Blog Archives

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!

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.