Following government advice KOVE activities are gradually being resumed, outdoors initially. Please go to Bench to Bench for information on walks in June 2021. We wish you all the very best.
Claude James, a member of KOVE’s Steering Group, died earlier this year aged 90. KOVE’s former Co-ordinator, Mel Wright, wrote Claude's obituary, published in The Guardian’s Other Lives. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/mar/16/claude-james-obituary
Ags Irwin, Chair of KOVE from October 2017, died on 6 May following a long illness. She provided inspiring leadership, supporting the Steering Group and staff to organise activities for older people in the Kilburn area. Despite deteriorating health, she helped bring together our anthology of older people’s writings and artwork, expressing their experiences of living through the lockdown. Ags contributed four poems, one of which - Lockdown Pie - became the title. Her friend, theatre writer and journalist Carole Woddis, wrote her obituary, published in the Guardian's Other Lives. https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/may/28/ags-irwin-obituary
You can read more about Claude and Ags by going to our Announcements page. You can also download a copy of Lockdown Pie from there, or by clicking on the icon of the cover on the Homepage. If you would like a print copy, please let Deborah know, by phone or email.
KOVE bench success stories!
Despite restrictions on activities, members have achieved a couple of major successes. In December 2019, a new community bench was installed on Shoot Up Hill, across the road from Kilburn tube station, and in summer 2020 the old benches at West End Green were refurbished, keeping the original ironwork but replacing the wood. You can read more about this - and the history of KOVE's bench campaigns - on the Benches page.
West End Green (Lynda Stuart) KOVE members and campaigners; Shoot Up Hill community bench (Lydia Shellian-Walker)
KOVE benches on Kilburn High Road
Through the good offices of Councillor Pat Callaghan and our own John Miles, KOVE has received assurances from Camden and Brent's planning teams that our long-delayed new community benches for KIlburn High Road are back on the agenda and hopefully will be installed in the near future! The ongoing Kilburn High Road scheme to improve the area, focusing on pedestrian safety and widening pavements (etc.) will start at the southern end of KHR - i.e. West End Lane to Belsize Road. We shall let you know further developments when we can.
Mel Wright, Volunteer Benches Coordinator.
Public toilets on Kilburn High Road
Last 19 November (World Toilet Day) several KOVE members stage a masked-and-distanced protest by forming a queue outside the closed public toilet on Victoria Road, off Kilburn High Road. This was followed by a letter from KOVE Vice Chair, Lynda Stuart, in Camden New Journal on the subject of Camden's community toilet scheme. http://camdennewjournal.com/article/we-need-a-real-response-on-the-question-of-public-loos
(You can read more about the Toilet Manifesto for London at: https://pailondon.org.uk/toilets)
We would like to thank The Mercer's Company for a grant of £8,947 to support our work with older people during the pandemic.