Blog Archives

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.


Following the success of their first meeting, North Camden Zone and the Camden Sure Start Integrated Early YearsService are organising the second meeting of the North Camden Early Years Network. The meeting will focus on vulnerable families and their challenges in accessing ; and will explore ideas around how organisations can mitigate these challenges. Experts in the area will be present to share their experience. Both parents and professionals are welcome! Please book your place here

We  are very happy to say that our Family Meals sessions are once again in full swing, now taking place on the third Wednesday of each month. The new sessions have added in a discussion group for the parents on topics that are of interest to them, while the children watch a film. Last month we had Noel Janis-Norton speak on a "calmer, easier, happier approach to screen time". To support our efforts, the wonderfully generous staff of the Meliá Hotel are volunteering to cook, serve and clean up the meal.  

The Library will be hosting a session for people aged 60+ who would like some extra support using technology. The Techie Tea will be held on Wednesday 7th March from 11-3pm and is free to attend, we look forward to seeing lots of people there and learning some new skills.

As usual our Early Years sessions have been very busy with parents and babies. The Connecting Parents group had a fun trip to the Science Museum, stopping off on the way to watch the skaters outside the Natural History Museum and enjoying a hot chocolate in the snow! Many parents tell us they don’t always have the confidence to travel into central London with their children on their own, so it was brilliant to open up the City to our group.

The Connecting Parents Christmas party was lots of fun and buzzing with playful parents, excited staff and toddlers and a good few sleepy babies all celebrating the end of a great year, with many lasting friendships made and helpful information and memorable experiences shared. Parents and their little ones got stuck in to festive crafts, cake decorating and singing and each child that came was given a Christmas present to take home, kindly donated by Little Village.

A wonderful time was also had at the Cradles to Crawling Christmas Party.  We had a festive Bring and Share and play time for babies, whilst the Games Room was turned into a mini spa for the parents, with head massages, reflexology and spiritual healing.

On Tuesday 19th December we were lucky enough to get a taste of what our young researchers for our Take Back The Power programme have been working on in a small, sharing event. The Participatory Action Research project has focused on the effects of the education system on the lives of young people, with the researchers visiting the May Day rooms and participating in a range of sessions from a poetry writing to a visit from Sian Berry (Greater London Assembly Member for the Green Party). The sharing event gave staff an idea of the passion and hard work which has already gone into the project, both from young people and staff. Young people talked through their processes and findings so far, as well as showing some visual work they have completed and performing some spoken word poetry written themselves for the project.

We were very happy to be joined by students and parents from The Hall School to serenade people in Swiss Cottage market area with carols on 8th December. We had a lot of fun and got many passers-by into the Christmas giving spirit, raising £236.86 from the event. Thank you to all who attended!