs for the new and improved green and public spaces being created in the heart of Camden. You can now view these new designs on our website. We’d like to thank everyone who gave us their comments during our engagement activities last year. We’ve listened to your thoughts and made some

changes in response. The rejuvenation of Whitfield Gardens will be the first project to get underway, alongside the restoration of the Fitzrovia Mural. We'll be sharing our progress via our newsletter – sign up on our website to find out more.

Nature in Camden

Visit the Camden People’s Museum You can now wander around Camden listening, watching and exploring artworks as they come to life. As part of Camden Alive we’ve released an exciting new app: The Camden People’s Museum. Camden Alive has been working with residents, artists and cultural organisations over the past year to collaborate, share stories and ideas and make new artworks. The app lets you access these artworks using augmented reality. Download the app from your usual app store.

A healthy natural environment is vital to the health and wellbeing of residents and communities, and we’re committed to creating a clean, vibrant and sustainable Camden. We’re developing a new Biodiversity Action Plan which aims to protect and enhance nature across the borough. Over the next few months we’ll be working with residents, local groups and businesses to get feedback and ideas, and we’d love to hear from you. Let us know how we can improve nature across Camden at camdenbiodiversityactionplan. 7

Top three things this winter

Georgia’s Best thing I’ve done recently I was really proud to speak at the Camden Black Workers Group celebration of Black History Month in October. It was an amazing and powerful event bringing together music, comedy, storytelling, dancing and activism to celebrate the huge contribution of Camden’s black communities to our culture, our values and our radical campaigning history. It was a privilege to speak at the event as the Leader of the Council and to celebrate alongside our staff and residents.

I’m looking forward to

w On my mind right no

In November we opened the Camden Think and Do Tank in Kentish Town to harness ideas, collective imagination and the action of our communities building on our climate emergency Citizens Assembly. I’m so excited it has taken on a life of its own and become a real hub of grassroots action, and I am really looking forward to seeing how it continues to grow as a space. I encourage everyone to visit and get involved.

As the nights grow longer and colder, Councils have an important responsibility to ensure that everyone experiencing homelessness in Camden has a bed for the night. We work closely with the Mayor of London and community groups to run winter night shelters. One of our most important partners is you - we need your help finding people on the street in need of help. Simply download the Safer Streets app on your phone this winter and let us know when you find someone who might be sleeping on the streets, we will then find them and offer them a bed for the night.

Georgia Gould is Leader of Camden Council

How to… help a rough sleeper 1 D 2 If you’re ownload the Camden worried StreetSafe about app. Go to someone camdensst. sleeping com or search rough… ‘Camden safer streets’.

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Day in the life

Addis Daniel 5am Addis Daniel is a Kilburn resident who runs the Kingsgate Community Centre's cafe, which she named Cafe Addis. She always wanted to open a cafe and when the opportunity came to run the Centre’s she applied straight away. Now, you can find her there six days a week, serving up hearty meals and hot cups of tea.

Time to wake up and start the day, baking Greek spinach, lasagne, cakes and more to make sure we have healthy and comforting fresh produce for the day ahead.

9am Bring the produce in, freshen up the cafe and set up the various displays for the day ahead. Get ready to start serving our first customers.

10am Start cooking the main dishes and specials for the day, each day we have a different special ranging from Jerk Chicken to Ethiopian vegetarian dishes.

12pm People start to come in for lunch and we serve them different dishes from around the world including jacket potatoes, children dishes, salads, specials and even a daily soup.

2pm Tidy up after the lunches, restock and refill the fresh produce ready for any afternoon visitors. If we have catering events for the day or evening such as parties, meetings, and wakes we’ll also start the preparations for them now.

5.30pm Clean the cafe and start preparing for the next day ahead.

6pm Head home, spend time with my family and relax. Then get ready to start it all again the next day!

To find out more about the cafe and check out their menu head to To get in contact call 07985395565 or email 9

Top tips to be a recycling champion this festive season Reduce your festive food waste Reduce: • Having people round for celebrations? Ask what they like, to avoid buying things no one eats. • Write a list and stick to it when you shop – don’t be tempted by festive food offers. It’s easy to overspend on food at this time of year, and there are also a lot of people living in food poverty – but according to FareShare, only 6% of unwanted food ends up in the hands of people who need it. Here are some tips to reduce food waste and get your unwanted food to people who need it.

Reuse: • Freeze unwanted food. • Turn leftovers into soups or stews.

Rehome: • Take unwanted fruit or veg to a community fridge like the one at The Sherriff Centre. • Take unwanted non-perishable

food to your nearest food bank: • If you’re going away, freeze food that won’t get eaten before you go, or give it to a neighbour using the OLIO app.

Recycle: • Put unavoidable food waste like egg shells, banana peel or food scraps into your food waste caddy. It gets collected weekly and is turned into energy or compost. • Find out more about food waste recycling in your area at or 020 3567 8105


In the bin

• Cardboard packaging and boxes (please flatten and fold)

• Glittery or metallic cards and wrapping paper

• Metal and plastic sweet and biscuit tins

• Polystyrene and bubble wrap

• Clean foil – including mince pie cases

• Crisp packets and sweet wrappers

• Clean plastic pots, tubs and trays

• Dirty paper plates

• Empty drinks bottles and cans

• Sweets and chocolate wrappers

• Ribbons and bows

• Used tissues and napkins


Rubbish and recycling

‘Tis the Season to Treecycle It’s free and easy to recycle your real Christmas tree in Camden. Just take it to one of many collection sites which will be open during the first two weeks of January. Find your nearest location online at:

If you’ve got neighbours who need help, offer to take their tree to the collection point for them

Dumping your tree on the street is flytipping, which can lead to a £400 fine

Changes to your recycling and rubbish collections over the festive period Because of the public holidays, we’ll be collecting your recycling and rubbish on different days over the coming weeks. Cut this out and stick it on your fridge so you don’t miss a collection. Normal collection day

Christmas collection day Normal collection day

New Year collection day

Wednesday 25 December Friday 27 December

Wednesday 1 January

Thursday 2 January

Thursday 26 December

Saturday 28 December

Thursday 2 January

Friday 3 January

Friday 27 December

Sunday 29 December

Friday 3 January

Saturday 4 January

Be prepared and order your free extra recycling bags for the festive season at or by calling 020 3567 8105.



The Friday Night Supper Club, at the Greenwood Centre in Kentish Town is for young people with a disability or special needs. Yvonne’s son Alfie, 18, has autism and a learning disability. She said, “I like him mixing with other young people, and it’s lovely all sitting round and eating food together – you get a chance to chat to the other parents.”

Bringing communities together

We've given over £71,000 to small organisations in Camden, to help our local communities.

Henna Asian Women's Group Both the supper club and the Henna Asian Women's Group have been given money from the Communities Together Fund. The fund is part of our We Make Camden campaign to bring our communities together. We've given 53 organisations in Camden over £71,000 with awards ranging from £800 to £1,500. wemakecamden


Alison Turner, who runs the club, said, “All of the parents, carers and teenage volunteers are providing support, food and their time for free. It’s nice to just enjoy each other’s company and feel good and part of an inclusive community.” Henna Asian Women's Group Centre helps to improve understanding between cultures through activities like cooking and dance. Hamida Obaray goes to the centre regularly: “The cooking session was wonderful – I learned how to make soda bread. I've learned so much, chatting with other people and with the teacher.” Rafat Kiani, who manages the Henna Asian Women's Group and a cultural project currently on-going in the group, said, “By understanding other people's cultures we build awareness, which creates better social links within the community.”

Local jobs

What does your typical day look like? Our shift times vary – we often start work very early, or work late into the night. It’s a flexible and demanding role. The day begins with strategic planning: looking at reports from the community, partners and colleagues. Then we’ll visit places where antisocial behaviour and low-level crime is an issue. It could be an estate, green space, public street or private property anywhere in the borough.

Working in Camden: community presence officer CPO Mullings is part of a frontline, highly visible team working across the borough to keep our residents safe.

It's important that we're recognisable on the streets, so we wear a uniform, which include a body camera, a first aid kit and a radio connecting us to CCTV.

I really love getting out into the borough and chatting with everyone, from residents to visitors. I feel that we genuinely make a big difference to people’s lives – helping people who need it.

What’s the most challenging part of your job? The recent spate of knife crime and fatalities in the borough has been saddening. Murder is always tragic, but it’s magnified when the victims are so young. It brings home the preciousness of life.

What do community presence officers do? We tackle antisocial behaviour and low-level crime in a range of ways – including patrols, youth projects, and enforcement action. Our main focus is forming close relationships with the community, working alongside them to make sure it is a safe and friendly neighbourhood for everyone.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

What’s been your best moment at Camden? For more information about Camden's Community Safety Service email communitysafety@ or call 020 7974 2915

On one occasion, an elderly woman had felt so harassed by people congregating outside her property that she turned into a virtual recluse. We made regular visits to the area, and working alongside the community we were able to solve the problem, allowing the women's life to return to normal. 13

Focus on


Located in the west of the borough, Kilburn has a long and rich history.

History Kilburn High Road was originally part of a Celtic route through the UK, and was later paved by the Romans. The area went on to become home for many of London’s Irish population, with establishments such as the Tricycle Theatre specialising in Irish and country music. The Tricycle is now the Kiln Theatre, with a gallery and cinema, as well as a theatre, hosting a selection of international music, films and plays. Also in Kilburn is the Grade ll listed Art Deco Gaumont State Cinema, designed by George Coles and opened in 1937 – at the time it was the biggest auditorium in Europe, it is now used by the community as a church.

Library Kilburn Library Centre is the perfect place to borrow books, DVDs, magazines and more. Located on the main road, it is close to both the tube and national rail lines. If you’ve got young kids head along to the 14

11am Tuesday Rhyme Time sessions for under 5s, run during term time. You can head along to the library’s reading group, which meet one Saturday a month apart from August. The library is also part of the Camden Adult and Community Learning Network, which runs IT and ESOL courses during term time for beginners. Email libraries@ to find out more and head to adult-community-learning for information about their courses.

Community groups Kilburn Older Voices Exchange aims to improve quality of life for older people and combat social isolation. They run activities like bench to bench walks, a film club and local forums including an Arthritis Group and a Stroke Freedom Support Group. To find out more or get involved visit or call 07973 845285. Abbey Community Centre is a safe and welcoming space for people of

all ages and backgrounds in Kilburn and beyond. They run a wide range of projects from a popular Under 5s drop-in, to home befriending schemes, and a thriving over 50s activities programme. To find out more or to get involved, pop in Monday to Saturday, call 020 7624 8378 or email SHAK are a community centre helping young people and adults living on and around the Alexandra and Ainsworth estate. They run a Community Learning Centre (SHELL), helping people to learn a range of skills, from computer literacy to preparing for employment. They also have a youth club, running activities like football, dance and art. To find out more go to KILBURN STATION


100 trees for 100 years To celebrate 100 years of council housing, we are planting 100 trees on our estate land. Originally from Northern Iran but closely related to witch hazel, the Persian Ironwood (Parrotia Persica ‘Vanessa’) has dark red flowers in early spring and bright yellow-red foliage in the autumn. This striking and distinctive tree is not that common in Camden – so every time you see one, think about how important home is – and if you’ve ever called a Camden Council house home, we’re planting these trees for you.

If you live on a Camden estate and would like to have a commemorative tree planted there, email

Some of the commemorative trees that have been planted around the borough so far

Christmas opening times Caretaking services will not be provided on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day.

Monday 23 December

normal working day

Tuesday 24 December

normal working day

However there will still be an emergency service provided by the resident caretakers between 8am and 11pm – call 0207 974 4444.

Thursday 25 December

Boxing day

Friday 27 December

normal working day

Monday 30 December

normal working day

Tuesday 31 December

normal working day

Landlord services will also be closed on the bank holiday days but any emergencies should be reported on 0207 974 4444.

Wednesday 1 January

New Year's Day

Thursday 2 January

normal working day

Friday 3 January

normal working day

Wednesday 25 December Christmas day

Christmas is a time for giving...but don’t forget the priorities Your rent still has to be paid so make sure you plan for it to avoid any problems in the new year. If you are struggling to pay your rent, call Contact Camden on 020 7974 4444 or contact your neighbourhood housing officer. 15

Make your home a place where you can thrive As we get older, it’s even more important to live somewhere we are comfortable and where we have the freedom and choice to be ourselves – somewhere that helps us live the way we want to. Sometimes that means making changes. We’ve spoken to Camden residents who have made changes (big and small) to make their home work better for them, with a little help from Camden’s housing services.

Christine Christine lives in one of our sheltered schemes at the Brunswick Centre, for people aged 65 and over. She lives in her own selfcontained flat fitted with a Careline alarm system to make sure that help is at hand if she needs it. Staff are on site Monday to Friday during working hours, and regularly check on her to make sure she has everything she needs. “We feel very proud of where we are. There are lots of activities that you don't get living in a private flat – you get everything you need. Sometimes a few of us go for a drink or we meet outside, go to Carluccio's, get to know each other more. We're like a family. I've been in this country for over half a century and I've never lived anywhere better.” Sheltered housing 65+

Haitija Haitija lives in extra care housing, which provides a high level of care and support for people aged 55 and over. She still enjoys her own private home, but care staff are on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help her when she needs them.

Haitija and her friend Mabel

“I really like it here at Esther Randall Court – I’ve been here for over 10 years. I feel comfortable and safe in my own flat with my own furniture. We all get on like one big community. The staff are very supportive and I have good friends like Mabel, who is just like a sister.” Extra care housing 55+


Tom Sometimes your current home just needs a few tweaks to be perfect for you. The occupational therapy team and repairs service can carry out adaptations to make your home easier for you to use and enjoy, like they did for Tom, who has lived in his flat in Malden Crescent for over 10 years. They can fit stair rails, magnifiers to help you read, raised toilet seats and much more. “The walk in shower has made a massive difference to my life. I have a few health issues and was struggling for years to get in and out of the bath. I am now able to just walk into the shower and wash very easily. I’m really pleased with the adaptation and would recommend the service to anyone who is struggling in their home.” Adaptations for all ages

But what about you? As your needs change, we are here to help you make sure that your home is not just somewhere you live, but somewhere you thrive. Everyone is different, so we tailor everything we do to make sure that your home works for you. If you are or you know an older person who needs help with their housing, call our advisors on 020 7974 4764 or 020 7974 1991, email or tear off and send back the slip below to find out more.

Tell me more about housing for older people Name:.............................................................................................................................................................................................. Address:.......................................................................................................................................................................................... Phone number:.............................................................................................................................................................................. Email address: ............................................................................................................................................................................... I’d like to know about: Sheltered

Extra care


Send this slip back to: FREEPOST MAILROOM LBC, FAO sheltered housing 6th floor 17

Get involved

Have your say on our landlord licensing scheme In 2015 we introduced a borough-wide additional licensing scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO). HMOs are shared homes, including house and flat shares, student homes, bedsits and some buildings converted into flats. Licensing has helped improve the quality and safety of homes for people living in the private rented sector. Renewing the scheme will make sure we continue to make homes in Camden

safe, well-managed and well-maintained as set out in our Camden 2025 plan. We will also be able to continue to tackle rogue landlords who own or rent an HMO without a licence. To find out more about the licensing scheme and to have your say on the consultation visit by Sunday 8 March 2020.

STAR survey Thank you to everyone who has completed the STAR survey

Thank you for sharing your views on safety

The STAR survey (survey of tenants and residents) is a satisfaction survey of tenants, leaseholders, Tenant Management Organisations (TMO) and sheltered housing residents, that we last carried out in 2016. It’s a survey to find out what you think of our housing services, how satisfied you are with them and where you think we could improve. All sheltered housing and TMO residents received the survey (either by email or by post) and a sample of 13,000 tenants and leaseholders were asked to take part.

Earlier in the year, we asked for feedback about safety from the people who know our council homes best – our tenants and leaseholders. We asked you to tell us what you think about safety in your council home by completing the ‘safety in council homes’ survey. We had an excellent response. Thank you to the almost 3,500 tenants and leaseholders who completed the survey. Your feedback will help us to make real changes that will keep people living in our council homes safer, and will help us to prepare for new safety law expected to come into force next year.

Thank you to everyone who completed the survey. Your opinion matters to us and will help us improve the services we provide to you.

We will update you on the results shortly. If you have any questions about the survey please email

Camden tenant or leaseholder? Would you like to receive emails about surveys or consultations? You can sign up to our email list by contacting 18

Local history

Breathing new life into Camden’s oldest buildings The Community Investment Programme is modernising the icons of old London, making use of classic design to meet the changing needs of the city. Whether Georgian squares of Bloomsbury or concrete walkways on the Alexandra and Ainsworth, there’s history woven into every inch of the local landscape. These buildings tell the stories of Camden and its communities, reflecting lives from across generations. One such example is Mount Pleasant, Holborn. Originally built over a century ago, Mount Pleasant formed the casual ward of a Victorian workhouse providing overnight accommodation to destitute workers. Following the closure of the workhouse in the 1920s, the site was converted into hostel accommodation for those seeking employment. However, conditions were cramped and typical of the era, with records showing between 1,000 and 2,500 people admitted each year 1924 to 1929. Post-war, Mount Pleasant continued to provide homeless accommodation with conditions steadily improving to match changing attitudes of the era. However, by the turn of the

Men washing clothes inside Mount Pleasant Hostel, 1937

century the hostel was showing its age and in need of fresh investment. Using funds generated through the Community Investment Programme, the historic location was rejuvenated for the 21st Century, reopening its doors in 2015. Throughout the revamp, care was taken to preserve the original buildings and make the most their historic design. Meanwhile, the site was expanded to offer 50 private rooms with shared kitchens. Now, a distant cry from the Dickensian dorms of a century ago, Mount Pleasant forms part of the adult pathway which holistically supports over 200 people back into independent accommodation each year.

Mount Pleasant Hostel as it is today, 2019

Find out more about the Community Investment Programme at 19


At the age of 32, Jakeer’s current role as an apprentice learning and development officer with Camden Council is his first office job – he’d previously worked in the restaurant and retail sector, then as a private hire driver. Jakeer went to university but left in the middle of his course to help run his family’s restaurant after his father fell ill. After the restaurant was sold, he ran his own convenience store in Lancashire but, after becoming parents to two young children, Jakeer and his wife moved back to London to be nearer their families. He then worked as a private hire driver but, once his eldest child was in school, he wanted more regular hours.

It’s never too late to be an apprentice Jakeer Alam became an apprentice after deciding he wanted a career change.

Jakeer said: “I live in Holborn, and decided to join Camden Council because I wanted something that would feel meaningful, where I could help make a difference to people’s lives. “Because I had no experience of office work, I thought an apprenticeship would be a good way to start. I would like to stay with the Council in housing, homelessness prevention or youth offending. I want to do my bit for the borough.”

Find out more about apprenticeships:


Why don’t you… As a volunteer officer on the Friends of Talacre Town Green committee, Stephen Ryan keeps an eye on the park and its upkeep, as well as helping out neighbours and maintaining his estates garden.

get more involved in your community?

Stephen's neighbour Celine describes him as "one of a kind, if only every neighbourhood could have one of him." Part of Stephen's role is to report any issues he notices to the Council, as well as helping with jobs on the green. “Last summer the Council planted new trees and wrote asking for our help watering them, so we spent the summer doing that. “Once a year I repaint the mosaic decorated bench, which wasbuilt in 2008 by local residents and designed by local school kids. It gets worn down quickly because the kids love it so much.” How did you get involved in the Jean Edward Memorial Garden? “When I moved here in 2009 [the garden] was totally overgrown.


Eventually I managed to get a key and when I got in here I thought right that’s it, this has got to come down. So that’s how it started. I never had a garden, just one of those things, I seem to have green fingers. And the tenants at the time joined in, helping with weeding and planting.” Why do you help people? “I enjoy helping people, it keeps me satisfied. I spent so many years looking after my mum and dad, it feels natural to me. I think a lot of people do help out in their community like me, it just doesn’t get noticed. “When people are under the weather it’s no hardship to cook them a meal and take it over and look out for each other. I don’t do it for a reward, I just do it because I’m there.”

For more information about volunteering in Camden: 21

Winter feature

Keep well, warm and safe this winter Keeping your home warm Keeping your home warm over the winter months can be difficult, especially if you’re worried about bills. Our Green Camden Helpline has a team of friendly advisors to provide you with energy saving advice. The team can also check if you are eligible for an energy or water bill discount, an energy efficiency grant or a ‘Well and Warm’ home energy visit. Call 0800 801 738, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. 22

Keeping well Top tips to help keep illness at bay during the winter months. • If you feel unwell, even if it’s just a cough or cold, get advice from your local pharmacy. • Phone 111 if you need medical help or advice – this NHS service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. • Many GPs and chemists close over the Bank Holidays, speak to your pharmacist about what medicines you should stock up on to get you through winter. And don’t forget to collect any prescriptions before the holidays. • Try to heat your home to at least 18C (65F) and remember to wrap up when you need to go outside. • Keep an eye out for elderly relatives and neighbours. Make sure they’re safe, warm and well, and have enough food and medicines for the winter months.

Keeping safe Follow these tips to keep the people living closest to you safer this winter.

Reaching out to older people The winter months can be a lonely and challenging time for older people. North London Cares will be running their outreach project to help hundreds of older people stay warm, active and connected. To find out more call 020 7118 3838 (option 3) or visit You can pick up a directory of local services booklet, the Camden Companion, at your local GP, pharmacy or online uk/CamdenCompanion If you’re worried about a relative or elderly neighbour, call the Age UK helpline on 0800 055 6112 (8am to 7pm every day) or the council on 020 7974 4000 (select option 1) or email

• Don’t leave packaging, presents or old Christmas trees in communal areas, to prevent falls and to keep exits clear for everyone in the event of a fire. Turn to page 10 to find out how to recycle your Christmas tree. • Keep Christmas trees and all decorations away from candles, lights or heaters. • Don’t overload sockets or leave fairy lights on when you go to sleep or when you go out. •If you have a balcony, never use it to store things, especially anything flammable - unsafe storage on balconies has been the cause of major fires in Camden. If storage is an issue, consider renting a shed or garage Find out more

Help for rough sleepers Routes off The Street provides support to rough sleepers in Camden by helping them access housing, employment and training support, as well as health services. If you’re worried about a rough sleeper you can use the Camden Safer Streets app or phone 020 7846 3535 to let us know and we’ll send officers to help. To download the app or find out more about our work with rough sleepers please visit 23

The long read

Camden continues its journey to tackle the climate crisis Residents made 17 proposals which which Camden’s councillors backed in full at a dedicated meeting on the climate crisis. We’re now working to transform these proposals into community-led action and borough-wide policies within a new Climate Action Plan for Camden. It's time to make a radical difference.

Camden is committed to tackling the climate crisis, and we’ve been working with our residents to take action. We hosted the UK’s first Citizens’ Assembly on the climate and ecological crisis earlier this year set up so that residents could examine first-hand the climate emergency and the practical steps we can all take here in Camden.

Resident proposals

Home • Encouraging low-carbon dietary choices. • Making all new homes ‘zero carbon’. • Creating more green space on residential streets. • Fitting solar panels on as many homes as possible.

Council •E stablishing a climate emergency scrutiny panel made up of experts and residents. •A ll council properties to be fossil-fuel free.

• Making CO2 reduction fun.

•P lanting trees and retaining public spac es.


• I mproving council communications and engagement on the climate crisis.

• Planting more trees and creating more allotments. • Piloting a community energy heating scheme. • Installing more ‘segregated’ cycle lanes.

•M obilising existing community groups to work on tackling the climate crisis. •G reening the Council’s operations.

• Promoting and trialling car free zones and days. • Enabling electric transport with infrastructure and incentives. • Developers to fund energy efficiency retrofits of old buildings.


Local jobs Our next steps We’re already taking radical action to tackle the climate crisis and are responding to the actions residents developed:

Solar panels

Car free Camden

In October, we launched a new solar panel scheme in partnership with the Mayor of London to help residents purchase lowcost, high-quality solar panels. We also installed solar panels on our York Way Transport Depot in King’s Cross. The solar panels will produce enough renewable electricity to save approximately 15 tonnes of CO2 annually.

We’re committed to encouraging more car-free days and trials across the borough and held our first community-led ‘carfree day’ in Kentish Town in September. We’ve also secured £500,000 from the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund to reduce air pollution in Camden Town. Between now and 2022, the project will trial closures of north of the tube, improve walking and cycling lanes and help businesses reduce emissions from deliveries and waste collection.

15 tonnes

Camden Climate Fund The Camden Climate Fund can provide up to 50 per cent of the costs to reduce the carbon used in your home, business or community space. You can apply and find out more online at camden-climate-fund

Public campaign on climate change As part of the actions from our Citizens’ Assembly we’re going to be working with residents and partners to develop a public information campaign on the climate crisis and the actions we can all take to reduce carbon emissions. The campaign will launch early next year.

Think and do community space for climate action and developed by local groups and residents. One of the proposals from the Citizens’ The space included a six week programme of Assembly was to help community groups to events to give people in Camden the chance work together on tackling the climate crisis. to take part in, run and grow activities To support this, we recently piloted a poptogether. You can find out more about the up community space space and projects developed at on Kentish Town Road which was designed

Follow Camden’s fight against the climate crisis at 25


Formerly the Silverdale Project, the Avalon Project was renamed in memory of former Silverdale manager Avie Cummings, who died last year. The project has now been running for 40 years – and has recently moved into a new base in Euston. Cavan Thompson (left), 15, from Acland Burghley School, has been coming to Avalon one day a week for the last year and is working towards a BTEC in vocational skills alongside his GCSEs. Cavan said: “I enjoy coming here and I’m learning useful skills – mechanics and motorbike riding.” Malachi Pommells (right), 14, from the Camden Centre for Learning, has been coming to Avalon for three years after finding out about it through his after-school club. Malachi said: “I like learning how to fix and ride the motorbikes and I enjoy meeting new people here. When I go onto college I might do construction.”

Handing young people the right tools The Avalon Motorcycle Project offers young people the chance to learn vocational skills.


Avalon offers BTEC qualifications for young people aged 13 to 19 (up to 25 with special educational needs and disabilities), as well as regular off-road motorbiking experiences.

The Council secured the new base and facilities for Avalon from HS2 construction after the project’s previous Regent’s Park site had to be demolished.

Useful contacts For press … then … options, first call 020 7974 4444 then dial the numbers below. Advice and guidance Welfare rights advice 020 7974 3826/020 7974 1926 Freedom of information 020 7974 7857/020 7974 2269

Benefits and financial support Benefits press 3 then 2 Credit control 020 7974 6959 Local social fund 020 3324 0383 A government scheme to help people on low incomes meet their expenses

Building and planning Planning press 4 then 3 then 2 Building control press 4 then 3 then 3

Business Licensing press 4 then 3 then 1 Business rates 020 7974 6460

Children and families Family information and school services press 2 then 3 Camden school and nursery admissions School admissions 020 7974 1625

Complaints Complaints unit 020 7974 5644

Contacting councillors Member support 020 7974 2792

Births, deaths, marriages Registrar service press 6 then say ‘registrars’ Coroners court 020 7974 4545


Vehicle clamped or removed press 5 then 3 Parking permits and suspensions press 5 then 4 then 3

Green Camden helpline 0800 801 738 Free advice on reducing your environmental impact

Recycling and rubbish



WISH 020 7974 3012 Make a referral to a range of warmth, income, safety and health services

Housing Repairs press 3 then 1 General housing repairs for Camden tenants and leaseholders Housing advice press 3 then 3 Advice on housing including information for the homeless and those at risk Rents press 3 then 4 Tenancy queries press 3 then 5 Information for Camden tenants, including how to order or replace keys and fobs

Making a payment Payments press 1 then 1 Including parking fines, residential and travel payments Council tax press 4 then 1

Parking Estate parking press 3 then 5

Homes – 020 3567 8105 Businesses – 020 3567 5320 Camden Safety Net 020 7974 2526 Support on domestic abuse and sexual violence Safer streets team 020 7833 7970 Report rough sleepers and those involved in street activity to help us support them

Social care Adult social care press 2 then 1 Children’s social care press 2 then 2

Travel Blue badges, Freedom passes, accessible travel solutions and Taxicard press 2 then 4

Volunteering and skills Adult community learning 020 7974 2148 Voluntary Action Camden 020 7284 6550

Contact Camden is available 8am to 6pm for council enquiries, and operates an emergency out of hours service on the same number. 27

What’s on

All activities are free unless otherwise specified. Event details may change. Check with the organiser before you attend.

Marvellous and Mischievous: Literature's Young Rebels Friday 8 November to Sunday 1 March 2020 A free, family-friendly exhibition bringing together young rebels from children’s literature at the British Library. £8.50, booking required. +44 (0)1937 546546

Age UK Camden Carol Concert Monday 18 December 3.30-5pm A fun and festive way to spend an evening singing all your favourite Christmas tunes. The carol service will be followed by mince pies. St Pancras Old Church, Pancras Road, NW1 1UL. RSVP on Eventbrite: www.eventbrite. 020 7230 0400

Lauderdale House Christmas sing-a-long Friday 20 December 5-6pm A fun and festive way to spend an evening singing all the favourite Christmas tunes. There will also be an arts and craft session before the singalong, where kids can create their very own Christmas lanterns. Lauderdale House, Waterlow Park, Highgate Hill N6 5HG. 020 8348 8716


Any Questions? Friday 20 December, doors 6.30pm for 8pm start BBC’s Any Questions? comes to Belsize Park. Wac Arts, The Old Town Hall, 213 Haverstock Hill, London, NW3 4QP 020 7692 5800

Guided walk: Women and Medicine in Fitzrovia Friday 20 December, 17 January, 21 February, 20 March 1 to 2.30pm Spanning 150 years, learn about the pioneers who became England’s first female doctor, surgeon, neuro-surgeon and medical school dean. The 1.5 hour walk starts on the steps of St Pancras New church. 07967 342247

Adult learning enrolment day Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8, 9am-4pm. Thursday 9 January 9am-2pm. Sign up for a free course in subjects including ESOL, computing, employability, health and wellbeing. Richard Cobden Learning Centre, Camden Street NW1 0LJ and Adult Learning Centre, Netley Campus, 74 Stanhope Street, NW1 3EX 020 7974 2148

BSL tour of Troy: myth and reality Friday 17 January 2020, 6.15 to 7.45pm Deaf-led British Sign Language tour exploring the highlights of the exhibition. British Museum, Great Russell Street WC1B 3DG £7.50, booking required. Members and access companions are free. 020 7323 8181

What’s on Social Walking Club Saturday 9 January oi ©Vipul Sang

Two walks designed to keep you out of the chilly winter air, with visits to a museum. Meet at Castlehaven Community Association at 9.45am for a 10am departure. Canary Wharf and the Museum of Docklands, 2-3 miles V&A museum, 23 Castlehaven Road, Camden Town, NW1 8RU 020 7692 2238

Restart Party Saturday 18 January 12 to 3pm Get your broken electronics fixed up by Restart Project volunteers at the Abbey Community Centre cafe, 222c Belsize Road, Kilburn NW6 4DJ. 020 7624 8378

Camden Green Gym Get moving and volunteer in local green spaces. Locations across the borough. Regular sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, plus: Tuesday 28 January, 10.45am to 2pm Bird survey. Ingestre Woods NW5 1UX Tuesday 18 February, 10.45am to 2pm Tree planting. Somers Town NW1 1HJ 07768 421 881

Heath & Hampstead Society monthly walk Sunday 1 March, 10.30am History of Hampstead Heath ponds, £5 per head. Meet at Burgh House, New End Square NW3 1LT 07941 528 034

Monday Club for over 50s Every Monday, 1 to 3pm Social meet ups with informative talks and chair-based exercise. Session is free, £10 annual membership fee. Henna Asian Women's Group, Abbey Community Centre, 222C Belsize Road, NW6 4DJ 020 7372 9860

Women’s football and fitness

Camden Road NW5 2AP 020 7974 6294

Deafblind UK social group Last Friday of every month, 11am to 1pm Meet with other people experiencing sight and hearing loss for outings, activities and talks. £2.50, phone ahead to check venue. Swiss Cottage Community Centre, 19 Winchester Road, NW3 3NG 0800 132 320

Activities for carers Weekly free activities for unpaid carers, including art, yoga, pottery and boxercise. For more details and to book, see contact details below. 020 7428 8950

Every Wednesday, 6.15 to 7.30pm Free weekly football and fitness sessions for females aged 16 and over. Delivered by female coaches. Cantelowes Gardens Sports Pitch, Cantelowes Gardens, 29

How to get into...

women’s fitness

Across the borough we’re encouraging women to improve their fitness and wellbeing, and to get to know more people in their local area.

Women only activities in Camden: Swimming: Oasis Sports Centre

Monday 8.30 to 9.30pm

Kentish Town Sports Centre

Wednesday 12.30 to 1.30pm and 4 to 7pm Thursday 7 to 10pm Sunday 4 to 5pm

Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre

Wednesday 7 to 10pm Saturday 3.30 to 5pm

Swimming lessons: If 2020 is going to be your year to get fit, there are lots of places in Camden that you can make a start – from free-to-use outdoor gyms, to sports centres and swimming pools. We also have a range of activities specifically for women. Regent's Park Women’s Fitness Project is based at the Samuel Lithgow Youth Centre, in the heart of Regent’s Park. The programme offers daily activities for women who want to become more active, and need some help in getting started. It’s women-only and led by positive, motivating, fun female instructors. Activities include dance, boxfit, yoga, circuit fitness, netball and gym. Session times are planned so that parents can drop children at school or nursery and get straight to an activity. A community cafe at the centre provides space for participants to catch up and socialise after their activity. Sessions take place Tuesday to Friday, 9.30 to 10.30am and 10.30 to 11.30am. For further information contact: or 020 7692 0186.

This project is funded by the HS2 Camden Fund and led by the Samuel Lithgow Youth Centre in partnership with GLL, England Netball, Camden Council and other local partner organisations. 30

Kentish Town Sports Centre (age 11 to 15)

Wednesday 12.30 to 1.15pm (age 16+) Wednesday 4.15 to 4.45pm

Swimming and sauna: Pancras Square Leisure

Thursday 2 to 3pm Friday 6 to 7pm Sunday 4 to 5pm

Water workout: Kentish Town Sports Centre

Thursday 6.15 to 7pm

Gym: Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre

Monday 9 to 11am Wednesday 8 to 9.45pm Sunday 2 to 4pm

Kentish Town Sports Centre

Thursday 6 to 7.30pm

Yoga: Kentish Town Sports Centre

Thursday 6.30 to 7.30pm

Moving more has huge benefits for our mental and physical wellbeing and there are fun activities for everyone across Camden. Find activities, resources and tips on how to move more at

My Camden

Julia Marcus is Job Hub Lead at Gospel Oak What’s your Camden connection? I went to Camden School for Girls in the 70s, and I’ve worked in Camden for the last five years – supporting local people to find great jobs through setting up a job hub in Somers Town. I feel incredibly privileged to have got to know the local community, and been able to help them. We’re now starting a hub in Gospel Oak, which I am excited to be heading up.

What’s your favourite Camden place? Hampstead Heath – we’re so lucky to have this gorgeous open space in our borough. It’s about the only place in London where I can still get totally lost – in a good way!

What’s the best thing about Camden? Well, I love eating so I would have to say something food related! Drummond Street for curry, El Parador on Eversholt Street for tapas, and if you can face the queues Roti King in Doric Way for the best Malaysian street food. I also love Earth Natural Foods in Kentish Town – the most unpretentious wholefoods store.

We believe everyone in Camden should be able to thrive with good quality work that is right for them. The Gospel Oak Job Hub is one example of how we’re working with businesses and communities across Camden to provide practical, local support to our residents. To find out more email julia. marcus@camden.

What’s your favourite Camden memory? Being at Camden School for Girls – getting to know a bunch of inspiring, feisty, talented, funny, independent girls who felt no limitations and have turned into amazing women.

What’s next for you and the new Gospel Oak Hub? I’ll be getting out and about meeting the Gospel Oak community to find out all about the people who live and work here. We want to make sure the support the Hub offers and the way we work is entirely driven by what people need. So if you live in Gospel Oak or Haverstock, and there’s a knock on the door, it may well be me! 31

Christmas opening hours Over the Christmas period some of our services will operate with different opening hours. Contact Camden

• View your council tax bill and pay online

Contact Camden receptions and phones lines will be closed for general enquiries on these days: • Christmas Day • Boxing Day • New Year’s Day

Go to to log in.

You can also use your online Camden Account to complete for the following: • Request a service or report a problem at any time • Buy and renew parking permits • Pay bills • Apply for housing benefit • Book housing repairs • • Report a missed bin collection

You can continue to access the digital library during the holiday period to renew items and borrow e-books.

Camden libraries

Leisure centres

• They will be open as usual between Thursday 27 and Sunday 30 December. • Closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day • Libraries will close early on Monday 24 and Monday 31 December • Highgate Library will close from Tuesday 25 December to Wednesday 2 January, inclusive.

All Camden leisure centres will be closed on Friday 20 December, Christmas Day and on New Year’s Day. Centres will be open as usual until Thursday 19 December. For opening times over the holidays, please visit

To find out more visit:

Could a Camden apprentice support your business?


Camden Apprenticeships offer employers the opportunity to recruit local people with a wide range of skills and to grow your own talent. We provide a free advice and recruitment service to help you plan and develop your apprenticeships programme. To find out more about how your organisation could benefit, and/or if your business is eligible for assistance with training fees if you recruit an apprentice, please email: apprenticeships@ or call 020 7974 8778. And, if you’re a resident of any age, or a local school / college leaver looking to get your career started, please also visit the website below to search for vacancies. Attract the best new talent to your business, visit or call 020 7974 8778 to find out more.