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Miller of Kensington celebrate 25 years in Stratford Road

Mohamed el Banna, owner of Miller of Kensington celebrated being in Stratford Road for 25 years with a large street party. Young and old, all nationalities, residents and businesses joined in, danced, chatted or took photographs. The Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, Councillor Julie Mills popped along for an impromptu dance on the pavement, toddlers organised their own dance routine (of a fashion) and Eight Ray provided the music. It was a wonderful afternoon sponsored by local businesses, Kensington Design, Fait Maison, La Piccolo Dely, Chez Patrick, The Garden Basket, Minx and of course Mohamed whom we wish every success for another 25 great years in the neighborhood.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine

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HRH The Princess Royal meets Young Offenders in North Kensington

Young offenders and Royalty are not the two types of people likely to be getting to know each other over a cup of tea… Well, today the two came together as Princess Anne, known for her charitable work, made a public appearance at the unveiling of her plaque at the ‘Young Offenders Team’ centre in Oxford Gardens, W11. The centre aims to show the young offenders the repercussions by forms of community ‘Payback’ such as community service and to also bring young offenders to talk to the victims of their crimes, to see the affect of their crime and the wider picture. Speaking to a young ex-offender named TJ, earlier convicted of robbery, whose response to the question of what he would be doing without the Youth Offenders Team was “if YOT wasn’t around I would probably be in prison”. Instead he was doing well with football. I’d say that’s a quite a bleak outlook to have and if this kind of centre can change someone’s prospects from behind bars to being on a football pitch then shouldn’t there be more of them and more high profile individuals like The Princess showing their support to them? Does seem like it.

The type of ‘Payback’ the young person must do is decided by a panel of volunteers from the community. Dawn, a panel member in her second year of studying Youth Justice said the role was about “getting to know the person”. Additionally, Nicky Gunter, Preventions Manager described it was that both victim and offender should be given “the chance to be heard” and maybe all that is needed for young offenders is for someone to listen to them to show that not everyone expects them to go down the same path over and over again.

After speaking to many of the victims of crimes and offenders involved at the centre, the Princess made a short speech at the unveiling of the plaque where she acknowledged that the Centre had “set an example of which one or two would like to follow”.

Text by: Hannah Mckellar-Ricketts (on work experience with The Kensington Magazine)
Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine

Images: Left to right:

Top: HRH The Princess Royal, Patron of the Restorative Justice Council with Betty McDonald Head of Service; HRH Princess Royal.

Centre:  Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, Councillor Julie Mills with ‘TJ’, Mr Graham Robb, Restorative Council Justice Trustee

Third line: Julie Mills; Grace Fredricks, Reparation Co-ordinator at the Youth Offending Service with Community Police Carlos Husbands and Helen Tilbury

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Remembrance Sunday Kensington & Chelsea 13 November 2011

This year it was the turn of St Mary Abbots in Kensington to host the civic ceremony for Remembrance Day. Hundreds of residents turned up to support the families and friends of those taking part in the march from the Town Hall to St Mary Abbots’ memorial, ranging from older members to little tots – and even little tots dressed in red sweat shirts can march (occasionally turning into a run to keep up).

Officiated by Father Gillean, Father Gareth and Father Rob of SMA, the Mayor, Councillor Julie Mills was accompanied by all members of RBKC, Honorary Alderman Richard Walker-Arnott, The Rt. Hon Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Rear Admiral R H Burn, The Rt. Hon the Baroness Hanham and Sir Michael Craig-Cooper. Children behaved beautifully and the Council must be given full credit – Kensington High St. and Kensington Church St were re-designed to give pedestrians right of way, traffic was stopped for the two minutes silence, and even better – car and bus engines were asked by the police to be turned off. This is how the two minute silence should be. With proper respect given.

The sun shone on a glorious Autumnal day; the Church was packed and the sermon given reminded the congregation (specifically designed for the younger audience) that there are three aspects to Remembrance, the past, the present and the future. It was certainly lovely to see so many children take part in this important day in the year.

Images: Copyright Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine
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