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Archive for the ‘Charity’ Category

Charity Dinner to raise funds for a Cyber Knife – Providing a different kind of radiotherapy care for Cancer

Local restuaranteur Patrick Tako, owner of Chez Patrick in Stratford Road, W8, hosted a Charity Dinner with the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, Councillor James Husband in attendance, together with his wife, the Mayoress.

The four course dinner was to raise awareness and funds for CyberKnife – a new frameless radiosurgery system which targets treatment more accurately than standard radiotherapy.  It is revolutionary in that patients do not require anaesthesia, there is no recovery time and patients can usually be treated and go home on the same day.   It is not yet widely available in the UK although there is a CyberKnife at The Harley Street Clinic.

Patrick, together with colleagues from the Metropolitan Masonic Charity are aiming to raise the required £3M for a second UK CyberKnife  to be installed at St Barts Hospital.   At the beginning of March, a substantial sum of £500,000 had already been paid to Barts and the London Hospital towards this goal.

The charity dinner at Chez Patrick raised £1,772.00 with guests paying generously for raffle prizes as well as the dinner.   John Hussey of the Metropolitan Masonic Charity received the cheque from Patrick.

As Patrick explained his incentive to try and do as much as he could to raise money for the CyberKnive, is one, sadly borne of the recent loss of his father last year to cancer, and then weeks later, finding his mother had breast cancer, and cancer on the kidneys.   His desire to raise as much funds as possible is tangible.  He finished his speech with the words ” if we all give a little, we can achieve a lot”.  Simple but true.

If you would like to contribute towards this essential peice of machinery to help those with cancer recover, please give as generously as possible to uk/virginmoneygiving.com/charities/The Metropolitan Masonic Charity

From left to right, top to bottom:

Images: Lucy Elliott

Copyright: The Kensington Magazine: (a)  John Hussey, The Mayoress and Mayor; (b) Patrick Tako and John Hussey

(c) Patrick Tako;

Copyright: Brian Mackett: (d) Patrick Tako, The Mayoress, Mayor and Lucy Elliott

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Adventure in W8: Abseiling from the Roof Gardens

Today eight intrepid folk from Kensington’s networking group, BNI Kensington, abseiled from the Roof Gardens in a bid to raise money for Elizabeth Finn, a charity devoted to helping to alleviate poverty. Sam Branson (son of) led the way, looking very confident. He is however, apparently, used to rock climbing. Some of the others though clearly were not. Emotions ranged from very confident – ‘I’m just going for a quick sail down to M&S’, to others who were truly terrified. Legs shaking. My legs were also shaking, being a further one storey up from the abseilers and let me tell you, this is a tall building – amazing views over Kensington, but the expressions on their faces were equally amazing……

Raising money from BNI Kensington were Jo Eccles (legs really were shaking), Tom Simnet and Jason Cobine (joking with SB), Mike Kammerling, Matthew Woodthorpe (just checking to see how far down it was), Bernd Radashitzk, Andrew Lamont (interviewed by the press as he landed) and Karen Haller (interviewed/photographed by other local press).

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Tiffany & Co. Foundation & The Royal Parks Foundation launch major fountain restoration programme in London’s Royal Parks

This morning, in glorious sunshine we attended the launch of this great initiative “Tiffany – Across the Water”.   A gift of $1.25M to the Royal Parks Foundation to make improvements to drinking fountains and the creation of a stunning new fountain in James’ Park and the restoration of The Italian Gardens in Kensington Gardens from the Tiffany & Co. Foundation.

Boris Johnson bounded in to launch the US/UK initiative and announced an open international competition, in partnership with RIBA, the challenge is to create a well-designed drinking fountain to replace the older Parks’ fountains which cannot be restored (bear in mind many of these were installed in Victorian or Edwardian times).   The winning designer will see their work turned into reality in the Parks, with the hope that the design will eventually be adopted in other green spaces around the world.

The significant part of ‘Tiffany – Across the Water’ will also be to create a stunning “‘Tiffany & Co. Foundation Fountain” comprising a 20 foot plume, against the backdrop of Buckingham Palace and Whitehall and Horse Guards Parade.   On a sustainable consideration, the aeration provided by this fountain will benefit many of the species of wildlife dependent on the fresh water of the lake.

The work in the Italian Gardens will comprise major restoration work to the five small fountains and the monumental Tazza Fountain.   A new eco-friendly water system will be installed to benefit the Long Water and encourage wildlife to flourish.

Incongrous as it was for the time of day, dancing was given by the Dance Al Fresco team and Kele Baker, with a display of the Slow Waltz, The Argentine Tango and the Jive.

The competition is open internationally to all design disciplines, including architects, engineers, product designers, artists etc. Designs will be judged against the following criteria: aesthetics of the design, robustness for quality of life in a public park, ease of maintenance and installation, sustainability and impact on the environment and affordability. Those interested should see www.royalparksfoundation.org/fountains. To enter competition go to www.architecture.com/competitions to register or riba.competitions@inst.riba.org.

And with that Boris bounded out.

And just in case you didn’t know, the Royal Parks comprise: Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St James’s Park, The Green Park, The Regent’s Park, Greenwich Park, Richmond Park and Bushy Park.

And finally, did you know The Green Park is called such because Charles II picked flowers there to give to a beautiful lady who wasn’t his wife. In a fit of pique Queen Charlotte had all the flowers, flower beds and shrubberies removed leaving nothing but green grass and trees!   (Still it makes a change from slashing suits).

Marie Curie Swimathon Completed!

Amazing! I can’t believe it, but we (my sister Alice and nephew, Oliver) managed to do the 2.5km swim on Saturday evening. Competing against trained corporate swimmers I nervously dipped my toe into ‘my lane’.  I shared it with an enthusiastic ‘proper looking swimmer’ who declared he hadn’t been able to train for two weeks, and the last timing he’d had was 1 hour 13 minutes.  I blanched.  This could be interesting since I’d guestimated my time of completion as about 3 hours on the entry form.  And that was assuming I did actually complete it.

However, having got into the ‘zone’ (one learns jargon very quickly), my heart stopped racing and I managed all 100 lengths. My goggles filled with water so I couldn’t see a thing, relying on the hope I was swimming in a straight line, and that everyone else in the pool didn’t have the same goggle affliction.

After 1 hour and 14 minutes I finished.

Legs shaking.

So the total raised so far for Marie Curie is £720 – way more than I’d ever imagined I’d get, so THANK YOU SO EVERYONE who gave so generously for this cause.

And no I won’t be doing it again.  (For the record I was thoroughly beaten: Oliver managed it in 1 hour 6 minutes and Alice in 1 hour 9 minutes). To find out more about the Swimathon click here

(www.thekensingtonmagazine.com)