Category Archives: Meeting Notes

Notes: October 14th October 2021

This was the first in-person meeting after a year of the Zoom meetings and it was a treat to see everyone.
We were also in a new venue…
Thank you to the East Finchley Constitutional Club for hosting us – a great space, AV equipment and a bar, the perfect setting to hear from local businesses and organisations sharing their news to get support so we can all promote each other’s endeavours.

Our guest speaker, Sara Gatoff spoke passionately about her journey through retail’s changing landscape providing a range of tips and tricks.  Sara is also offering FREE one to one 30-minute advice sessions on the evening of 26th October, contact us at join@n2united.co.uk if you are interested, perfect for new start-ups, existing businesses, and social enterprises of all sizes.

N2United Soapbox – This month, Pedro Redig of Planet Pallet

Pedro Redig, local craftsman at Planet Pallet, used the N2United ‘Soapbox’ at the October N2United regular meeting to point out the dilapidated state of the East Finchley Medical Practice at the corner of Baronsmere Road and Park Hall Road. His passionate appeal for the outside of the building to be better looked after or at least painted once in a while met with others in the group nodding their agreement. Pedro said, “It looks like just a coat of paint could make all the difference to the external appearance of the surgery which might just make a visit to the Dr’s more bearable”. After the meeting, enquires are underway to alert the staff and owners of this general concern and to see if the wider community could help? Perhaps it will inspire other poorly maintained premises to get better attention and help improve the external appearance of East Finchley generally.

We’ll be following this up at the November N2United regular meeting on the 11th of November!

Remember, you can use the N2United Soapbox to speak for a maximum of 5 minutes on a subject of your choice to inform, entertain or educate at any of our meetings!

Updates from the October N2United meeting included:

The Archer – Diana Cormack
The “glue of the community” local paper is run completely by volunteers and can always do with a hand when delivering the 10,000 copies a month.  Get in touch via www.the-archer.co.uk

Better Streets for Barnet – Julia Hines & Ashley Grossman
Encouraging more active travel in the London borough of Barnet, join the conversation with them on Twitter @BetterSt4Barnet

Bowen for your Body at Utopia – Bernadette Tunney
Not just for sporty people, the Bowen technique is fast becoming the go to therapy for anxiety and stress, chronic pain and Fibromyalgia. www.utopiatherapyhub.com/the-bowen-technique

• Christmas in East Finchley – Gail Coles
Plans for a festive evening and tree lighting on Saturday 4th December will be revealed at our meeting next month.  It would be great if High Street traders got in on the act with special promotions and festive events of their own on the day. Join our November meeting for more details.

Cllr Alison Moore
Dedicated in East Finchley residents getting the most out of the community, join the discussion on Twitter with Alison @AlizonMoore

Duck Whittington online pantomime – Jake Eisman-Renyard
Online charity puppet pantomime for Whittington Health Charity because Fun pantomime production can raise funds for NHS – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jake-eiseman-renyard.

East Finchley Festival – Alison Roberts
This year’s volunteer-run community festival involved more local businesses and traders than ever. Planning is underway for next June’s festival. See how you can get involved at www.eastfinchleyfestival.org

East Finchley Polinator Project – Roger Chapman
The project aims to plant 100,000 flowers in the hope of creating pollinator trails and “nectar cafes” in East Finchley.  Let’s grow more plants and flowers!

The Holistic Hub – Sharmila Hume
As a health practitioner, Sharmila offers a free consultation to assess which Organic and NATRUE certified Weleda products are the best combination for your skin. www.symplyhealthysynergy.co.uk/weleda/

N2 Food Project – Giuseppe Sollo
Help the N2 Food project continue to make gourmet food to feed the hungry.  They need volunteers to help cook the meals, every Saturday and Sunday at Martin Primary School kitchen. ILoveN2.co.uk/Food-Project

Symply Synergy Property Clinic – Matt Hume
Matt aims to create healthier living through healthier homes.  Bioresonance treatment focuses on reducing the harmful effects of environmental factors, pollution and toxins the body has been burdened with which will in turn make room for healthier well-being, or healthy synergy.  Find out more at www.symplyhealthysynergy.co.uk/


Next N2United Meeting – 11th November 2021

Notes: July ‘Open Meeting’ 08/07/2021

Notes, Appeals and Requests – 8th July 2021

With the last meeting before the summer recess, local businesses and organisations again shared their news to get support so we can all promote each other’s endeavours.

We heard from a number of people including those representing Age UK, East Finchley Community Trust, 224 North London Air Scouts, East Finchley Festival CIC, and The Archer amongst others.

1.     Updates since last meeting

Local Archaeological Dig: 17th/18th July in The Market Place – held in Market Place (one of the most historic sites in East Finchley) https://www.hadas.org.uk/

  • N2 Food Project: Continues outside The Phoenix every Tuesday from 10:30 am until 12:30pm. They continually need financial support to keep the project running so please help if you can!
  • Finchley Food Bank: Still needs more drop off points. 
  • Cherry Tree Wood: Thanks were given to our local Councillors for the fantastic new courts which are free to book and hugely popular, then thanked all tonight’s participants.
  • East Finchley Festival will go ahead on 5th September in a reduced form, called Late Summer Social. Stalls bookings are now open via their website.

2.     Business update

  • New restaurant opened in Hexagon complex called The Engine Rooms
  • New Barber on East End Road
  • Two closures on The Aylmer Parade: Forget Me Nots and The Aylmer Pantry.
  • The currently closed Cherry Tree Wood Kiosk is due to open under new management later this summer.
  • October: A special business edition of N2United with guest speakers from the world of retail consultancy. Business owners, retail or otherwise, come and hear a great idea you hadn’t considered?

Community group updates:

Gillian Jordan, Age UK Barnet:
Age UK now have many more clients therefore need more volunteers. All Training given if you have a spare couple of hours a week to be Befrienders, also shopping tasks or take a walking group.
Age UK is there for solutions to loneliness or for practical help e.g., later life planning, benefits, writing wills. Main fundraising campaign is a Golf Tournament on Sept 2nd at Mill Hill Golf Club. Looking for local businesses to donate prizes, e.g., a meal. People are directed to the charity’s website for more information as well as access to their highly informative newsletter. www.ageuk.org.uk

East Finchley Arts Festival
Not able to join us in June, Daphne Chamberlain, of the former East Finchley Arts Festival, repeated her written request about gauging interest (not personally organise) the idea of a new community arts festival. Now the previous festival has been wound up, would there be interest in creating a totally new type of festival, moving away from previously predominantly classical music to all music and art forms in various venues like a poetry reading in a café? There is so much local talent in the Borough, much of it discovered would be wonderful to create a showcase.  Daphne can be contacted at The Archer if anyone has ideas. 

East Finchley Festival CIC
Gail Coles reported on the exciting East Finchley Festival ‘Summer Social’ on 5th September in Cherry Tree Wood. It will be a celebration of the Wood which became so vital during lockdown. There will be a music stage, bar, food stalls, children’s activities, free tennis coaching from Stormont Tennis Club, free basketball coaching, keep fit and other workshops, wellbeing zone, local makers market and stalls for community groups. See www.eastfinchleyfestival.org for details.
Local businesses can become ‘Friends of the Festival’ from as little as £50 and sponsorship is invited for high-profile areas.

A Rubbish Idea?
Hat Townley reported on the litter problem. Councillor Arjun Mittra has been contacted regarding the state of The High Road.  We need to encourage a culture of responsibility, including business owners regarding their outside space. Ideas are welcome!

3.     AOB

The Archer Newspaper
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.

4.     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.

5.     Future Meetings – look out for details!

August: We will now have a summer break so no meeting in August.

14TH October: Meetings return in person. The October meeting will focus on business revival tips and will be free and open to everyone.

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

Thanks – 10th June 2021

That’s 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!

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. 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…

Next N2United Meeting – July 8th 2021 – ‘Open Meeting’ – 8pm again via Zoom and don’t forget our ‘Summer Social’ in August… outside!

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

*Our hosts walk-on music!

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!