Blog Archives

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!

Just One Person...

We were very impressed by one of our volunteers, Jungmin, who started volunteering with us a couple of years ago as part of the Duke of Edinburgh programme (which usually lasts about 6 weeks). She liked Belsize Library so much that she continues to come in every Wednesday after school to help out!

This summer Jungmin has raised £1,000 through sponsored reads and selling interesting and cool stationary that she'd purchased in Korea. We are so proud and grateful to have such an amazing volunteer. Thank you so much, Jungmin, for your help, compassion and dedication!

Around the World in 28 Days

We had an amazing time at our summer playscheme.

Over the course of our 4 week scheme we welcomed 93 children, who spent their time creating, inventing and exploring in a play space filled with a diverse range of activities and play opportunities. Our theme this year was 'four continents of the world'.

Our fantastic  Play team devised an exciting programme incorporating the culture, arts, music and traditions of 13 countries with activities ranging from making Inca masks, shaman beads, African clay masks, Nbele huts, Kimono dolls, and Salvador Dali clocks, to cooking delicious traditional foods such as Peruvian stewed chicken, Ghanaian red red with plantain, Spanish frittata, and Saudi Arabian sambousek.

Children had lots of fun and excitement visiting Chessington, Flip Out, 360 indoor Adventure, Kidszania, Drusillas Park and celebrating National Play Day, which was held at Corams Fields.

We ended our scheme with many outstanding performances in our Talent Show and, although it poured with rain, our customary celebration BBQ. The BBQ was supported by Bank of America volunteers, who helped  with music, dancing, face painting, tattoos, limbo and both the staff and the children's favourite game... Dangling Doughnuts!

Nine Year Journey Reaches Final Stretch

We would like our closest Winch family and friends to know that after almost nine years, our CEO Paul Perkins will be moving on from the organisation to accept a new role with Save the Children. Although we are saddened by his departure, we are confident that our team can continue to build on the hard work and vision that Paul has instilled during his time here. We kindly ask that you bear with us until September when we will be able to announce more information on any new appointments.

Written by Ruqiya Osman

After returning from volunteering in Calais in October I did a little research to find out what is being done here, at home, in our communities to help migrants/asylum seekers. Amongst many other things, I noticed that there was a lack in fun community projects that bring people together. As spring rolled in I spent some time talking to Andre and Lita (Youth Workers at The Winch) about the different ideas I had. One of them being Iftar meals at The Winch during the month of Ramadan. As we further explored the idea it became more apparent that this was it!  

We teamed up with an organization called NOMAD (Nations of Migration Awakening the Diaspora) who run a migrant youth project. The ladies who run the organization helped us to plan and we invited all of their young people to join us too. We also invited some young people from UCL Academy as well as Former Camden Council Leader Sarah Hayward.  

We held the event every Thursday for four weeks starting from the 1st of June through the 22ndThe young people from UCL made a banner over the four weeks with the idea behind it being to make something that represents what a community means to us. Everyone who attended the event chose a word that describes community to them and painted it on the banner. 

Before the meal we had a brief workshop before we cooked together, set up the play room and at roughly 9:20 we sat down to eat.  Around 40 to 50 people came every week and by the last event everyone was familiar with each other, despite coming from different backgrounds we all connected through food, laughter and common interests.  















Thank you to everyone who attended and supported!! See you all at the next one. 


Six young people, one new staff member, and the ambition to succeed in all aspects of life. This is what The Company emulated this past spring. In February 2017, The Winch welcomed the eighth cohort of The Company along with new post-secondary coordinator Joe Oxley.  The Company is an initiative to build, support and evolve the business minds and ideas of 18 to 25 year olds in and around Camden.The beginning of the ten-week programme included a series of inductions, team work challenges, and group sessions. During the remainder of the course, the young people had workshops with MediaCom, Media Trust, and Bank of America. Additionally, they participated in two sessions with the former programme co-coordinator Frankie Taylor, two classes with marketing master Jamie Romaine, a session with former Provide associate Matt nation and lastly, a social media workshop with Westminster Kingsway College associate Wendy Breakell.



















Meet our investment recipients

Billy Ward Tucker
Business: Digits.Four.Five.Six.

A Camden native photographer, Billy’s passion lies within the realms of street culture, music and trainers. His brand is aimed at working alongside other creative young people and helping capture their big break. Billy is honing his aesthetic and planning on using his investment for a variety of courses, equipment, and completion of his websites. He has already been involved in a number of workshops with Nike and test shoots with local musicians.


Femi Agbebi
Business: Sink or Swim

Premium alternative street-wear with a positive message. Femi has jumped in on trading through the Big Cartel, having test traded and sampled successfully. He is taking part in a collaboration of local designers known as the Intro Collection and will be popping up in Queens Crescent in July. Having been through a few sink or swim situations himself, Femi should be proud of his unique design ideas, concepts, and brand becoming a reality.


Sasha Whitaker
Business: Sasha’s Sandwiches

Before being part of this cohort, this idea-strung young lady had taken part in an event in which gave homeless and vulnerably housed young people the opportunity to pitch business ideas to professionals. She also won the Somers Town Sparks competition and was signposted by New Horizons Youth Centre to further develop her idea. She impressed the investment panel with her charisma and is now applying to Camden Council for a license to begin selling an assortment of sandwiches at the Swiss Cottage Market.


Laura Lartey
Business: Hear the Motion

Having already set up her own not-for-profit creative arts project “Hear the Motion,” Laura had a head start before joining The Company. Her idea is to develop a workshop to help children, adults and families connect and find increased happiness in their life through play, mindfulness, and self love.  Laura created “Play Date,” an interactive and experiential workshop centred on having fun and feeling great. After running three successful sessions, she has recently accepted a partnership with Platform in Islington to run a further series of six sessions.


What’s next?

After finishing The Company’s eighth cohort, Joe and The Winch are jumping into Cohort 9 with a set of strong minded young people. The group completed their team building week by battling their fear of heights at GoApe and also went white water rafting. After a busy ten weeks, their business ideas are scheduled to be pitched to an investment panel in early September.


Thank you,


The Winch

June saw over sixty leaders, professionals and Camden residents attend the launch of  the report ‘Building Impact Movements’ released by the North Camden Zone and Dark Matter. In its first two years, North Camden Zone gathered information on the effectiveness of the place-based system to impact child poverty in North Camden. The panel included The Winch’s CEO Paul Perkins, co-founder of Dark Matter Indy Johar; local parent Vera Perez; North Camden Zone Programme Manager Esther Norman and Habiba Nabatu from Dark Matter. Lunch was provided by Sasha’s Sandwiches, a catering business run by an associate of The Company.








To view the report or find out more please visit

We are happy to announce our summer events. Join us for adventures, sports, crafts, and more!

Flyers for our Transitions of Oral History Exhibition, Play Scheme Events, Youth Programme Activities, and Belsize Community Events are all attached here.