17 4 / 2014

It’s Katherine Low Settlement’s 90th birthday year and Easter is upon us, so to celebrate we held an Easter Egg Hunt for 110+ families on Tuesday. It was a joyous affair, eagerly anticipated by the young ones who could barely contain their excitement as they arrived. Many came in fancy dress, others had their faces painted. All had one thing on their mind. Chocolate.

And then they were off, following the trail (well most of them did) around Fred Wells Gardens, solving the clues and discovering the eggs. One little boy was so successful, such was his enthusiasm, that he found 50 eggs! And was asked to kindly put some back for the others. All the children came away with a sugar rush, plus chocolates and prizes, kindly donated by local businesses (thank you).

Hana from our Love To Learn project, said to me afterwards, that what she’d really enjoyed seeing was the variety of different people coming together, from KLS’ family of partners and services. Community in action.

My thanks must go to Anita and Michael, and everyone else that mucked in and helped. They all did a fantastic job in organising such a great day.

Our next 2 events are:

  • 1st May, 6pm, Battersea Question Time – an opportunity to ask the questions you want from local candidates standing in local elections.
  • 17th May, 11am, KLS’ Official Birthday Party – an open house event for all local residents and groups to help us celebrate our 90th birthday.

Do come and join us. In the meantime do have a very Happy Easter.  

13 4 / 2014

Growing our Own – Strengthening the Infrastructure 

 

 

It’s been a busy year growing Katherine Low Settlement’s internal infrastructure – working with Tracy (our Admin & Premises Manager of 22 years) to strengthen our finances, ensure we meet our legal obligations, further develop our staff and volunteers and improve our building facilities. All in all so that we can offer a bigger and better service for local people. For example, we’ve already doubled the number of local organisations and community groups using our rooms every week to provide their own services and activities.

 

 

My attention has also turned to strengthening the local voluntary and community sector infrastructure of Battersea and Wandsworth. For when I arrived last year I found the charity sector to be fragmented, at times not working together or working strategically. That old adage of ‘together we are stronger’ still stands true today.

 

 

So with our partners (as it’s always a team effort) we’ve:

 

* built up the Battersea Community Forum from 50 to over 230 members

* worked with the Wandsworth Older People’s Forum and Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group to develop a cross-borough preventative service for local older people

* are in the process of setting up with the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, the Wandsworth Charities Network that will bring local charities and businesses closer together

* and finally we’ve been elected as Vice-Chair for the London Regional Network of Locality – the nationwide network for community-led organisations.

 

Firm foundations are rooted in strong and trusting relationships, which come with time (and effort). This partnership work will enable us all to continue to build stronger communities and ultimately support more local people. Long may it continue to grow.

Growing our Own – Strengthening the Infrastructure

 

 

It’s been a busy year growing Katherine Low Settlement’s internal infrastructure – working with Tracy (our Admin & Premises Manager of 22 years) to strengthen our finances, ensure we meet our legal obligations, further develop our staff and volunteers and improve our building facilities. All in all so that we can offer a bigger and better service for local people. For example, we’ve already doubled the number of local organisations and community groups using our rooms every week to provide their own services and activities.

 

 

My attention has also turned to strengthening the local voluntary and community sector infrastructure of Battersea and Wandsworth. For when I arrived last year I found the charity sector to be fragmented, at times not working together or working strategically. That old adage of ‘together we are stronger’ still stands true today.

 

 

So with our partners (as it’s always a team effort) we’ve:

 

* built up the Battersea Community Forum from 50 to over 230 members

* worked with the Wandsworth Older People’s Forum and Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group to develop a cross-borough preventative service for local older people

* are in the process of setting up with the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, the Wandsworth Charities Network that will bring local charities and businesses closer together

* and finally we’ve been elected as Vice-Chair for the London Regional Network of Locality – the nationwide network for community-led organisations.

 

Firm foundations are rooted in strong and trusting relationships, which come with time (and effort). This partnership work will enable us all to continue to build stronger communities and ultimately support more local people. Long may it continue to grow.

13 4 / 2014

Ode to a Bad Back 

“If you do nothing, nothing will change” 
                                                   (Steve Hefferon, The Healthy Back Institute)
 
Oh how this applies to so many things in life.

Ode to a Bad Back

“If you do nothing, nothing will change”

                                                   (Steve Hefferon, The Healthy Back Institute)

 

Oh how this applies to so many things in life.

13 4 / 2014

Keith Chapman recognised with a Wandsworth Civic Award
 
Keith Chapman has been honoured with a Wandsworth Civic Award after 40 years of service as a volunteer and Trustee of Katherine Low Settlement. He joined our Board of Trustees as a young accountant in 1973, and soon became our Treasurer – a role which he presided over until his retirement at the end of last year. He kept a steady hand on our finances and brought it through mixed times, from when we struggled to today’s successful, thriving hub of activity at the heart of the community. 
 
He and his firm gave much to KLS in terms of finance support – payroll, book keeping and management accounts, end of year accounts, budgeting, help with fundraising (and the list goes on) as well as his advice – Keith was always available at the end of the phone, day or night. 
 
Well done and thank you Keith you thoroughly deserve Wandsworth’s Civic Award!

Keith Chapman recognised with a Wandsworth Civic Award

 

Keith Chapman has been honoured with a Wandsworth Civic Award after 40 years of service as a volunteer and Trustee of Katherine Low Settlement. He joined our Board of Trustees as a young accountant in 1973, and soon became our Treasurer – a role which he presided over until his retirement at the end of last year. He kept a steady hand on our finances and brought it through mixed times, from when we struggled to today’s successful, thriving hub of activity at the heart of the community.

 

He and his firm gave much to KLS in terms of finance support – payroll, book keeping and management accounts, end of year accounts, budgeting, help with fundraising (and the list goes on) as well as his advice – Keith was always available at the end of the phone, day or night.

 

Well done and thank you Keith you thoroughly deserve Wandsworth’s Civic Award!

09 4 / 2014

Katherine Low Settlement is 90 this year, having been officially opened on 17th May 1924 by HRH Duchess of York (who became the Queen with George VI and later the Queen Mum), to crowds of epic proportions. We are a local charity based in Battersea (Wandsworth), named in memory of Katherine Low. Katie (as she was known) was a rich and active philanthropist mainly with the United School Girls Mission and as Treasurer of the Peckham Settlement. Upon her death in 1923 her friends, influenced by Booth’s poverty maps, decided that Battersea was an area in need of support, and so established the Settlement, building on charitable work that has been going on in our centre since 1888. We plan to publish our history later in the year.

Our founding principle of working ‘with’, not doing things ‘to’ people remains, as does the community spirit and strong relationships that we continue to build with a wide cross section of Battersea’s residents. As it is community organisations, such as KLS, who are builders of communities, who provide part of the glue that bring people together. For it is when we know one another that a relationship forms, built on trust, respect, care and reciprocity, and so enables us to do things together. Strong relationships are at the heart of everything we do, whether that be with organisation we’ve helped form over the last 90 years, to someone we welcomed for the first time yesterday.

This year we are celebrating primarily through growing and expanding our work and services with children & families, older people, newly-arrived communities (and in the near future with unemployed people). But we’re also throwing the odd party or two. Save the following dates and do join us:

  • 15th April (Easter Egg Hunt)
  • 1st May (Battersea Question Time)
  • 17th May (our official birthday party)

I know that we can only be as good as we are today, judged on our current performance, not living off past glories. But it is important at times to take stock, to reflect and celebrate what’s worked, and learn from what hasn’t, so that together we can become stronger and continue to serve the community for another 90 years. I do hope that you’ll join us in our birthday celebrations.

07 4 / 2014

A BIG Thank You to those that are helping us make our forthcoming Easter Egg Hunt a truly special day. We really appreciate your support, as, “together we are stronger”.

A BIG Thank You to those that are helping us make our forthcoming Easter Egg Hunt a truly special day. We really appreciate your support, as, “together we are stronger”.

07 4 / 2014

21 2 / 2014

To kick off Katherine Low Settlement’s 90th birthday celebrations we hosted a Volunteers Award evening on 23rd January. The Mayor, Cllr Angela Graham, presented 139 Wandsworth Volunteer Pins, and placed them on the borough’s ‘Roll of Honour for Volunteering’, in recognition and thanks of our volunteer’s massive contribution to building stronger communities in Battersea and Wandsworth.  

Check out photos of the event here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/z1mz57sxp8sgrso/wqSruMw5B_

Katherine Low Settlement has a long tradition of volunteering. Like many charities the Settlement was founded in 1924 by a dedicated group of volunteers, and that calling which people have to help out, give back, get involved as a volunteer is still as strong today. Volunteers are our lifeblood. Without whom we simply would not be able to exist, let alone provide the breadth of work that we do – for example, volunteering in our crèche, helping at our older people’s lunch club, teaching an ESOL class, as a learning mentor, helping at our Wednesday homework club, gardening with our Love To Learn young people, welcoming our visitors at our reception…  

Our eldest volunteer is 89 and our youngest 14. John is our longest serving volunteer having racked up 52 years, and our most recent started with us last week. I spoke with one of our volunteers two weeks ago and this is her story: Mary first came to Katherine Low six years ago to learn English in one of our ESOL classes. She spent two years learning and that got her to a level where she was able to attend South Thames College to advance her studies. After another year her English was good enough for her to get a job (which she still has), and now she has returned to us as a volunteer to give something back.

As our Chair, Margaret Robson, and the Mayor both echoed in their speeches we gain a tremendous amount from our volunteers, but it goes both ways and they benefit too: Mel, came to us from Jobcentre Plus, having been a carer for her elderly mum for several years. She volunteers on our reception, as she sees this as a stepping stone back into work (having been out of the workforce for many years). She’s great, so helpful, charming, welcoming with our visitors, takes the initiative answering queries and directing people to where they need to go. Mel’s confidence is definitely growing and she’s applying (with a bit of support from us) for more and more jobs – she’ll get one soon.

If you would like to volunteer with Katherine Low Settlement then please get in touch with Aaron on 020 7223 2845, aaron@klsettlement.org.uk or drop by at 108 Battersea high Street, London SW11 3HP.

17 2 / 2014

Dear All,

You are warmly invited to attend Katherine Low Settlement’s

90th Birthday Celebration!

Saturday 17th May 2014

Arrive at 10.30am for a prompt start at 11am

Fun activities for everyone at the Settlement until 3pm

  • Dignitaries & Celebrities
  • Bands, DJs & Choirs
  • Dance performances
  • Food & Drink
  • Sports to watch & to try out
  • Competitions
  • Face painting
  • Bouncy castle
  • Tea dance
  • A wonderful day for all ages!

RSVP

Tracy Frostick                          020 7223 2845

Katherine Low Settlement          tracy@klsettlement.org.uk

108 Battersea High Street, London SW11 3HP

I hope you’ll join us and I look forward to seeing you on 17th May.

Best Wishes,

Aaron

P.S. Please pass on this invitation to any friends, colleagues, neighbours, family who you think would like to celebrate with us.

P.P.S. No need to bring any birthday presents with you on the day!

20 6 / 2013

This half-term the WoW Mums (a group, in part born out of KLS) had planned to take their families through Swinley forest on bikes for some fresh air, but it was raining the whole day so they changed their plan at the last minute and went to Corral Reef Water Park in Bracknell Forest instead.

 

Senia Dedic, founder of WoW Mums, has written a little note about the day.

"The children and parents loved it as we could all join in the flume rides and splash in the waves.

'It was so fun to go to an amazing water park on such a wet day,' said Sandra Munoz; and Adam Hamidani, 6 year old, from Falconbrook school, said about the day 'I loved being with my friends!'.

WoW Mums are very grateful to Katherine Low Settlement for letting us use their community minibus during half term and making this trip affordable for our local families who would not be able to visit Coral Reef in Bracknell forest otherwise.”

 

We’re glad everyone had such a great day out.