Blog Archives

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!

Our Play team and After School Club children really got into the Christmas spirit with some amazing decorations in the play room and lots of activities and events. The Christmas trip this year saw our team take 64 (!) children to Vue cinema to see Paddington 2. They were accompanied by 4 lovely Starbucks Finchley Road staff who came to join the fun.

On the 6th December, 4 staff volunteers from Bank of America came to host a Christmas party. The Bank of America staff cooked up a storm in the kitchen making naan bread with green houmous and chicken. The staff were kind enough to provide all the food for the event and all the activity supplies. Children decorated their own Christmas baubles and made beautiful paper chains with lots of different colours. The event celebrates the end of our 2 year partnership with Bank of America over which they have made a huge difference to our children and the work we do in Play. They have left us with many happy memories and a Christmas present of a sand and water tray to go in the playground.

Our Play children were very excited to benefit from the Angel project with the American School, through which each of the Play children got a present. The project is coordinated by parents from the American School and presents were wrapped by some of our lovely volunteers, led by Annette. This year we asked for books and stationary and we are very excited to see all our lovely gifts on Christmas morning!

We met a really kind supporter at the Hall School football festival who has bought a new football kit for our Play teams (Winch FC), which is very exciting. We will be showing off the kit at our matches from January. Thank you to Ace sports who made the kit and gave us a discount and free kit bag!

We would like to say a big thank you to St John’s Women’s Club who raised £1,063! The donations will be used to replace some of our toys in Play and bring lots of joy to all our after school club and Playscheme children.

We are proud to say that our Big Give Campaign went over target raising an amazing £11,637.50 over the week. Thanks to all the generous supporters we have now funded our planned summer 2018 activities for Play and Youth.

We had a great Christmas Party for our Transitions youth group on Tuesday 12th December. The young people loved playing the new Fifa 18 game, which they played for the first time at the Christmas party. They also took part in a talent show including dancing from young people who have never danced before, singing, and one young person who played the guitar. We wrapped up the party (and ourselves!) with a tremendous game of Twister.

North Camden Zone Seeks New Steering Group Chair

North Camden Zone are looking for a Chair for their Steering Group who is passionate about improving the life outcomes for children and young people in Camden. You may be a community leader or senior professional with an in depth knowledge and /or experience of the issues that affect children and young people. You are interested in a collaborative approach involving the community and professionals, and implementing place based systems change.


If you would like to find out more please follow this link. The closing date is 16th of February 2018.

Anna is very excited to be joining the team at the Winch as the Programme Coordinator for Young Adults. Before joining, she spent her time designing and delivering personal development programmes for young people and adults, most recently at JW3, a Jewish Arts and Community Centre. When she was there, her projects included initiating a pioneering interfaith programme for teenage girls, running a youth leadership course and producing the ‘Festival of the Mind’. 

Anna completed a postgraduate fellowship with Year Here in Social Leadership and Enterprise and worked in the fast-paced world of advertising. With a Certificate in Counselling Skills and a background in drama, she brings person-centered thinking and creativity into the design process and looks forward to coordinating The Company and to expanding the offer to young adults at The Winch.

CLICK HERE to support The Winch in the Big Give Christmas Challenge

This year we have entered the Big Give Christmas Challenge to fund our summer activities for next year. As the UK’s biggest match funding event, the Big Give is an exciting opportunity for us and our supporters to have their donations doubled- so that every donation makes twice the impact.

Our summer Playscheme and activities for young people mean that children can access the support and opportunities they deserve all year round. This year over 60 children attended our Playscheme every day, where they were able to spend the day making, playing, learning, getting messy, going on trips and in the care of our fantastic team of dedicated Play Workers.

We have made sure that our Playscheme is affordable for every parent and provide free places where they are needed. This means that every parent can access the best childcare and opportunities for their child over the summer- so that they can go to work and their children can spend the day in a nurturing, safe and stimulating environment.

Our youth activities and trips provide a much needed break for young people who might struggle to get out of their local area in the holidays. This year The Winch Youth Team provided over 100 places on trips, including opportunities to climb, ice skate, visit the revamped Dreamland in Margate, spend a day on the beach in Camber Sands and go to Thorpe Park. For some young people these were the only times that they were able to take a break from pressures such as those within school, chaotic home environments and gangs.

Important questions!

When is the Big Give?: The Big Give Christmas Challenge runs from Tuesday 28th November (#GivingTuesday) at 12:00 and runs until 12:00 on Tuesday 5th December.

How much is The Winch raising?: We have a target of £10,600 to fund our summer activities- but we can go over our target!

What is match funding?: Match funding means that every donation that we receive before we hit our target will be matched by a Winch Champion or by the Childhood Trust- so that when you donate £20.00, they donate £20.00 and we receive £40.00


CLICK HERE to donate

Our Transitions youth group took 24 young people on a trip to Lush Oxford Street this half term, in search of adventures, bubbles and fun. They had a great time exploring the shop in teams with some of the fantastic Lush shop assistants who were happy to teach us  a lot about what all the different ingredients do and helped us to discover lots of new smells. They then took part in bubble making competitions, shower gel coloured high-fives and testing the biggest bath bomb they had ever seen! The group were very excited to make one of the Lush products (The Comforter- a fruity bubble bar made with blackcurrant), mixing the ingredients and colours together themselves before moulding it into a shape of their choice. Thanks for having us Lush!