My West Hampstead: Lifelong charity worker Ginny Greenwood on life in West Hampstead and London’s ‘best breakfast’

Ginny Greenwood, chief executive of The Mayor of London's Fund for Young Musicians. Picture: Nigel S

Ginny Greenwood, chief executive of The Mayor of London's Fund for Young Musicians. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Ginny Greenwood, 56, has spent her entire career working in the charity sector raising over £8million for worthwhile causes.

A West Hampstead resident, she is now the chief executive of The Mayor of London’s Fund for Young Musicians, which supports young musicians from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. She is also the trustee of the Consortium for Street Children (CSC), as well as a founder director of the Hampstead & Highgate Festival.

What brought you to West Hampstead?

I lived in St John’s Wood for almost 30 years. When my kids flew the nest I didn’t want to move too far away but I wanted to live somewhere which was a bit more of a melting pot of people and cultures so I plonked myself down in West Hampstead and am very happy I did!

When you look back at what the area was like when you first moved in, how has it changed?

Having only lived here seven years I haven’t noticed much change and to me that’s the charm of the area.

Of course the introduction of a Farmer’s Market is great and isn’t it great that we have a library and shops that are actually useful to everyday living.

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If you were guest editor of the Ham&High for a day, what one local issue would you most like to see reported?

Well, that’s not hard to answer. I’ve spent my whole working life in the charity sector so I’d like lots more articles about the wonderful work being done in the community both by charitable organisations and volunteers.

I’d also give these good news stories more prominence in the paper.

What is the area’s best kept secret?

Mill Lane Bistro does the best breakfast. The Eggs Royale is delicious, the coffee is good and strong and the owner and staff are all lovely. It feels like a little slice of Paris in north west London.

Which other place in the world would you twin with West Hampstead?

I would say Alésia near Montparnasse in Paris which is where I lived when I was studying there. I haven’t been back for decades but I remember it having a similar style and feel to West Hampstead.

What makes you smile when you walk home?

There is a wonderful elderly gentleman who loves to walk his dogs up and down the street. In the morning he greets you with “have a nice day” and in the evening it’s “enjoy your evening”.

He’s one of life’s characters and I always look forward to seeing him.

If you had to write your own epitaph, what would it say?

I have a huge amount of energy - my friends say they get tired just watching me! So, I guess my epitaph would say, “The batteries finally ran out”.