Keep active 4 Barnet

Keep active 4 Barnet


Young Barnet Foundation is a member led organisation set up to help grow local activities and opportunities for children and young people across the London Borough of Barnet.

We’ve launched #KeepActive4Barnet, a fundraising campaign raising funds to support our most vulnerable young people.

43% of young people in Barnet feel their long-term mental health and wellbeing has been affected and that 38% feel less secure than before the pandemic.

Back in May 2020 it was reported* that over half of the children in Barnet were doing less physical activity than before lockdown, this percentage is likely to have risen since then (*source: Children and Young People’s Online Survey – Barnet Children’s Service)

Young Barnet is leading the charge to address this with #KeepActive4Barnet, a campaign giving young people and their families the opportunity to get active and raise money at the same time.

Some ideas include committing to going for a walk/run/cycle every day for a month, travelling the equivalent length of Barnet (from the Battle of Barnet monument in the north to Cricklewood station in the south = 9 miles or 19,000 steps), completing the number of steps equivalent to the population of Barnet – 402,000 or perhaps a swimathon, danceathon, marathon, fitness class, sports tournament… even a catch-a-ball-athon!

Fundraising for us can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. Whether you raise £5, £50 or £500, every penny will help us to support the children and young people of Barnet.

We must unite as one community to create change for the children and young people of Barnet by keeping active, raising money and having fun!

Why not get your family, friends and colleagues doing something active to raise money?

You could enter an active challenge event (like a run or cycle) and nominate Young Barnet Foundation as your chosen charity…

Or even join us on one of the limited challenge events that we have organised for our staff and partners!

Let’s work together to make our children and young people feel happier, fitter, healthier and safer, aiding their bounceback into post-lockdown life.

All the funds raised will support Young Barnet Foundation’s work to invest in children and young people, ensuring that they have opportunities for fun, growth, connection, success and celebration – helping today’s children become tomorrow’s confident, successful adults.


Starting a book club

Starting a book club

The Great Escape!

Escape into times and places outside your four walls. Read!

Being in a Book Group has been a lifesaver for many of us during lockdown. Not only have we had plenty of time to read but our reading has been given purpose because we will chat about it with friends.

Starting a Book Group and running it need not be complicated or daunting.

Usually members of a book group all read the same book and then a few weeks or a month later they come together and discuss it.  This is certainly ONE way to do it, but not the ONLY way, as I have proved. Let’s answer a few FAQs first.

Do I have to know a lot about literature?  You don’t need to read “literature” or know anything about literary criticism. The secret, I feel, is choosing books to read so that there is plenty to discuss.

Who chooses the books?  You or everyone could take a turn. I research likely books and offer suggestions. Sometimes we read the same book but sometimes we all read DIFFERENT books.

How can reading different books work? In this case, you choose a genre; a theme; an author or some other common element such as the country or time they were set in for example. Books can be suggested or everyone can choose their own. Eventually when we all come together everyone will have a different “take” on the chosen topic which makes for a very interesting, informative, lively and enjoyable discussion.

How can I ensure everyone has something to say?  Set some questions about the book to consider during/after reading it. These form conversation starters and keep the discussion flowing.

How many should be in it?  Between six and eight is best so everyone can contribute. Six can usually be easily accommodated in homes.

How do we meet in lockdown?  Zoom has been great for my book group of six people.

How often should we meet? Every month is usual but it’s up to the group.

I have three clips so far on my YouTube channel telling you about how to start and run a book group and providing some ideas to use for them. See the links below:

Starting one (1)

Historical theme (2)

Science fiction (3) :

Happy Reading!     Val Girling is a published author.

Volunteers needed christmas day

Volunteers needed christmas day

Jacksons Lane issues rallying cry for volunteers to support elderly north Londoners alone on Christmas Day

Jacksons Lane, the Highgate-based arts centre, is planning the most ambitious charitable Christmas Day campaign in its 45-year history, in order to meet rising demand for support, and to contend with social distancing measures.

And so they are recruiting volunteers who are able to lend a hand this Christmas and make a huge difference for some of the most vulnerable people in the local community.

For over 40-years, Jacksons Lane has hosted a free volunteer-led Christmas Day event for elderly and disabled people who would otherwise be alone during the festive period. In fact, the event has been running for almost the entire time that Jacksons Lane has been an arts centre.

Because of social distancing rules, they could not host elderly people as they would normally do this year. Further adding to the challenges faces is an ongoing redevelopment project, which means that the building is under construction.

To deliver despite these difficulties, they have decided to produce festive hampers which will be filled with food, handmade craft gifts and other goodies.

These hampers will be delivered across north London, which will allow elderly residents to feel the supportive embrace of the community around them, despite the isolation that so many have had to endure during this year.

However, they will need volunteers to help with the production of these hampers, and well as people who are willing to deliver them on Christmas Day. Volunteering is listed as a Government Tier 2 exemption, meaning that people can take part and help in a variety of ways.

Whether you are interested in cooking food, delivering it to elderly people on Christmas Day, or even hosting an elderly person for lunch, there are plenty of ways to get involved.

To discover more about volunteering and helping elderly people around North London during the festive period, email

Sponsor a Slate

Sponsor a Slate

picture of slte


If you’ve passed by St James in the last couple of months, you’ve probably noticed the huge amount of scaffolding down one side of the building.  That’s because our roof, after a century of being at one of the highest points in London, needs major repair.  On both sides, every slate needs replacing, a fair amount of stonework needs work, and we’re adding some 21st century weatherproofing as well.

We have raised enough money to do the first half of the project, but we now need to get ready for phase two – and that’s another £100,000, for the side facing up the Broadway.

You can help us make progress on keeping this iconic building as a home to so many activities, social as well as spiritual, which make St James such a well-loved part of the heart of Muswell Hill.  Whether it’s the fun of Midsummer Muswell, the worship in our services, the friendship of our special needs groups, or the urgent need of the Winter Night Shelter, everything relies on being warm and dry.  And we need to be ready for the end of the COVID restrictions, and on the starting blocks again.

On Saturday October the 10th, we’re having a Sponsor a Slate day, for £10 you can go down in history! We can’t actually carve your name into the slate – they’re too fragile for that – but we’re going to keep a list and make a permanent record, for everyone whose helped us, every inch along the way.

Come and find us on St James Square, Saturday October 10th.

Chris Green, Vicar.

Compassion London

Compassion London

ladies cooking
chef in kitchen

When the world shut down in March, most of us took up new hobbies. Some people made sourdough. Others learned to crochet, or painted, or developed their hairdressing skills. But chef Leon Aarts knew that for many, lockdown wasn’t a self-development opportunity.

With canteens and cafés closed for an indefinite amount of time, and the supermarkets beset by stockpilers, hundreds of people across London – including many of the medical staff working on the front lines of the crisis – were going to find themselves suddenly unable to eat.

kitchen preparing food
picture of a line of salads

Your Title Goes Here

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Your Title Goes Here

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

In 2015, Leon had helped to set up Calais Kitchen, a project that provided food for refugees living in the camp known as ‘the jungle’. He decided to put that expertise to work, and with the help of some friends and about seven volunteers, set up the first version of Compassion in a small kitchen in north London.

That was back in early April, when many thought the crisis would be over by the summer. Four months later, Compassion London is bustling with over 400 volunteers. From the kitchens underneath Alexandra Palace, the team of chefs, organisers, helpers and drivers provide thousands of meals a day: they recently hit a milestone of 350,000 delivered.

Ally Pally is a relatively new home. Compassion’s first formal kitchen was at Allianz Park, but the team quickly found it wasn’t big enough to fulfil the increasing demand. After about a month, Compassion moved to Wembley, where, with the help of the stadium’s in-house chefs, they were able to up their output, nearing a goal of 20,000 meals a day. But before that could happen, the government announced that sporting events were back in play – and they had to find somewhere new fast.

The people’s palace stepped up. Ally Pally were already hosting Edible London, another food charity, so Compassion were welcomed rent-free into the kitchen that was standing free while the cultural events that would normally have kept it busy remain on hold.

Compassion’s volunteers are in every day from 8 to 5, playing music and chatting while they chop, fry, boil, bake, pack and send off meals. One volunteer, Becky Matthews, said that getting involved with the organisation had been the ideal way to put her spare lockdown time to good use.

“I love coming in and meeting people,” she said. “It’s much better than sitting at home watching TV. Food waste and hunger are problems that I’ve always cared about, too, so Compassion was an opportunity to combine everything.”

Naomi Clucas, a caterer who helped Leon in the initial stages of setting up Compassion – and has been a core part of the team ever since – said that the organisation set out with the intention of making two hundred meals each day. “Now I come in every day and it’s just the most amazing feeling,” she added, “seeing thirty or thirty-five beautiful people, all working together to help others.”

The single serving meals, which range from salad to frittata to stew, are delivered to organisations that distribute them in their local communities. That includes religious groups, food banks, and even a motorcycle club that gives out food to the homeless. Meals are made from ingredients donated by organisations including Ocado and the Felix Project, which would otherwise go to waste.

The medical staff Compassion set out to help are less in need now that canteens have reopened – although some hospitals like Great Ormond Street still receive meals, which busy staff can enjoy on their breaks. But that doesn’t mean the need has gone away: with increasing lay-offs, the government’s furlough scheme on its way to ending and the future more uncertain than ever, Leon’s plans for Compassion to have shut shop by the summer seem a distant memory.

Last month, the team launched their ‘You Eat They Eat’ campaign across their social media, encouraging people to donate a portion of the money they would normally spend on a meal out to support Compassion’s running costs. £1 pays for one meal, so a little goes a long way – particularly as Compassion are taking on new meal requests every day, even as volunteer numbers fall.

In a recent video message to volunteers, Leon spoke about what the prospect of a second wave means for the future of Compassion.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty about what’s going to happen with the virus,” he said. “It’s likely that the demand for meals will increase even further. At the moment we do 10-11,000 meals a week, and we easily find recipients for them.”

He went on to encourage volunteers who haven’t visited for a while to come back in, even for just a couple of hours per week: Compassion is, after all, a collaborative effort, and dependent on the time and energy people are willing to give up to help others who share their city.

“We want to be here for those who need us now,” he says, “but we also want to build something lasting for the future.”

Compassion are in need of volunteers and donations. If you’d like to help, visit or email


Southgate Olympic AFC announces new kit sponsor

Southgate Olympic AFC announces new kit sponsor

Southgate Olympic’s spokesman, Club Secretary, Kevin Taylor, said: “We are delighted to announce our first team will be sponsored by the N14 Directory for the forthcoming season and the new shirts will carry the magazine’s logo on the front.”

Kevin went on to say: “The team is looking forward to the start of the new season in mid-September and we hope that local residents will come along on a Saturday afternoon to watch a game and have a drink or two in our newly refurbished clubhouse afterwards.”

Southgate Olympic were founded in 1933 and played originally at Broomfield Park in Palmers Green before moving to their current home at Clowes Sports Ground in Barrowell Green, Winchmore Hill in the 1960s.

There are currently five teams, four that play in the Amateur Football Combination on Saturday afternoons and a Vets team (over 35s) that play on Sunday mornings in the Southern Amateur League. Overall the club has an impressive membership of over 120 players and team officials, most of whom live in the local area.

For more information about the club visit their website