'Support Highgate Newtown Community Centre's Christmas Appeal'

HNCC Wellness Cafe at St Michael’s Church Highgate 02.11.21.
From left volunteer Mrs O’Neill, Siobha

HNCC Wellness Cafe at St Michael’s Church, Highgate. From left volunteer Mrs O’Neill, Siobhan Tazarni, Rev Kunle Ayodeji, HNCC director Andrew Sanalitro, and lunch guests Sheila Prestridge and Mei-Tak Yeh. - Credit: Polly Hancock

The Ham&High is proud to be backing the appeal to raise £400,000 to kit out the new Highgate Newtown Community Centre.

The amazing new Bertram Street centre will have a hairdresser, cafe, lunch clubs, carpentry workshops, a sports hall and more when it eventually opens next autumn.

And the centre needs Ham&High readers to dig deep in their pockets and donate.

If the pandemic has shown one thing, it is that community is alive and well. But people can still become isolated and facilities like this are vital to ensure that people don't fall through the cracks or get left behind.

If the pandemic has shown two things, the second is that none of us are immune to loneliness.

While at times embracing the comfort of the nest last spring and last Christmas, I certainly found myself wilfully cutting myself off - and suffering because of it.

The community centre will provide somewhere that anyone in the area can visit safe in the knowledge there will be welcoming faces and activities they can join in with.

The old centre was demolished last year as part of Camden Council's plans to build new homes, and the new facility will hopefully be an asset for years to come.

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Now, I don't have £6.4 million in my account (if I ever did it would have gone on takeaway deliveries by now) but fortunately that's not how much is needed – that's how much is being spent to build the new centre.

What is needed is for people to show their support, within their means, to get the centre ready for use.

Services such as a launderette and hairdressing salon, will be offered at cost price and art, pottery, cooking and exercise classes will either be free at the point of access or heavily subsidised for those on lower incomes.

In all cultures, eating together is a vital part of our communal lives. The new cafe will serve fresh, affordable food, so that everybody can share a good meal with others.

So whether you can spare just £5 for this great cause, or are one of north London's celebrities, politicians or business magnates, your support will be welcomed. 

Visit www.highgatenewtown.org.uk to donate now. 

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