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o mmunity C F I N C H L E Y




W W W. F I N C H L E Y C O M M U N I T Y.W I X S I T E . C O M / F C M A G




Community Kindness GoodGym Barnet: the feel-good factor

NEW YEAR INSPIRATION The Joy of Writing SAVITA KALHAN Arts & Culture ARTSDEPOT New Year, New Approach Thalia Pellegrini


finchley art society

Art for art’s sake


Agnes Tamura, chair of the Finchley Art Society, would welcome your involvement

he Finchley Art Society was founded in 1949 by prominent artist and teacher, Paul Smyth. FAS has an enthusiastic and friendly membership and encourages local artists to practise and develop their skills in a safe and sociable environment. The Society welcomes artists whether beginners or experienced. FAS does not run classes but more experienced artists are always willing to give a helping hand when requested. Groups usually meet twice a week and in normal years, there are gallery visits, demonstrations, workshops, critique evenings and painting days out. In autumn, FAS holds a two-week art fair at Trinity Church, where members can display and sell their art works, including ceramics and hand-made cards. During the pandemic, a few members have met in their gardens and it was a great pleasure to be able to get together and sketch once again. Lockdown has given many members the time and opportunity to work on unfinished paintings or to create new works of art. Although this year, there was no art fair, all being well, FAS looks forward to displaying art in 2021.

Art is a most therapeutic and rewarding pastime, but it can also be a very solitary activity. Painting with other people can be so much more stimulating and enjoyable. I have been a member since 1988 and it has been so pleasurable to see the Society change and evolve over the years. n The groups meet: On Monday evenings from 7:15-9:30pm at Trinity Church, Nether Street N12 7NN where a model or still life is available, or members can concentrate on their own work. On Wednesday afternoons from 12:30-3:30pm at St Mary’s Parish Hall, Hendon Lane, N3 1TS where members create individual work. However, because of the current coronavirus situation, these days and times could change. We look forward to welcoming new members so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. For more information please visit our website: www.finchleyartsociety. You can also contact me at: or Valerie Cowan at: or 020 8458 4508.

editors letter

H Community FI N C H L E Y





CREATIVE EDITOR Nicola Harrison SUB-EDITOR Diane Langleben DESIGNER Richard Cooke


PRINTER JG Bryson of East Finchley

Special thanks to: My Rich for being totally and unwaveringly awesome in his support and creativity My wonderfully kind volunteer sub-editor Diane My fabulous friend and business coach Zuzana My Dad for knowing I would love creating this My Mum for just always believing in me My Rosa for inspiring me

appy New Year!

Welcome to the fifth issue of Finchley Community Magazine. The past year has given many of us a deep appreciation of where we live and who we have in our lives. We start 2021 with the hope that we can spend much more time with family and friends after such a long time apart. If you are looking for a new year’s resolution that has a feel-good factor, why not consider signing up to volunteer with one of our local charities that give help in your community? We have a great selection for you to choose from in this issue . . . A big thank you to the wonderful article contributors and repeat advertisers who are always are so supportive of our magazine. I have learnt so much about so many different things since beginning this community magazine ― I do hope you enjoy reading the articles too! Our magazine is free, and in order for us to flourish, we rely upon advertising. Please do tell your family, friends, work colleagues and local community about us. If you are a local business, why not advertise with us this year?


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Enhancing the value of your property When I am valuing their property, people often ask me whether, for example, they should refurbish the kitchen or bathroom before putting the property on the market. More often than not, I advise against this for the following reasons: •W  hat might be your taste isn’t necessarily that of someone else •P  eople aren’t always keen to pay a premium for someone else’s work • It will delay putting the property on the market; in a good market you don’t want to miss the boat •B  uyers want to put their own stamp on a property • If you refurbish certain rooms but not others it will look out of place Some people are even willing to take this a step further and extend their property before putting it on the market. It is debatable how much net profit doing such work will bring, though, and the reasons listed above are still most relevant. The overriding factor for me, however, is the time it takes to carry out major works; I believe that once you have committed to selling it’s best not to delay too much. What I do recommend though is to do the very best you can to enhance the way your property is presented. Spending a few hundred pounds can make you a few thousand pounds back. They always tell

you in the numerous property programmes to de-clutter but it really does make a big difference as it showcases the amount of space a property has. Secondly, freshening up a property is highly effective and can include things like painting walls, re-grouting the bathroom, replacing cracked tiles or tidying up the garden. You want your property to be shown in its best light; the likelihood is that if you notice there is something wrong then someone viewing it is sure to notice it too. First impressions count for everything. There is no need to fill the house with the smell of newly baked bread before a viewing. On the other hand, if it’s wash day, make sure you don’t leave the washing out. I believe it’s a misconception that most people can ‘see past’ these things. Yes, there are some people that can and will, but the majority can’t and won’t. n Edward Kay is one of the directors of Squires Estates. In 2004 he set up Squires Estates with his business partner Adam Redhouse. They both live locally and have children at local schools. Squires Estates have branches in Finchley, Hendon and Mill Hill. Please visit www. for more information.


44 35 20 Contents Finchley Arts Society

GoodGym Barnet

The joy of writing

Food Banks

2 Chair & artist, Agnes Tamura 6 Author, Savita Kalhan

Stephens House & Gardens 10 An illuminating history

The Father of Reform

14 Reverend Philip Davison

Artsdepot: 2021 plans

18 PR officer, Sophie Wright

Family wellbeing

20 Therapist, Kemi Omijeh

New year, new approach

24 Nutritionist, Thalia Pellegrini

Treasures of the beehive

30 Coordinator, Paul Salaman 34 Food Bank Aid NL, Naomi Russell 35 Finchley Foodbank, Anna Maughn

Homeless Action in Barnet 38 Chairman, John Bier

Age UK Barnet

40 Trustee, Gillian Jordan

Grange Big Local 42 Grange Big Local

Touchline Development

44 Coaches Romario and Adisa

Setting business goals

46 Business coach, Zuzana Taylor

26 Beekeeper, Lucie Chaumeton Finchley Community 5

local author

The joy of

writing Savita Kalhan describes her journey to becoming a recognised children’s author

savita kalhan


id I ever think I would be a children’s writer when I was young girl? Definitely not! I didn’t think that girls like me could be writers. I only discovered how wrong I was later in life. I was living here in Finchley when I found out that my book The Long Weekend was going to be published by Andersen Press ― and Dollis Brook was the first to hear the news, shouted gleefully over the treetops! I grew up in a strict and traditional Punjabi family in High Wycombe. My parents worked hard, and they believed in the importance of education and the power of knowledge; for them, education was synonymous with books and reading. Because we couldn’t afford to buy books, my parents took me and my siblings to Wycombe Library every week. The children’s library became my second home. I devoured every book in the library before joining the adult library; I read everything in

every genre I could lay my hands on. I wanted to be a librarian or own my own bookshop, but I still didn’t think I could be a writer because I didn’t see any books written by British Asian authors, nor did I see people like me in the books I read. I stumbled into writing much later. When I was in the Middle East for several years teaching English, I embarked on writing a fantasy epic for fun and ended up writing 600,000 words of a six-book fantasy epic, which I then stuck in a drawer because I still didn’t think I could be a published writer. But I fell in love with the whole writing process ― the joy in the freedom and creativity in devising the world in your book, the plot, the characters, the setting, the drama ― it was all-consuming. When I came back to live in the UK, my writing took a contemporary realistic turn. A flyer from local schools, warning that the driver of a flashy car had been seen outside Finchley Community 7

local author

schools trying to snatch lockdown. Writing is “Having the a child, inspired The Long insular work, so the Dollis Valley on opportunity to engage Weekend, a thriller about our doorstep two 11-year-old boys with your readers is who are abducted. I’ve vital when you are a has been a been told the book is just children’s writer. saviour during as scary for adults as it is I have lived in West lockdown” for teenagers . . . Finchley for 20 years and My next two young I would not live anywhere adult books are also gritty and hardelse. In 2000, when we were looking to hitting. The Girl in the Broken Mirror buy, the view of Dollis Brook outside focuses on family, betrayal and abuse, the back door sold this house to us. It’s and love and loss. That Asian Kid breathtakingly beautiful and changes explores the power of social media, with the seasons from lush green to the viral videos, and the challenge to russet tones of autumn to the perfect behave in an ethical way, but is written snowy scene in winter. Having the with a lighter more humorous touch. Dollis Valley on our doorstep has been Both books were nominated for the a saviour during lockdown. Carnegie Medal. My allotment, only a minute away I love visiting schools, giving from my back gate, has been another talks about my books and writing boon this year. I’ve had my allotment journey, and running creative writing for about 10 years now and grow a workshops. I have missed this during huge variety of vegetables. It’s also the 8 Finchley Community

savita kalhan place where story ideas get mulled over and percolate. Right beside the allotment is the friendly neighbourhood Finchley Lawn Tennis Club. In my free time, if I am not on my allotment, you will find me on court. It has a strong local membership, with many social events, which draw everyone in. Libraries have been a major part of my life and I wanted to give something back. For five years I have run, voluntarily, a reading group for teens at Finchley Church End library, with the support of the library staff and the amazing manager, Stephen Saunders. They nominated me for the Barnet Volunteer of the Year award which I was chuffed to win. The teen reading group meets once a month; we have

enthusiastic discussions about books and quizzes. Moreover, the kids have made new friends. I’m looking forward to when we can resume the reading club in 2021. Between the allotment and the tennis club, my local street, Dollis Brook and the library, there is a wonderful sense of community. You cannot walk down the street without stopping to say hello to someone. This community is so special and supportive. Practically the whole of my street and tennis club came out in force to support me at my book launches too. So, finally I do feel that I really am a children’s writer! n To find out more about Savita Kalhan and her books, you can visit her website at

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henry stephens

Avenue House: an illuminating history Melanie Wynyard, visitor services manager, sheds light on our local landmark, which today is known as Stephens House

stephens house


orget the cold, we all know the worst thing about winter is the dark and with this year’s lockdown, the late afternoon creeping into evening feels even longer. Today we can light up our houses at the flick of a switch. For most of history, this was an unthinkable luxury. Fires, small candles, lamps and moonlight were all our ancestors had to lengthen the days and lighten the mood. But not for the forward-thinking and scientificminded Henry Stephens. Avenue House was built in 1859 and sold to Henry in 1874. At this time, the house was fitted with gas lighting. When you next visit the house, stand in the entrance hall and look up. The ventilating gas light remains, set high in the roof of the stairwell.

When houses were entirely lit by gas, around a third of the heating came from the lights. So just imagine what lighting the house may have been like on a hot summer’s night. A solution to the problem was to connect the lamp to the outside air in the form of a chimney. This would then form a passage for the hot products and air, hence the name ventilating lamp. This was considered state of the art technology, and usually only placed in large municipal buildings; they are rare in private homes. Examples can still be found in the Houses of Parliament; below is an illustration of a working example in the Victoria and Albert Museum, which although grander than the example at Avenue House, gives us an idea of how lamps may have looked in Henry’s day.

Above: Stephens House ventilating gas light Right: V&A Museum gas light example

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henry stephens Gas lamps were quite a bother to light and had to be lit every time you wanted illumination. Gas could also be dirty and dangerous; the impure gas gave off a bad smell, blackened walls and ceilings, and took gilding off picture frames. It caused headaches, made rooms unbearably hot and killed off all but the hardiest of household plants. The Victorians’ love of aspidistras is largely down to the fact that they were one of the few plants that could survive gas lighting. Even worse were the explosions. Small wonder then that Henry was quick to look at alternatives for his home.

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“Seven years before Queen Victoria electrified Osborne House, Avenue House was illuminated by electricity.” We do not know when Henry first started to experiment and install electricity in Avenue House. As a boy he had attended Michael Faraday’s lectures on the principles of electricity and because of a rather amusing report on the engagement of his daughter, Margaret, in the Hendon Times, we

stephens house

know that the family were enjoying the benefits of electric light by at least 1886. ‘ . . . the light is turned on in all sorts of inconceivable places. Candelabra is moved readily about the drawing room from place to place, the largest rooms lighted instantly and the lights extinguished equally as quick.’ So, a mere eight years after Cragside in Northumberland became the first house in the world to have electricity, two years after the invention of the first light switch employing ‘quick-break technology’ and seven years before Queen Victoria electrified Osborne House, Avenue House was illuminated by electricity. It was without doubt the first to be so in Finchley and probably the whole of Middlesex. In those times, there was no national grid into which to tap. If you wanted electricity, you had to generate it yourself. Most people did not have the technological know-how or money. Keeping just five bulbs going for a

day would cost a week’s wages for the average person. Little is known about how Henry created the power. Those of you who have entered the House from the carpark may have noticed a coal/fuel chute and vents in the porch. The Stephens Collection has pictures of the boiler (left) and dynamos (above) built for Henry’s factory; it is quite possible that similar machinery on a smaller scale were once in situ in the cellars. Even by 1920, only 6% of British homes had electricity; however, as lightbulbs improved and the national grid was established, clean, safe lighting at the flick of a switch became available. As the lockdown restrictions continue and we see and use both indoor and outdoor space in new ways, let’s be thankful for the gift of light in the darkness. n about/the-stephens-collection Finchley Community 13

father of reform

Finchley and the Father of Reform The churchyard of St Mary-at-Finchley is the final resting place of a quite remarkable man, as the Reverend Philip Davison relates


ather of Reform’ is a grand title but possibly few could accredit it to Major John Cartwright. His obscurity has only deepened in the past quarter of a century because his monument in the churchyard of St Mary-at-Finchley, despite being listed, languished behind extensive hoardings. So, who was Major Cartwright? Although he is buried in Finchley, he was born into the landed gentry at Marnham, Nottinghamshire in 1740. We know of him as a major, but his career began in the navy where he served with distinction in North America.

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Returning to England, he actively supported the cause of independence for the American colonists. His principles meant that he turned down a chance to further his naval career during the American War of Independence; he also declined to fight for the Americans. His political views stayed firm throughout his life. In his pamphlet Take Your Choice! (1776) he laid out his commitment to universal male suffrage, annual elections to parliament, voting by secret ballot, equal electoral districts and abolition of property qualification to stand for parliament.

major john cartright While we might groan at the idea of annual elections, the fact that his other core ideas do not strike us as strange is testament to the importance of such ideas for the future. The politics of Cartwright’s day included corruption and lack of accountability, the infamous ‘rotten boroughs’ and the exclusion of vast swathes of the population from the political process. Cartwright was not a deep political thinker. His beliefs rested on the conviction that all the ills of society came about through restrictions on participation in politics. He appealed to the institutions of the past, notably Anglo-Saxon England, to prove that

active participation was the original and natural state of the English people. Today we might question his version of Anglo-Saxon history but similar appeals to the past were made in the centuries before and after Cartwright. Cartwright championed reform around the world: rebellion in Spain and independence for Greece. He also supported the abolition of slavery, first writing about this in 1795. He sided with William Wilberforce but differed from him in his political views. Cartwright could not understand why anyone who opposed slavery could not support reform. When he supported causes abroad, he was nearly always thinking

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father of reform of principles to be applied at home. His title of major came from his position in the Nottinghamshire Militia, a position he lost through his support for the French Revolution. Cartwright was however unequivocally a patriot — he rallied to the call for national defence against a potential French invasion in 1804. Cartwright had no faith in party politics. He failed to get elected to parliament on several occasions because there was general mistrust in the establishment of reforming radicals. Instead, his tools for change were public meetings, pamphlets and petitions. He was tireless in his devotion. In 1819, at the age of 79, he was arrested as a result of a public meeting in Birmingham. Why the epithet ‘Father of Reform’? Cartwright came to be known as the ‘Father of Reform’ because he fought consistently for radical reform for over 50 years, helping create the conditions that led to the Great Reform Act of 1832. The causes he supported, which failed to win over his peers, were later

taken up by the Chartists. He was loyal and affectionate, generous and always accessible. He consistently pursued the path of non-violence and personified a very English sort of radicalism. The Finchley connection Major Cartwright moved to Enfield in 1805 when he increased his involvement in London politics. In 1819 he moved to 37 Burton Crescent (now Cartwright Gardens) in Bloomsbury where he died on 23 September 1824. His funeral was a simple affair conducted by the rector of Finchley. His sister, Elizabeth, had been buried in their mother’s stepfather’s vault in Finchley; Cartwright joined her there. Eleven years after his death, public subscription enabled the placing of a memorial obelisk. Local fundraising, support from the Finchley Society, Church Care and most importantly, a large grant from Historic England, enabled its restoration in 2018-19. As can be seen in the picture, the plaque in St Mary’s Church is a fitting epitaph. n

The Reverend Philip Davison has been rector of St Mary-at-Finchley, the local parish church, since 2008. He feels privileged to lead an inclusive church, which means not only having a diverse congregation on Sunday but also a strong commitment to serving the wider community. This includes keeping this historic building open for all throughout the week, with free concerts and multi-faith events. More information can be found at 16 Finchley Community


Thinking of buying a new home? Until the end of March, there is a stamp duty holiday. What could it mean for you? Following the announcement on 8 July 2020 by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, temporary measures were introduced to offer a reduction in stamp duty land tax (SDLT) for residential property and stimulate the UK property market. The new rules are seen as a stamp duty holiday. They are a temporary measure and will only apply for transactions that complete up to and including 31 March 2021. WHAT IS STAMP DUTY? Stamp duty is a government tax that purchasers of a property pay when they buy a property in England and Wales. The amount of stamp duty payable on a purchase depends on several factors including: 1. The price of the property involved 2. Whether the purchaser is a first-time buyer 3. Whether the purchaser is replacing a main residence 4. W  hether the property is being purchased as an additional property 5. W  hether the purchaser is an individual or a company WHAT ARE THE CHANGES? Firstly, the new rulings only apply to residential property, not commercial or mixed-use ones. When the purchaser is replacing a main residence, the new rates for calculating stamp duty are as follows:

For property or lease premium or transfer value up to £500,000, the SDLT rate is zero The next £425,000 (the portion from £500,001 to £925,000) has SDLT of 5% The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5m) has SDLT of 10% Above this value, the property will attract an SDLT of 12% When the purchaser is purchasing an additional residence, the new rules are also good news. The higher rates, also in place until the end of March, are as follows: Property or lease premium or transfer value up to £500,000, the SDLT rate is 3% The next £425,000 (the portion from £500,001 to £925,000) has SDLT of 8% The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million) has SDLT of 13% Above this value, the property will attract an SDLT of 15% Amidst the uncertainty created by Covid-19, investing in real estate offers you the opportunity to put your money into a tangible asset that works for those with a long-term view. With the SDLT holiday, there has never been a better time to own assets in the historically strong and resilient UK property market. n For more information email: or visit


Sophie Wright tells FCM how the pandemic affected the centre at the close of 2020 but reveals exciting plans for 2021


t was a joy to open the doors of the artsdepot again in early December, after being shut in the national lockdown the previous month. We were able to run classes and courses again as well as the Winter Arts & Crafts Showcase and a socially distanced family show. I wrote this article a few weeks ago, so it was impossible to predict what is going to happen in the new year. Our future was one of the biggest questions that troubled us last March, when the world turned upside down and the government closed all live-performance venues. We were planning our second ever pantomime, a music-filled production of Aladdin: the Rockin’ Panto. Suddenly, the future of our programmed shows, our free festival days, even opening our café seemed impossible to guess. As an arts centre, we’re able to offer people a physical space to enjoy arts and culture, most often in person. We’re proud to be

part of the community in North Finchley, and Barnet more widely; we love being able to engage with audiences, participants and people inside our building. So, when we couldn’t do that, what could we offer? The answer was digital content! We created an online programme of videos for families that ranged from turning our creative messy play sessions, Creative Explorers, into stepby-step explanation videos, to story-time sessions, to interactive sessions on Zoom, sharing stories about myths and history. It was a brand-new way for artsdepot to stay in touch and offer activities for our community, but I think it was well worth it. Luckily, as December crept closer, London was placed in Tier 2 of the new lockdown rules. This meant that we were able to programme socially distanced shows. It was good news for our Christmas show! Filskit Theatre visited for two weeks with Breaking the Ice, a playful and light-hearted show about a husky and a wild polar bear becoming best friends. By the time you’re reading this, the show will have closed at artsdepot, but we were really excited to see it come to life on our stage. It’s a different world in which we’re offering live theatre, meaning that there are

Sophie Wright is the marketing and public relations officer for artsdepot, working on promoting events, activities, classes, and the organisation itself to the wider public.

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fewer posters to put up in shops and more social media posts to schedule, fewer flyers to hand out at winter markets and more emails to send showing videos about the show. We’ve been thinking of creative ways to get the message out there and reassure audiences we’re taking their comfort and safety into careful consideration. In the new year, I can imagine that the way we offer arts and culture will probably keep on changing and evolving ― while the news of a vaccine is reassuring and exciting, it will be a while until we can have a ‘normal’ live performance experience again. But it’s not going to stop us! We’ve got four socially distanced comedy performances in the spring currently on sale ― Shazia Mirza’s Coconut, the Scummy Mummies talking about the gross truths of parenting, the Thinking Drinkers bringing the world’s best pub quiz to our stage, and Lucy Porter’s Be Prepared. It will be a different way of seeing comedy, but I think we could all do with a bit of laughter. We’re also hosting youth theatre rehearsals for the National Theatre Connections Festival happening later in 2021, and our courses and classes are carrying on. Your little ones can enjoy musical classes, you can give Pilates a go, and there’s even a hands-on science class for kids! There’s something for everyone of any age, so please check them out on the artsdepot website: 2020 has been a rollercoaster, but it’s been rewarding too. We’ve adapted! We’ve carried on! Our community has been so generous and patient with us, and we feel so grateful to be supported by wonderful audiences and participants. We can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store. n

family wellbeing

Family wellbeing Therapist Kemi Omijeh shares her tips


kemi omijeh

The importance of health has been brought to the front of our minds this year. In my view, there is no health without good mental health, and I support children, teens and their families to prioritise their mental health. My aim is to make mental health support accessible and flexible to suit a family’s individual needs. Parents often say to me that they just want their child to be happy; happiness is an emotion that is often strived for, and rightly so. We are feeling beings with a range of emotions. For happiness to be ours, we must work at it. We should aim to make an active and conscious choice to invest in our wellbeing. So how do you talk about wellbeing and prioritise it with children? Books are an amazing resource. Stories are the most straightforward way to do this and a great opener to talking about emotions and experiences. There is probably a storybook for most situations out there.


Here are some ways you can use books to introduce good wellbeing practices in your family: Naming emotions Simply name the emotions you see in a book even if the book hasn’t explicitly named them. Take the book Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson, for example. The first page depicts a little monkey, sitting by himself looking sad. “I have lost my mum” is the opening line.

The two main emotions in that first page are sadness and fear. I would name that emotion “Oh dear monkey is feeling sad — I wonder why”. Build on that by talking about what we do when we are sad. For younger children such as toddlers, keep your words simple and accompany with clear facial expressions and body language. For older children, incorporate talking about triggers for the emotion, for example, why was monkey sad. This discussion need not take long or take away from the enjoyment of reading the story. Pick one or two emotions to discuss and explore. Creative activities Most books have a take-home message. With the moral of the story in mind, use it to engage in either an activity or discussion with your child. Don’t get too focused on the activity or the creative part, they are just a way to facilitate a discussion around wellbeing. So, keep the activities simple. If for example a story was celebrating being yourself, you could get your child to draw a picture of themselves and lists all their positive Finchley Community 21

family wellbeing traits. If they are not into drawing, the task could be to collect compliments. Over the course of a day/week, get them to note all the compliments/ praise they received and share them with you. Visual/mood boards go well with almost any theme — get them to create one. If stuck for ideas, take inspiration from the book, what activity featured in the book? How was the moral introduced? Let the main character or the way the story was told guide you. You could also ask your children, get them involved. Simply state, this feels like an important message to remember, ask if they can think of a way to remember it. Creative journaling Using the book as guidance, could they write a diary pretending to be a character from the book? Could they plan self-care or wellbeing for the character in the story? They can discuss the event from the story and note the emotions the character might

Kemi Omijeh is registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. She has worked with children and families for over 12 years, offering therapy, parent consultations, and training and wellbeing support for schools. Kemi can be contacted at

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be feeling. The idea of journaling can sometimes be off putting. For example, if the expectation is to write it daily or if it is seen as writing task. Remove those expectations; they don’t have to write it daily. They don’t even have to write it; they can use drawing, painting, speaking, recording, or even capture it by taking or finding appropriate photographs. Choose what works for them. Other ways to incorporate and prioritise wellbeing: Family wellbeing agreement Have a family wellbeing agreement that identifies each family member’s ‘love language’ or self-care needs. In the agreement, each family member shares an emotion they are finding difficult and together you decide an activity for that emotion. For example, squeeze a squidgy toy if feeling angry, ask for a cuddle if sad. This facilitates an environment where children feel

kemi omijeh able to express their emotions and say something such as: “I am feeling frustrated, I am going to throw (soft) balls at a wall/ take deep breaths”. Family worry box Perhaps you have heard of worry boxes. If not, a simple Google search will bring an explanation. Introduce the idea into your family where your children can write their worries down and put them in the worry box. Then set aside one or two days a week to go through and discuss the worries. Children are more likely to show interest and commitment to this if you are consistent and share your worries too. I recommend

reading The Huge Bag of Worries by Virginia Ironside. Incorporate mindfulness You could incorporate mindfulness into your child’s daily routine for a positive impact on their wellbeing because it equips them with a strategy to improve their wellbeing. My children’s wellbeing pack This pack has a range of activities that are family friendly, promote good wellbeing and build resilience. More information about the children’s activity packs can be found at www. childrens-well-being-activity-pack n

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new year, new you?

New Year, New You? No thanks!


Thalia Pellegrini helps us to get 2021 off to a good start

don’t know about you, but the new year has brought home its annual seasonal home truths: ‘I’ve eaten too much and not moved enough’. The post-Christmas slump is as much a tradition as the mince pies that caused it. Most people set upon the new year with good intentions and want to be healthier. This resolution is an admirable goal. A recent poll revealed that losing weight and eating more healthily is in most people’s top three resolutions; however, 80% of people have given up by February. So, should we just not bother and open that last tin of Quality Street? It may be tempting, but fortunately, there’s a happy compromise that’s much better for our health. And the best news is that it doesn’t involve counting calories or weighing out portions of food, generally guaranteed to induce grumpiness and resentment all round. The biggest mistake people make with new year health resolutions is attempting huge change overnight. Such diets invariably

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involve restriction and denial, which is hard to sustain. Most people return to familiar habits after a few weeks; taking your favourite foods out of your day-today menus in January of all months is akin to self-punishment. Small changes, made consistently, are much more likely to endure. So, what does that look like? The key to success is balance. It is not earth-shattering, but true. The ‘secret’ to new year health is just reigning back the excesses of the previous month and crowding out the rich and sweet temptations with more nourishing foods. New year, new you? It sounds exhausting so let’s take a more balanced approach. These are my top tips for a healthier 2021. And remember, it doesn’t have to be an allor-nothing approach. EAT MORE PROTEIN

Each meal or snack should have a portion of protein. This can be from an animal or plant source. Chicken, turkey, fish, nuts,

thalia pellegrini seeds, pulses and tofu are all good sources. Protein fills you up and makes you less likely to look for unhealthy snacks. EAT MORE (HEALTHY) FAT

Incorporating healthy fats in your diet are a good habit to establish. Eggs, avocadoes, olive oil, nuts, seeds and oily fish all contain healthy fats that slow down the metabolism of protein, keeping you full for even longer. DON’T TRY AND QUIT SUGAR

This is a big one. December is when most people overindulge, so going from that to zero in January is miserable. Actually, a little sugar in the context of a healthy diet is fine. Tell yourself you won’t touch the white stuff at all for a month, and I guarantee you’ll be lying in bed thinking of nothing else. Aim to get your sweetness from a teaspoon of honey on full-fat Greek yoghurt or opt for a few squares of dark chocolate (look for at least 70% cocoa) to hit that sweet craving. Alternatively, try adding some nut butter to a fresh date. TAKE A BREAK (FROM EATING)

One thing that is common to most of us in December is the graze phenomenon.

We eat constantly. Between meals. After meals. Just before meals . . . Over time, this can lead to problems with our blood sugar levels, so aiming to get three good meals a day and seeing if you can avoid snacking is worth a go. REPLICATE CHRISTMAS DINNER BUT WITHOUT THE PUD

The traditional Christmas Day meal is actually a pretty healthy one. Good quality protein and loads of vegetables. Take out the thousand-calorie desserts that follow and you’ve got the foundation for a good lunch and dinner. Upping your vegetable intake is a great way to improve your overall health. Just try and add one or two new vegetables to your meals a day. Build this number up slowly. G ETTING OUTSIDE

This may not be hugely appealing in the January mizzle, but if the sun is shining, wrap up and get moving. The connection between mood and exercise is well documented. Health is about more than our waistline. New Year, new you? How about new year, new approach? Far more appealing. n

Thalia Pellegrini is a registered nutritional therapist (FdSc DipION BANT CNHC). She lives in East Finchley with husband and two sons. Known as the Knackered Mums Nutritionist, she works with women to resolve health issues ranging from PMS to perimenopause. She creates bespoke nutrition plans that work for a mum’s busy lifestyle, whether she wants to improve her energy, lose weight or just have a better relationship with food. Contact her at where you can subscribe to emails and download her FREE e-book Fantastic Five-Minute Breakfasts. She also offers FREE 20-minute Discovery calls if you’re interested in pursuing nutritional therapy. Book through her website.

Finchley Community 25


FIVE TREASURES OF THE BEEHIVE Local beekeeper and jam maker, Lucie Chaumeton, waxes lyrical

Plant pollination is, arguably, honeybees’ greatest gift to humanity. Their scientific name, Apis mellifera, translates from ancient Greek as the honeycarrying bee. But much though we all love that sweet liquid gold, bees have much more to offer! Read on to find out about five treasures of the hive. 26 Finchley Community

HONEY Vastly more honey is sold in the world each year than is produced. As recently reported in the press, supermarket honey is sometimes bulked up with cheap syrup. So, if you can’t buy direct from a beekeeper, always check the provenance (this must be printed on the label), avoid blended honeys and choose one from the EU, where standards are more stringently enforced. Honey is flower nectar, evaporated until its water content is below 18%. Bees secrete enzymes that break long-chain sugars into shorter chain molecules, making them healthier for us humans. Honeybees have two ‘stomachs’ hermetically separated by a one-way valve. Nectar is carried in the first, aptly called the ‘crop’, but small amounts can pass into the bee’s second, digestive stomach as required. The rest is taken back to the hive, distributed amongst workers for ‘processing’, until ripe honey is sealed into a cell with a thin capping of wax. Bees evolved to generate and store a surplus of honey, to consume over winter. Contrary to bumble bees, for instance, honeybees do not hibernate, but stay awake and ‘cluster’ together — more like penguins! They keep the cluster at 27°C as temperatures outside plummet. This requires a lot of energy and in the wild, many colonies will fail to store enough. Almost half will starve to death over winter. In the apiary, beekeepers either feed their bees sugar syrup after harvesting honey or leave sufficient honey stores for winter.

lucie chaumeton

WAX It takes about 8lb of honey to produce 1lb of beeswax. But once crafted into hexagonal cells, wax is strong enough to store 22 times its weight in honey. Only well-fed bees between the ages of five and 20 days can secrete wax, from eight glands under their abdomen, and only when plenty of nectar is available. So, for a colony to build a new comb is an expensive process, meaning less honey for winter. Because many pathogens survive in wax, it is good practice to get the bees to ‘draw’ new comb every year, and to melt old frames for their wax. The purest wax is obtained from melting the cappings of honey cells after extraction. Wax makes lovely candles, which burn longer with less soot than soy or tallow candles. You can use it to make food wraps (use a 10:1 weight ratio with a stable oil), lip balms (1:3 ratio), or boot and furniture polish. Always melt wax in a water bath to prevent overheating. Temperatures above 85°C discolour wax.

ROYAL JELLY A queen bee is 50% bigger than a worker, but they have the same genetic material. The difference is how the larva is fed between days three and eight, with the queen receiving more food, and much higher concentrations of biopterin, pantothenic acid and vitamin B complex. This fosters growth as well as longevity: queens live up to seven years, as opposed to seven weeks for a summer worker. Harvesting this fountain of youth is extremely taxing on a colony and is generally only done by commercial beekeepers. Finchley Community 27

© I S TO C K




Propolis, is easier to harvest than other bee products, and smells heavenly. Bees make it from natural resins; they use it to fill any gaps in their nests and to mummify those intruders they can’t dispose of. Many beekeepers resent how sticky it gets on a hot day, but it has strong antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial

Even bee venom has its use: to treat people with bee-sting allergy, over long courses of desensitisation treatment, as well as in some cases of arthritis. Harvesting it involves placing bees on electrified plates, so is not for the hobbyist beekeeper. But it’s easy enough to get stung if you try! n

properties, making it ideal for use in gargles, or to chew on for a sore throat, or mixed with tea-tree oil for some home-made anti-dandruff shampoo.

If this article gave you the bug for beekeeping, visit Lucie’s website to find out more:

Lucie has lived on Beech Drive for 18 years, and has kept bees there for five. She has passed four of the seven theory modules set by the British Beekeepers Association, covering subjects from bee health and honey legislation to plant pollination and bee anatomy. The bees pollinate her back-garden crops of raspberry, plum, apple, blackberry and currants, which she turns into small batches of home-made jam available only for direct sale. During lockdown, she has also been sewing over 200 masks for the East Finchley Foodbank. You can follow Lucie on Instagram @mieldelucie or email her on or visit: www. 28 Finchley Community

advertorial the rules allow you to do or not, can lead to clients seeing sizeable savings here. As trusted probate solicitors, we are experts

PROBATE Richard Denton explains how proper professional advice optimises your legacy Irrespective of how straightforward an estate may seem, using a specialist solicitor can prevent you from unnecessarily losing more money in the long term. The system does allow lay people to handle such matters themselves. However, solicitors are frequently called in to pick up the pieces. This process can be sectioned into three stages: STAGE 1: VALUATION The initial stage involves ascertaining the value of any assets and liabilities. While this sounds relatively simple, if you are dealing with jointly held properties or company shares, there are many things that the law will allow you to do when valuing such items. From an inheritance tax perspective, the difference between getting the valuation correct versus getting it somewhere near to where you believe it should be, could be substantial. Getting things right from the beginning and having the correct valuation could potentially save you more than the cost of taking professional probate advice in the first place.

in knowing the right way to structure these returns for the best possible outcome. When handling all aspects for a client, we can ensure that the valuation and tax returns are completed correctly and with the right information. This saves our clients both time and money. STAGE 3: COURT APPLICATION Following an application to the court, or for a will, it would be after a grant of probate; that the court could potentially revert back with questions. These questions must be answered correctly and, in a time-efficient manner. If tax is applicable, then you must be able to show that it has been paid. Additionally, it’s imperative to know the correct period you have to pay the tax. Many people aren’t aware that certain assets lend themselves to having tax paid over a 10-year period instead of straight away. This knowledge alone can save a significant amount of stress and alleviate the immediate need to source those funds. IN CONCLUSION When people seek out help with probaterelated matters, understanding valuations and tax liabilities can make a critical difference to the process and outcome. While people often believe that seeking professional probate advice will be expensive; it could help clients to save money while alleviating much time and stress in the process. n If you would like to arrange a consultation or

STAGE 2: TAX RETURN Tax return forms are complex; by having a comprehensive understanding of what

have questions about probate advice, please get in touch with a member of the team at Stock Denton Solicitors today on (0)20 8349 5500.


GoodGym Barnet


Paul Salman, local coordinator, explains the GoodGym concept

oodGym started over 10 years ago with the idea of getting people out of the gyms and into their communities to exercise through volunteering. As a participant, I give my time for social purpose activities such as weekly group runs with a physical task (such as clearing leaves in a local park or shifting soil in a community garden), regular individual runs to visit isolated older people (referred to as ‘coaches’) and ’missions’ which are one-off tasks for older people such as support with DIY or gardening. It is great that I can pick and choose when, where and how often to get involved. GoodGym encourages running (sometimes

group running and walking or cycling), if possible, to the venue event; sometimes, there is additional exercise depending on the circumstances and the leader. The GoodGym website allows volunteers to see what’s going on and sign up for events all over Barnet or other local boroughs in London. As well as volunteering activities, there are training sessions, a running club, walking groups and online fitness sessions. GoodGym has charity status and has spread throughout the country engaging hundreds of people to get fit and help out the community. Many London boroughs have a GoodGym group and the one I help coordinate in Barnet started over four years ago. I think my first group activity


goodgym was to deliver leaflets for a local charity in East Finchley. It made sense that I used my evening run for a positive purpose as well as having a nice chat with like-minded people. Some Barnet GoodGym members have been involved in visiting elderly residents on a weekly basis (before Covid-19), running to the location, having a chat and ultimately running home as part of their fitness regime. Over a million older people in the UK are always or often lonely, some go for months without seeing friends or family. Visiting an older person as part of your weekly exercise regime can make a huge difference to their life and provide a great motivation for you. The bulk of members attend group ‘community missions’. The council is underfunded, unfortunately, and this has meant many local people are bridging the gaps with friendship groups or charitable organisations. GoodGym steps in to help when needed. For example, at Finchley Way open space, our local group is helping to create paths and remove rubbish. Helping for an hour or so with a big group means we can get a lot done.

We have assisted with Colindale food bank, by delivering food bags to shielding individuals during the pandemic. We have also set up litter-picking sessions in local beauty spots and carried compost bags for community gardens. One of my favourite tasks is at Stephens House & Gardens where we regularly help the charity with fund raising events like Halloween or in the gardens. On occasions we help when the park is shut and get to exercise in the grounds after our volunteering. In lockdown, we have been restricted to essential services and I recently cycled to drop off some medicine, in my lunch hour, to a shielding lady and I was totally humbled by her gratitude as I realised she’d not had any human contact for weeks. I have discovered so much about my area and met so many lovely people since joining Goodgym Barnet. As the pandemic eases, GoodGym would like to engage more local people to get fitter, healthier and more connected with their communities. n or email

Paul Salman spent most of his life raising a family and working in finance. He has been involved in competitive sport, including squash and represented the UK in ultimate frisbee in his youth. More recently he took up running, cycling and triathlon events to raise money for charity and to keep himself motivated. He qualified to teach yoga in 2005 and with Ultimate Coaching in 2017, supporting young players and clubs. He is also a run leader through British Athletics. He is now semi-retired and coordinates GoodGym Barnet. Paul runs an online yoga session every Tuesday for beginners/ intermediates to raise money for Stephens House & Garden during the pandemic. Email:

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Our main goal is to introduce Computer Coding and Robotics to both children and grownups in a simple, fun and interesting way We run school clubs: “Game Design Club” for Infant and Junior Schools “Robo Club” for Junior Schools During school holidays we run “STAR Activites” for kids aged between 8 and 14 years old. We offer tailored computing and robotic courses for children, teens and adults, school assemblies, and workshops for school staff & children. For more information, please feel free to contact us 077 4849 3383 Facebook @eAssistant

Finchley Community

GRAPHIC DESIGN websites logos flyers brochures stationery business cards & much more

Richard Cooke 0773 632 4895 rt.communitydesign

Proud to be the graphic designer for Finchley Community Magazine

community kindness

Helping food banks optimise their efforts Naomi Russell gives the lowdown on how Food Bank Aid distributes donations

Food Bank Aid: North London was set up by a group of volunteers in April last year. At first, I made a collection from neighbours to help a local foodbank. We now collect and deliver much needed food and household goods to food banks, over a wide area from N1 to the Hertfordshire suburbs. We coordinate collections from donors throughout the area at more than 20 drop-off points. 34 Finchley Community

When the pandemic hit, we saw that local food banks were struggling with a dramatic increase in demand. If just my local streets could deliver vanloads, what could the whole area achieve? By establishing the specific weekly needs of each food bank, we can ensure optimum delivery of a wide range of non-perishable foods, toiletries and household products.

food banks This avoids stock piling and saves time and effort; we knew that one food bank could be overstocked with one product, while another, perhaps just a few miles away, would be desperately short. No one was joining the dots! Often, food banks have to take the good with the not so good. Surplus food suppliers deliver what they choose and not necessarily what the food banks need. Well-meaning donors often create a surplus of particular products, such as baked beans or pasta, which in turn need to be stored or passed on. FBA has created a community of managers who can exchange ideas and goods; in this way, they help and support one another. They tell us what they need and that is

exactly what we deliver. We sort donations at our hub and then distribute the goods to the food banks we support. Local community partnerships such as Homeless Action in Barnet and Finchley Foodbank are just two examples where dedicated teams ensure a welcoming smile, a listening ear and where, hopefully, hunger can be alleviated. This is the silver lining of the Covid-19 crisis; the ‘war time’ community spirit that unites these organisations and so many others since March has borne incredible fruit. Please visit us on our Facebook page: Food Bank Aid: North London and Instagram @foodbank_nl Email:

More people than ever need help to feed themselves and their families, as Anna Maughan, vice chair, explains


inchley Foodbank was founded in 2013 to support people in need in the borough. It was decided that clients could access the foodbank on Saturdays, for the convenience of those in work. At that time there were a handful of households who were experiencing food poverty and required support. They received personalised food packages, according to their needs and preferences, along

with a hot drink, a cake or biscuit and a friendly ear. The volunteers would be able to advise clients about other agencies that offer support. Over the years use of the foodbank grew as did the support that was received from members of the local community, who were particularly generous at festivals such as Harvest and Christmas. Thankfully, the foodbank was always able to support all the clients who ➻ Finchley Community 35

community kindness

needed its services. The Foodbank works from a position of trust and so does not require clients to have vouchers or referrals. In March 2020, everything changed dramatically because of the pandemic. We were all told to stay at home; the effect on those who were already struggling or just getting by was immediate. The management team had already made plans, which were put into action to safeguard both volunteers and clients. Many foodbanks have had to close, but at Finchley Foodbank the service was changed to supply prepacked bags, with the choice of some extras such as toiletries, coffee, sugar and spreads. Clients are still directed to other agencies as appropriate and one of the management team produces a weekly newsletter containing such information as the latest government advice, information about children’s holiday clubs, courses for adults, and tips on keeping warm in winter. On average, the foodbank supports 90 households a week. However, the record 36 Finchley Community

to date is 110, which was 301 people in total. That week was both physically and mentally demanding for the volunteers, but the team just keep going, with a smile, until everyone was seen and helped. A huge amount of work is also carried out during the week in preparation for the client session, receiving and sorting donations, packing the bags ready and collecting surplus items from local shops. Some volunteers are unable to help at the foodbank’s base, for various reasons, but they still help by dividing up catering packs of tea and rice at home, making or distributing the ‘certificates of thanks’, collecting donations or answering and managing the telephone and recruiting new volunteers. The community, in all parts of Finchley and beyond, has responded to the needs of Finchley Foodbank, which is most grateful for everyone’s generosity. At times, this has been overwhelming. n HOW CAN YOU HELP? Finchley Foodbank is always looking for new donators, whether from individuals, schools, places of worship, workplaces or even street collections. Finchley Foodbank’s home is the in the parish hall of St Mary’s Catholic Church, 279 High Road, East Finchley N2 8HG. To find out more, please email

Call Nadine on: 07969864085 or visit:












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community kindness

Homeless Action in Barnet John Bier gives an overview of how the vulnerable in our neighbourhood are supported ome is our ‘safe space’. It is hard to imagine the stress that comes if your home is threatened ― and harder still to imagine the nightmare of becoming homeless. In reality, such a situation can happen to anyone. In the past 20 years, I have met people who fit the ‘stereotype’ of rough sleepers ― those with addiction or mental health issues ― but I have also met people who only weeks before had been working, running their own businesses and thought: ‘This would never happen to me’. Research from Shelter suggests that millions of people in the UK are one pay packet away from disaster. With strong friendship and family networks it is possible to cope, even if that still means avoiding the street by ‘sofa surfing’ in a friend’s living room. For too many, however, the crisis of family and relationship breakdown or the loss of work means losing their home and ‘sleeping rough’. Since 1997, Homeless Action in Barnet (HAB) has been supporting vulnerably housed people in Barnet at its centre in 38 Finchley Community

Woodhouse Road. While ‘rough sleepers’ are the most visible part of the homeless crisis they are really the tip of the iceberg. Most people experiencing problems are housed but are in debt and face losing their accommodation; the situation is compounded by the lack of truly affordable social or ‘council’ housing. In pre-Covid times around 700 people a year came to HAB for practical and immediate help such as hot showers, clothing and washing facilities; they also had access to medical services and excellent hot meals. People are encouraged to engage with the HAB workers to develop a personal action plan to help them move on. Our catchphrase at HAB is that we are ‘a place of change’. Support workers also advise on benefits; helping people access medical and other services; and generally helping people to maintain their tenancies. Particularly vulnerable are the single homeless and those without recourse to public funds. They have low or no priority against the assessment criteria applied by the local authority. The lack of social or ‘council’

homeless action in barnet housing means that most have to rely on the private rented sector. Rents in the area are high, which means that significant numbers are priced out of housing in the borough. Since lockdown in March, HAB’s work has shifted dramatically. The centre opens only for specific appointments and to offer limited access to rough sleepers still on the street. The main effort has been directed at supporting the 150+ rough sleepers moved into temporary accommodation under the Government’s and GLA’s plan called Everyone in. This massive effort across London saw over 90% of rough sleepers moved to temporary hotel accommodation ― a policy that clearly saved lives. A side effect made clear something HAB has known for years: the sheer scale of rough sleeping in our borough. In October 2019, the official Barnet rough sleeper count was just 23, yet in lockdown over 150 people were moved off our streets. Working closely with the charity, Together in Barnet, HAB has supplied food parcels each week to over 100 people. Alongside this we have maintained support with clothing and other basic needs; our support officers have continued to work with people to sort out specific benefit and other needs. This casework is critical in helping people address the issues that led to them becoming homeless; the support will continue as people move into more permanent accommodation. However, after the Everyone in policy ceased in August 2020 there has been a steady trickle of people arriving new to rough sleeping. The housing problems did not go away, and Covid-19 is adding the pressure of job loss and reduced incomes. HAB’s work continues and we are grateful for the amazing support from the wider Barnet community.

The HIB centre in Finchley with plenty of food ready to pack

How can you help? HAB has always relied on volunteers to support its work. Currently, the focus is on volunteers to help with food collection, preparation and food parcel delivery. HAB also needs donations because it is an independent charity and need to raise 90% of its costs through funding applications and donations. HAB needs donations ― of food, supplies and money. You can support HAB’s fundraising events ― or why not organise your own event to raise money for HAB? n You can keep in touch and donate via the HAB website: and follow HAB on Facebook: Habcentre/ and Instagram: www.instagram. com/hab_supporters/ where information on current needs and activity is posted. John Bier is the chair of the HAB board of trustees.

Finchley Community 39

community kindness

Gillian Jordan, trustee of the charity, gives an insight into the support offered to older residents


ge UK Barnet, is a local charity providing quality services and activities to people over the age of 55 in Barnet. There are over 60,000 people in this age group in the borough, many of whom feel isolated and need a helping hand. We work to enable older people to live fulfilling and healthy lives and remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible. We reach more than 11,000 of Barnet’s older people with our wellbeing, community, advice and preventative services. We know that social interaction is a key element of wellbeing and under normal circumstances our team facilitates activities in many venues throughout the borough as well as in Age UK Barnet’s activity centre in East Finchley. These include exercise classes, falls prevention sessions, help with computers, social groups and cooking classes. With our lottery-funded and volunteer-run project, Barnet Connect, we also have musical afternoons, social

40 Finchley Community

walks, a men’s group, a seniors’ choir and a dementia café. Befriending features prominently in what we do. The Campaign to End Loneliness tells us that half a million people in England admit to feeling lonely and go at least five or six days a week without seeing or talking to anyone. Our volunteer befrienders ensure that people who are isolated or lonely have a trusted friend to chat with regularly. We provide information and advice on crucial issues affecting older people including benefits, money worries, housing and care options so that older people in Barnet can make informed decisions for themselves. Our ‘handyperson’ team helps with small jobs, making people’s lives easier and safer around the home. We also operate a foot care service, knowing that many older people are unable to cut their toenails; overlong toenails can be a barrier to walking and affect mobility and independence.

age uk barnet Since the beginning of the Covid-19 latest scams, and we are producing a crisis, however, we have had to adapt monthly online newsletter. For those not our services to be able to continue to online we have a new paper magazine support people, helping with shopping, Pigeon Post. food parcels, phone chats, advice, practical help and online activities such HOW YOU CAN HELP as a virtual choir, online ‘cook-alongs’ Do you know of any lonely, perhaps and crafts. Now we are resuming some isolated older people? If so, could you of our regular activities and services ask if they know about Age UK Barnet in a Covid-safe way; once vaccines and what we do, and if not, give them are rolled out and the Covid-19 rate our details and suggest they might get of infection drops further, we’ll be in touch. bringing back more of our activities Our aims for 2021 include developing ―although we’ll keep some online as and expanding volunteer-led activities. they’ve been such a success! We have 400 volunteers who last year We use Facebook gave thousands of hours and Twitter of support. But with “We produce a although traditional more volunteers, we communication could do even more! quarterly hard methods are still We are building our copy newsletter supporter popular because online and donor and a regular technology remains a database through challenge for many of ‘what’s on’ guide increasing awareness our client group. We for the over-55s” in our local community produce a quarterly and, for example, inviting hard copy newsletter local organisations to and a regular ‘what’s on’ guide, which fund or sponsor specific events. We lists activities and services for the overhave held sponsored supper quizzes, a 55s in the borough. This is regarded tennis tournament, carol concert and a as a key directory by older people, film screening in partnership with the health and social care professionals Phoenix cinema. n and other organisations. Although we have reached 11,000 older people with Again, if you or your organisation feel well-being, community, advice and that they could help in this way, or preventative services, we know that through volunteering (full training and there are many more who would benefit support is given to all our volunteers) from all we have to offer. Connecting please do get in touch via with them is one of our main challenges. Email: To see what we are up to, please follow Phone: 020 8203 5040 us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (see below). Our website is regularly updated, including information on the Finchley Community 41

community kindness


42 Finchley Community

grange big local


range Big Local (GBL) was established in 2015 and is part of the Big Local initiative involving 150 areas around England. GBL was awarded £1m from the National Lottery Fund and Local Trust for 10 years (until 2025), to invest in a small patch of East Finchley, encompassing the Grange, Font Hills and Thomas More estates, and neighbouring areas. The residents and communities have the final say about where the money goes. GBL is proud of the successes that it has had working alongside the community. These include: • Funding transformative youth projects such as Art Against Knives • Supporting the development of the community forest garden, Barnwood N2 • Putting almost £175,400 in savings back into residents’ pockets with support from Citizens Advice Barnet • Raising over £8,000 for families affected by the tragic Willow House fire An exciting next phase for GBL is being introduced this year, with a new plan and new team. An even greater emphasis will be placed on empowering residents to create self-initiated change, building local capacity, and ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard. This month, GBL’s latest community grant recipients will take the first steps in turning their ideas into reality. Whether it is a grassroots food project, community arts programme or training scheme, residents are being empowered to design their own projects, responding to local needs. Sadly, food insecurity is on the rise and the impact of Covid-19 has rippled through

the community. GBL has seen first-hand how systemic inequality has affected the area. Following recent training workshops and collaboration with East Finchley Neighbourhood Support’s community food project, GBL is committed to continuing its aim of levelling up. It is in the early stages of exploring a community fridge — a space where residents can pick up food, no questions asked. It will be a win-win situation: reducing waste, saving money, and redistributing resources. Ensuring the whole community is heard, especially young people, is fundamental to GBL’s agenda. In this new year, it wants to establish a youth forum to amplify young voices and give them a safe space to come together and have real agency in what they want done in their local area. For GBL, ‘community’ means working on a hyper-local, grassroots level, bringing together people from all walks of life by showing what unites them. Through nurturing a collective narrative that centres on local knowledge and lived experiences, GBL encourages residents to give their time and talents to improve the community, fostering a sense of local solidarity and mutual care that will endure beyond individual projects and this moment in time. Everyone has the potential to make a positive difference; GBL helps people realise that potential and create a supportive, caring community where everyone can thrive. n More information can be found at or keep up to date on Instagram: @grangebiglocal, Facebook: @grangebiglocal or Twitter: @GrangeBL Finchley Community 43

community kindness

Do you have a budding Ronaldo or Messi? Two local sportsmen can help develop their footballing skills

Adisa Reid


omario Bisram and Adisa Reid first met at secondary school where the seeds were planted for a friendship that has been blossoming ever since. After school, they both went to university and graduated with joint honours sports degrees. Romario had hoped to have a career in professional football but this was cut short by a knee injury. However, he was inspired to train for Football Association coaching and was awarded various coveted badges. He attained positions at local Sunday league teams and Watford Football Club. The young aspiring coach worked at both grassroots school/community sessions, and elite-level development centres to prepare players for Watford Academy. After university, Adisa began research into the human body, to understand athletes both mentally and physically. He went on to complete a year of work experience in the sports studies sector, before volunteering in a mental health institute in Sri Lanka. He then completed a personal training course at level 3; as a qualified personal trainer, he was able to blend his experience in mental health with his knowledge of the human body. The inspiration for Touchline Development Romario and Adisa’s experience led them to start a coaching company, Touchline Development (TLD), side by side. They realised that they had an opportunity to combine Romario’s expertise in football coaching with Adisa’s knowledge of physical performance. This inspired the concept to start TLD, which is a football and performance coaching company. Their inspiration also derived from a feeling of underrepresentation at the highest level of the sport. They failed to see enough racial diversity within football coaching, which is why they decided to create their own path and provide others with the inspiration to follow.


touchline development What does Touchline Development do? Romario explains: ‘TLD delivers various coaching services for players and people in our surrounding communities. We have created specific services that cater to all abilities, ages and financial means. This ensures that everyone can participate in an enjoyable and educational TLD session’. Romario and Adisa’s top three favourite things they offer: • Private one-to-one and small group training sessions These are the foundation of the coaching provided at TLD. They specialise in coaching players in a personalised and detailed manner to develop their all-round game. • TLD training camps These provide a hub in the community for competitive and social players to assemble through the football and fitness sessions. Romario and Adisa grew up with many people who took the wrong path in life and were perceived to be products of their environment. TLD camps strive to change that environment and narrative for young people and keep them mentally and physically active. • Working with young aspiring footballers in TLD’s mixed ability development centres. TLD has set up centres at renowned health clubs and schools, supporting players aged three years and above with the fundamental skills and confidence to kick off their football journeys.

Romario Bisram

The proudest moment within the business Romario says: ‘To date, one of my proudest moments was delivering an assembly to year 8/9 students about their future careers and sharing our experiences with starting a business. The teachers informed us that we inspired many of the young people in the room’. Because of their impact at the school, Romario and Adisa went on to deliver multi-sports programmes for their students with behavioural issues; they use sports as a mechanism to progress their classroom attitude. Clearly, community is incredibly important to the founders of TLD. ‘Community is a reflection of ourselves and the energy we spread within it. We are a part of our community and have a duty to share positive energy and opportunities through our coaching knowledge and training services,’ believes Romario. So, to give your budding Ronaldo or Messi the best start, head to 45

business coach

Why set your 2021 goals? Zuzana Taylor’s advice to make 2021 as successful as possible


usiness owners can so easily

lose sight of just how far they’ve come or what they’ve accomplished. When it comes to goal setting there is so much that can hold them back, whether it is a lack of self-belief, previous disappointments or setting the wrong goals. I want to help you change that and make your success in 2021 non-negotiable. REFLECT & REVIEW There is just so much to do running a business that owners are swamped with the day-to-day tasks such as marketing, accounts, client work and networking. It can be so easy to

46 Finchley Community

forget to stop and take stock of what has already been achieved. Employees usually have a personal development review with a manager whereas business owners often think it ‘isn’t necessary’ or ask ‘what is the point?’ There are many benefits in reflecting and reviewing progress over a period of time, and the end of the year offers a natural opportunity to do that. Looking back over the previous year allows you to think about how things have been going with the business in the past year. It is important to see what is working in the business and what is not. Business is unpredictable and constantly changes making it crucial to measure its success. On a deeper level,

setting goals taking the time to reflect and evaluate the accomplishments and where,

There is more to setting goals than you might think. Here are

perhaps, the mark has been missed, is a powerful tool for personal development as well. In addition, by evaluating the previous 12 months, a yearly review can be a useful way to help set goals for the year ahead.

some things to consider when setting your goals: •M  ake sure the goals you set motivate you and are important to you •M  ake sure you see the value in achieving the goal you are setting •S  et goals in priority order with the most urgent and important goals first •S  et SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound) •W  rite them down and hold yourself accountable •M  ake sure you define what you want clearly and understand why you want it (it needs to be more than just saying ‘I want this to happen’) •S  etting yourself daily, weekly and monthly goals

GOAL SETTING According to the American poet, Bill Copeland, ‘The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score’. I like writing my goals down; it helps me be clear about my steps and makes me accountable to take action and make it happen. It goes without saying that if you want to succeed, you must set goals. Goal setting allows you to: •M  ake yourself accountable to take actions •H  ave integrity aligned with what you desire •T  ake control of your life’s direction providing you with clarity •P  rovide a benchmark to measure your success •G  ive you a clear focus on what is important • Provide you with more motivation to succeed •P  rovide you with a sense of purpose You might think it is easy to set yourself goals, but how often have you set yourself a goal and not achieved it? How much consideration did you put into setting the goal in the first place?

I really hope this article has helped you to clarify what you’d like to achieve, both personally and in your business, over the next 12 months. If you would like more tailored advice and support to ensure you achieve your goals, then please get in touch. n Zuzana Taylor has lived in Finchley for 20 years, with her husband and two children. She is a transformational business and mindset coach. Her passion is to help driven mothers to build profitable businesses and break the endless cycle of self-doubt, make an impact and live a life on their terms. Finchley Community 47

WOMEN! DO YOU WANT MORE THAN ICING ON YOUR CAKE? Why not join the Women’s Institute? It is the UK’s largest women’s membership organisation. The WI offers all women over the age of 18 the chance to connect with their local community in a friendly and inclusive space.

Meet new people, make new friends, and enjoy a variety of activities. We have inspirational speakers, crafting, books, walking, garden, theatre and cinema visits to name a few! Do you want to campaign on issues, locally or nationally or learn new skills and revise old ones? Finchley WI is here to inspire you! We meet on the second Wednesday of every month except August, in Stephens House & Gardens (17 East End Road, N3 3QE) at 8pm. Come along and take a look; in the meantime, you can find more information on

Profile for Finchley Community Magazine

Finchley Community Magazine January/February 2021 Issue 5  

Finchley Community Magazine January/February 2021 Issue 5  


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