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Lucy TelferLucy Telfer is a part-time Library Manager in charge of the Belsize Community Library. She works with kids of all ages, parents and Belsize residents.

The Winch took over the operation of the Library in 2012 and have offered various services ever since. As a library manager, Lucy is in charge of making sure all the day to day activities are run smoothly and efficiently during the opening hours of the Belsize community Library on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s from 10:00-6:00pm. Having joined The Winch a mere 10 month ago, she fell in love with her role and organization. She found the variety and number of services offered as well as the staff at The Winch to be incredible. She lived in the local community and had grownup hearing about The Winch because of its history so Lucy appreciated the opportunity to get better involved with the community by helping support families.

The Belsize Community library currently offers many services such as Rhyme time (in four different language), story time, parent support classes, author’s event and so much more. Choosing a favorite is difficult. She takes pleasure in watching different members of the community with different cultural background and socioeconomic statues enjoy the space and different activities provided. She believes that people often underestimate the benefits of the rhyme time session in terms of language, growth and development for the children under 5’s.

One part Lucy finds challenging about her position is having patience, patience in having to wait for funding in order to get an idea with a great potential off the ground. With the reduction in funding from the government, funds are becoming harder and harder to get. To combat this trend, Lucy and The Winch leadership team came up with a great idea- launching a Crowdfunding campaign to raise the necessary funds needed to keep the library open and even potentially expand the service offering.  With the money raised, Lucy plans on looking more widely at the activities that the library can offer for different age groups such as space for language classes, knitting groups, tea and cake time and so many more activities. When asked what she would say to someone interested in donating for the campaign, she looked up nostalgically and replied, “I would tell them to think back to the time when they could knock on their neighbors’ door and ask for support for pretty much anything. Over the years, that community and spirit has changed. It is our responsibility to glue it back together and making the smallest changes in the community such as donating to keep the only free, public space in Belsize open will hopefully bring back the spirit.”

Want to learn more about this indomitable women named Lucy? Then please keep on reading to look at some fun facts and get to know her a little bit more

Nickname: Lucy Locket

Favourite Color: Green

Favourite Meal: Spanish omelet

Greatest Fear: Sea

Favourite Film: Dirty Dancing

Favourite Actor: Jack Nicholson

Pet Peeve: Sound of people eating

Favourite Hobby: Collecting music from all over the world

Cause for the most laughter: People dancing off beat.

Name one thing about yourself that people don’t know: First ever job at 14 years old was at a shooting range in Surrey

Our first ever Christmas Raffle will run from 25th November until the prize draw on 18th December.

Tickets are £10 (or 5 for £45) and there are a huge number of exciting prizes generously donated by the following companies, including:

BBC behind the scenes tour for four / Dinner for two at Theo Randall at the InterContinental / Daniel Galvin cut, colour and blow dry / Royal Academy annual membership for two / Four (Gold category) match tickets to Saracens’ big game at Wembley against Harlequins/ Behind the scenes tour of Arsenal Football Club / Two match tickets for Arsenal on 12th March 2016 / Financial Times semi-annual subscription / Louise Parker nutrition session worth £150 / Case of wine from Bibendum / Hampstead Theatre tickets for two / Everyman Cinema annual pass for two / Two training sessions with Peter Fraser-Smith, Mayfair based trainer, worth £160 / Heyland & Whittle hamper, worth £150 / DimT vouchers worth £60 / Wildwood Café vouchers worth £60 / Theatre vouchers worth £100 / Babysitting for an evening / 6ft Christmas Tree from Primrose Hill Farmers’ Market / Biscuiteers' Nutcracker Christmas Biscuit Tin plus two vouchers or Biscuiteers DIY Icing Café / Family ticket for the Wizard of Oz screening at Hackney Empire in January 2016 / Four tickets for a production of the RSC's winter season: Wendy & Peter, Queen Anne or Love for Love / And many more!

T0-5he money raised from this event will help us to continue our work with children, young people and families, providing a range of activities, opportunities and services. This is a great way to support our vital work at the same time as the possibility of winning a prize!

You can buy a ticket by dropping in to The Winch or online by clicking here. Please ensure you do not choose to be anonymous, and type into the comments box that you are buying raffle tickets and the quantity of them. You should not tick the Gift Aid box if this is the case, as Gift Aid cannot be claimed on raffle ticket sales.

Once the draw is complete, you will be contacted if you have won a prize. You have 14 days from being contacted to claim your prize. If you do not claim your prize within 14 days, or we are unable to contact you, your prize will be redrawn and you no longer have the right to claim your prize.

The CO

At The Winch, we collaborate and partner with others to develop, launch and support ventures that enable children and young people to succeed. One of our ventures, The Company, is a business startup programme for 18 to 25 year olds in Camden and surrounding areas. It has supported a wide range of innovative business ideas ranging from a premium street wear brand to a chicken and waffles stall, from basketball workshops in schools to retro t-shirts.

The Company is a ground breaking business mentoring scheme for vulnerable young adults who have a great idea, but have not had the opportunities or resources they need in order to make their idea into a reality. The Company supports 10 entrepreneurs with a drive to make their ideas a reality. It is designed to bypass the misguided focus on academic qualifications, and choose candidates with good ideas, drive and ambition. However, this drive and ambition may be coupled with a wealth of obstacles. We support some of the ‘hardest to reach’ young people in the area. The program will help these “Associates” (our terminology for young people who take part in The Company) to develop their ideas, network with others and eventually get to a place where they could pitch to a panel for funding.

In order to sustain our work, we depend on the generosity of individuals and organizations like yours. We launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £5,000 on November 16th. The money raised from this campaign will go towards the seed funding which can be applied for by each young person. The funding can be used to obtain the necessary start up items, or perhaps be used to further personal / professional development (in terms of qualifications or trainings in their chosen sector). The aim is to nurture bright ideas and turn them into focused enterprises. By setting up the fund, we will encourage young entrepreneurs to come forward with their idea and start a journey to make their dreams into a reality. We believe that many young people’s ambition and creativity has been limited simply because they are not given the freedom to express themselves, try new ideas and to make mistakes without feeling like they have failed. We have created a safe and productive space for them to do this in, here at The Winch. We are helping some of the most vulnerable young people to reach their full potential. Join us in our journey. Click here to learn more about the campaign and donate to help the cause.



Christmas Fayre poster

SusanSusan Olivacce is a full time Promise Worker and Deputy Play Officer at The Winch, working with children aged 4-12.

As a Promise Worker, Susan provides one-to-one support to eight children. Moreover, she acts as a child advocate while working with partnership services such as schools and social services in addition to connecting children and their families with wider support networks. Ultimately, Susan and all of The Winch’s Promise workers help children and young people to develop character strengths, ensure wellbeing and maximize impact. Working with a younger age group, Susan feels it is important to develop trust and positive relationships with the parents of the children as well.

As a Deputy Play Officer, Susan works with Kim Mabbut, the Play Development Officer, to run After School Club as well as the holiday and half term play schemes. After School Club picks up children from three different schools, George Eliot, Holy Trinity, and Swiss Cottage Primary (drop ins from other schools are welcome to attend as well) and offers games, arts and crafts, sports and other opportunities for children to learn through play from 3:30 to 5:45 pm. The holiday play schemes offer additional educational and fun activities during the school holidays such as as day trips and projects from 9:15am to 5:45pm. As reliable childcare systems, both After School Club and the holiday play schemes allow parents to work full-time while ensuring that their children are engaged in a positive, fun way. While working as a play officer, Susan particularly enjoys seeing and participating in the children’s role-play. Impressed by the children’s imaginations, Susan elaborated, “There are no limits, children are superheroes and a doll house can become a fantasy island or a castle.”

Before joining The Winch team in March of 2014, Susan worked in nurseries and children’s centres.  Being the youngest of seven children (and becoming an aunt at the age of 6,) Susan has always been passionate about connecting with children and knew from a young age that she wanted to work with children as a part of her career. In fact, her work experience while she was a young person was at a school.

As a Promise Worker and Deputy Play Officer, Susan feels that the most important qualities to have are patience, compassion and the ability to truly listen.  In the future, Susan hopes to see The Winch expand its impact by reaching out to accommodate more people and continuing to provide top-notch support.

Get to know Susan a bit more and take a look at some of her favourites and fun facts below:

Favourite colour:  Black

Favourite artist: Jill Scott

Favourite food: Anything apart from bananas

Greatest Fears: Polystyrene and worms

Favourite place visited: The Caribbean

Favourite film: The Emperor’s New Groove

Favourite actor: Morgan Freeman

Pet peeve: Bad manners

Favourite T.V. show: Daredevil

Nicknames: Sues, Susie, Susie Q

CaptureThe Winch has had some fundraising success in the last couple of months. In July we got the good news that we have been awarded funding from BBC Children in Need for the next 3 years to help us to continue running our after-school club and holiday play schemes, which are attended by up to 60 children every day. We were also awarded £28,000 from Natwest's Skills and Opportunities Fund for The Company, our business development programme for 18 - 25 year olds.  Furthermore Marks and Spencers created a new kitchen for the Winch on their Spark Something Good Day on July 29. A team of volunteers stripped out our old kitchen and installed a new one – all within 24 hours.

On 21 August, Bank of America Merrill Lynch created a fantastic party to mark the end of the Summer Holiday Play Scheme.  Not only did they provide the food for the party but also a team of volunteers who prepared, cooked and served the food for the children and their families.  They also face painted the children and organised games for them.

From 1st - 5th June we took part in the Childhood Trust's Summer Give and raised over £20,000! The money was used to plan exciting trips and activities for the children attending our holiday playscheme, as well as running additional activities for young people. Thank you to everyone who took part in the Summer Give by making a pledge or donating during the online phase.

Family Fun Day Poster 120915

iphone uploads 1739 (2)Whether through group or outreach sessions, school visits, or The Company, our goal is to engage young people in the North Camden community and provide them with continuous support. Survey responses from 67 young people (ages 11-25) confirmed the dedication of our team, the varied interests that The Winch caters to and the overall importance of The Winch in the lives of young people.

“Helpful, fun, family” is how one young person described The Winch.  Another described the support as “sensational and inspiring, ” while another cited his/her trust in our staff as making The Winch “a second home.“ When asked to rate The Winch out of 10 (with 1 being low and 10 being high,) the young people gave an average rating of 9. Moreover, 50 percent of young people said that they would look to The Winch for advice, information and guidance as opposed to the 22 percent that would look to school and the 2 percent that would look to council.

According to our survey, the most popular session for our 11-18 year olds are group sessions (e.g. cooking, music, football etc), followed by school based sessions (e.g. self-directed learning, female empowerment group etc.). One young person, for example, referred to The Winch as a “young people space” where “everyone can go and feel comfortable.”

The overwhelming majority of young people credited The Winch for helping them to build confidence and self-esteem, with a young person saying The Winch “developed (his/her) character.” Moreover, The Winch aims to engage young people in political dialogue to educate them about their rights, and in the words of a young person instill in them “how [they] as young people can change the world.” Perhaps most poignantly, nearly 40 percent of young people reported that without The Winch, they would have nowhere else to go.

We were pleased that feedback from our young people mirrored the feedback from the parents and children and that parents, young people and children alike value The Winch’s role in the North Camden community.

New Camden ZoneOver the past few months, we have been working on a number of projects reaching out into the community and partnering with local people and organisations to improve the lives of Camden children and young people.

Axis is the new Camden-commissioned mental health service for 16 to 24 year olds across the borough. We are delighted to be part of a consortium supported by Catch22 that will deliver the service over the next two years, bringing together experts in community, mental health and youth work.

Axis will operate across Camden as well as out of its base in the old Post Office on Finchley Road, at a building called The Hive. It will support young people alongside local partners in different parts of the borough. For more information about the service, click here.

North Camden Zone is a piece of work funded by the Lankelly Chase Foundation and Locality focusing on how to bring people together to make sure that North Camden is a great place to grow up for every child.

North Camden Zone was born out of the belief that if local families, residents and services work together we can improve the life chances of local children and young people. So far, 200 local people and nearly 50 professionals have given their opinions on how to improve the area, including what they can do.

Over the coming weeks and months, we’re hoping to open a pop-up shop in Swiss Cottage at the old Me Love Sushi site will provide a physical space for people to pop into, share their ideas and meet others who are getting involved. Whilst the Zone has been convened by The Winch, it will be owned and developed by the community.

If you’d like to find out more or get involved, email or have a look at the Zone’s Commonplace site, where you can comment on what you think is great about our area, or what you’d like to help improve.

Throughout the summer the library will be hosting a series of four meetings entitled "Parenthood: A Piece of Cake?!" which have been organised by Wrap a Hug. The meetings are aimed at pregnant women and parents of all ages. Topics covered include baby wearing, aromatherapy, traveling with children, and doulas. Entry is free for all sessions. Read about the meetings offered below and for more information contact or call Azzurra at 07928513877.