Category Archives: News

Indoor Market a great success!

5 November  2017 – A terrific feeling of community as residents use the library space.

Local residents thronged the soon to be refurbished library space selling and buying – from cakes and coffee supplied by the Kensal Green Under Fives Community Nursery to delicious pumpkin soup from Nadia.

Vintage clothes, crochet, plants, jewellery, books – there was a bit of everything!

We raised nearly £1000 towards the library refurbishment.

The space, both indoors and out, was vibrant – a great community turnout!

FKRL Indoor Sale outside Nov 2017

The library plaza in use again!

FKRL Indoor Sale Mo and kids Nov 2017

Local dad Mohamed with Hussein and Mariam.

FKRL indoor sale inside crowds Nov 2017

Looking for bargains.


Nadia with her brilliant pumpkin soup.

(Pics: Allen Samuels and Pedro A Perez)

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Kensal Rise Library Awarded £75,000!

FKRL Low key event 1 July June 18 024FKRL Sep 75k (2)

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FKRL vol poster enhanced Aug 2017

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1st July  Open Day in the library 2nd July Actor’s Night Fundraiser.

                FKRL Marcus at the Open day July 2017FKRL Open Day 2017

Open Day in the library. The local community gets to view the library space before our works begin. Very emotional being inside after so long.

Actor’s Night Fundraiser: brilliant night of words and music. We raised over £3,000 for the library. Thank you to all the cast for such a wonderful performance and their continued support.

Tamsin Greig, Paterson Joseph, Ron Cook, Rick Leaf, Haydn Gwynne, Lucy Cohu, Stephanie Schonfield, Ben Miles, Emily Raymond, Gideon Coe, Tim Lott, Robin Tyson and Friends.

Actors Night whole cast cropped 2 July 2017

(photos: M Bailey and F Mulaisho)

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Tamsin Greig, Lucy Cohu, Ron Cook, Hadyn Gwynne, Paterson Joseph, Rick Leaf, Ben Miles, Emily Raymond, Stephanie Schonfield, DJ Gideon Coe, Counter tenor Robin Tyson, Novelist Tim Lott!

Back by popular demand – Sunday 2 July 2017


FKRL cropped poppy pic for July 2017Audiences have loved our live performances of literature by award-winning local actors. We are delighted to welcome them back on Sunday 2nd July at St Martin’s Church, Mortimer Road (just 2 minutes from Kensal Green tube).

The evening is very much an ensemble affair with a cast of award-winning  locals that include actors: Lucy Cohu, Ron Cook, Tamsin Greig, Hadyn Gwynne, Paterson Joseph, Rick Leaf, Ben Miles, Emily Raymond, Stephanie Schonfield and also Radio 6 DJ Gideon Coe, Counter tenor Robin Tyson and novelist/Guardian columnist Tim Lott.

Doors open 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start.
Also a raffle, bar and nibbles!
Advance Discount Tickets at £10 are available from C&D Food and Wine (opposite Kensal Rise Library) Queens Park Books (Salusbury Road) and Daniels Estate Agents (Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise). £12 on the door.
Or online at Eventbrite:

All proceeds will go directly to the library.

FKRL 3 person pic 2 July actors night June 2017

(Pics:R. Glendinning; Allen Samuels)

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FKRL Foyle foundation logo May 2017FKRL Garfied Weston logofkrl-ptc-logo-jan-2017

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Our new library sign!

DSC_1724 (1)

Beautiful photo of our new library sign taken by Allen Samuels.

Interior refurbishment works will start soon.

Exciting times!

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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. fkrl-alan-j-and-james-denselow-feb-2017
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.fkrl-alan-johnson-event-book-signing-feb-2017 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 ( 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, 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.

Margaret Bailey

fkrl-ptc-logo-jan-2017 fkrl-daniels-logo-new-feb-2016

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Professional Community Librarian? Apply for our innovative post!

Following a successful grant bid to Brent’s Voluntary Sector Initiative Fund, the four Community Libraries in Brent, Kensal Rise, Cricklewood, Barham and Preston, are now able to appoint a professional community librarian.

Position description

Title: Professional Community Librarian

Funding Available: up to £40,000 for a period of approx 20 months to 31/10/18

Commitment: Actual hours will be negotiated but should start by or before 1/04/17

Project ends: October 2018

Location: working across Brent

Travel information: Brent is within London Transport Zones 2/4.

Professional community librarian is sought by a network of libraries in Brent, North West London, operating as independent volunteer-run community libraries.

The Brent Community Libraries (BCL) network is made up of four community libraries, spread across Brent, which are at different stages of development and operation. The libraries are all registered charities and each library is supported by a strong group of residents. Brent is one of the most diverse areas in the country and this post offers the opportunity to develop services for people across a wide range of ages, backgrounds and abilities.

The libraries are committed to providing a lively top quality service in their diverse neighbourhoods. We are in an innovative position, collaborating with each other, the local community and the council. This is a great opportunity to create an imaginative way of  providing a library service.

Applicants should have a professional library/information science qualification and at least 18 months’ experience of working in a library. Experience of working with community organisations and volunteers is desirable.

The successful applicant will work to develop a community library strategy with the Trustees of each library, train and develop the volunteers who provide the services, and liaise with the Brent Library Service, which is strongly supportive of this project, attending meetings as required. He/she will work at each library, meeting representatives of the community library network by arrangement.

Brent Community Libraries:

Brent Council has agreed funding of £45k (ending Oct 2018) to BCL with the Friends of Barham Library as the contracting entity. £40,000 of this is available for this position.

Application form, job description and person specification can be requested from

Paul Lorber at

Closing date for applications is Friday 10 February.

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Crowds of residents outside Kensal Rise Library

We have raised the £80,000 needed to complete the second phase of works – the kit out of the library – and well before the December 31st deadline we had set ourselves.

We have just been told that our application for £75,000 to Power to Change (PTC) has been successful!

PTC is an independent charitable trust set up with an endowment from The Big Lottery Fund. The PTC grant augments the funds that we have already raised from our events and donations.

We have already raised £80,000 for the initial works.

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.

This is a wonderful early Christmas present and we will be celebrating with you all!


Margaret Bailey


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