Trip to Hampton Court Palace for Re-cycle-art

“We had a very nice outing to Hampton Court. Simone was very nice. We went by mini coach, which is easier for elderly people. There was so much to see in Hampton Court.”

We’d like to say thank you very much to the Wates Foundation—in particular Michelle, who recently fundraised for our talented Re-cycle-art group to enjoy a coach trip to Hampton Court Palace and Gardens.

“Really enjoyed the day out to Hampton Court. It was such a wonderful day. We enjoyed the performances they put on and all the information about Henry’s wives, the paintings and the gardens and courtyards. The trees were amazing. Thank you to Wates for such a wonderful trip.”

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The group were singing non-stop on the journey to the palace (and enjoying Celebrations chocolates!) which gives you an idea of how excited they were.

“When I received the invite to go to Hampton Court I was a bit down. Maybe I would not be able to as it’s all day and I’m not used to being out that long… I went though and it was so nice to be with others from the club, and not alone all the time. We had a lovely ride in the coach all together. We arrived at the palace and was given headphones which explained how the palace came to be, Henry VIII and all his wives. I liked to tapestrys, his crown, the chapel. What a wonderful day. We had a walk in the gardens, I did a drawing of the front of the palace. Simone stayed with us all day, she looked after us so well I did feel wanted, I could not tell her how happy I was to be part of the group. Singing on the way home and some sweet treats really boosted me up. Thank you Wates for giving us such a wonderful day.

They spent time admiring the garden and interiors of the palace, which will definitely provide some inspiration for future artworks. Jean and Frank bravely stood up outside in the cold and produced amazing sketches of the Palace’s façade.

“I was looking forward to the trip, there was lots to do there and it was warm inside and I don’t go out much on my own and I have achieved a lot and looking forward to coming back.”

Christine and Dorry kept nice and  warm indoors and sketched beautiful details of the building.  We all had lunch together in the Palace’s café, Chanda brought delicious sandwiches and Indian snacks.

“I enjoyed the trip very much. It was great fun. Before the trip I was thinking of things… after I felt energised and happy. Our group were great and the transport made the whole experience special. Seeing the actors was great fun and made you think of a different era.”

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Sally, Connie, Ellen, Violet, Chanda, Kanchan, Frank and Carmel travelled in time, watching the indoor and outdoor performances going on at the time. Frieda and Frank also visited the palace’s kitchen and were very impressed with the size of it.

“I had the most entertaining time. I am not sure what was the best bit. Wonderful company, great location, and a caring leader. I got home feeling so blessed. I am grateful for all my friends at the Abbey. They are full of fun. Up for any mischief. My inner child was able to enjoy herself. Something I could never do when I was young. I was able to learn lots about Henry VIII and his last wife Catherine Parr. I never had time to embrace history. The enactment makes it easy to retain the details. I hope to visit lots of other historical sites. Thank you to Wates, who made this visit possible.”

A big thanks to Wates for providing such a special experience.

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Carolling at Sainsbury’s!

Last Wednesday the Abbey Choir had the pleasure of bringing some Christmas cheer to the customers at Sainsbury’s Kilburn High Rd. We’d like to thank Gerry, Shuzna and other colleagues at Sainsbury’s who helped us to organise it and supported us on the day.


We were there early evening – a great time to catch people doing their after-work shopping – and managed to raise around £40 for Abbey, which went towards the costs of our Saturday Christmas cafe. Thanks very much Sainsbury’s!



Cosy Covent Garden trip

Braving the cold last Saturday, lots of our locals headed out for a Christmassy Saturday afternoon trip to Covent Garden. They kept warm on the way with some dance steps taught by Sarojine!

The first stop was Trafalgar square where the group took pictures in front of the beautiful Norwegian Xmas tree. They then headed to Covent Garden – and had a Santa surprise when they got there as they were amazed with the amount of Father Christmases about – hundreds and hundreds! Apparently this was part of Santa Con which happens every year. 


The group admired the beautiful decorations around the market and caught a fabulous street opera performance. 

They also visited a church and gardens, bought Xmas cards and had a hot chocolate to warm up. All in all a delightful day! Watch this space for the destination of our next trip on Saturday 6th Jan, 2pm. Trips are for all ages and we take public transport. Contact Simone for more info on 020 7624 8378. 


Christmassy tea at the Marriott

Last Friday we had the privilege of enjoying a festive afternoon tea at our local Marriott Hotel thanks to Joanna and her team.

They kindly catered for 35 of us with cookies, mince-pies and croissants plus tea and coffee brought to our tables!

We enjoyed the Marriott Christmas decor and the warm atmosphere created by the staff who spent lots of time chatting to us and getting to know the Abbey crew.


It was the ideal way for everyone from Community Time Camden to catch up with each other before the Christmas break and we really appreciated the treat. The Marriott staff have also said they would like to help us out with our Tech Buddies IT support sessions which is brilliant. Thanks again to Joanna and the team and happy Christmas to you all.

Ping-pong merrily on high!!

Please excuse the terrible pun – it’s just a way of telling you how wonderful Abbey’s Christmas Table Tennis Tournament was on Monday.

Table tennis xmas tournament

We had 15 players turn up, with a family of four joining us at the end of the tournament. The participants bravely defeated the cold evening weather (3 degrees) and played table tennis with plenty of energy. Game on! We had mince pies, snacks and refreshments to recharge the batteries and keep them going.

The referees were Jamal Ali, Dennis Ajufo and Hassan. The winners were:

Level 1 Single (children and adults): Barbara Wilson
Level 2 Single (children and adults): David Lyu
Level 3 Single (adults): Jamal Ali
Doubles: Sue Lyu and Pouya Kazemian

 All winners received prizes of bats, pingpong balls and chocolates. Congratulations to them!

A big thanks to our brilliant volunteer coach Hassan and for the support from the referees. Table tennis sessions will restart on Monday 8th January 2018 from 6pm until 8pm. Ping-pong really seems to be a sport which brings the community together – we’re so glad we got our tables from Loop in the Community.

Christmas Volunteer Party

We had a fantastic turnout at our Xmas volunteer bash on Wednesday – well over 50 people, possibly 60! Much bubbly was drunk, many laughs were had and questionable raffle prizes received.

The raffle prize novelty moustaches went down a treat with two of Gavin’s Tech Buddy volunteers.

Not only is May in the photographs above one of our Trustees, she also does loads of other stuff around the centre, such as being our photographer and assisting with our newsletter distribution. We love you May! You can read an interview with May in our November 2016 newsletter.

We were really pleased to welcome some of our Saturday cafe volunteers too. They help us to feed over fifty guests every Saturday! The great thing about volunteering at Abbey is that many of our roles are very flexible – some of our cafe vols do a shift once a month and some love it so much that they come almost every week!

Our choir also put on a stellar performance to get everyone in the party mood. Here they are rehearsing:


Hassan (above, centre) is our Table Tennis volunteer at the centre. He trained to be a qualified coach at the centre after we were awarded a FreeSport grant at the centre. Sometimes opportunities like this pop up for us to get some really good quality training for our volunteers so they are getting something back as well as giving.

Our volunteers are all ages and come from all backgrounds. Most are local but many come for far away to bring their magic to Abbey! Everyone brings something different to the table.


We hope everyone had as much fun as we did! If you’d like to join the happy bunch above, all you need to do is click here.

Saturday trips update

In November we enjoyed two Saturday afternoon trips together: to old favourite Kew Gardens and a new destination, Sir John Soane’s Museum in Holborn. Some lovely pictures of the gang at Kew are below.

Getting ready to explore…

The whole group. These trips are all-ages so come along and bring the kids/grandkids!


And we’re off! Can you spot our volunteer head gardener Maria Elena, below? A tree-hugger if there ever was one!

Resting at the end of a long and lovely afternoon 🙂


Our next Saturday trips will be to the Tate Modern Christmas Market on the 2nd December and to Covent Garden on the 9th December to see the Christmas lights! Both trips depart from Abbey at 2pm by public transport. All-ages and free. If you fancy it, contact Simone on 020 7624 8378 for further info.