News

 

The Winch is in week 4 of a new ‘Being a Parent’ group, a 10 week course to help develop parents confidence and self esteem by offering practical tips on everything from managing stress to making time for oneself.  We are happy to be offering this in conjunction with the Anna Freud Centre and have 14 mums actively taking part.

 

On Monday 30th January we held our Annual General Meeting to keep everyone up to date with our activities in 2016 and reappoint our trustees. We also took the opportunity to thank our volunteers at the event, with a speech from Page, our volunteer coordinator and a video showing what a positive impact volunteers have on the day to day lives of children and young people at The Winch. It was our busiest AGM to date, with supporters old and new coming along to learn more about our work and how important our volunteers are to us.

 

We would like to say a big thank you to Orange House in The Hall School, who ran a charity event called ‘Change for Change’. Pupils brought in any loose change to their morning form session to help raise money for The Winch - anything from the money behind the sofa to the collections of 1p or 2p coins in the house. They raised almost £300 and were really happy to see it go to a local cause.

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dandanfundraisingman

Title: Fundraising Officer

What is your role at The Winch?:

My responsibilities are to raise money from trusts and foundations. It’s kind of like being Kamaji from ‘Spirited Away’, you are not on the front line but you keep the organisation ticking over. It involves lots of writing and explaining to people what The Winch is, what our staff do and why it’s so important.

How you got started at the Winch:

I’ve always been interested by social issues and what drives them and have explored these themes in my study of politics and philosophy. On a personal level I don’t believe inequality is something we ‘just have to live with’ and I think organisations like The Winch are crucial in a time when welfare provision is being pulled back. Organisations like The Winch try and keep the playing field level for children and young people and I see my role as an excellent opportunity to learn from an innovative organisation but more importantly to contribute to something worthwhile.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?:

Some people say that the thought of playing a guitar solo on a Saturday Night in front of a packed Glastonbury crowd with Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Bob Dylan watching and nodding appreciatively in the wings is exciting. They have clearly never won a funding bid. Jokes aside, securing funding that will allow us to pursue a new project is always exciting to share with the rest of the staff.

What are the more challenging aspects of your job?:

The challenging aspects in many ways are the most beneficial. Presenting our work to others means I need a really clear understanding of what we do and as I’m still relatively new to the organisation this usually means asking a lot of questions and accepting that frontline work is much more complex than you think it might be. Hearing the stories of what our front line staff do on a day-to-day is inspiring, as is building an understanding of how each element of our work feeds into another.

The deadline aspect of it also means I sometimes smash four coffees, a pot of houmous and a pack of hobnobs in a fit of ineffective hysteria. This is neither nutritionally advisable nor sustainable.

Tell us one of your best moments from working at The Winch:

I volunteered to referee a football game for our Richard Graham Memorial Tournament. In the final which was an admittedly tense affair (onlookers had surrounded the cage and it began to feel like a gladiators colosseum), I turned to an assistant to check the time left (I foolishly was unequipped to do this myself). At that moment I heard a cry as I have never heard before and turned to see players rushing towards me, with maddened eyes, contorted expressions and I had the general sense that I might be in grave danger. One team felt that they deserved a penalty and I had turned away at the crucial moment, they were understandably annoyed. As terrifying as it was, in that moment I felt empathy for every referee in the world ever and I was deeply humbled.

Fun Facts about Dan-

Nickname: Dan

Favourite food: Lime Pickle or anything with an obnoxiously strong flavour.

Favourite place visited: Procida

Favourite film: ‘Muppet's Christmas Carol’ is up there but probably ‘Withnail and I’

Favourite actor: Brendan Gleeson is brilliant

Pet peeve: All the micro-aggressions of the London Underground.

Favourite TV show: The Simpsons every time.

Favourite book: Changes all the time but this year I read and loved ‘Birds Without Wings’ by Louis de Bernieres.

Favourite 90's jam: For some reason ‘Missing You’ by P Diddy and Faith Evans really reminds me of the 90's!

Favourite superhero: The Dalai Lama.

Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or one horse sized duck? I consider myself diplomatic, I would try and first negotiate a cessation to all combat if my hand is forced I fancy my chances against the duck.

What kind of dinosaur would you like to be? Brachiosaurus

What is your go-to shower/karaoke song? Anything which shows off my magnificent range.

If you were to become famous, what would it be for? Negotiating a ceasefire with 100 duck sized horses.

 

 

Connecting Parents got spooky for Halloween and was super busy with pumpkin carving, fancy dress and face painting! We also celebrated Aymans 2nd birthday with lots of balloons and, of course, a cake. The ghoulish gathering was happy to welcome new mothers and grandmothers to the group, too.

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At Playscheme the theme was a mix of Celebrating Black History Month and Halloween. Activities included making pumpkin lanterns, Frankenstein tins, African dance, cooking apple crumble, carrot cake, and Caribbean fish cakes. It was an exciting week filled with lots of arts, crafts, gym games, sports and a visit from Razamataz Theatre Company with lots of fun drama games. We also visited Kidtropolis at the Excel Centre, Quazar and the cinema to see ‘The Storks’.

We held a meeting with the children on Friday to hear what they thought of the week and one child summed it up with this- "I've had the best time, playing, making things, being with my friends and the Kidtropolis trip was amazing!'

We finished the week with a ‘Halloween Fun’ afternoon, featuring a scavenger hunt, face painting, tattoos, dangling doughnuts, apple bobbing, gooey dip and a Halloween piñata!

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Julie Taylor Mills generously donated six sewing machines to The Winch, which we have been using in our Connecting Parents programme at Belsize Community Library. She was kind enough to also donate a month of her time to teaching the parents how to use the machines and get some successful sewing projects on the go- very productive and lots of fun.

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