Archive for the ‘Services’ Category

A New Community Resource at Westbourne Park Baptist Church

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Westbourne Park Baptist Church - Architect's Visualisation

The building work is progressing well at Westbourne Park Baptist Church and we are so looking forward to returning to the new building (illustrated above) in the Autumn of 2018.

We are also looking forward to welcoming back many of the previous people and organisations who used the building before and hope to welcome many new people and groups.

Paddington children’s library will be re-provided in an attractive, and well-lit space. Westbourne Park Family Centre will return from its dispersed venues and continue to run early years stay and play, children’s out of school clubs and youth projects. With the new income generated by bookings we also hope to expand this charity work to address some of the growing social needs.

The building will have a large reception area where people can meet and have refreshments before or after attending activities, meetings or the children’s library.

In the building, there will be a large hall that can seat 300 people with full PA and Video projection support, a sports hall that can seat 150 with a large kitchen to serve both areas. There will also be 4 offices, and 4 other rooms seating 15-50 people. There will be different rates of booking for business, community and partners.

The new building is funded through our partnership with Dolphin Living who will provide 32 ( 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats ) that will be rented out at an affordable rate see www.dolphinliving.com for details.

If you have any questions please contact Geoff Biggs, email: geoffbiggs@westbourneparkfamilycentre.org.uk or come and visit us when we are open and find out more.

Free Childcare!

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Dear Parent,

Did you know that your two-year-old daughter/son could qualify for up to 15 hours of free childcare every week?

You are eligible if:
You have a child who has or is turning two-years-old

Plus receiving one of the following:
• A household income of less than £16,190 per year
• Job Seeker’s Allowance
• Income Support
• Employment and Support Allowance

Application forms are available online: www.westminster.gov.uk/information-childcare or you can request a paper copy. If you need help with your application, please contact your nearest Children’s Centre Outreach team:

Queen’s Park: 020 7641 5834/5848
Harrow Road: 020 7641 4850
Westbourne: 020 7641 4308/4312
Bayswater and Queensway: 020 7641 4882

Westbourne Green regeneration vote

Monday, July 28th, 2014

The result the public vote in June on the Westbourne Green regeneration proposals was:

Yes: 414 (48.6%)
No: 438 (51.4%)

Westminster Council has stated that the proposals will not now go ahead.

Based on discussion at its July meeting, Westbourne Forum has written to the council about the result, stating its disappointment. The scheme had its weaknesses, and certainly needed more work. But in the Forum’s view it was a lot better than nothing, and if done well, with the involvement of local people, it would have brought many improvements that the neighbourhood needs.

The Forum believes that the scheme was closer to the aspirations of the local community than a ‘no change’ option. This view is based on:

  1. the Forum’s years of experience of working with residents from right across the Westbourne Green community on a host of issues;
  2. the community consultation carried out during 2011-2012, which identified a majority of roughly two-to-one who felt that change was needed.

However, the end result was ‘no’. According to the Forum this was because:

  1. The benefits of the scheme were not explained well enough.
  2. A number of known concerns were left unanswered, or at least the message that they would get serious attention after the vote was easy to miss.
  3. Community engagement in the year up to the vote was not as skilful or effective as it needed to be.

The Forum’s concern now is that the area should not suffer neglect in the years to come.

Regardless of the vote there are pressures for change which will only increase with time. In terms of population the wider Westbourne ward is one of the largest and youngest in Westminster. With wellbeing measured at 612th out of 625 wards in London it inevitably remains a focus for public services.

Meanwhile its location adjacent to Paddington – at the knot where Westway, railway, canal, and the Harrow Road meet – creates a dynamic for development. Given these social and economic realities, it is important that Westbourne remains at the heart of the council’s programmes.

In the immediate future any impetus for change and improvements may depend more on the community, and the continuing work of local organisations like the Forum. But the council has a key part to play, and the Forum’s letter to the council stressed that notwithstanding the vote, its involvement in Westbourne Green is needed as much as ever.

A new era for the Forum

Monday, July 28th, 2014

These are exciting times for Westbourne Forum… through years Westbourne Forum has continued to reflect on the future of the community and to work with local people and organisations to improve the quality of life in Westbourne, but new things are to come.

The Localism Act 2012 provides for local communities to create their own Forums, with recognised planning competences which will make sure that local people always have a strong say in any building work, renovation or public realm changes that require planning.

The first step towards the birth of our new Westbourne Forum was taken in March, when our neighbourhood area was defined and recognised by Westminster City Council. The second step took place in April, when a group of local residents and representatives of local community organisations accepted to become founding members of the new Forum

A Constitution was drafted and, together with a mission statement explaining what the founders proposed the new Forum to be in the community, was sent to the Council, and our accreditation as the new Neighbourhood Forum for Westbourne was officially announced on 25 July. The next step is for the new Forum to prepare a neighbourhood plan to be submitted to the local community for approval as a statutory document which will inform all future planning procedures.

In the autumn, all members of the existing Board will step down, and there will be a call for candidates to stand for election to the new steering body, the Forum Committee. This is planned to happen at a Community event, and preparations for that will begin presently.

We hope to have as many candidates as possible, and we wish to have a diversity of backgrounds represented, to reflect the multicultural character of our area and ensure that the Forum continues to work effectively for greater community cohesion.

Preparations will soon be on their way. So… watch this space!

West Works – 800 more people now in work

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Are you looking for a job? Or do you know someone who is? Well help to find a good opportunity is right at hand.

The Westminster Works project has helped more than 800 Westminster residents find jobs over the last two years, and this service has just relocated to the Westbourne area!

You can find the team at the Stowe Centre, 258 Harrow Rd.

There is a programme for adults (any age) to help find work and a separate scheme for young people to get into jobs and apprenticeships.

The scheme employs personal advisers to help sort out CVs and interview nerves etc and jobs borkers who talk to local employers about what staff they are looking for.

Just call 0203 603 2301 for an appointment or drop into the The Stowe Centre.

Cornelius

Cornelius had been out of work for quite a while and was worried that his age was counting against him when he tried to get jobs.

A West Works adviser found a good job for him with a company that needed a responsible person to deliver sensitive documents to the Passport Office.

Westbourne designated as a Neighbourhood Area

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Westbourne has now been officially designated as a new Neighbourhood Area within the City of Westminster.

In January Westminster Council’s cabinet approved the application made in 2012 by Westbourne Forum.

This is the first step of three in line with new powers provided by government for local people to play an active and formal role in shaping planning priorities for their neighbourhoods.

Step two involves recognition as the official Neighbourhood Forum for the area. Over the last 10 years working on behalf of local people, Westbourne Forum has built up knowledge and a track record, and is now seeking support to add this new responsibility to its established role in the community. It plans to submit an application to the council before the summer. Signatories to the Forum’s application will be recognised as founding members of the new neighbourhood forum.

Then comes the third and most important step – the production of a Neighbourhood Plan for the area.

The boundary of the new Westbourne neighbourhood area, shown on the map below, largely follows the boundary of the ward, though it does include Westbourne Terrace Road (in the east), or Wessex Gardens Estate (in the west).

If you are interested in finding out more about Westbourne Forum’s application, please get in touch

Westbourne Designation Map

There are many benefits to volunteering!

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Most of us have busy lives and volunteering is probably the last thing on your mind, but did you know that there are many personal benefits to volunteering?

Volunteering gives you the opportunity to:

  • Support your local community
  • Increase your self confidence
  • Stay physically healthy
  • Increase your social and relationship skills
  • Assist you to further your career

Westway CT logoA local organisation Westway CT, runs a Community Car Scheme; a membership service available to residents living in Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Members can book a journey to attend activities and classes, visit friends and family, attend appointments or just generally go about their everyday business. This service can be used for just about every occasion.

This one-to-one car service is provided by a team of volunteer drivers and travel buddies; some drivers use the designated Westway CT cars and some drive their own cars.

Volunteering with Westway CT is a hugely rewarding experience and they have a range of opportunities to suit you, from Driving and Passenger Assistant/Travel Buddy roles to more senior roles such as being a Trustee.  Their volunteer base spans a large cross section of society and their volunteers vary in age and background, some are retired with spare time on their hands, some are students or have a disability themselves and some are interested in building their confidence and skills for a career change or gaining general work experience for employment.

If you want to give something back to your community then volunteering is a great way to do this. You will also have the opportunity to meet people, learn new skills and gain some valuable work experience.

For more information about volunteering for Westway CT contact Richard Yeatman on 020 8968 2040 or richardyeatman@westwayct.org.uk

http://westwayct.org.uk/services/door-to-door/community-car-scheme

http://westwayct.org.uk/volunteer/volunteering