Bookswap, London Zoo, curry and a nordic walk… February Saturday Club!


Forget the February blues, this month’s Saturday Club was jam-packed with food, activities and special guests. Here’s what went down…

The kitchen team was led by Chanda and Kanchan along with a fab troupe of volunteers who chopped, cleaned and served brilliantly as usual. On the menu was homemade salsa, garlic bread and tortilla chips for start. A glorious potato curry and rice for main was followed by divine fresh fruit salad, which used produce provided by food redistribution charity the Felix Project.

Gavin held an invigorating walk pre-Saturday Club, which was really popular. Worked up everyone’s appetite for lunch! Everyone enjoyed the exercise equipment in Paddington Rec…

Following the success of the clothes swap last year, we held a book-swap so everyone could grab a new read on the cheap and save the trees at the same time! New volunteers Chaine and Colin, plus the brilliant Bobbie-Rose, Gavin’s daughter, looked after the stall.

Nordic Walking tutor, Martin, did a demonstration taster of Nordic Walking to advertise the new weekly sessions starting from March 14th. Tuesdays 2-3pm, £1 a session, if you’re interested!

Lucia and her colleague came from London Zoo to tell us all about the restoration project of the Snowden Aviary on the Regents canal (a listed structure). We hope to take a group down in the near future for a tour. They brought a lion skull!

Meanwhile, Prabhat’s sewing group were selling their wares. The aprons were really popular and they took 10 new orders for more!

Here’s our former, much-loved Healthy Bones fitness tutor Nikki, who popped by for a visit.


All this in one day, phew! And not to mention the usual raffle – thanks to Debbie and Gavin for calling, plus everyone who donated prizes. This includes the Felix project who gave us some wonderful multi-coloured roses. We’d also like to say a big thank you to Karin for always bringing along delicious cakes. Her chocolate-covered macaroons are exceptional! Thanks to May for her great photography skills. Finally we’d like to thank everyone who helped out with clearing away chairs and cleaning the hall. We really appreciate it.

Until next month folks 🙂 Please book if you’d like to attend (March 18th) by calling 07447 932 564 or 020 7624 8378 or popping by reception.

And the Kilburn table tennis champions are…

Our table tennis sessions have been running for a few months now with great success, thanks to our beautiful tables from Loop in the Community alongside a grant from FreeSport. Since receiving both donations, the sessions have seen more and more participants of all ages each week. Two of our CTCers, Lynda and Hassan, trained up as coaches with Table Tennis England with money from FreeSport. We even had another table donated anonymously by a very generous member of the community, to accommodate for the growing numbers of attendees. It’s been a fab way to get older and younger generations together and to get everyone active.

To celebrate, we held a much-anticipated tournament here last Monday.

The tournament had a straightforward ‘knockout’ structure with winners going through to the next round. But at the Abbey CC tournament the ‘losers’ also had a chance to play again with the ‘losers’ from the other tables.So everyone’s a winner after all!

Firstly we held 4 tables of doubles competitions in which adults and children were competing.We offered the choice of playing separately to the children, but they decided to challenge the adults! Four people kindly offered to be volunteer referees for the Doubles:Dashmoor Qarkaxhiu, Dennis Ajufo, Jamal Ali and of course our wonderful coach Hassan. A BIG thanks to them – they were fantastic!

Our doubles winners were Sue and David Lyn, and runners up were Diana Robin and Michael Stuart. Sue and David are pictured below with Simone and Hassan.


We then held four tables worth of singles competitions in which the top players were competing. The talented winner was Dashnoor and runners up Dennis and Jamal. Congratulations guys!

All winners won golden trophies and runners up golden medals (all children who participated also received a gold medal for effort. They were very happy!) Some of the ladies won flowers, which prompted jokes from the gents who also secretly wanted a bunch of blooms! 





In total, 31 people turned up for the tournament, which meant we had to run the doubles and singles one after the other, so we could make use of all four tables.

We’d like to give a special thanks to Hassan here – his dedication and help as a table tennis coach the last few months has been amazing. He is wonderfully patient and motivates all the players. Peter Rees has also been a fantastic help every Monday, setting up the table tennis tables, chairs and snacks.

If you haven’t come to a ping pong class yet, why not pop by? Classes are held here at Abbey on Mondays from 6-8pm, are open to everyone and are completely FREE! We hope to see you soon! Maybe you’ll even give our current champions a run for their money in our summer tournament…

January Saturday Club: Variety show!

On the 21st we held a big and busy Saturday Club to take everyone’s minds off this month of freezing weather, Blue Mondays and failed resolutions. Prabhat and her team of volunteers put together a chickpea curry to help everyone warm up, along with a pasta salad starter and Indian semolina dessert – three-course decadence!

Special mention to the fantastic apron modelled by Carmel.

The food was ready in no time, which was lucky as a long queue had formed! January always tends to make people hungrier…

Soon everyone was warming up, munching contentedly and catching up on the month’s gossip as usual.

After lunch we had a bit of a ‘variety show’ with acts from across the centre! First up was our community choir, led by Stac, a student from the Brit School. Choir practice at Abbey is on Wednesdays from 6-7.30pm. We’re always looking for new singers – of any ability – and it’s totally free to join.

Recently the Community Time Camden bunch has been working on a contemporary panto version of Dick Whittington. The full performance has had to be delayed due to cast illness, but preparations are well underway… you can see the set design below!

As part of the Saturday Club we had a reading by our Creative Writing group, which will eventually be the introduction to the panto, to give everyone a taster of the story. Below our trustee Diana is reading it with some members of the group. Thanks Hassan, Lucien and Carol for putting it all together! If you’d like to join Creative Writing, you’d be most welcome. Just pop along every third Thursday of the month at 12.15pm.

“A typical day in London town
Commuters with their dreary frowns
Smoke spirals from the chimney tops
People crowding into shops.
Rich tourists on their way to Kew
Dodging past the jobcentre queue.
A city full of dark, dank homes, workhouses
next to palaces with a hundred rooms.
But who’s that coming down the road?

A young man with – is that a toad?
No, oh silly me, it’s a cat!
Wonder if they know about King Rat…
Hundreds come to London town
Every week, to earn a crown
make their fortune, if they can
though sometimes even the best laid plans
don’t quite run smooth. Still they come
in search of work, of love, of fun,
to become gentlemen or politicians.
This one looks like he’s got ambition.
So let’s wish him all the best
Getting a job is the first test…” 

We also had a show from our fantastic dance group, led by volunteer Emma, a professional dance tutor who we are very lucky to have running the group (Fridays 1.30-3pm!) More dance pics to come…

All this AND our usual raffle! Next Saturday Club will be held on February 18th where we will be holding a bookswap! More details to come.

Panto prop prep courtesy of GoodGym!

I accept that I can’t beat the GoodGym’s own blog title (Tree’s Behind You) about their visit to Abbey  on Wednesday 18th, but would still like to thank them for their invaluable assistance preparing props for our upcoming Abbey Pantomime (performance tomorrow from 12pm!)

This energetic bunch got straight to it, painting four huge trees to act as a backdrop for our retelling of the story of Dick Whittington and his cat. This job would have taken over an hour had our arts-and-craftsy staff member Simone been left to it – but with the GoodGym on board the job was done in 15 minutes!


Thank you team. We’re excited to debut our panto tomorrow – includes a performance from our choir, a reading from our creative writing group, and all performed and directed by CTCers! Come watch from 12pm at Saturday Club – booking required.

December Saturday Club: Christmas bingo and food, glorious food…

Those on January diets will be reminiscing about the golden days of Christmas indulgence when they look at the pics below from our December Saturday Club. The ladies from Bingo cooked up a real feast, a proper Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. Quite the feat when you consider over eighty people came to have lunch with us! We played a special Christmas edition of bingo too while letting our considerable dinner go down.

Prepping in the kitchen…

Dishing up…

And our very full guests!

A big thanks to everyone who came, cooked, set up, cleared away, baked, donated raffle prizes, and provided the tunes (DJ Dave as usual!) We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and have a brilliant start to 2017.


Centre Christmas Party 2016

On Monday over 80 Abbey regulars gathered together to enjoy our annual Christmas lunch and entertainment to round off the year with some festive cheer.

The Abbey elves got busy in the kitchen to prepare a good spread.

This year we were lucky enough to have the help of some wonderful volunteers from Sainsbury’s Kilburn High Road. Gerry, Vlora, Donna, Mags, Ezmi and Jamie kept us organised throughout the day and brought along the biggest hamper ever to enhance our raffle, along with a £100 giftcard to help with our food costs – brilliant!

Everyone was soon arriving and tucking into the food. Not quite a traditional roast, but we try our best…

After stuffing our faces it was time for a Christmas quiz organised by Leo, with a Kilburn twist! Our winning team below won the most coveted of Christmas prizes – a box of Quality Street, naturally. Excellent NW6 knowledge there.

For those whose Kilburn knowledge wasn’t quite as up to scratch, there were still plenty of chances to go home with a prize. We had our usual raffle plus an extra BONUS raffle – one free ticket each to win the giant hamper courtesy of Sainsbury’s.

Theresa was the winner and was delighted with her prize. Luckily the Sainsbury’s volunteers were able to step in to help her drive it home!

Our final Christmas treat was a carol performance by the top-quality choir from Olswang (who also provided our mince pies – thanks guys!) which ranged from traditional numbers right up to Mariah and everyone’s favourite, Fairytale of New York.


Thanks Olswang! I think you inspired our own Abbey choir members too.

A few hugs, farewells and card exchanges later it was time to pack up and head home. But it’s not over yet – our Saturday Club tomorrow is looking to be just as big AND we’re doing special Christmas bingo.

The centre will be closed from 19th December to the 3rd Jan, with our full activities programme back in action from the 9th Jan.

Happy Christmas everyone! Thanks again to all our volunteers and donors, not to mention May on photos as usual of course.

Abbey’s Boccia Superstars… and now Camden league winners!

On December 6th the formidable Abbey Boccia team made their debut at the Camden League held in Basil Jellicoe Hall. It was the most competitive match yet, with 8 teams taking part on the day. And we only went and won, didn’t we?


The next match will take place at 11am on Monday 9th January at St Pancras Community Centre. We look forward to a repeat victory 😉

Boccia is a gentle and fun way to stay active in the winter months and build some team spirit at the same time. Why not join us on Fridays from 12.15 to 1.15pm?