I’m a local resident and have worked locally for many years in Youth & Community work, as well as previously running a bar and venue called ‘Inn on the Green’ on Thorpe Close with my husband. Music, reading and walking are my main interests and I enjoy activities with my grandchildren when they visit. Currently I am a Trustee for both North Kensington Law Centre and Youth Action Alliance. I am a member of the Golborne Forum and have helped for a number of years to organise the annual Golborne Road Festival. I wanted to join the Bay 20 Steering group as I live only a couple of minutes away, and had an understanding of the necessity for a space where Grenfell survivors and groups could use and support their needs.
My name is Amina Ahmed, I am local mother of two. I also work locally so some might say I live and breathe North Kensington. There are many reasons I want to join Bay 20 Steering group but the most important one is that I want help shape the future for MY local community. I’m committed to ensuring Bay 20 represents the communities’ voice and continues to create a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment. I want to see the Bay 20 space be used to help develop, inspire and empower the local community. I want see the children of North Kensington use this space to plan their future.
I have lived in North Kensington for more than 30 years. I love being part of our community and want to help make Bay 20 a place where people can meet up and share their stories or find a peaceful corner to take time out for themselves. My life and work has been shaped by a commitment to social justice and creativity. I worked in television and then as an arts manager. Now I am Chair of Clean Break, a women’s theatre company that works with women in prison and the community.
Cllr Portia Thaxter
I am the councillor for St Helens ward, where Bay 20 is situated. My passion and interests are to improve people's lives through health and wellbeing. I am an activist for social change and for the betterness of the community, social inclusion and community cohesion. My hope for the future of the space, is to facilitate the healing of the community and to ensure that local residents are treated with the fairness to improve their mental and physical health going forward.
I joined the steering group because, I wanted to advocate for residents in the discussion and also as a local councillor, that is my duty.
I have lived on the Lancaster West estate since 2012. I am the father of two children aged 10 and 18. I really love this part of North Kensington. Until the tragedy of Grenfell Tower I was an observer but realised that we all need to make our voices heard. This is a wonderful community and I am determined that all its many voices should be heard, not just the loudest voices. Bay 20 is a wonderful and flexible new space which can be an asset for all of North Kensington; a haven and a site for innovation and social interaction; a focus for change. Since engaging with the community I have discovered the vibrancy and diversity of the area. It should be the role of the steering group to encourage all to participate.
I have experience working within the Kensington & Chelsea community for over 9 years. As part of Age UK K&C team, I work hard to combat loneliness and isolation and making a difference in the community. I am grateful to be part of the Bay 20 steering group and contribute to make it a vibrant space and a positive difference in North Kensington community.
Cllr Judith Blakeman
I am one of the Labour councillors for Notting Dale ward, the scene of the Grenfell tragedy. My greatest concern is to ensure that all residents and others affected by the Grenfell tragedy get the best possible support and opportunities, which is not happening for everyone at the moment. The Bay 20 Community Space is a very valuable new facility for local residents and I hope it will flourish as a welcoming facility for anyone affected by Grenfell, together with their friends and neighbours.
I am a resident of North Kensington, a mother of two young men and have lived in the locality of Bay 20 my whole life.
The community has been home to my family, friends and children and we have been supported and given support to services over the years. My father was a youth worker in the community before I was born and his influence on people and the way in which it has enriched his circle of friends and life was always an inspiration to me. For that reason I have always felt I owed it to myself to get involved in any way I can.
The opportunity arose to put myself forward as a member of the Bay 20 steering group, to be a part of the centre's inception and I jumped at the chance.
To help create a path for implementation of a space that is to be of such great importance to the people of this area. To be able to assist in the creation of a forum which allows people to be heard within the community, those that don’t always have a voice to push for what they need collectively.
As part of the steering group to be able to positively challenge and assist in a plan for change that will shape the future of the community, for me is an integral and privileged process to be a part of.
I began my life in Ladbroke Grove and have lived in North Kensington for most of my time since. I am passionate about this beautiful, vibrant and unique part of London and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
In my personal as well as my professional life I have spent many years leading teams and managing events, activities and spaces. As a qualified and experienced learning, development and education practitioner, I have extensive experience of managing customer-facing staff and volunteers in the pubic sector and voluntary sector. I am also a seasoned user and client of venues and spaces and have a strong understanding of what is required in order to run a venue and ensure safety, security and satisfaction for both event organisers and venue users.
Bay 20 is a wonderful resource and I am committed to seeing it develop into a space that can be used and enjoyed by the diverse range of citizens and groups who form our community.
Education, entertainment, parties, support, advice, advocacy, companionship, meetings, exercise, safety and shelter – these are all activities I expect to see people participating in and benefitting from at Bay 20 as we move into the future; and I look forward to contributing to the development and implementation of these activities and a range of other things in my capacity as a member of the Steering Group.