News

30 December 2021
Written By hncp

Support your community centre

Robert Aitken, our Chair of Trustees speaks to the Ham & High about our appeal, explaining why it is so important to raise funds. The new centre currently under construction will be a focal point for the whole community. We have the support of many generous funding partners and charitable trusts. We hope that you may be able to join with us too in building the future.

24 December 2021
Written By hncp

Festive support from Sian Berry

Read why the HNCC is such an important community resource and so worthy of support. Local Councillor and London Assembly Member Sian Berry makes a compelling case in her piece for the Ham and High.

22 December 2021
Written By hncp

Festive support from Sian Berry

Work is projected to start on the Chester Road Hostel site redevelopment in January 2022. There is an opportunity to meet the demolition contractors online on Wed 12th January 2022 from 6pm until 7pm. If you wish to join please download the letter from Camden  and follow instructions.

You may also like to be kept informed or to have a voice by joining a mailing list or the Community Working Group. Again full details about how to get involved are in the letter from Camden.

More information on wearecamden.org with additional information on how to comment on the Demolition management plan (deadline is Wednesday 19th January 2022)

29 October 2021
Written By hncp

Development Update

From our Trustee, Stephen Hodge

As many people will know Highgate Newtown Community Partners (HNCP) – of which I am Treasurer – is located in Bertram Street, NW5 (just behind Highgate Library). We have been working together with Camden Council over a number of years to bring forward exciting new plans for the redevelopment of the centre. This will include housing, a new public space and a brand-new community centre for the benefit of local residents. The council has invested over £6 million into building the new facility. This money will be raised by the council building homes for sale on the site of the old centre. During the construction period, HNCP moved out of the building on Bertram Street, and we relocated our activities (including support of older people, children under five, food parcel distribution and subsidised community lunches) to a range of locations in the Archway, Highgate and Dartmouth Park areas. At the time of writing, we have partnerships with Brookfield School in Dartmouth Park, Channing School in Highgate, the United Reformed Church, St Mary’s Dartmouth Park, St Michael’s Highgate and St Anne’s Highgate, where our temporary part-time office is located.

This change has proved beneficial as it is a popular location and has brought us closer to the people we seek to serve. Even after the new centre is completed, we expect to continue in this “distributed and partnership” mode, and we reflect this by having changed our name from Highgate Newtown Community Centre (HNCC) to Highgate Newtown Community Partners (HNCP).

Our new community centre building is expected to be ready for occupation late in 2022. We have agreed in principle with Camden Council to take a 20-year lease on the bottom three floors of the building. The council is offering discounted rent in recognition of our partnership and the council’s commitment to be supportive of HNCP and their value to the community. The picture is an architect’s visualisation of the entrance to the new centre, which will accessible from both Croftdown Road and Bertram Street.

We are raising money to create a welcoming, high-quality facility which brings people together and gives those who struggle financially opportunities they would not have elsewhere. We want people to feel valued when they are in the building, and that they deserve quality. Activities such as our laundry and hairdressers will be offered at cost price and art, pottery, cooking and exercise classes will be either free at the point of access or heavily subsidised for those on lower income. The café will serve fresh, affordable food, enabling those who eat by themselves day after day to share a meal with others. We are working closely with local hostels and schools to make sure that the new community centre building becomes an essential support service for people who find daily life challenging.

The centre will have a sports hall that’s large and adaptable enough to host a range of events such as job fairs and concerts, gym activities, table tennis and community meetings. There will also be several flexible meeting rooms, which can be used for classes or rented out to tenants who will provide benefit to the community. We intend the new centre to be open seven days a week, throughout the day and evening.

It will be clear to all who know us that the new building represents a steep change in the services that HNCP can bring to the community. Apart from the financial requirement, we will need to increase our staffing levels (recruitment will commence in the next few months) and to continue to strengthen our Board of Trustees with people who are willing to take on an active role in the direction of the charity. In the last six months, Tomi Ayodeji has joined our board and we would like to continue this strengthening further.

We expect fitting out the new building to cost up to £600,000, and this is our funding challenge. The council has made significant investment into the new centre, and it was always part of the agreement that the fit-out works would be undertaken by HNCP. We have so far accumulated over £220,000, and now we are on the lookout for funding of the balance from foundations, trusts, families and individuals (which could come with name recognition for funded items or parts of the centre).

If any readers can support us on this journey, or if you know of an organisation who can either contribute to our mission, or who may be interested in working in partnership with us, please get in touch with me, Stephen Hodge, on 0776850299 or by email to treasurer@hncc.org.uk.

Our Annual Report and Audited Accounts to 31st March 2021 were published last month and if you would like to review them and our financial position, please contact me.

24 September 2021
Written By hncp

Remarkable Lives app launch

Wednesday 26th September 2018 will see the official launch in London of the Remarkable Lives app at the Highgate Newtown Community Centre.

The App is designed to capture life histories and at the same time improve quality of life, wellbeing and care.

Taking a positive approach to challenges of an ageing population Remarkable Lives, the social impact startup and Challenge Dementia Finalist, is tackling loneliness and isolation, compounded by negative perceptions of later life, against the backdrop of fragmented families, communities and reduced connectivity between the generations.

The Remarkable Lives app builds an interactive timeline of memories for older people. But whereas traditional social networks can’t back date, and document only what’s happening in our lives in the present, Remarkable Lives is unique in chronicling people’s life stories from the beginning. And although people can enjoy using the app to record a personal memoir, its main purpose is to encourage people to help save someone else’s life story, perhaps before it’s too late. Less selfie, more selfless.

For more information contact us

20 August 2021
Written By hncp

2021 Annual Report

It has been a busy year with changing needs in the community due to covid and our redevelopment underway.

Our annual report is available to view or download now

12 August 2021
Written By hncp

Summer Camp

The 2021 kids summer camp in partnership with Brookfield School is proving to be a great success with the children. One even went so far as to say the first day was ‘the best day of my life’!

Early activities included writing plays, designing a theme park (with some fun math assistance) and launching ‘rockets’.

The location has met with general approval with the children impressed by the size of the buildings, the massive gym and the beautiful green playing spaces.

27 July 2021
Written By hncp

Farm encounter

On the 22nd July as part of an end of term party, Spitalfields Hackney City Farm brought along some farm animals for the benefit of Highgate Newtown Community Centre Under 5’s, who thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity of meeting them.

A Brazilian musician was also present to sing and play the guitar during this fun session.

Parent/Carer feedback was amazing and there were smiles all round from the little ones as well as the grown ups. Over 120 adults and children came along in total. Two sessions were necessary to accommodate everyone.

A big thank you to everyone who made this event possible including Andrew, the whole HNCC and Hackney City Farm staff and our funders.

6 June 2021
Written By hncp

Birthday Tea Parties start 24th June

Starting on Sunday the 24th of June.

If you have a June birthday this is your party. Come to the HNCC and celebrate with others who have birthdays in the same month. The celebration may be about birthdays, but the party is for everyone! A special afternoon for our very valued service users.

This is the first month for this new initiative. Birthday Tea Parties will be running on the last Sunday of each month from now on.

If you would like more information about Birthday Tea Parties, please do get in touch with Larraine.

Revah.larraine@outlook.com, 0207 272 7201