Blog Archives

Cohort 11 of The Company is now over half way through the programme and so far we have had some amazing guest speakers deliver sessions for the Associates. Last week The Company had sessions by Birdsong Co-Founder, Sophie Slater, who talked about the realities of running a fashion business and how to get started on a budget. Nik Crabtree who is the Lead Engineer Principal Software Engineer for ASOS also delivered a session on how to sell online. This week we have start-up expert Robert Swerling, coming to deliver an evening workshop for past and present Associates of the programme on how to grow a business.

Recruitment for cohort 12 has started and the programme is looking to kick off near the end of June. If you are or know someone with an entrepreneurial spark who would like to hone their skills, get in touch with to hear more about the programme.

We are looking for a volunteer referee for our five-a-side football fundraiser on Saturday 12th May. The matches will be in Camden from 10:00-14:00 and will be helping us to hold a fun event which will raise some funds for The Winch. Please get in touch with if you're interested- especially if you have some experience of playing or refereeing five or seven a side football games!

We are very excited to be receiving a new dishwasher generously paid for by BNP Paribas, which will make life much easier for all the kitchen users in The Winch, from staff to parents groups to our after school club children. We greatly appreciate their donation and send many thanks for their support!

We would like to say a big thank you to Dan Sandman and the Friends of Belsize Community Library for hosting a wonderful fundraising concert on Saturday 21st April. The concert featured the talented musical duo, Angharad and Dan Sandman.
Dan led the concert in the first half playing a mix of classical and contemporary guitar pieces and his own compositions. Angharad enchanted the second half with her classical piano 'tone poems'. The grand finale featured the duet belting out some ABBA hits, tunes all could tap their toes to. We were able to catch up with Dan following the concert who shared, “It was fantastic to see the library full of happy faces from across the social spectrum listening to classical music live. The support I had from the community was outstanding and I will certainly be hosting many more events for Belsize Park Community Library soon. Watch this space!”.
Our CEO, Rashid Iqbal, spoke briefly to thank the audience and the Friends of Belsize Library for their generosity and spirit, without which it would be very difficult to maintain the library as a community space for everyone to enjoy.

This year The Winch’s AGM will be held on Wednesday 28th March 2018 at 19:00. As well as the usual AGM business we will be having an early Celebration of International Children’s Book Day (April 2nd) with some speeches on favourite books from some children, young people and parents. We would love to see you there, so please get in touch to let us know you’re coming at

We are very proud to share that The Winch won the Outstanding Creative Response Award for the year from Tender, an arts and education charity teaching about healthy relationships through drama. According to Tender: " the commitment The Winch has shown to ending domestic abuse and violence and promoting healthy relationships in the lives of children and young people has been exceptional." A team of young people and youth workers who participated in the Tender project attended the awards ceremony, where award givers included Team GB Hockey Player and Gold Medal Olympian Crista Cullen, Sky Sports journalist Olivia Wayne and award-winning actress Olivia Colman. Two young people from The Winch performed a spoken word poem they wrote for their performance at Soho Theatre. Thank you Tender and a huge well done to The Winch Youth Team and young people who participated in the project!

In autumn last year, a group of young people aged 15-18 started Take Back The Power, a Participatory Action Research project hosted by The Winch. They were trained and employed as researchers to explore experiences of an injustice which affects them directly. Over the past four months, using storytelling, interviews, visual arts and spoken word, they chose to explore experiences of race and racism in the education system. Saturday 24th February saw the group host TAKE BACK THE POWER PRESENTS; an event to springboard their findings into action. With a mixture of performances, interactive workshops and discussion, an audience was invited to join the young researchers in asking: As young people of colour, how do we challenge racism and Take Back The Power in our education? The event was a great success in showcasing the talent and hard work of the young researchers as well as providing opportunities for the audience to engage with the issue in workshops and through open mic performances.







February Play scheme was a huge success and our children had loads of fun exploring, experimenting, socialising, learning and of course playing. We had 74 children registered for a week of (very busy!) activities. Amongst other things we celebrated Valentine’s Day, Pancake Day and Chinese New Year. Activities included: making Valentines secret boxes and cards, Wood burning, cotton candy play dough, frozen fruit lollipops, dance machine competition and fuss-ball tournament, just to name a few! The children also participated in sports and physical activities in the gym, pitch and adventure. Playscheme children were very excited to participate in activities outside The Winch building, too, with two trips to Quasar in Enfield and another to watch 'Early Man' at the cinema. Our next play scheme is during Easter and will operate for 9 days!


Connecting Parents had a great trip over half term to Kentish Town City Farm. It was a lovely day with 10 parents coming along with their infant children and teenagers. They were lucky enough to have a guided tour of the farm where they found out lots of interesting animal facts, got to stroke the animals and the highlight was seeing a new-born baby lamb, less than a day old. It was great to make use of a local provision, which many of the parents had not visited before, but who are now keen to return. At our last Connecting Parents session the parents cooked up a feast for us to share and eat together, not a crumb was left! The delicious food included some wonderful Somali dishes and a cous cous salad. The parents loved it so much we have decided to make it a monthly occurrence.

The tenth cohort of The Company went to Margate for two nights to focus on preparing their pitches, which they presented to a panel of judges on Tuesday 20th February at the MediaCom offices. Thank you MediaCom! In addition to working hard, the group enjoyed a walk along the beach with fish and chips and a trip to the Turner gallery. The past weeks also saw the return of many past Associates from The Company joining us for an evening of screen printing. The Company is now recruiting for young adults to join its eleventh cohort so if you are someone or know someone with an entrepreneurial spark who want to develop an idea, then get in touch with for more information.