1. Fundraising Event February 23rd 2017
An Evening with Alan Johnson MP, ex Home-Secretary, author, postman, orphan.
We raised over £2,000 at this recent fundraiser which was very well attended. Alan Johnson MP, shared tender recollections of times and places along the road to his parliamentary career. Places and times marked by deprivation and loss as well as resilience – of individuals and communities. Alan was speaking to James Denselow, local Queens Park councillor (picture) – and also took audience questions.
In defence of libraries Alan said: “Books furnish the mind in a way that bailiffs can never repossess”. Alan also expressed a wish to be invited back for our opening – he has been involved in supporting a community library back in his constituency of Hull. He will be very welcome.
We are grateful to both Alan and James and to our sponsors, Daniels Estate Agents, as well our Indulgent Raffle prize donors: Scarlet and Violet, Snipkidz of Willesden, Berkmann Wines, Tabitha Robertson and Mauli Rituals. Also to Lisa at Queens Park Books for her support. Last but not least, thank you Rev Graham Noyce and our fantastic volunteers for helping to make the night so special and welcoming. Alan signing copies of his book.
2. Refurbishment of the library: if you walk past the library you will see that the works by the owner, Uplift, are progressing and nearing completion. Our new library door has been fitted; works have started on the outside, with a new wall and areas for landscaping. We have been busy with finalising our 999 year lease with All Souls College and the specification of our works which will commence as soon as the owner completes theirs, which we hope will be in the next couple of weeks. We have appointed a firm of architects (www.seh.co.uk) who are project managing the entire works for us. SEH have expertise in the design and build of libraries so we are in good hands. They commenced work with us in November and have made very good progress with the design and planning of works that need to be done – and there is a lot of work to be done. They have taken on board the ideas and suggestions made at the public consultation we had and we are excited about the new library and community space that is taking shape.
3. Success with Fundraising – Phase 1 and Phase 2
We are able to complete both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of our refurbishment works thanks to the success of our fundraising, and also before the December 31st deadline we had set ourselves.
Importantly, our application to Power to Change (PTC) was successful and we were awarded £75,000 by them. The PTC grant augments the funds that we have already raised from our events and donations. This means that altogether we have raised £160,000 in just under seven months – a remarkable achievement by The Friends of Kensal Rise Library and with the generous support of the community, an anonymous donation of £10,000, the Foyle Foundation, The Garfield Weston Foundation, Brent Council and our sponsors Daniels Real Estate, Kensal Rise.
4. Phase 3 Annual Operation of the Library – we are now fundraising for £40,000 so that we can operate the library in its first year. We will need to raise this every year. Costs include; staffing; service charges; insurance; utilities; stock; broadband; copier; stationery etc If you would like to help with these costs go to our website, www.savekensalriselibrary.org and press the MyDonate button.
Many thanks to Robert Yewdall for his very generous donation of £500.
5. Library Committees – our committees, Finance, Operations, and Communications meet at 7.30pm on the first Thursday of every month in the Long Room behind St Martin’s Church in Mortimer Rd, Kensal Green.
If you would like to volunteer to be involved in any aspect of the running of the library please do come along. We particularly need those with experience in IT, including website, and finance/fundraising skills. Come along and see how you can help.