Category Archives: News

Our new library sign!

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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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Kensal Rise Library Poetry Evening

Kensal Rise Library Actor’s Night

Back by popular demand – Sunday 27th November

Audiences have loved our star-studded, live performances of poetry and literature by award-winning local actors. So we are very pleased to welcome them back on Sunday 27th November at The Masons Arms pub, Harrow Road. Doors open 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start.

Performers include Tamsin Greig, Haydn Gwynne, Samantha Spiro, Ron Cook, Richard Leaf, Stephanie Schonfield, plus Radio 6 Music DJ Gideon Coe, award-winning writer and Guardian columnist Tim Lott, and Allen Samuels.

There will also be a raffle!

Tickets at £10 are available in advance from C&D Food and Wine (opposite Kensal Rise Library) and Daniels Estate Agents (Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise).

All proceeds will go directly to the library.

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Third Annual Mark Twain Lecture with author Ali Smith – 6 November 2016

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For our third Annual Mark Twain Lecture we have Ali Smith, author of Public Libraries and Other Stories, (Kensal Rise Library gets a mention) and winner of the Bailey’s Prize for Literature in 2015 for her book, How to be Both.

This lecture will take place at 7pm in St Martin’s Church, Mortimer Rd, Kensal Green on Sunday 6Nov.

Tickets are available from Eventbrite: …

Tickets, £10, also available locally at: Daniels Real Estate, 77 Chamberlayne Rd, NW10, and Queens Park Books NW6.

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We have achieved our Phase 1 refurbishment target of £80,000 by July 31st, a deadline we set ourselves just three months ago.
We thank Daniels Estate Agents for their very generous £2,500 cheque, which Daniels presented at the volunteers’ tea party on Saturday 30th July. The cheque is in addition to Daniels’ sponsorship and support of FKRL events.
Daniels’ cheque, together with donations from our fantastic supporters, revenue from our events, plus grants from Brent Council’s Ward Working Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Foyle Foundation have all contributed to this remarkable achievement.
It will let us start work on fitting out the library space (currently a bare shell requiring flooring, heating, plumbing etc etc), as soon as the developer hands us the keys.
Our heartfelt thanks to all who helped achieve this outstanding result.
We now look forward to working towards our Phase 2 target to kit out the library.

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Library Campaign Update July 2016

Hi Everyone,

Great news!

We are £3,582 off our first phase target of £80,000.

Thanks to your generosity and two grants (one from the Foyle Foundation for £5,000 and one from Garfield Weston for £15,000), and our latest fundraisers – A Soul Music Night which raised over £1,600 and Dinner at Ida’s which raised nearly £500, we have almost achieved our target for the first phase of works for the fit out of the library. It has been hard work but worth it and great to know that we are well on our way to putting a library at the heart of our community.

If you have not donated yet, but would still like to, please go to our fundraising page at Mydonate:

If you would like to contribute in another way please contact me at   

We have until the 31st July to reach our target!

Please help us to achieve this. This amount will allow us to get into the library and commence the works to make it safe and useable.  We hope to be starting these works in the next few weeks. We will then have our meanwhile space – a space where we can hold events to raise the rest of the funds to kit out the library.

Thank you so much to those of you who have helped.

It is not too late to help, if we all contribute we will get the amount we need.


Margaret Bailey

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Our Fundraising Drive is Now Live!

Our fundraising drive is up and running! Together we can open the library.

After five years of campaigning we have secured two thirds of the ground floor to operate a community library and public space. We need your support to transform this empty shell into a library that the community can be proud of and which they deserve after fighting for so long.

We need £200,000

  • Phase 1 – The Fit Out:  £80,000

For flooring, utilities, plumbing, boiler, re-wiring, all internal decoration, creating reception, adults’/children’s sections, office, kitchen, disabled access

  • Phase 2 – The Kit Out:  £80,000

For shelving, books, broadband, computers, furniture, fittings, equipment, audio visual system, lighting (inc for sight-impaired), heating system, consumables

  • Phase 3 – First Year Operation:  £40,000 by January 31st 2017

Total = £200,000 by January 31st 2017

UPDATE: We have now raised £76,417.71  (including Gift Aid)!

We are on our way! Thank you to all who have contributed.

Help us to achieve our goal – a library at the heart of our community.

Follow the progress of the appeal on the Shelf-O-Meter outside the library.

How to donate:

Press the Mydonate button on the website and remember to fill in the Gift Aid declaration. 

Go direct to our fundraising page at

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