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Here’s a few snippets on what’s been going on behind the scenes this year…

  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Easter – we distributed 60+ Lindt Easter eggs to children of all ages on the estate, donated to us via Highgate Newtown Community Centre.
  • Early 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!
  • 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.
  • 1st June – Holly Lodge Community Centre 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.
  • 19th June – we held a 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.
  • By the start of July, once weather had permitted, 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.
  • 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 are ready to resume a more normal level of service, such as with our weekly lunch clubs, and hired activities, from early autumn, assuming it is safe to do so.
  • 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.
  • October – Working with St Mary Brookfield, our lunch club diners, volunteers and trustees were able to attend a moving commemoration of the life of Sabine Trumpa, a Holly Lodge resident who had volunteered at our Monday lunch club since it first 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.