Category Archives: Meeting Notes

Notes: June ‘Open Meeting’ 10/06/2021

With the first technical hiccup since running our meetings via Zoom, a number of members were unable to login at the start time of 8pm … including the host! It did not take long however for the meeting to get started, opening with the appropriate sounds of ‘Hot in the City’ by Billy Idol, our hosts chosen walk-on music for the meeting, and he was right, it was hot in the city well in this part of the capital city anyway!

Welcome from N2United Chair, Nick Allan

With regular co-host, Louise Cambridge giving way again to Ruth Anders (to make sure her stella performance in May was not a fluke ha-ha!) we were off with the usual packed agenda. Ruth made the point that it was again a pleasure to see so many familiar faces as well as all of those attending for the first time, all are most welcome!

As this was an ‘Open’ meeting, free for all local businesses and organisations to share their news, get support and promote each other’s endeavours, we heard from a number of local representatives including those from The Food Project, GBL Fun Palace, Age UK, Dementia Friends, Home Care Preferred Barnet, KOKOS, HADAS, UOE and new business, Deepsym amongst many others.


The meeting was again honoured by the presence of 2 of our Local Councillors, Claire Farrier and Alison Moore who once again showed their commitment to the area and these meetings with updates on a number of local matters (see below). They both attend a LOT of meetings on our behalf, so we are very grateful they are able to make time for these monthly N2United meetings!

Guest Speaker – Daphne Chamberlain – East Finchley Arts Festival
Unfortunately one of our guest speakers, Daphne Chamberlain, representing the East Finchley Arts Festival, had her own technical issues and was not able to join us on the night. Daphne will make a personal appearance at our meeting in July (but shared an update via email), asking for new ideas and to invite the East Finchley community and N2United members to get involved and share their ideas and suggestions for the festival – See below.

1.     Updates since last meeting

Roger ChapmanHADAS (Hendon and District Archaeological Society)

The society is holding a festival of British archaeology on 17th and 18th July.  It is being held in Market Place as it is one of the most historic sites in East Finchley where there will be an Archaeological dig.
Did you know? The reason there are no buildings in this area is because of a landmine (since removed). No doubt this question will feature in Brian’s quiz (see above) sometime? https://www.hadas.org.uk/

Jake Eiseman-Renyard

Local performer, Jake Eiseman-Renyard is looking into how the performing arts can be a way of making important messages, fun.  Jake works with puppets, (currently working at a studio in the Chocolate Factory in Wood Green) making puppets from reclaimed pieces including abandoned stuffed toys etc. Jake likes to combine different forms of the arts such as writing, role-play, illustration, animation, theatre, and puppetry and says, “they all come from the same source, a form of story-telling” adding, “If you can do one, you can do the others, too, you just might not know it yet.”
Jake has another project in the pipeline for Christmas with the show, ‘Duck Whittington’ which will raise money for Whittington hospital.

Environment
Jake is also a passionate environmentalist and wants to use media such as TV shows and theatre to promote ecology in a fun, positive, engaging manner to inspire people to want to make a change for the better. https://n22openstudios.com/project/jake-eiseman-renyard/

Julia Hines – Fun Palace

Regular contributor to N2United meetings and prolific ‘tweeter’, Julia Hines, talked about the upcoming ‘Fun Palace’, the free festival organised by GBL. Anyone who wants to get involved should get in touch with Julia. The ‘Fun Palace’ puts ‘culture at heart of communities and communities at heart of culture’.  Julia explained that “Culture is whatever people say it is, past Fun Palaces have had astrophysics, knitting, watercolour painting, brass bands, rap.  Everyone can do something; every skill can be shared.  It’s all about taking part, having a go, being inspired, sharing what you know!” Their tagline is ‘everyone an artist, everyone a scientist’. https://www.grangebiglocal.org/current-projects

Qua Boon Leong – Home Care Preferred Barnet

‘Home Care Preferred’ in Barnet are providers of homecare for a wide range of clients ensuring that they can remain at home in an environment that is comfortable and familiar while receiving the highest standards of care.

As well as an extensive range of services, they also provide a wide range of accessibility and mobility living equipment to be used at home to help with mobility, reablement and supporting independence. Help and extensive advice on using equipment can also be provided to ensure that each client can make the best choice for them. https://www.homecarepreferred.com/barnet/

Janka Mladenova – Little Volcanoes

Not able to join us on the night, Janka, founder of ‘Little Volcanoes’ wanted to remind us of her educational company that runs kids’ science after school classes, toddler groups, birthday parties, and online classes. The focus is on hands-on experiments where every child has their own equipment. Lessons are a unique blend of singing original educational songs, interesting hands-on and sensory activities. contact@littlevolcanoes.co.uk

Dan Bird – Deepsym

Dan, a local engineer working in product development, helps people bring new products to market.

He is currently working on a lamp which is an aid to mindful breathing which helps users work their diaphragm via wireless connection sensors. It has been trialled in various situations in particular, people with anxiety, but also people with IBS.  He said, “Deepsym’ is way for us to connect with ourselves through mindful breathing. Since its beginnings as an art Installation in 2014 it has developed and will launch soon to bring the individual and connected experience to the home, practice or group session. We are still carrying out user trials so if you would like to take part then get in touch!” www.deepsym.com

The East Finchley Food Project
This valuable service run by local volunteers continues outside The Phoenix every Tuesday from 10:30 am until 12:30pm. Focused on supporting those requiring assistance, people are encouraged to come and collect delicious, portioned, cooked meals for free and without question. Others are encouraged to try the changing recipes and if able, donate or ‘pay a meal forward’ for the benefit of others. Given the amount of people they are helping they continually need financial support to keep the project running so please help if you can! www.iloven2.co.uk/community-organisations/n2-food-project

Finchley Food Bank
Unable* to attend the meeting this month, we heard from the team at the Finchley Food Bank run from St Mary’s Church, (at the north end of the High Road) who wanted to say:

Please send our huge thanks to the community of N2, we rely on donations from different sections of the community and every donation does make a difference to someone. We are always looking for more organised collections, so if anyone is interested in starting a collection for us through their workplace, school, faith group or street please contact us via our website. While you are there have a look at our blog which is updated weekly with our list of much need items and the newsletters we produce for our clients. Many thanks for everyone’s continued support, Finchley Foodbank”. www.finchleyfoodbank.org.uk

Age UK

Gillian Jordan, Age UK Barnet, tempted us with news she will be sharing at the July N2United meeting. Until then, people are directed to the charity’s website for more information as well as access to their highly informative newsletter. www.ageuk.org.uk

2.     Business update

Think we had done with technical issues?
No, it was difficult hearing our roving business reporter, Brian Hooper, who had internet connection issues meaning hisregular, ‘N2United Business Update’ was a challenging listen given we could only hear every other word!

What we were able to hear included his review on the N2 area and the 8, main commercial areas (and over 200 shops/businesses) and in comparison, to other local areas are lucky enough to have had less shops/businesses close down since the start of the pandemic.  Last month Brian counted 15 shops that had not opened up again after other businesses re-opened, this month that is down to 14.

In-person meetings
We are hoping in September to have in person meetings, so we are reviewing suitable venues including community spaces, religious centres, pubs (including Bald Faced Stag, Clissold Arms, White Lion and Five Bells etc.). Please contact Brian if you have any suggestions for venues for future meetings.

Local business ‘Showcase’
N2United continues to help local businesses and the community with a range of business stimulation campaigns, and we are currently featuring a number of local businesses on our website as part of the ongoing ‘Showcase’ feature.

To share your ideas or to have your business featured as one of our ‘Showcase’ business on our website and shared across our social media platforms, get in touch! n2united.co.uk/n2unique/showcase/

3.     Report from our local Councillors:

Councillors, Claire Farrier and Alison Moore, East Finchley ward councillors, updated the group on a range of local matters including the cycle lanes, speeding, crime and environmental issues.

Claire is now on an environment committee for Barnet council and has discussed the issue around local food waste and the facilities required to recycle it etc.  She has also been speaking to residents on Long Lane and hearing their concerns about speeding which has become an increasing problem since the installation of cycle lanes on the High Road. There will be a minor review in September on the introduction of cycle lanes and their effect on parking in particular.

Alison discussed how the cycle lane has exacerbated the issue of traffic and all of its effects and there is a community infrastructure fund, and some money will be hopefully used to improve the mixed reviews on the cycle lanes in the area. The ongoing evaluation of their effectiveness has not been helped by someone sabotaging the data collecting wires outside the library!

Both councillors reminded people to provide as much, detailed information as possible on specific issues so they can quickly investigate and assist.

East Finchley Police
Can you spare 5 minutes of your time to complete this East Finchley – Ward Survey?
Residents are encouraged to share their views as it will help the local Police understand what the community needs so we they better serve us! www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/GVYKNT/

The Causeway petition

The recent petition for improved safety in The Causeway has started well and has already received over 3,600 signatures but still needs more local support to affect change, sign the petition but time is running out to have your voice heard! you.38degrees.org.uk/p/thecauseway

4.     Guest Speakers

East Finchley Arts Festival
Unfortunately our guest speaker, Daphne Chamberlain, of the East Finchley Arts Festival had her own technical issues so shared the following update via email*:

“East Finchley’s annual arts festival came to an end with the death last year of Geoffrey Hanson. The festival was very much Geoffrey’s baby, and he made a considerable financial contribution to it.

Any new festival will be unconnected with the previous model which has been officially wound up with all monies left over donated to All Saints church, and the committee has been disbanded.

At the last meeting of the old committee, everyone agreed that it could not be continued in its present form but felt it would be good to see local arts celebrated in a different form.

Given we have such a lot of talent in East Finchley – a lot of it undiscovered – we are now looking at ideas and invite the East Finchley community and N2United members, to share theirs particularly in running a festival with no money!

For example, in the June edition of The Archer, there is a beautiful back page of pictures taken by one of our self-taught photographers and the recent artwork on the hoarding outside the old GLH site came from one of our online workshops, this one funded by a Grange Big Local, community grant.

Other ideas include:

A community wide celebration and link up all of the different forms of the arts across the community – e.g., poetry readings in cafes, artwork in shops, music at the station, dancing in the parks. It would be great to involve local talent from schools and interest groups?

Any shop/ café/ pub/open space -any venue showcasing local talent will benefit themselves as wherever people are exhibiting or performing, their families and friends will be there too as well as any resulting publicity from local ‘media people’ living locally.

In response to the Archer article, we have had expressions of interest from a local organiser and fund-raiser, an offer of publicity from the Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Association, and a request   from the BBC Symphony Band at Elstree. There is also interest from the GBL Fun Palace team and N2 Poets are also extremely interested as is local performer, Jake Eiseman-Renyard!

Please do let me know via ‘The Archer’ if you would like to get involved in any way or if you have any other ideas?”

Daphne added, “Just to make it clear, neither The Archer or I will be the organisers of the event, but we will help with publicity and support”.

5.     AOB

The Archer
Do you have a local story or want to share your news? The Archer Newspaper is always keen to hear from local businesses and organisations and the individuals who run them. If you would like to be interviewed for a potential piece in The Archer, get in touch! www.the-archer.co.uk

Brian’s Tuesday Quiz
Brian Hooper
is still hosting his popular weekly quiz every Tuesday from 8pm via Zoom. He provides an insight on the topics the questions are based on in advance so people can brush-up on their knowledge and it is open to everyone! Zoom ID is: 771 5119 7569, Password: 2JrVBX.

Litter launch
Look out for details on the ‘Litter launch’ and other local initiatives on our website, keep safe and spread the word!

Dementia Friends

Cllr. Farrier is also involved with Dementia Friends and runs a series of Dementia Friends information sessions locally. www.dementiafriends.org.uk

6.     Thanks & Close

That is a wrap on a hot night of networking… ‘Hot in the City’ indeed! A huge thanks to everyone for staying at home(!) and joining in with the June N2United Zoom meeting!

Co-host, Ruth Anders, thanked everyone again for their attendance and especially the sustained energy and ideas shared and encouraged everyone to spread the word about these regular N2United, 2nd Thursday, monthly meetings.

Thanks as ever to our speakers and contributors with a special thanks to ‘The Archer’ for hosting this meeting as well as for their coverage and support. Thanks too, to our hardworking Councillors, Alison, and Claire, all the organisations helping out in the community, including the Food Project, Finchley Foodbank and all of our local businesses especially those just starting out… let’s build on the ideas and information shared and support each other and keep supporting our local shops and businesses, you’re making the difference!

7.     Next meeting – 8pm via Zoom on Thursday 8th July 2021

The July meeting is again, FREE, and open to everyone and will build on and develop the ideas shared at these meetings to support our local businesses and organisations, keep us all safe, and keep improving the area where we all live or work. Remind your business neighbours!

Remember! Our ‘Summer Social’ in August will hopefully… be outside!

*Cannot attend the meetings?

Do not worry, we get it! You’re busy and probably have lots of calls on your time but remember, you don’t have to attend the N2United meetings to share news about your organisation, business or project, just use this link to share your story, news or request and we’ll share it to our members and across our social media platforms.

N2United Community and Business Network

Notes: May ‘Business Matters’ 13/04/2021

As N2’s community and business network, with a wide range of interests represented at each meeting, N2United provides the opportunity for us all to share news and suggestions as to how we can make East Finchley an even better place to live and work.

We act as a forum for all local businesses and community organisations and provide an opportunity for businesses to promote their services. All ideas will be compiled and published on our website. As the majority of attendees prefer the meeting time of 8pm over 7pm we will continue at this time at least for the next few meetings.

1.     Welcome from N2United Chair, Nick Allan.

‘Back to Life, (back to reality)’, by Soul to Soul, was our hosts ‘walk on’ music as he opened the May N2United meeting on Thursday, 13th, fitting given more restrictions were lifted this month. With our usual co-host, Louise Cambridge on holiday, Ruth Anders was on hand to help keep the meeting… and our host, on tack helping to steer the meeting to its promised 9pm close. As Ruth pointed out, it was a particular pleasure to see so many past members, attending again as well as all of those attending for the first time, all are very welcome!

This meeting returned to the focus of ‘Business Matters’, designed to help local shops and businesses share tips and tricks on marketing and promotion to strengthen their business.

Guest Speaker, Grant Silverman, owner of WOW Merchandise based in East Finchley, provided an insightful view of the various options small businesses should consider to improve their marketing, find new customers and build sales.

The meeting was again honoured by the presence of 2 of our Local Councillors, Claire Farrier and Arjun Mittra who provide an update on several local matters including the parking and the cycle lanes.

2.     Updates since last meeting

With the meeting scheduled for an hour, there was a lot to cram in but the ‘viewers’ heard from a range of business sharing their news or promoting their business including Little Volcanos, Muswell Hill Gym, Age UK, Chery Tree Tuition Centre, Dementia Friends, KOKOS, Nudo Pizza amongst many others.

The East Finchley Food Project
Alison Roberts spoke about the East Finchley Food Project which has now been running for 5 months.  It aims to feed anyone that needs extra help.  It will continue to carry on once the Phoenix is open from 10:30 am to12:30 pm every Tuesday in the foyer.  You can donate or pay a meal forward with this link https://iloven2.co.uk/community-organisations/n2-food-project/

Finchley Food Bank
The local Food Bank is run from St Mary’s Church, towards the north end of the High Road, working in conjunction with other food projects. Please support and refer to Facebook for the list of particular items required each week. https://www.finchleyfoodbank.org.uk/

Brian’s Tuesday Quiz
Brian Hoopers
long running weekly quiz is still going strong! It starts at 8 pm and usually ends about 9pm and used to be held at the East Finchley Constitution Club but is now via Zoom. Look out for a list of topics published on his Facebook page on the Friday or Saturday before each meeting so people can do some research! Zoom ID is: 771 5119 7569, Password: 2JrVBX.

Age UK

Gillian Jordan, Age UK Barnet, provided an interesting overview of the work of the charity including suggestions for how people can get involved in the upcoming ‘Dementia Awareness Week’ – for more information on what is going on in the area, see www.ageukbarnet.org

Gillian also mentioned that Age UK Barnet are looking for volunteers in the following areas:

1) walking buddy (for the elderly who are scared to go out alone)

2) digital inclusion buddy (for elderly who don’t know how to use the internet)

For more information on the work of Age UK across the country, visit: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/

Dementia Friends

Cllr. Farrier is also involved with Dementia Friends and runs a series of Dementia Friends information sessions locally. https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/WEBSessionDetails?id=a055I00000I9PDsQAN#.YHcH6-hKg2x

East Finchley Arts Festival
It was reported that the East Finchley Arts Festival has been discontinued in its previous format. A suitable individual is being sought to take over as Director to expand the format for broader inclusion of arts and music. Daphne Chamberlain is scheduled to attend the June N2United and will provide more information then.

3.     Business update

With so much change for our shops and small business due to the restrictions and now with the re-opening of non-essential shops, it was important to hear from Brian Hooper with his regular, ‘N2United Business Update’. He reported that between 12 and 15 shops overall in N2 haven’t re-opened since the start of the pandemic, but this is fewer in comparison to other nearby areas. For example, in the local Barnet area, many haven’t re-opened with Whetstone reporting 20 closed shops, Friern Barnet, 16 and in Muswell Hill it’s 18!

More specifically, Brian reported on the following local, businesses:

  • Aylmer Parade – dentists still closed as they have mostly elderly patients, there are 2 shops likely to close as the landlord is putting the rent up.
  • Market Place – only one shop closed
  • Church Lane – no shops closed
  • East End Road – 2 shops closed (solicitors and hairdresser)
  • Graham’s butcher open and busy!  Nick at East End Road Barbers is taking bookings online.
  • Fortis Green – The site previously occupied by Mightee Fit is being converted into office space
  • High Road – 6+ shops haven’t re-opened

Business Stimulation Campaign
N2United continues to help local businesses and the community with a range of business stimulation campaigns and we are currently planning the next series. Currently, we are featuring a number of local businesses on our website as part of the ongoing ‘showcase’ feature – see http://n2united.co.uk/n2unique/showcase/

To share your ideas or to have your business featured as one of our ‘showcase’ business, please get in touch!

James Boyce – Cherry Tree Tuition
Run after school tuition – are looking to expand online and home learning offering.  There is also a Summer school in the pipeline too.

Hussein Lalani – Muswell Hill Health Club
Hussein Lalani, owner of the newly opened ‘Muswell Hill Health Club’ shared his plans for his new gym on the site where the Manor Gym in Fortis Green was sited, extremely popular with East Finchley residents. Hussein and his team took over ‘The Manor’ during lockdown and saw the site as a community hub so he wanted to take it on. Reflecting what his members requested, the new gym is now completely updated and modernised with a bright new Café at entrance. He wants to make it a popular ‘local’ gym instead of another ‘corporate cookie cutter gym’ to provide the ‘look and feel’ of a west end gym in N2! Now offering yoga, Pilates and spin classes as well as the usual services expected of a modern gym with the added advantage of a pool.

4.     Report from our local Councillors:

Councillors, Claire Farrier and Arjun Mittra, East Finchley ward councillors provided update for the group, on a range of local matters including the cycle lanes which they are still trying to follow up on but report slight improvements with junction of Baronsmere Road and the new loading bays in Fairlawn Avenue and Chandos Road.

As there is now more of a ‘café culture’ developing in the country as result of pandemic, local councillors are processing requests for permission for the expansion of seating onto pavement and encourage people to get in touch with them if you’re interested in doing the same.

Echoing the request by Cllr. Moore at the April N2United meeting, they stressed the importance of being given as much detailed information as possible on specific, issues as possible so they can help.

5.     Speakers

Grant Silverman – Wow! Merchandise

Grant Silverman, Wow! Merchandise, was invited to speak at this meeting to help local businesses and organisations improve their marketing, find new customers, and build sales with a range of ideas to consider.

Grant asked, “What does marketing mean?” Explaining that it is ‘the action or business of promoting and selling products or services’.  What about sales? Sales are what SHOULD come out of marketing – don’t be scared of the word he implored!

As most people’s first port of call is the internet for new providers… including for local businesses and services, you should make sure your ‘presence’ is impactful, useful and relevant to your audience. Also, consider the following areas below:

  • Video – to promote your business in a visual way to express information and emotion.
  • General digital advertising e.g., pay per click
  • SEO – a way of standing out from other people. Including how to stand out on the high street.
  • Mailing list – an effective way to stay in touch with clients.
  • P.R. – providing your clients or potential clients with information about your business to reinforce a positive opinion about the work you provide.
  • Social media and blogs – important and potentially highly effective way to talk about your business and what it does.

There are 5 major channels of social media, small businesses should concentrate on 1 or 2 channels that suit you or your audience or you will spread yourself too thin.

It is difficult to know which part of your marketing might have made the impact you want, so equally important as what you do is how its measured – remember, it’s rare that marketing brings instant return. 

Reinvest your businesses spending by putting a measure in to see if your marketing is working.  This is Return on investment and should be measurable. Also, make sure your measures are realistic!

About Grant Silverman
Grant Silverman of Wow! Merchandise has been involved in marketing for 20 years, primarily in branding, print and promotional merchandise but through his business has also a lot of experience with general marketing including PPC, PR, Video, Mailing Lists, and advertising.

He also helps run the East Finchley festival where he is responsible for marketing and the main stage. www.wowmerchandise.co.uk

Lynn Winton

Lynn Winton provided a glimpse of retail expert, Sara Gatoffs tips and advice on how to sell into big retail chains, develop a local presence as well as advice on running a small business. Sara will join us at our next ‘Business Matters’ meeting later in the year to expand on these ideas.

6.     Soap Box

Diana Cormack, The Archer newspaper, jumped on the N2United Soapbox to reinforce the appeal from Hat at the April meeting. Highlighting a recent article in the paper about the increasing local, litter problem, Diana shared early plans to help promote a change in behaviour re the detrimental effects of litter to encourage us all – including local shops and businesses and the wider community – to discourage people from dropping rubbish.

Ideas are encouraged for ideas for an N2 wide initiative.

7.     AOB

The recent petition for improved safety in the causeway has started well and has already received over 3,000 signatures but still needs more local support to affect change, sign the petition at you.38degrees.org.uk/p/thecauseway

8.     Thanks & Close

Co-host, Ruth Anders, thanked everyone again for their attendance and especially the sustained energy and ideas shared and encouraged everyone to spread the word about these regular N2United, 2nd Thursday, monthly meetings.

Thank You!
Thanks were also expressed to everyone who is supporting the various food projects, to our Councillors, The Archer for hosting the meeting via their Zoom account as well as a special thanks to the N2United committee, particular to chair, Nick Allan for his personal time and dedication.www.n2united.co.uk/meetings.
Thanks to everyone who continues to support our local shops and businesses, you’re making the difference!

Next N2UNited meeting8pm via Zoom on Thursday 10th June 2021

The meeting is open to everyone and will build on, and develop the ideas shared at these meetings to support our local businesses and organisations, keep us all safe, and keep improving the area where we all live or work.

We will also be sharing more on our next business stimulation campaign – tell your business neighbours!

Notes: April Open Meeting 8/04/2021

As N2’s community and business network, with a wide range of interests represented at each meeting, N2United provides the opportunity for us all to share news and suggestions as to how we can make East Finchley an even better place to live and work.

We act as a forum for all local businesses and community organisations and provide an opportunity for businesses to promote their services. All ideas will be compiled and published on our website. As the majority of attendees prefer the meeting time of 8pm over 7pm we will continue at this time at least for the next few meetings.

1.     Welcome from N2United Chair, Nick Allan.

After welcoming everyone, especially to all three of our local councillors, Nick opened the meeting stating this was an exciting time because of the impending relaxation of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions meaning more of our beloved shops and local businesses could re-open on Monday the 12th April, adding, “we’ve missed you!”.

2.     Updates since last meeting

The East Finchley Food Project
The East Finchley Food Project distributes delicious meals from the Phoenix Cinema each Tuesday from 10:30 to 12:30. Alison Roberts summarised the project’s activities stressing the importance of the pay it forward scheme. This enables supporters to ‘donate to pay for their meal and one other’. On 22 March the Food Project was able to take over from Grange Big Local, and launch as an independent entity. 3,750 meals have been triumphantly produced in the first three months. https://iloven2.co.uk/community-organisations/n2-food-project/

Finchley Food Bank
The local Food Bank is run from St Mary’s Church, towards the north end of the High Road, working in conjunction with other food projects. Please support and refer to Facebook for the list of particular items required each week. https://www.finchleyfoodbank.org.uk/

Count Us In
‘Count Us In’ is a global initiative to encourage people to work together on environmental issues and similar matters. The scheme has been proposed by local resident, Nickie Fonda for East Finchley and is looking for a local sponsor to drive it forward – if that’s you, get in touch! https://www.count-us-in.org/

The Phoenix Cinema
It was good to see Jelena Milosavlijevic (Programme & Learning Director for the Phoenix Cinema) back at our meetings and able to report that The Phoenix Cinema will be benefitting from increased financial support and will be open again soon. https://phoenixcinema.co.uk/PhoenixCinema.dll/Home

Grange Big Local
The team at the Grange Big Local are encouraging people to sign up to the Grange Big Local mailing list to hear monthly about all the work going on behind the scenes of this valued local organisation. https://www.grangebiglocal.org/

Tarling Road Community Hub
Jon Woolfson said that the Tarling Road Community Hub, along with other community centres, will be allowed to open from 12 April and that bookings are being taken accordingly. Government guidelines will be strictly followed. TRC is planning to hold an event across several East Finchley venues on Monday 5 July. Contact Jon for further information – http://www.cityymca.london/tarlingroad

The Finchley Society
Harriet Copperman reported that all at The Finchley Society are looking forward to being able to being able to celebrate their 50th anniversary in suitable style when they are able to. Congratulations on such a milestone from everyone at N2United! https://www.finchleysociety.org.uk/

Brian’s Tuesday Quiz
Brian Hoopers long running weekly quiz starts at 8 pm and usually ends about 9pm It used to be held at the East Finchley Constitution Club but is now via Zoom. Look out for a list of topics published on his Facebook page on the Friday or Saturday before each meeting so people can do some research! Zoom ID is: 771 5119 7569, Password: 2JrVBX.

Age UK
Age UK are pleased to announce the launch of their ‘Manifesto for the Mayor of London’ election on 6th May. They are asking for 9 areas of specific action and if implemented they hope will make a significant contribution to making our city more age-friendly. https://buff.ly/3m4S5RN

Dementia Friends
Cllr. Farrier is actively involved with Dementia Friends and over the coming weeks is running a series of Dementia Friends information sessions. There are over 3400 people living with dementia in Barnet, but people with dementia can live well and independently for many years. By understanding the daily challenges that people living with dementia can face, you can play your part too. 225,000 people develop dementia every year, that’s one every three minutes. Help to make East Finchley a dementia friendly community and join the next session via Zoom on 21st April – https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/WEBSessionDetails?id=a055I00000I9PDsQAN#.YHcH6-hKg2x

East Finchley Arts Festival
Brian Hooper reported that at the East Finchley Arts Festival Committee meeting on 17 March it had been agreed to discontinue the previous format. Daphne Chamberlain is writing an article about this in the May edition of The Archer. A suitable individual is being sought to take over as Director to expand the late Geoffrey Hanson’s format into a broader range of arts and music.

East Finchley Plan
A formal plan for East Finchley has been discussed at previous meetings to benefit the whole area including the introduction of a local Loyalty Card. As local businesses do re-open up, we don’t want to ask them for discounts as we first must use them to keep our High Road thriving.

3.     Business update

Re-opening after lockdown
In anticipation of our much-loved shops and traders reopening on the 12th April, we heard from a number of excited but cautious businesses getting ready to open. We all wish you well and hope to see you soon!

Brian Hooper reported that there had been no business closures since the last meeting. The Local Café will close by end of June but is moving a little further north to the newly opened Cup of Joy. Delicious desserts are available at Gourmandise and from the Turkish bakery, Yasar Halim. Tony Mackie’s Fruit & Veg stall at East Finchley station will re-open from 12th April.

Business Stimulation Campaign
A scheme for a local business stimulation campaign is under development (similar to the N2Unique campaign) – watch this space.

Richard Mansi – Forever Distributor
Long time supporter of N2United, Richard Mansi, promoted his online business, ‘Mansi Healthy Lifestyle’, supplying  healthy Aloe Vera drinking gels & Aloe products that are pure, powerful and packed with benefits. Aloe vera can help you maintain natural energy levels and has natural cleansing abilities that help the digestive tract absorb nutrients from the foods we eat, whilst promoting friendly bacteria growth. https://thealoeveraco.shop/31kut

4.     Report from our local Councillors:

Cllr. Alison Moore reported on the exciting project of Marketplace Playground. Cllr. Arjun Mittra is on the committee and Cllr. Claire Farrier has been involved too. They have been working with the newly formed Friends of Marketplace Playground bringing Grange Big Local and Barnet Council funding together, which has directly opened the possibility of applying for funds from other sources. To add to the positive news, play specialist Tim Gill has been attracted into the project. People are being brought together via this initiative which is especially important in the context of recovery from Lockdown. https://twitter.com/Friendsofmarke1

Cllr. Mittra reported his recent focus on potholes in the Norfolk Close/Prospect Ring area where Barnet Homes are finally investing in communal area repairs. He has also been involved in reviewing Long Lane area road safety including a possible new pedestrian crossing.

Crime
On behalf of us all, Nick highlighted local concerns relating to rising crime. Brian Hooper reported his recent conversations with Metropolitan Police Ward representative, Jan Lovell, who acknowledged that the elderly were being particularly targeted via various scams. Look out for the Metropolitan Police Service booklets on phone scams and the Metropolitan Police Service booklet on other scams.

Cllr. Farrier reminded the meeting that while crime is not strictly the not remit of the local Council, concerns had been recognised about the attacks on the Causeway (technically in Hampstead garden Suburb).

Cycle Lanes
The three Councillors were asked for updates about the cycle lanes which has caused a variety of challenges, not least because of the loss of parking facilities for local shoppers. Cllr. Mittra reported that the Council had not yet proposed any formal plan. However, he could confirm that the environment committee have decided not to progress the suggested cycle lane from North Finchley to High Barnet. Various meetings had been held, alongside many back and forth communications with the Environment department. Councillors promised to maintain the pressure and champion the cause on behalf of local businesses. He added that the annoying bollards near Baronsmere Road are the responsibility of the water company, who should shortly be removing them.

Cllr. Moore stressed the importance of being given as much detailed information as possible on specific, related issues. N2United has summarised these concerns and has written to all our local councillors.

5.     Speakers

The Archer – Diana Cormack
Diana Cormack, (known locally as ‘The Archer Lady’), reminded the meeting that The Archer newspaper is run entirely by volunteers and is regarded as the ‘glue’ of the community. The first Archer editions of this year have contained over 20 articles about local businesses including features on No2Plastics, Grange Big Local and the Market Place Playground as well as new start-up businesses such as Bottles & Jars, the Church Lane grocer and Gourmandise have been covered as well as articles focusing on people running businesses from home. Diana reminded people to contact The Archer if they could demonstrate a community interest aspect, to enable the paper to promote new local businesses.

6.     Soap Box

Hilary Townley leapt on this month’s Soap Box to talk about litter.
Hilary reported a tsunami of public opinion passionately expressed about the increased amount of local litter, also featuring in the national news for some time. She asked if this issue could be turned into an N2 initiative, e.g. by possibly:

  • Launching street initiatives via street WhatsApp groups to raise awareness
  • Encouraging local schools to get involved.
  • An article in The Archer newspaper

The message could be: Don’t drop locally what you’ve shopped for locally!

James Masters, chair of the Grange Big Local suggested a monthly ‘10/10/10’ campaign, report 10 things within 10 meters of where you live on the 10th of the month. Then we can help coordinate us all including Barnet Council into action perhaps using Barnet Councils, ‘FixMyStreet’ reporting tool.

All are encouraged to come up with ideas for an N2 wide initiative.

7.     Close

Co-host, Louise Cambridge acknowledged the excellent attendance this evening and thanked everyone for their energy and ideas. Once again, she asked everyone to spread the word about the regular N2United, 2nd Thursday, monthly meetings.

Thank You!
Thanks were expressed to everyone who is supporting the various food projects, to our Councillors, to The Archer for hosting the meeting via their Zoom account, and a special thanks to the N2United committee, particular to chair, Nick Allan for his personal time and dedication. Meeting notes will be available via www.n2united.co.uk/meetings

All ideas the various initiatives, including litter are most welcome!

N2United is 5 years old in October!
Louise also issued another reminder that N2united celebrates its fifth birthday in October. Whilst a Black & White ball (the long-held hope of the chair!) may not be achievable, all ideas for a celebration are most welcome!

Next N2United meeting

8pm via Zoom on Thursday 13 May focusing on Business Matters
This business themed meeting is being timed to coincide with the further relaxation of Lockdown.
We will also be discussing ideas for our business stimulation campaign – tell your business neighbours!

Notes: March Open Meeting 11/03/2021

1.    Welcome from Chair, Nick Allan.

Welcome to all of our new faces especially new ventures, Aku Adjei (Music and Motivation), Katy Hodges (N2 Mums Speak) and Janka Mladenova (Little Volcanoes).

As N2’s community and business network, with a wide range of interests represented at each meeting, N2United provides the opportunity for us all to share news and suggestions as to how we can make East Finchley an even better place to live and work.

We act as a forum for all local businesses and community organisations and provide an opportunity for businesses to promote their services. All ideas will be compiled and published on our website. As the majority of attendees prefer the meeting time of 8pm over 7pm we will continue at this time at least for the next few meetings.

2.    Updates


Nick was delighted that we were into March, signalling better weather and hopefully the start of a much happier and healthier year.

East Finchley Food Project
Alison Roberts reported that the EF Food Project has now become a CIC in its own right (community interest company). Nick reported that he had seen behind the scenes noting not only the wonderful food on offer, but also the range of support options. People in need can benefit from getting delicious food , and volunteers can donate via the Go Fund Me page, and/or ‘Pay it Forward’ by coming along to buy a meal, simultaneously making a donation equivalent to the cost of two meals – their own and someone else’s.
Contact The Food Project at EFNSfoodproject@gmail.com

East Finchley Summer Festival
The festival is now officially postponed for its customary June slot as reported in March edition of The Archer. No promises about later in year and this will very much depend on Barnet Council.

Cycle Lanes
Chris Stavrou noted the frustration expressed on the ‘Letters Page’ of the March edition of The Archer by shopkeepers south of Fortis Green. The principal issues in that area are that all parking spaces have been removed and replaced by the cycle lane, which isn’t a continuous cycle lane anyway. Customers cannot park near those shops, and just give up so retailers are losing customers and income. The retailers are not against a cycle lane in principle, but it should not be one that prevents people using those businesses particular those from neighbouring communities. The shopkeepers are all very worried about the negative effect on their livelihoods.

Cllr. Claire Farrier acknowledged that the scheme had been implemented with too little consultation, although many cyclists love it. She urged N2United to submit a complaint to Consultation online. Officers are considering minor adjustments.

The big frustration is that shop keepers do not feel they are being listened to.


East Finchley Plan
The lack of response about suggestions such as a loyalty card (like the one operating in Muswell Hill) is disappointing. As Roger Chapman said, any change can only come about through communication, which is critical. Without an interest being demonstrated, nothing will even start to happen. Make your views known!

Grants and Finances
On the N2United website, local accountants Tax Assist have provided a breakdown of the budget, tips on the grants available and how to access them etc. N2United would like tips from you too. Have you had the support you need?

Business Update
The Crazy Corner shop on the corner of Baronsmere has closed. The New Local Café’s landlord is not renewing the lease at the end of the month, so the business is moving to the Cup Of Joy further north on the High Road. The old Cherry Tree shop and Rykers still do not appear to have found new tenants. Two outlets on Aylmer Road including the Post Office have closed. Maurizio has been running Amici Delicatessen for 26 years and all the staff speak Italian.

Customers can purchase a huge variety of goods including magnificent Easter eggs and wine. The shop has been enjoying great success since lockdown as customers working from home come in for sandwiches, and lots more people are cooking at home. The new patisserie, ‘Gourmandise’ is doing such good business it’s too busy to do an interview at the moment!

3.    Speakers

Gillian Jordan (Age UK Barnet)
Age UK Barnet is advertising several paid job vacancies including a part time gardener, a full time Community Services Manager and a Living Well Manager. These and other opportunities can be found on the website www.ageuk.org.uk/barnet/about

Age UK Barnet is always looking for volunteers, including those willing to help with shopping, telephoning, and befriending and training is available. An easy way of donating financial support is to log on to the www.easyfundraising.org.uk website – a percentage of everything purchased goes to Age UK. They have singing and cookery classes online, and have recently achieved a Dementia Services contract in Barnet – using a house west of Hendon Lane, which will be shared with another service. The building is being upgraded to accommodate both. Claire Farrier said she would contact Gillian for an update. Get all the news from the Age UK newsletter.

Linda Sou (Grange Big Local)
Three main projects underway:

  • COVID Recovery Fund is open for applications – up to £500 for training and equipment.
  • Community grants projects progressing in next few months with a significant variety of recipients (three grantees attended this meeting: Katy Hodges, Janka Mladenova and Aku Adjei – see below)
  • UBI (Universal basic Income) hosted a conversation recently explaining their rationale and this project is ongoing.

Linda Sou is leaving the Grange Big Local (GBL) to be Program Officer at Create Jobs, an employability programme for young Londoners. Nick Allan expressed thanks to Linda for her time and support, and to GBL for hosting our monthly Zoom meetings.

He also commended GBL’s Julia Hines’s Twitter feed to the meeting, highlighting many interesting activities in East Finchley, especially her reports on Covoid-19 rates etc.

Aku Adjei
Aku is working on a Music and Motivation project for parents of young adolescents who may have been struggling with home schooling children of a difficult age. Six initial sessions FOC and funded by GBL.

Katy Hodges Mums Speak
Katy thanked everyone who have helped promote her work. Mumspeak is an inclusive group, and she would like to hear from mums from disadvantaged and low-income backgrounds.

Janka Mladenova
Yanks runs Little Volcanoes, offering classes to low-income families and vulnerable children who cannot afford after school classes. Little Volcanoes has already filled quite a few classes still has vacancies for Year 2, 3 and 4 children focusing on the fun of science etc. N2United and the meeting generally was urged to promote these opportunities and the accompanying free science starter pack.

Roger Chapman
Roger reported that the Friends of Cherry Tree Wood are holding a meeting next Tuesday 16 March at 7pm and all are welcome. The refurbishing of the tennis and basketball courts is finished with a re-opening date of 29 March. He also mentioned that the state of the Cherry Tree Wood playground had been highlighted, triggered by the Friends of Market Place. Friends of Cherry Tree Wood have sourced approximately 100 small trees, and if anyone would like a few trees planted in public places please let Roger know!

Finchley Community Magazine
Nick mentioned that one or two who had hoped to attend the meeting but had sent apologies included Nicola Harrison of Finchley Community magazine, the March/April edition is out now and features N2United and other local interest stories.

Count Me In
Nickie Fonda,
a local resident, is suggesting East Finchley look at the global ‘Count Me In’ initiative to involve a billion people and organisations in ‘doing their bit’ for the climate and the earth. At the core of what they are promoting are 16 Steps, all of which could be carried out and/or supported both by individuals and by businesses and other organisations. Nickie said, “It seems incredibly timely to me, given the emergency we are all facing, and the fact that COP26 will be meeting in Glasgow this November”. It is a great example of ‘think global, act local’.

As with other ideas and suggestions, a project like this needs support to make it work… is that you? Get in touch with your interest and visit their website for more details – https://www.count-us-in.org/

Finchley Foodbank
The East Finchley Food Bank has been serving over 400 people from St Mary’s Church in the High Road over the past few weeks and needs support. He suggested that local businesses could possibly act as a distribution point and create a closer connection with customers.

Anna Maughan, Vicechair of the Finchley Foodbank (in absentia) said, ”In the last few months we have been experiencing a surge in people requiring food support. Our numbers are now reaching the 450 point and still growing and the queue of people waiting for us to open, very visibly, stretches beyond our premises and along the High Road. We are hoping that with schools reopening, that families will start to feel a bit more supported and that our numbers may drop in a few weeks. Once society open further in April, we again hope to see more people being able to support themselves, but we can only wait and see. Thankfully, the community of Finchley and beyond have met the challenge so far and we are able to support everyone who visits us with food. All donations of food and money (we are buying in eggs and cheese) are very gratefully received and put to good use”.

https://www.finchleyfoodbank.org.uk/– The Finchley Foodbank is part of the Westminster Roman Catholic Diocese. Trustee Charity No 233699

Lynn Winton – Tube library
Lynn had also hoped to join the meeting, but it was noted that while the library had briefly disappeared, it was now back! An update would follow in April.

Jon Woolfson of the Tarling Road Community Hub had sent his apologies but had asked the meeting to note the vacancy for a receptionist on a 10-hour weekly slot over weekends – http://www.cityymca.london/tarlingroad

Stephen Gold has put some useful advice on managing your lease negotiations on our website and is happy to help members with similar issues.

October 2021 – N2United is 5!
Nick reminded us that October sees N2United reach its fifth birthday – ideas are sought as to ways of celebrating.

4.    Close

Co-host Louise Cambridge, of UOE, thanked everyone for attending and for their energy and ideas they might submit to shape their network … it was great to see new and familiar faces.

Thanks to Grange Big Local for co-hosting the meeting, and for the fabulous coverage in the East Finchley Community Facebook Group and of course to Diana Cormack for coverage in The Archer newspaper.

Thanks to everyone who has been and is supporting the various food projects, to our Councillors and a special thanks to the N2United committee.

Next Meeting

8 April 2021 at 8pm (which seems to be popular!) via Zoom. The meeting is open to everyone and we want to build on and develop the ideas shared tonight, keep safe, support our local businesses, and keep spreading the word about #N2Unique.

Notes: February Open Meeting 11/02/2021

The February meeting started at 8pm in response to several requests for a later start due to work and most particularly childcare duties. We will trial this time over the next few meetings.
What time suits you best?

Welcome to our new faces Dan Bird (renewable energy projects) and Azhar Iqbal (Nudo Pizza).

As East Finchley’s community and business network, N2United provides the opportunity for us all to share news and suggestions as to how we can make East Finchley an even better place to live and work.
All ideas will be compiled and published on our website.

1.    Updates

Welcome new businesses
In these difficult times, we are delighted to see new businesses starting up so a warm welcome to Patisserie Gourmandise and Japanese Acupuncture clinic in Bedford Mews!

Congratulations to the The Finchley Society
The Finchley Society is celebrating its 50th anniversary today!
Thanks for sharing this happy news, Harriet Copperman – Finchley Society.

A Plan for East Finchley
Following on from Roger Chapman’s talk at the January meeting about ‘How a Community Can Work Better Together’ and understanding that the secret of a good plan is the people, the place and the community, we asked Roger what the biggest challenges are in an area like East Finchley.

Roger replied that a primary challenge is about people talking together and exchanging ideas in exactly the way we were doing at this meeting tonight. The key is to start with small scale changes e.g., Cherry Tree Wood plantings and tennis courts, along with the Friends of Market Place and the Archer Academy activities supported by funding from Grange Big Local. Longer term goals can only be achieved with a strong collective will!
We must all discuss and agree on what we want to see improved, and how can we effect change locally.

N2United will be developing thoughts over the next few weeks canvasing opinions and ideas. We must all discuss whether or not we are interested in making changes and what those changes might be. The Archer will help us publicise ideas and meanwhile everyone must think about it and get involved! And we must encourage our friends and neighbours to do the same.

East Finchley Food Project
The Food Project is growing week by week! Giuseppe Sollo, the chef responsible for this initiative, reported that the original number of beneficiaries was 200 and limited to East Finchley; now the number has increased to 400 and is expanding to different areas. Unitas in Burnt Oak has given the Food Project access to an industrial sized kitchen in a large building, where more and better quality food can be prepared. Next month Giuseppe is hoping to increase the number of recipients to 500. The project is always looking for more volunteers – to cook, to distribute and so on.
Contact The Food Project at EFNSfoodproject@gmail.com

East Finchley Summer Festival
Owing to the pandemic, the Festival is unlikely to go ahead this year. A June event will be impossible unless a way can be found to control numbers on the gate. The only alternative is a possible event later in the year, but this is also very uncertain.

Business Update
Some local shops have closed permanently including the florist on Fortis Green which has moved to Finsbury Park and the Polish grocer opposite the tube, which is closing down altogether.

Many shops are open for business, including take away restaurants and cafes (two Thai restaurants on the High Road: Bangkok Lounge next to Tony’s and Nahling a little further south, Mezes & Shish, Going Greek next to KFC, Poseidon and the new pizza shop Nudo. Very positive feedback expressed about Nudo! Azhar Iqbal of Nudo looks forward to getting much more involved with the community.

Coffee shops such as Dan & De Carlo, Coffee Bank and Campbell & Syme are still going strong for take away only. Please do frequent them!
Delicatessens and grocers such as Tony’s, Amici, the new organic grocer in King Street Food and Wine and Bottles & Jars inside the Hexagon Classic Cars showroom on the High Road south of the tube station will continue to thrive with your custom. The same applies to bakers and patisseries such as Yasha Halim on the corner of Kitchener Rd, Margot’s Bakery on East End Road and the new patisserie next to Pacey’s newsagent on the High Road ‘Gourmandise’. Gourmandise is taking cash only for now, but is looking forward to welcoming credit cards soon.
Our two great butchers (Midhurst on Fortis Green and Grahams at the top of Ossulton Road on East End Road) are doing well, as is A Scott & Son Fishmongers.
And that’s without mentioning the very helpful chemists, Bugden’s, Amy’s, Iceland and Sainsbury’s Local!

N2United’s new directory and training programme
N2United’s FREE directory
will be available to promote all businesses and services in the community and share news and offers.

N2United Training – back by popular request so look out for new training programs and advice surgeries from March 2021 – What’s your biggest training challenge?

Grants and opening up after lockdown
What do businesses need in the way of support when they re-open? We know many feel a bit stuck, wondering where they can get help, whether they should do more on line business, apply for grants, use social media differently etc.

N2Unique
N2Unique Campaign Extension (Cafes and restaurants offering takeaway or changing their business model etc.) Would anyone like to be showcased? Who are the people behind the businesses? We want to get to know you better!  The Archer can help too. Customers are far more likely to come to you if they know more about you!

2.    Speakers

Lynn Winton – Tube library
Lynn has been responsible for a quiet revolution in the area, which was publicised in The Archer in January 2021. Four years ago, thinking it would be nice to have an exchange bookcase in the centre of East Finchley, Lynn approached TFL, who took a year to get back to her. Prickett & Ellis funded the bookcase and Lynn visits most days to tidy it all up. Copies of The Archer are available there too. Do give it a tidy if needed as you pass! Many love this mini exchange library and we don’t want to lose it. Sadly people recently started dumping unwanted clothes and other items there. Station staff then packed the bookcase up ready to throw out, and had to be persuaded of its value.  Please would everyone help to maintain and tidy it!

POST SCRIPT: Oh No! From Lynn on 15th February 2021

Sad news on the station bookcase. The bookcase was taped up and closed this morning.
I spoke to Station staff who told me this morning’s superintendent made the decision.
Sometime between my last visit yesterday morning and lunchtime today, it had been left in a terrible state as people had left piles of books despite there being clearly no room for them.  Some idiot had left a deckchair (yes that was not a typo, an actual deckchair) and for the superintendent it was the last straw, as last week other idiots had left bags of old clothes and goodness knows what else.  Probably as a result of charity shops being closed people are just looking to selfishly dump stuff wherever they can.
I can only try and get it reinstated after lockdown. It usually works so brilliantly and appreciated by so many but it only takes one or two morons to ruin it for everyone.”

Steve Gold – Commercial Leases
Steve built on his presentation in January, by explaining some more of his back story. Steve has been working in commercial property throughout the UK since he left school in 1963. Over the years, his most exciting times were spent in a two-man partnership in South Molton Street with his cousin, acting for M&S and handling much of their expansion including into branches in Pinner and Muswell Hill.

In 1985, acting for M&S, he and his partner were instructed to buy the freehold of eight shops behind M&S’s Portobello Road store. To keep the purchase price realistic they used a nominee name for their client. In the middle of a complex negotiation, they were rumbled and some very fancy footwork and price changes were needed to pull the deal off.  
Steve is delighted to join N2United as a business adviser.

Roger Chapman – The Finchley Charities
https://thefinchleycharities.org
The Finchley Charities have been operating since 1488. Yes, you did read that right! They manage 172 housing units across three sites, the main areas being Homefield Gardens and Wilmot Close & Thackrah Close. The Finchley Charities also run the Fuel Land Allotments.
The Charities are seeking new trustees with relevant skills (finance etc.). If you are interested, please contact Roger direct.

Julia Hines – Grange Big Local (GBL)
GBL is collecting names for a petition to improve Market Place playground  
(if you would like to help support, please email
friendsofmarketplace@gmail.com ). They are also supporting Giuseppe Sollo’s Food project. GBL have launched a new pilot making grants of up to £500 for people living within the GBL catchment area who want help to get back into work. These grants could fund anything from childcare to equipment such as steel toe capped boots and black trousers to work in Waitrose.
N2United looks forward to hearing from those who have been awarded grants – hopefully at the March meeting.
Julia is also pushing for a vaccination centre in N2, the closest centres currently being in Finchley Central and West Finchley.

Laura Roberts – Laptops For Lockdown
Laura talked about this education related initiative last month and since then has been inundated with support. Laura is very grateful, but as this is an ongoing project please continue to support it. https://thegoodexchange.com/laptops/

A similar scheme is being operated via the East Finchley Facebook Community Group.

Gillian Jordan – Age UK
Get the latest Age UK Newsletter
Gillian will report further at the N2United meeting in March.

Diana Cormack – The Archer  
The Archer, led purely by volunteers, has received many compliments for its February edition, not least in recognition of the number of engaging pictures.
Good to note that even in the current difficult circumstances The Archer still has a sufficient number of deliverers. Thanks were extended to Alison Roberts for setting the content each month prior to printing.

Dan Bird – new to N2United
Dan, whose priorities are renewable energy and upcycling, demonstrated that an old C120 stand can double as an iPhone stand! Dan Is passionate about abolishing single use plastics. N2United will be happy to connect Dan with East Finchley environmental groups such as No2Plastics N2. www.no2plasticsn2.com

3.    Close

Thanks to everyone for your attendance and energy and the ideas to shape your network…

Thanks to Grange Big Local who again co-hosted the meeting as well as the fabulous coverage in the East Finchley Community Facebook Group and of course The Archer newspaper.

Thanks to everyone who has been, and is supporting, the various food projects and a special thanks to the N2United committee, especially Louise Cambridge for co-hosting and Ruth Anders for these notes, all work so hard behind the scenes.

Look out for further details on how we can all build on the ideas on improving our area and bringing Roger Chapman’s community ideas to life, and on our suggestions about advice and training for businesses when they re-open after Lockdown.

The East Finchley community calendar and N2United community directory are now live.  Look out for your invitation!

Let’s build on the ideas and information shared tonight – reach out to your neighbours, to local businesses and to the other community organisations.

4.    Next Meeting

11 March 2021 again at 8pm (which seems to be popular!) via Zoom. The meeting is open to everyone where we will build on the ideas shared tonight, keep safe, support our local businesses and keep spreading the word about #N2Unique.

Notes: January Open Meeting14/01/2021

As this is the first meeting of 2021… Happy New Year! This meeting is for the organisers of the various groups working on behalf of East Finchley to get together, share ideas and get support for our respective objectives.

1.    Welcome from Chair Nick Allan.

Welcome to our new faces (Lynn Winton – Station Library, Steve Gold, Selena Green etc.)

The aim of tonight’s meeting is to share ideas to help East Finchley Businesses, Organisations and Residents – how N2United can help businesses, you as an individual, and/or benefit the community. Ideas will be compiled and published.

There is usually no public meeting in January so this is a free and open meeting for everyone (organisations and businesses) and will focus on sharing plans and ideas to help us all thrive in these uncertain times. We’d like you all to help us plan what we do as a network to help you whether you’re a business, an organisation or a resident.

2.    Updates

Lockdown 3 has arrived with the same challenges as before… plus some! Despite this, we are delighted to welcome several new businesses to the area including King Street Food & Wine, Bottles ‘n Jars and all the new businesses on the N2Unique list, please support them if you can.

Food Project – Giuseppe Solo

The project is operating from the Phoenix Cinema from 10:30 to 12:30 every Tuesday and remains free to those who need without question. People can also buy the wonderful homemade food and buy additional of meals to support the initiative, £3 or £5 each. All donations gratefully received.

Other volunteer groups
Other volunteer neighbourhood support groups who help shop, collect and deliver prescriptions; dog walk etc. can be found on the East Finchley Community Facebook pages – you can also volunteer to help as well!

There is also a team of befrienders on hand for a friendly chat if helpful.

Cycle Lane update – Chris Stavrou

Not much to report since December as so many shops closed or operating reduced hours, he is still awaiting a response from the Council to his email.

N2Unique – Nick Allan

Pleased to report the campaign has been well received by everyone and will be extend include the local cafes and restaurants and anyone in the area who are having to pivot their businesses towards takeaways etc.

Please let us know which of these outlets is offering what services.

Introduction to Steve Gold Property

Steve helps local businesses operating from a leasehold premise to help them get the best deal from their landlords relating to managing or extending their leases.

Steve explained that he acts for tenants rather than landlords. Rental rates are typically not down to square meterage but rather how much a tenant can afford to pay, and how much/little a landlord can afford to accept while remaining viable. One landlord in a recent case insisted that there were no problems! The matter was finally resolved, but on resolution tenants are not allowed to share the details with other shop tenants. This is absurd, as tenants need a comparison in order to negotiate.

N2United will feature the advice Steve provides on the N2United website. For specific advice, please contact Steve directly.

Grants and Support

N2United is helping local businesses get the help they require and is sharing tips and advice.

What’s been your experience?
Can you find the right help? Where to find it? How easy/hard has it been, what help do they require? Etc.) Government, Barnet… others?

Please share your experience!

3.    Community Plans & Ideas so far

No2Plastics Treasure Walks

No2Plastics Founder Ann Inglis had suggested that someone could design local walks as treasure or history trails to provide children and adults with more interest on their walks round the neighbourhood. She is writing a letter to ‘The Archer’ to try and get this suggestion launched and find someone to lead the initiative – can you help?

Loyalty card

N2United and a number of local organisations are looking at introducing a loyalty card to reward shoppers and help local trade.
Would a loyalty card (like Muswell Hills Mums card) work in East Finchley? Views please!

From the Front line – Retailers stories

A message to all customers

  • Please wear a mask (do not wait to be asked).
  • Be polite and considerate (to staff and other customers).
  • Tell businesses what they are doing that you like and what else you’d like them to do (e.g., what additional item(s) would you like them to stock for you?).

Examples of what it’s like as a retailer in today’s circumstances.

Chris Stavrou – KOKOS shoe and repair shop

The shop has faced many challenges. As a repair service, not only for shoes but also for any other leather items, it comes into the same category as laundrettes and dry cleaners, it can remain open. However, KOKOS has had to reduce its opening hours and most of the repair team are furloughed. Shoe wear is currently lighter as people are staying at home more. KOKOS has introduced a service whereby customers do not have to visit the shop and repairs can be home delivered.
Chris said, “We all must make ourselves and our businesses much more accessible than previously, minimising people’s need to go out.”

Louise Cambridge – UOE and Post Office

Everyone needs the Post Office!
UOE is an independent family run business. Elliot Jacobs has owned the business (and its several other North London branches) for more than 20 years. The average week sees about 2,500 customers in the shop. Seen as part of N2’s critical infrastructure, UOE has experienced significant challenges throughout lockdown. Louise herself works on the Operations and Finance side. While there has been a serious amount of investment in the shop’s infrastructure for Covid-19 safety and other purposes, there have been redundancies. 2metre markings have been introduced, along with an electronic customer counter at the entrance and counter screens. A modest amount of government support has been available, Elliot has applied for everything there is and encourages us all to do the same. Some applications have been successful, some not.

Grants are also available for closed businesses and there are other discretionary grants that businesses can apply for.

UOE has worked closely with suppliers requesting extended terms, landlords, business rates and utilities re extended credit or deferment payments. All this has helped. UOE has not been shut for one day, although they have stopped trading on Sundays.

N2United along with other organisations is looking at ways we can recognise businesses, organisations and individuals who have been especially helpful during the pandemic.

Guest Speaker – Roger Chapman, Friends of Cherry Tree Woods

‘How to plan a town’ or how a community can work better together.

Roger has been active in the community for the past 35 years and is best known for running the East Finchley Festival (greatly missed in 2020) until stepping down in 2018. Most recently Roger and his team through the Cherry Tree Wood project, have raised over £20,000 in funds to support and maintain Cherry Tree Wood as attractive and viable as possible.

Cherry Tree Wood Update
Roger reported that new waste bins had appeared this very day! He also confirmed that, thanks to pressure on the Council, the tennis and basketball courts would be rebuilt. A significant result.

Why is planning important and why should we plan the best community we want to live and work in?

Re planning generally, the starting point is thinking what end you want to achieve.
Most planning documents set out a list of aims, vision etc, which is usually very messy and confused. For example, think about where you want to be in one, five-, and 10-years’ time. Then review from your own point of view as a business, organisation or individual. During the process you’ll meet compromises, disagreements etc. – it’s an ongoing process all of which ties into the journey towards your goals.

Roger quoted Donald Rumsfeld: ‘It’s what we know, the unknown knowns, the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns.

For East Finchley, what’s happening on the ground at the moment? What’s going to happen post Covid-19? What’s going to change?

Getting there?
Lots of communication is needed – talk to each other. Identify the dots and join them together. An effective plan needs collaboration, mutual support, and discussion.
Already a strong community, East Finchley could be stronger. What does stronger mean? What linkages to we need? How and by whom do we establish them? Do we need another organisation? Have we already got enough?

Consider how many more people are moving into the N2 area – hundreds of homes are being developed – in Viceroy Court, Prospect Ring, rear of the Bobath centre, Grange Estate, station car park proposals. And others. How do we welcome newcomers? Yes, of course via The Archer but how do local businesses welcome them?

Local communication

Roger conducted an experiment looking up items on Google – e.g., condensed milk; up came a Russian shop at Elmer Close, entirely because the shop has a brilliantly linked website.
How can we improve and drive customers to East Finchley?

Other thoughts
Other influences include Climate Change with lots of ideas coming out re renewable energy, and the expansion of ULEZ next year.

Ways of working – more working at home. Will this change? Implications for businesses.

Final thought
Plan is about People. The Place. The Community. Try and bring them together, discuss, support, collaborate. This discussion is a starting conversation.

N2United serves the businesses and community organisations to help ask these questions and find solutions to them. But it takes everyone’s ideas and enthusiasm as s ingle solution wont work. For business support, a photographer who works at home will have very different needs from a local retailer, chemist or restaurant.

We hope that this and our next meetings will help us agree what we are all trying to achieve. Everyone must tell us their ideas, plus how you might actively support some of these initiatives.

Planning and Goal Setting

Juliet Landau Pope – De-Clutter Coach

Juliet is very experienced at telling people how to declutter their homes… and lives!

We asked, ‘What are Juliet’s tips on setting goals?’
Juliet said that she is not talking about goals anymore. Anyone who set them last year will have been despondent, disappointed etc. Juliet works with students who were expecting to sit exams and business owners whose budgets are now irrelevant. Instead, she advises her clients to think about projects. Projects are what have kept Juliet sane and kept her and her clients motivated. A goal may depend on so many exterior influences more, but a project can use our energy short term in a productive way.

Right now, she would encourage everyone to think about weekly rather than annual goals. We can’t plan much further ahead than that at the moment. At night look back at your day and celebrate what you have accomplished – walk, did laundry, checked in with neighbour, attended a networking meeting online. So important to acknowledge the positive, however small.

Also, re grants and support – she is member of the Federation of Small Businesses, but if you’re not a member, they still have a huge amount of information on their website including Health & Safety info re risk assessment, plus how to apply for financial support.

Laura Roberts – Laptops for Lockdown

Laura asked people to give their unwanted tablets and laptops to local schools – for more information please go to www.laptopsforlockdown.com

Age UK

Gillian Jordan one of the trustees for Age UK shared news from their latest newsletter and a forward by chief executive Helen Newman

“Welcome to our February e-newsletter. Sadly, we are in another lockdown, but the end is hopefully in sight as the vaccines are rolled out. We are still here to support older people in Barnet with advice, friendly phone chats, shopping, essential jobs around the home and online activities.

‘However, we REALLY NEED more shopping volunteers – particularly in Edgware, Colindale and Hendon. If you or anyone you know can spare a couple of hours a week to help, please phone our volunteer manager Lisa on 020 8432 1422 or email her on lisa.robbins@ageukbarnet.org.uk

‘Read on for our latest news – and I’ll be in touch again in February!”

Get the Age UK latest newsletter

Keeping Healthy

Mental Health – Naomi Cotten

Coping with… well, everything! – Psychotherapist Naomi described a couple of coping strategies:

We are all under a lot of stress at the moment which is perfectly normal in the circumstances. A bit of stress gives us impetus in life. But, right now, stress can become so great it paralyses us. Think of stress as a bottle of water. Most people go round with the water in their stress bottle right up to the top, so something new makes it spill.

Here is an exercise which can help to decrease what’s in the bottle to make to make room for the unexpected

Settle into your chair, feet firmly on the ground, and sit firmly against the back of the chair. Breathe in for 4, hold for 2, breathe out for 6, and get into that gentle rhythm of breathing. Be aware of your breathing, then start to look around your room and notice three red things, then three silver, then notice what you can hear – tune into the sounds, and here’s Naomi’s top tip: think about whether you have any saliva in your mouth. If you have, it will send a message to your nervous system that you’re calmer, more relaxed. If not, chew on your tongue or the inside of your cheeks or thinks about your favourite food to produce saliva. Then think of one of your favourite places, real or imagined, where you feel calm and at ease – imagine yourself there – notice how you feel – breathe it in, let it fill you up from head to toe. Breathe out any stress and worry. And come back to the room.
U
se this exercise throughout the day.

Physical Health – Martin Carroll (Personal Trainer)

Martin is a local REP’S Level 3 qualified personal trainer and provides advice on fitness and exercise and is the owner of ‘Make That Change’ that helps people achieve their fitness goals and fulfil their true potential.
“Whatever your fitness level, shape or size we will work together to Make That Change to suit your individual needs. My background in fitness is from Boxing and Thai Boxing in which I still compete, and I provide:

  • Free Consultation
  • Weight loss & Body sculpting
  • 1 to 1 Boxing & Thai boxing training
  • Pilates
  • Strength & Conditioning
  • Dieting advice
  • Exercise Programs

Get in touch today so we can start to Make That Change today.”

4.    Close

Thanks to everyone for your attendance and energy and the ideas to shape your network…

It was great to have the support of Grange Big Local who again co-hosted the meeting as well as the fabulous coverage in the East Finchley Community Facebook Group and of course The Archer newspaper.

Thanks to everyone who has been and is supporting the various food projects and a special thanks to the N2United committee who work so hard behind the scenes!

Look out for details on how we can all build on the ideas on improving our area and brining the ideas Roger shared to life.

The East Finchley community calendar is now live, and the directory will be available in the last week of January, look out for your entry!

Next Meeting

11 February 2021 at 8pm* via Zoom – open to everyone where we will build on the ideas shred tonight, keep safe, support our local businesses…

*Please note that we will be starting slightly later at 8pm to give those a chance to attend previously precluded due to work or childcare responsibilities.

Remember: The October 2021 meeting will see N2United turn five years old but how do we celebrate? Please send your ideas!

Notes: Christmas Cracker – 17/12/2020

As this was our ‘festive meeting’ it was for everyone including all East Finchley organisations, shops, cafes, restaurants, traders, freelancers, groups, charities and businesses to share a drink and have some fun at the last meeting of the year.

1.     Welcome: (by the Ho, Ho, Host – Nick Allan)

Ho, ho, ho said our host as we settled in via Zoom (probably from home but there were a couple of suspect backgrounds…) for the N2United ‘Christmas Cracker’. Some with that Pu’erh tea we mentioned in our invite, most with wine and one with what looked like an energy drink… (Not sure the next 40 minutes were going to be that strenuous!) all wearing a jolly hat, some with rather fetching antlers!

This meeting was of course a departure from our usual Christmas meeting. Usually, we’d all be fighting over the last chicken wing or slice of quiche by 7pm in the Stag or The Clissold Arms, oblivious that Ali would arrive late (again) to try and wrestle the last remaining sandwich for herself in an unconscious attempt at beating her own record for the ‘most paid and least received’ award.

Determined to close a challenging year with at least some festive fun, attendees at this last meeting of the year also shared their favourite cracker jokes (see below) and heard from businesses and community organisations with their various updates.
In closing the meeting, thoughts turned to how the community, residents and business had come together to provide much need support during the tribulations of 2020. Our host thanked everyone and encouraged us all to build on this pointing out that in times of challenge, it’s our own communities that make the difference.
With that in mind, the N2United January 14th meeting will focus on bringing these elements closer together and encouraged everyone with a stake in the area, especially businesses and organisations, to join the meeting via Zoom and share their thoughts and ideas.

The meeting closed with a ‘toast’ to the fabulous community of East Finchley especially the key workers, Covid-19 support and all those supporting our new and unique makers, cafés, restaurants, shops and small businesses. Let’s keep supporting them in the way they supported us.

2.     Updates

Food Project – Giuseppe Sollo

Phoenix Cinema – Tuesdays 10.30-12.30

Project run by East Finchley Neighbourhood Support to feed disadvantaged families was launched on Tuesday 15th December.
With the help of Community Barnet and Grange Big Local (GBL) and the Phoenix Cinema as the distribution point, freshly cooked meals will be provided to local people who need them free of charge, with no questions asked or referral needed. Deliveries will also be made directly to local agencies who will help direct food to where it is most needed.

Find out more at: iloven2.co.uk/food-project

Cycle Lane update – Chris Stavrou

No change to current situation although in an email to Chris, Barnet Council say the scheme is temporary and remains under review.

Residents reported they saw just one bike over a two hour period on Tuesday 16th December, “all over the place not always in cycle lane, and the road traffic was appalling”. Reports showed that traffic backs up to North Hill, N6 by 3pm every day. It has been suggested that traffic lights may be re-phased ‘to try to help’ although there are concerns that will just shift the problems and jams to East End Road and Fortis Green instead!”.

Tarling Road Hub – Jon Woolfson

Tarling Road Hub used to be called ‘the Old barn’, since knocked down and the hub built in its place. It offers spaces for hire including a large hall, offices and working spaces and is available for community activities. Small kitchen downstairs which could be developed into a café depending on the partnerships that develop – plenty of opportunities. Cleaning in place so is Covid-19 compliant, taking bookings from New Year.

For more details – cityymca.org/tarlingroad

Business Update – Ruth Anders

Ruth has been talking with various small businesses especially those on the High Road. Issues continue around cycle lanes and lack of parking because of them and the CPZ extension in Twyford Avenue area as well as pavement studs. Ironically Barnet Council have installed large posters imploring the public to ‘shop local’!

However, noted that business rates have been waived until March and public parking restrictions are to be lifted on Saturdays during December.

#N2Unique

#N2Unique is a list of East Finchley new or unique  shops, makers, cafés and small businesses and part of a local campaign to stimulate trade for local businesses particularly in the crucial run-up to Christmas. It’s hoped this will be inspiration for locally sourced seasonal gifts from new and unique shops, makers, cafés and small businesses. Many established and up and coming new businesses are taking part. If anyone knows of businesses who could benefit from participating, they should get in touch with N2United and support the ‘#N2Unique’ campaign by using the hash tag on their own social media posts.

For more details see www.n2united.co.uk/n2unique

Community Trust – Gail Coles

Reported the trust has been quiet all through Lockdown and doubts there will be a meeting before spring.

The Archer – Diana Cormack,  

The Archer newspaper is run, written and managed by volunteers and has been a longstanding supporter of the area and N2United and has recently been promoting the #N2Unique campaign – see #N2Unique. If you are interested in participating in the newspapers coverage or to express your views in The Archer, write a letter, send an article or join our soapbox. We’ve kept going throughout the pandemic and intend to continue. Stories are East Finchley community based.
Big piles of copies available for collection in Budgens and at the tube station.

For more details – www.the-archer.co.uk

East Finchley Community Facebook Group

Over 8,000 East Finchley Community Facebook Group active and vibrant.

The Facebook team are also supporting the #N2Unique campaign promoting local shopping.

Join here

Universal Basic Income (UBI)

On the 8th December, Jack Dorsey, CEO and founder of Twitter gave $15 million (£11.2million) to fund a Universal Basic Income (UBI) programme for 30 US cities which energised the second conversation on the potential for a similar, albeit smaller trial in East Finchley on the 9th of December.

The discussion centred on how a scheme would work in East Finchley and if introduced, what people would spend the proposed £100 a week on. The money would be paid unconditionally to everyone in work or not, without bias of gender, family structure or size of household including to those not usually seeking eligible for financial support including CEO’s and millionaires. Further conversations are planned and again local residents are encouraged to share their thoughts about the value of a trial of UBI in East Finchley via email to info@grangebiglocal.org

Phoenix Cinema

We are awaiting government guidelines about when the cinema can re-open. Better news that the cinema has been awarded £126,328 from Culture Recovery Fund. The Phoenix said, “This support will be invaluable in allowing us to keep our doors open and we are so grateful to @BFI for recognising our work and place in the community”.

For more details – www.phoenixcinema.co.uk

Finchley Foodbank

Historically, we have always seen an increase in number visiting us for support in January and February and donations usually dip at this time, so that is a worry for the New Year. 

For more details – www.barnet.gov.uk/directories/food-banks/finchley-food-bank

3.     Cracker Joke Winner*!

  • What do you call an old snowman? Water
  • What athlete is warmest in winter? A long jumper!
  • How does Good King Wenceslas like his pizzas? One that’s deep pan, crisp and even!
  • Who hides in the bakery at Christmas? A mince spy!
  • What did Adam say on the day before Christmas? It’s Christmas, Eve!
  • What does Santa suffer from if he gets stuck in a chimney? Claustrophobia!
  • *Mrs Clause looks up to the sky on Christmas Eve and says to Santa, it looks like Reindeer! (Winner – Ruth Antlers Anders)
  • Why can’t Christmas trees knit? Because they always drop their needles!
  • What goes Ho Ho Whoosh, Ho Ho Whoosh? Santa going through a revolving door!

4.     Quiz

We didn’t get chance for our quiz which included these questions (answers will be on our website after Christmas).

1.             How old is Archie, the statue at East Finchley station?

                A.             80       B. 75

2.             Which comedian lived in the flats next to East Finchley library?

                A.             Spike Milligan     B. Peter Sellers

3.             Where is the memorial garden to Octavia Hill, a founder of the National Trust?

                A.             Strawberry Vale   B. East Finchley Cemetery

4.             Which singer was born in Church Lane, East Finchley?

                A.             George Michael     B. Amy Winehouse

5.             What used to be grown in Cherry Tree Wood, East Finchley?

                A.             Cherries         B. Watercress

6.             Which pub has a blue plaque inside commemorating where The Archer newspaper started?

                A.             The Bald Faced Stag     B. Maddens

7.             Who opened Holy Trinity Church of England School in 1974?

                A.  The Archbishop of London        B. Margaret Thatcher

8.             At which East Finchley pub did bare knuckle boxing used to take place?

                A.             The Five Bells   B. The Old White Lion

5.     Jolly Hat competition

Despite some stiff completion (see photo) including the 2 hat reveal from Brian and Louise’s full face Santa effort, Hilary won the best ‘Jolly hat competition (bottom right) with an electrifying entry… ironically, Hilary is more colloquially known as ‘Hat’!

6.     AOB

Organisers Calendar

N2United are inviting community organisations to participate in an ‘Organisers’ Calendar for them to add the  dates of their public activities to avoid clashes with local events, meetings etc.
To get access, email calendar@n2united.co.uk

Website Directories and Listings

N2United are inviting community organisations to get listed in a local directory of all organisations and businesses in East Finchley.
To get included, see n2united.co.uk/listing

Completion winners (Hat, Joke etc.)

The winners of the various competitions all agreed that their winnings would be donated to a local charity.

7.     Close and Thanks

N2United 2021

The regular meeting on the 14th January 2021 will again be for everyone to discuss, share and plan how we can all help each other next year.

N2United aims to help bring everyone together to enable them to share their news, get support or promote their organisation or business.

Everyone with a stake in the area, especially businesses and organisations are encouraged to join the meeting (via Zoom) and share their thoughts and ideas.

For details of the January meeting, see n2united.co.uk.

Thank you

Thanks to everyone for their attendance through the year especially to The Archer, Phoenix Cinema, East Finchley Community Facebook Group and all of the N2United committee and volunteers.


Next meeting:
14th January 2021 (via Zoom)

Notes: Community Matters – 12/11/2020

Thursday 12 November 2020 – 7:15pm via Zoom

This meeting was for the organisers of the various groups working on behalf of East Finchley to get together, share ideas and get support for our respective objectives.


Warm welcome from Chair, Nick Allan. 
We aim to be a conduit to bring together all N2 community organisations. The last community meeting was in September when we had strong representation from many different parts of the community. Tonight, a special welcome to Councillor Arjun Mitra, who will be invited to speak when he’s heard what most others have to say.


Giuseppe Sollo
Giuseppe’s project to feed disadvantaged children during school holidays started after he shared his frustration on the East Finchley Community Facebook group.  As a relatively new East Finchley resident (he moved here last year after seven years in Islington, and loves N2!) he was horrified by the increase in family poverty in our area. Thinks ours is one of the best London areas, average salaries quite high compared with other boroughs. However, this new poverty, especially among children, shocked and angered him.

So many families have suffered during COVID, and are finding it very hard to get government support. Increasing number of volunteers responded to Giuseppe’s Facebook post. Now the group is starting to organise fundraising, food collection and delivery. They need to source a van, and refrigerators to keep food for six hours. Giuseppe is working with three restaurant managers to develop a plant based menu. Food will be designed to be stored from 3 to 5 days plus instructs as to how to warm it.
Giuseppe needs to establish a distribution/collection point. (Tomato Tutors site suggested, but possible landlord constraints) Jelena Milosavljevic (Phoenix Cinema) suggested that they could be a possible venue for distribution and she will speak to the trustees.

More information available through East Finchley Facebook Neighbourhood Support Group. Please join the group if you’d like to know more or can support in some way:

For more details – www.iloven2.co.uk/east-finchley-neighbourhood-support


Gill Jordan, Barnet Age UK 
Gill has lived in East Finchley since 1975, and has been involved in community activities for a long time including as Secretary of East Finchley Arts Festival.

She explained that there may be some confusion around the different organisations supporting the elderly. In 1940, when there was no welfare state, a group of organisations, individuals and government representatives formed the National Old People’s Welfare Agency, which eventually became Age Concern. By 1990 there were over 1,000 organisations in the UK. There are well over 200 regional branches of Age UK, and also a national body.

Age UK Barnet was formed at the end of WW2. Lots of information on their website. It’s a flourishing regional branch whose vision is to make Barnet a rewarding place for those in later life. They have a contract with London Borough of Barnet but the financial grant has been reduced considerably. Now trying to source different funding. Sometimes lucky enough to receive legacies.
Gill stressed the importance of those making wills to stipulate Barnet Age UK to prevent the gift going to the National Age UK, where it would be severely diluted! Barnet Age UK has both paid staff with specialist skills and many volunteers. Helen Newman is their excellent Chief Executive.

Many services are offered including the critically important area of Later Life Planning and solicitors are there to help. Other help offered includes access to Benefits and entitlements plus scams awareness. Normally a big range of physical activities like falls prevention, alongside general exercise, Tai Chi, walks, dancing.
Encouraging older people to use the internet, run sessions in schools, helped by the students.
Additional services include shopping for people – more relevant during pandemic; men’s afternoons and cookery classes especially for men who are widowed and who have never cooked.

All face-to-face activity has stopped owing to the pandemic. There is a strong focus on trying to reach the vulnerable and lonely, including a flourishing befriending service using a phone based model.

Barnet Age UK is looking for sponsors! Raffle prizes etc, and employees to volunteer.

For more details –  www.ageuk.org.uk/barnet/


Jon Woolfson
Centre Manager for Tarling Road Community Hub, in post since September 2020. Jon previously worked for the Grange Big Local… Tarling road hub used to be called ‘the Old barn’ since knocked down and the hub built in its place. Jon’s role is to make the centre work for the community. It offers spaces for hire including a large hall, offices and working spaces.

He wants to open it up to community activity. Small kitchen downstairs – perhaps could be developed into a café depending on the partnerships that develop. It’s early days, but plenty of opportunities. It’s a challenging time to be starting this role, but Jon is looking past COVID-19 to the future and to what opportunities lie beyond.
For more details –  cityymca.org/tarlingroad


Alison Roberts, East Finchley Facebook Group
Ali and her team including Louise Woollam does an amazing job on behalf of us all, said Nick, with over 8,000 East Finchley Community Facebook Group and a very active and vibrant group. Ali said that the recent big story is Giuseppe’s project reported above. It just came from a post venting frustration. Following the first live meeting in the High Road last month, there have been a number of virtual meetings.

Look out for Facebook Group spin off groups (by the same team), one of which is East Finchley Neighbourhood Support, which was created in March as a Covid -19/Lockdown support group.
The Facebook team are also supporting the #N2Unique campaign promoting local shopping – see #N2Unique

For more details –  www.facebook.com/EastFinchleyN2


Andrew Niewiarowski, No2Plastics
Most locals are aware of the campaign to rid East Finchley of ‘single use plastic’ (SUP). No2Plastics is a group whose purpose is to promote ways of shopping in a more eco-friendly way. Its inception followed the documentary by David Attenborough about how we are contaminating the oceans. No2Plastics has worked with local shops encouraging them to use less SUPs (bags, straws, cups, etc).
New website at www.no2plasticsn2.com – the team welcomes your feedback!

It has been difficult to maintain momentum during the pandemic because of vital SUPs like PPE. The group is lobbying to build in extra provisions through government, plus writing for The Archer, eg Maxine Klein writing about going plastic free for a week in the next edition.

For more details – www.no2plasticsn2.com


Peter Hale, East Finchley Open Artists (EFOA)
Peter has lived in the area since 1975. East Finchley Open Artists have 60 members who used to meet regularly in the Clissold, and now all meet via Zoom. Normally they stage exhibitions during the year including the big Open House during summer. This is the perfect time to produce a new website and Peter will take a month to input all members’ info.

The site will enable on line exhibitions and will hopefully be up and running in December. Permanent Christmas Tree now outside Budgens, which will be lit up at beginning of December to inject a bit of normality! Once website up, EFOA will be looking for sponsorship: their brochures and newsletters etc will provide many opportunities for business and EFOA to work together.


Roger Chapman, Friends of Cherry Tree Woods
Nick said that Roger had been involved in East Finchley community projects for 40 plus years, including the management and much of the success of East Finchley Festival. Today, Roger confirmed that he is now focusing more on environmental projects including Friends of Cherry Tree Woods which has recently been awarded a grant of £20,000 from Barnet Council, which will cover some small landscaping work, new bins, notice boards, and a willow area for basket making. He is looking forward to the next East Finchley Festival, hopefully in June 2021.

Lockdowns 1 and 2 have seen increased litter, racist graffiti – now cleared away. However, sadly someone has tampered with the locks on the gates.

Thanks to The Archer, the Friends have a very enthusiastic gardening group getting going on planting, making new beds and a community orchard.
Roger hopes there may be new tenants for the Kiosk early in 2021. Council is currently undertaking final checks.

He reported that, because of a recent accident in the basketball court, Barnet Council have been reviewing the state of the courts. A complete refurbishment (probable cost of £15K)) is needed and Barnet are getting quotes for the necessary work. Maybe miracles will happen, but Roger not overly optimistic!

The Friends can be found on Instagram and Facebook and via their website which is due an update, volunteers who can help should contact Roger.

For more details – https://friendsofcherrytreewood.home.blog/


Nicola Harrison, Finchley Community Magazine
Grange Big Local is currently writing an article for the magazine, which covers all the Finchleys. Nicola loves supporting the community. The magazine is produced in both print and digital, and can be accessed via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Just look up Finchley Community Magazine.

For more details – https://issuu.com/finchleycommunitymagazine


Diana Cormack, The Archer 
The Archer newspaper is run, written and managed by volunteers and has been a longstanding supporter of the area and N2United and recently promoting the #N2Unique campaign – see #N2Unique. If you are interested in participating in the newspapers coverage or to express your views in The Archer, write a letter, send an article or join our soapbox.

We’ve kept going throughout the pandemic and intend to continue. Stories are East Finchley community based.
Big piles of copies available for collection in Budgens and at the tube station.

For more details – www.the-archer.co.uk


Linda Sou, Grange Big Local
Linda works for Grange Big Local (GBL), a resident led community project working out of East Finchley.
They are now offering their annual Community Grants Programme: offering grants to local residents and organisations for projects/ideas that will contribute to the community. Up to £500 available for individuals, and up to £10,000 for local organisations. Many successful projects previously
The application form will go live on the GBL website on 16 November. Funding for successful applicants will come through in January.

For more details – www.grangebiglocal.org

Julia Hines, Grange Big Local 

GBL’s area is limited to a tiny pocket of East Finchley. Grants, however, are available to people who live outside the area, but must benefit the people within the GBL area, eg Bread & Butter from outside the area got a grant last year. Long Lane Pasture can certainly apply as it benefits everyone.
Marketplace Playground – holding first on line ‘Friends Of’ meeting 7:30pm on Wed 18th November. if you’d like the Zoom details, please email info@grangebiglocal.org

For more details – www.grangebiglocal.org
 
Universal Basic Income (UBI)

Universal Basic Income: a fixed term UBI Trial does not form part of the current Grange Big Local plan, and would need the Council to be on board. It also has Benefit implications. A meeting will be held on 9 December to hear all voices. If you’d like to attend, please email info@grangebiglocal.org to join meeting.
UBI can serve many purposes but will need to ask local people if that’s what they want Grange Big Local to spend their money on.

For more details – send an email to info@grangebiglocal.org


Ewelina Sadlowska, Phoenix Cinema
The cinema was hoping to re-open on 5 November, especially after the news of the financial rescue plan. Now rearranging plans. The building has been closed for seven months, and is currently posting messages for local residents.
The Phoenix can offer poster spaces for community projects, and there are also opportunities on the Readograph.
We are awaiting government guidelines about when the cinema can re-open. January more likely than December 2020.
Brian Hooper mentioned that a film crew had been filming at the side of the Phoenix all morning recently – did the Phoenix know? Ewelina will investigate.

For more details – www.phoenixcinema.co.uk/


Arjun Mitra, East Finchley Ward Councillor
On behalf of the community, Nick expressed great appreciation for what Arjun and his fellow Councillors do for the whole of community and thanked his colleague Councillor Alison Moore for attending the October ‘Business Matters’ meeting which focused on businesses expressing fury at the new bus and cycle lanes.

Arjun commented that the update is not great right now. No written communication has been received from the Officer managing the process, which was very frustrating. He added that many of us have campaigned to get an effective cycling infrastructure in East Finchley, only to see it executed at last but badly without proper consultation or planning. The Council now appears to be changing its tune re: the initiative’s permanence. Having been assured that there would be consultation at the end of the current temporary measures, Arjun had discovered last Friday that the Council is treating this six month period as the formal consultation period!

Totally unacceptable. Arjun will be speaking to Cllr Cohen to check all this. The bad junctions, loss of parking, bus lanes, problems round Martin Primary School are just some of the issues. Barnet Council don’t always listen!

Mike Freer MP shares our concerns and Arjun will keep trying, the attempts to get the Baronsmere Road, island reinstated have been successful.

On behalf of the community, Nick expressed thanks to Arjun for his ongoing commitment, involvement and his accessibility.


Chris Stavrou, owner of Kokos
As N2United representative for the ‘Business Matters’ team, Chris reported that last month’s meeting was very well attended and focused on business support and lead generation including much discussion about cycle lanes and their effect on local business – see The Archer November 2020

N2United is building a directory of local organisations and businesses, to include your organisation visit www.n2united.co.uk/listing

He reported that local businesses have now started using the hash tag ‘#N2Unique’. Many established and up and coming new businesses are taking part. If anyone knows of businesses who could benefit from participating, they should get in touch with N2United and support the ‘#N2Unique’ campaign by using the hash tag on their own social media posts.

For more details – www.n2united.co.uk


Reverend Marius Mirt, Holy Trinity Church
Reverend Mirt said it was wonderful seeing such vibrant East Finchley representation. He is leader of a church which has been here for 170 years. Originally it sat in the centre of fields, a hidden building. Thanks to Arjun and the team, it’s now highly visible and a great centre for community and spiritual support.

Holy Trinity is the Parish Church for the community and its own community is a vibrant one and has come back to life in the last few years. An Anglican church, Holy Trinity welcomes everyone. Since Lockdown the church has been supporting the community as much as it possibly can, especially focusing on the elderly who are struggling with isolation.

The building is open for people to come in sit quietly, light a candle etc. The congregation, a great mixture of young and old, meets regularly on line via Zoom for Sunday worship, and Morning Prayer every weekday.

For more details – www.holytrinityeastfinchley.org.uk and in The Archer.  


Finchley Foodbank 
Finchley Foodbank has seen pretty big increases in numbers since the covid crisis began. The number of households supported has more than tripled since this time last year. 

Support from the local community has been constant and generous, but numbers do continue to rise and this puts pressure on supplies. As we approach Christmas, donations have always been very big. Historically, we have always seen an increase in number visiting us for support in January and February and donations usually dip at this time, so that is a worry for the new year. 

A big thank you to many local churches, synagogues, Grange Big Local, schools and resident associations who have been very supportive. Also, East Finchley Community Facebook group admins for allowing our posts requesting donations. Lastly, to Arjun Mittra for his support with lots of enquiries we have made. 

For more details – https://www.barnet.gov.uk/directories/food-banks/finchley-food-bank


Organisers Calendar
N2United are inviting community organisations to participate in an ‘Organisers’ Calendar for organisations to add their dates to avoid clashes with local events, meetings etc.
To get access, email calendar@n2united.co.uk


#N2Unique
#N2Unique is a list of East Finchley new or unique  shops, makers, cafés and small businesses. Part of a local campaign to stimulate trade for local businesses particularly in the crucial run-up to Christmas…
Inspiration for locally sourced seasonal gifts from new and unique shops, makers, cafés and small businesses!

For more details or to get involved – search #N2Unique or visit www.n2united.co.uk/n2unique


Thank you
Nick also thanked everyone who attended the meeting or who are supporting the community behind the scenes with a special mention to The Archer, East Finchley Facebook Group, Arjun Mitra and our other Barnet Councillors as well as the various COVID-19 groups reminding everyone that this was their network.

N2United aims to help bring everyone together to enable them to share their news, get support or promote their organisation or business. A big thank you again to Linda and Julia, representatives of the Grange Big Local, for co-hosting the meeting with a final thanks to members of the N2United Committee and especially Ruth Anders for these minutes.


Close
In bringing the meeting to a close, Nick expressed thanks to all for their excellent Zoom etiquette! It had been great to hear from so many contrasting groups. He hoped it would afford opportunities to make new contacts and for us to support each other and work closer together.

E&OE


Next N2United meeting
We would be usually organising our Christmas Soiree but Covid 19 has seen to that… look out for more details on www.n2united.co.uk

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N2United Community and Business Network