Blog Archives

We threw a Mad Hatter's tea party at Belsize Community Library to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Arthur Rackham’s birthday and Camden's intergenerational week. Arthur Rackham was a local artist famous for his illustrations of Alice in Wonderland and Fairy Tale books. We invited guests from Kilburn Older Voices Exchange and Elfrida Rathbone, who enjoyed live music, tea and cakes and a special guest visit from the Mayor. We were very happy to see guests from both organisations enjoying the party, chatting, dancing and  making new friends.

Our Connecting Parents Halloween party was an absolute hit! Over 40 parents and children came along to enjoy our ghoulish games and terrifying treats. Everyone took part in wrap the mummy competitions, Halloween games and pumpkin carving then treated themselves to berry blood drinks. Children had a go at painting their own faces, with some very scary results…

This Autumn we have 8 new members of the Winch team: (l-r) Analiese, Kai, Muna, Wendy, Bengisu, Radwan, Aniso and Rawdat (not pictured), have joined us as Young Researchers on our pilot programme, Take Back The Power.

Take Back the Power is a Participatory Action Research project, as well as an employability programme for 15-18 year olds who are preparing for life beyond school and who are passionate about social change. 

The programme was co-designed with four young people, over the past year, who felt passionate about challenging injustice, but didn’t feel like they had the opportunity to, between the pressures of achieving at school and having to work at the same time.

Take Back the Power employs these young people to undertake a research project about a topic on which they are experts, which they feel is either misrepresented or underrepresented in the mainstream. By learning traditional and creative research methods they will deepen their understanding of their own experiences and then decide what can be done about it and how to create positive change.

Now halfway through the process, the group have decided to look at experiences of the Education System, from their perspective as young students of colour, from working class backgrounds. Questions they have thought about include: How has nine years of austerity affected their opportunities? Do they feel that schooling helps them live in the world they want to live in? How does Social Media play into their education? Does school feel like a way out, or a cycle keeping them trapped in disadvantage? Watch this space to find out more! And in the meantime you can stay up to date with the researchers by following their blog:


This half-term our week long playscheme had an ‘Animal Kingdom’ theme. As usual we took part in lots of play and developmental activities such as making safari soup and animal masks, as well as having a roaring time playing outside and in the gym. The children went on some great trips, such as visiting 360 where even our youngest children managed to face their fears and conquer the (very high!) climbing wall.

The North Camden Zone and the Camden Sure Start Integrated Early Years Service will be holding a joint workshop on Thursday 9th November at Belsize Community Library. The workshop will give people the chance to hear the views of parents, as well as people working in services for families and children in North Camden- focusing from pregnancy to age 5 years. The workshop is a fantastic opportunity to help us shape the proposed new North Camden Early Years Network and find out what would work best for both parents and providers.

We are excited to welcome people to hear about upcoming activities and events, meet parents and people who work in the services, as well as share ideas on how to improve services for North Camden families with under 5s. 

Please register for the event at There will be a creche provided, so please make sure to tick the box for this when you register if you need the service. For any other information please email

We are very excited to be chosen by The Childhood Trust for this year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge.  We will be raising money for our summer activities in the week from Tuesday 28th November- Tuesday 5th December. In this week all the donations made will be doubled! We will be sending out more information in a few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for how to get involved.

Introducing our new Chief Executive

We are looking forward to welcoming our new Chief Executive, Rashid Iqbal, at the end of October. Rashid has worked to improve the futures of children and young people for nearly 2 decades, most recently at the London Early Years Foundation and the Children's Society. He'll be getting to know us for a few days, and then will be reaching out to the community to make connections in November.

Back to Kew Gardens We Go!

For the second time this summer, Connecting Parents had an outing to Kew Gardens. 24 people, 12 mums and their children from age 1-13 attended, and a great time was had by all. After the success of the first outing, a new group of parents was put together so that more people could be part of this great experience.

We started in the playground, where we had a lovely picnic lunch and some play time. After that we explored the grounds, taking in the lovely spaces and greenery as we walked from place to place. We worked our way to the top of the treetop walkway and spent some time in the greenhouses. Thank you Kew Gardens for two wonderful days out!

Connecting Parents School Years Group - Move to Belsize Community Library

The Winch has successfully run parent groups for the under 5s for a number of years, so it was an exciting development this year when we extended this support and started a group for local parents with school-aged children, providing them with a space to share, learn and connect. We recognise that parents and carers with children of all ages benefit from sharing ideas with their peers, receiving emotional and practical support, getting involved in activities for themselves or just having a chat.

The school-years group had a good start with a number of parents getting involved in a range of workshops, discussions and trips. This summer we moved location just up the road to Belsize Community Library, joining forces with our already well-established Connecting Parents group for parents with children under 5s. The move to the library offers a bridge to existing parents to remain engaged even as their children get older and start school and is an inviting and friendly space for new parents to come and join the fun.

Connecting Parents School Years is a free drop-in group on Thursdays 10am-12pm. It offers parents and carers the opportunity to connect and collaborate with each other and other organisations as well as providing fun activities for younger children not in school. The group aims to reduce isolation and provide a space for parents to enjoy positive activities such as cooking, fitness and workshops as well as meeting up with and sharing experiences with other parents. Parents are also encouraged to lead on delivering activities and often share their skills and talents. The group is for all parents with school-aged children or younger and runs term time and during holidays.

For more information please contact Zenobia Talati: or 07594373203


A Wild Ride with the Winch Youth Team

The Winch Youth Team provided over 100 places on trips this summer, including opportunities to climb, ice skate, visit the revamped Dreamland in Margate, (supported by Camden Council and alongside Sidings Youth Club), spend a day on the beach in Camber and go to Thorpe Park.

We met new young people who’d never been to The Winch before and their families, and we had a lot of fun. We experienced real drama when some of us got stuck upside down for a few minutes on a ride, and we celebrated the end of summer, coupled with providing support for people who’d just received exam results, at a barbeque for over 50 of the summer’s participants.

Young people also practised their photography skills on the Dreamland trip, using some disposable cameras (which were kindly discounted by Snappy Snaps). Here are the results!