Len, the new Community Centre Manager, starts this month.
JAN – FEB 2021
Not the most activity-filled time in our history, thanks to Lockdown 3! A good opportunity though for us to take care of ‘behind the scenes’ work – updating some procedures, changing our bank account, giving parts of the community centre a spring clean, and keeping local people informed on sources of lockdown support elsewhere.
DECEMBER 2020 – So much going on that we produced our first community newsletter for several years to cover it all! We had:
- A successful festive wreath-making workshop with Electric Daisy Flower Farm
- A sale of locally designed festive fundraising e-cards
- Free festive lunches for those in need (both at the community centre, and delivered to the door)
- The decluttering of people’s homes to raise more funds for the centre
- A Highgate Newtown take-over of our kitchen on Christmas Day to prepare and deliver festive meals on wheels across Highgate and beyond.
You can read our newsletter online.
NOV 2020 – For the second time that , a national lockdown led to the closure of Holly Lodge Community Centre. We focused on what we could do to help vulnerable people in the community through another isolating period.
OCTOBER – Working with St Mary Brookfield, our lunch club diners, volunteers and trustees attended a moving commemoration of the life of Sabine Trumpa, a Holly Lodge resident who had volunteered at our Community Lunch Club every Monday since it began in 2015. We also welcomed Mini Mindful Musicians as a new booking to the community centre, as well as twice weekly pilates classes with Anna Longmuir.
SEPTEMBER – Once we were certified as ‘Covid-secure’, we finalised plans to (temporarily, as it turned out) resume our Monday lunch clubs. Alas the arrival of a second Covid wave meant these could not continue in the short term. Thankfully, we were able to reopen our main hall, kitchen and side room for external hire.
AUGUST is normally a quieter time for the community centre. This year though we have the unusual focus of ‘Covid-19 proofing’. In other words, making sure that we were ready to resume a more normal level of service, such as with our weekly lunch clubs, and hired activities, from early autumn, when it became safe to do so.
By the start of JULY, we’d worked in partnership with Camden Council’s sheltered housing team to deliver an outdoor, socially distanced theatre performance for the residents who live immediately above the community centre. This Brazilian-themed performance was delivered for free by SeeThrough Theatre.
In JUNE we held a Covid-19 Volunteers’ Zoom party to thank all the Holly Lodge Estate residents giving their time to support neighbours with shopping, prescriptions and other Covid-19 needs. Thank you gifts for our volunteers were kindly donated by The Gatehouse in Highgate Village, and Citro Restaurant, on Swains Lane.
Holly Lodge Community Centre also became the new home of a local meals on wheels service (initially set up at Brookfield Primary School) to support local people who could not access or cook hot meals during the coronavirus crisis.
MAY – we received employee volunteer support from three colleagues at Danone to help draw up a social media strategy for the community centre – all the more important at a time when we were continuing to promote our essential Covid-19 services as far and wide as possible. Our thanks go to Ermance Roussotte, Chris Tunks and Katie Llewellyn at Danone UK.
APRIL – our first tentative steps in the world of social media. Holly Lodge Community Centre can now be found on Facebook and Twitter. Do give us a ‘like’ at your leisure, or a ‘retweet’ sometime!
EASTER – we distributed 60+ Lindt Easter eggs to children of all ages on the estate, donated to us via Highgate Newtown Community Centre.
MARCH – the Community Centre had a defibrillator fitted to the front of our building, one of three defibrillators on the Estate. (The others can be found inside Tesco Express on Swains Lane, and outside the Holly Lodge Estate offices on Holly Lodge Gardens).
FEBRUARY 2020 – we were joined by Mike Towers in his new role as Community Centre Manager. Mike’s part-time post is funded for 3 years by the National Lottery Community Fund.