Category Archives: Meetings

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!

MEETING: JUNE 2021

The N2United networking meeting at 8pm on the 10th June is FREE, via Zoom and open to everyone (local organisations and businesses).

Look out for details soon!

If you’d like to speak at the June meeting, click here!

Please RSVP


Wherever you work or whichever organisation you support, we’ll all benefit from your ideas, help and support so we hope you can join us?

To get the joining details for this FREE Zoom meeting, look out for your email and RSVP or confirm your place via the N2United Facebook page!

Meeting: May 2021

The N2United ‘Business Matters’ networking meeting at 8pm on the 13th May is FREE, via Zoom and open to everyone (local organisations and businesses).

This time we’ll focus on raising the profile of our local businesses.
 
Look out for details soon!

Please RSVP

If you’d like to speak at the meeting, click here!

Wherever you work or whichever organisation you support, we’ll all benefit from your ideas, help and support so we hope you can join us?

To get the joining details for this FREE Zoom meeting, look out for your email and RSVP or confirm your place via the N2United Facebook page!

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!

Meeting: April 2021

N2United April ‘Open’ Meeting
Thursday 8th April– 8pm* via Zoom

Come and ‘Rabbit’ * at the N2United Easter networking meeting on the 8th April. The meeting is FREE, via Zoom and open to everyone (local organisations and businesses) and will focus on sharing plans and ideas to help us all thrive in these uncertain times.
 
Look out for details soon!

*’Rabbit’… Ever wondered where the phrase “rabbiting on” comes from? It’s Cockney rhyming slang, ‘rabbit & pork’ = talk!

Please RSVP

If you’d like to speak at the meeting, click here!

Wherever you work or whichever organisation you support, we’ll all benefit from your ideas, help and support so we hope you can join us?

To get the joining details for this FREE Zoom meeting, look out for your email and RSVP or confirm your place via the N2United Facebook page!

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.