NRHA: The last 10 years Our History and Achievements
With a generous sponsorship of £250 from Tesco Express, Head Office, we held a Community Christmas Carol Concert outside Northwood Hills Station. Music was provided by the Band from Haydon School. The event raised £250, which was donated to Muscular Dystrophy – Tesco’s Charity of the year. This event has now developed into the annual “Grand Switch on of the Christmas Lights” which is generously supported by the shops and businesses in Northwood Hills who annually donate 70 to 80 tombola prizes. Firms such as Tesco provide circa 800 free mince pies (any left-over are then passed on to a Christmas hamper charity for the elderly). Wetherspoons and the Namaste Lounge donate free mulled wine for everyone. Students from the local schools perform in concert for the Mayor of Hillingdon. Father Christmas arrives by stagecoach and gives out free Christmas presents for younger children. Dependent on the weather this event attracts 700 to 800 residents, who in addition to watching the concert also take part in singing Christmas Carols. St John’s school generously sponsors our annual 20-foot Christmas tree. Proceeds from the Christmas Lights event have been used to purchase a PA system including 8 speakers and a mixing desk, we have also purchased a mobile stage and trailer and other equipment, which is available for use by various Community groups. In recent years, monies raised from the tombola have also been donated to local Charities such as WRAP, The Mayor of Hillingdon’s Charity and Clic Sergeant, a Childrens’ Cancer Charity, favoured by Wetherspoons.
£1,500 was donated, to Hillingdon Council for the purchase of trees that were subsequently planted in a number of roads in Northwood Hills. This money was match-funded by the Ward Councillors from their discretionary Ward Budget Fund.
A successful Chrysalis bid was made by the Association which resulted in an award of £60,500 to finance a childrens’ playground on the green space at Wylchin Crescent.
2009 to 2015
The Residents’ Association joined together with Fairfield Church to hold outdoor Carol Concerts at various locations in Northwood Hills. Due to inclement weather, an indoor Carol Concert at Fairfield Church has replaced this event.
2010 to Date
The Residents’ Association has joined forces with Fairfield Church to hold the annual Big Lunch event on Salisbury Road Green Field. In 2012 our event was reported on the national Big Lunch web site. The Big Lunch event attracts 500+ people (dependent on the weather).
We brought together 60 Stakeholders, made up of key organizations and individuals that have important interests in Northwood Hills. The following outcomes were agreed;
The Residents’ Association to organize a carnival to celebrate the Queens forthcoming Diamond Jubilee.
Collaboration networks to be created ensuring community groups work together and avoid duplication of effort.
Identify how the youth of Northwood Hills can be involved in supporting our older residents. For example students from St John’s junior school and Northwood Secondary School are now working together doing some gardening for the elderly and infirm.
Identify the financial means to regenerate the centre of Northwood Hills.
The Residents’ Association was a key strategic partner in a successful bid to attract funds for the regeneration of Northwood Hills. Nick Hurd MP wrote at the time “For many years Joel Street seemed to be on the slide. Northwood Hills Residents’ Association was determined to turn things around. Combining great ambition with steely determination they managed to secure over £1.7 million from the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and the London Borough of Hillingdon, plus additional cash from TfL. The money has been spent lining the long central boulevard with trees, improving the shop fronts of 24 Independent businesses and creating 30-minute ‘Stop and Shop’ parking bays to encourage local residents to use the shops’. I think that everyone recognizes that this was a good plan that would lift the area. Even Boris was impressed. On a recent visit he was heard to proclaim “My God, it’s beautiful! Did we do this? The murals –they’re sensational.””
2011 and 2013
The Chairman was a finalist in the “Hero of Hillingdon Awards” having been nominated for the work the Residents’ Association was doing for the Community.
In conjunction with Northwood Residents’ Association, we held a carnival to celebrate our Queens Diamond Jubilee. It was the largest event in Hillingdon over the Bank holiday weekend, attracting over 4,000 people. £2,000 was raised for Northwood Live at Home Scheme, a Charity that supports the elderly; to upgrade their aged IT equipment. 5 pop up gazebos were also purchased for use at community events. In addition a number of local charitable organizations raised substantial sums of money on the day. French TV Channel, France 3, reported on the event in their 18:00 > 19:00 news broadcast. Ahead of the event, a traversing wall costing £10,000, including trailer and crowd control barriers, was purchased for the local Scouts. The traversing wall is used at many Community events around Hillingdon Borough, for instance, at the Eastcote House Gardens picnic.
A Northwood Hills Treasure Hunt was organized. Students from Harlyn Junior School, Hillside Junior School and St John’s Junior school were invited to enter a competition where they had to find and identify 36 flags hidden in shop windows in Joel Street and at the Library. The first four fully correct entries drawn, won a treasure chest filled with 25-pound coins. Sean Robinson, Head of St Johns school said “What a lovely idea, we can give out entry forms to our boys and tell them about it. Their parents will take them to shops”. They did and as a result footfall and sales in the shops increased!
2013 a second stakeholder group meeting was held to discuss, how the community should make best use of;
The Northwood & Pinner Cottage hospital which had been declared surplus to requirements and earmarked for sale by Hillingdon NHS Care Commissioning Group.
How the stakeholders can support faith led initiatives.
What the community can do to support and compliment the work of public bodies.
What the Residents’ Association can do to bring the generations together.
£100 was donated to the Volunteers at Eastcote House Gardens to purchase and sow wild flower seed on the Long Meadow, very popular area for walkers and dog walkers.
2013 and 2014
Northwood Hills Independents’ Day was organized in Joel Street to celebrate and support the local retailers. Joel Street was a mass of colour with bunting, strumming guitarists, two storm troopers, a magician and a Captain Jack Sparrow look alike, as well as numerous stalls. The local population came out in droves helped by the good weather. One shopkeeper reported that this had been the busiest day ever.
We organized an evening visit to the Mayor’s Office, where residents met with the Mayor of Hillingdon, Mayoress and Beagle of Hillingdon and listened to an informative talk on the history of Hillingdon. 2015 We donated two bird boxes with cameras and a monitor to The Ruislip Woods Trust. The monitor is to be sited in the new visitors centre. These items are due to be handed over in 2018. The delay has been due to the re-building of facilities at Ruislip Lido.
The Chairman of the Residents’ Association gave a presentation to students of both Haydon and Northwood Secondary Schools on the regeneration of Northwood Hills.
I conjunction with Northwood Residents’ Association, a Music and Picnic in the park event was held to celebrate our Queen’s 90th birthday. 2,000+ people attended the event. From the surplus proceeds, £408 was donated to the local Scouts and £188 was donated to Northwood Live at Home Scheme.
£2,000 was donated to the 1st Northwood Scout Hut Appeal. Additionally, the Community came together to support two Quiz Nights, which raised a further £2,000 for the appeal. Two bird nesting boxes were also donated to Eastcote House gardens. We also agreed to ‘ring fence” £1,000 for 2nd Northwood Scouts who are looking to rebuild their Scout hut in around 2019/20.
The Residents’ Association successfully lobbied the Council to provide hanging floral baskets in the Joel Street shopping area. The Council has also committed to provide 18 hanging baskets in 2018.
The Residents’ Association organized an apolitical day trip to the European Parliament in Brussels. Syed Kamall, one of the London elected Members of the European Parliament, kindly sponsored the visit. Everyone irrespective of whether they were “brexiters or remainers” enjoyed the day.
£500 has been donated to Northwood Live at Home Scheme to allow them to purchase exercise balls, which will help strengthen fingers, which in turn helps individuals open bottles and jars; Curling sticks, which are popular with those with early dementia; craft materials, magnifying glasses and magnifying lamps that will assist the elderly.
Other Activities and Information
Each Spring an annual supper is held. This is an informal get-together with the Committee, fellow Road Stewards, supporters and those who have greatly assisted Northwood Hills during the previous 12 months. The supper party is attended by circa 100 people. Our local Councillors and Police also attend, which allows an opportunity for informal discussion with them. Above all, it is a special ‘Thank You’ to our Road Stewards for the work they do for the Association – without such help the Association would simply cease to exist! In 2013 the event was attended by The Representative Deputy Lieutenant of The London Borough of Hillingdon, Wing Commander Ed Partridge.
At our Annual General Meeting in recent years, our guest speakers have included, Richard Barnes, Deputy Mayor of London; Air Vice-Marshall Stuart Atha; Bruce Houlder, Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Hillingdon; Dr Ian Goodman, Chairman of Hillingdon Clinical Commissioning Group and Chief Superintendent Nick Downing, Hillingdon Borough Police Commander. The meetings have traditionally been held at Fairfield, where the church kindly offer us the use of their premises for committee meetings throughout the year. However, in recent years we have arranged for the AGM to be in a variety of public buildings across the Ward. Locations have been the Universal Technical College, Harlyn School and Northwood School. This gives residents the opportunity to visit sites usually not open to them.
Police Ward Panel Meetings are held once every 3 months. This meeting is open to all residents and is an opportunity for them to select the 3 key priorities for the Local Police to concentrate on in the Ward over the next quarter of the year.
Clean Up Days are held in the Spring and Autumn to ensure the Town Centre and other roads remain clean and tidy. A number of residents participate in these working parties. It is always pleasing when members of the public stop and express their thanks for the work being carried out.
The Hills Echo is our much-respected bi-annual newsletter, produced and distributed to members, residents and businesses twice a year. The newsletter has been transformed from a Parish magazine type newsheet into a self-financing colour booklet. No charge is made for the newsletter, which is self-financing, from the advertisements placed in it by local businesses.
Remembrance Sunday In November we attend the service of remembrance at the War Memorial in Northwood. Where possible we look to ask a resident veteran to lay the wreath on behalf of the Association and community of Northwood Hills.
Planning. Our planning sub-committee keeps a close eye on planning applications submitted to the Council for approval. They make appropriate objections when applications do not conform to the local planning and national guidelines. They also provide advice and support to residents wishing to object to planning applications and when appropriate attend/speak at both LB Hillingdon Planning North and LB Hillingdon Major Planning Committee meetings.
External Meetings. Committee Members attend a number of external meetings. These include the Patient Participation Group at Northwood Health Centre, Hillingdon Flood Risk, Community Voice, Ruislip Woods Management Advisory group, Metropolitan Line user group to name a few.
Committee meetings are “meetings in public’. At the Chairman’s discretion all members of the Association and local residents are allowed to speak on matters, but only the elected Committee members are allowed to vote on issues. Individual residents often attend committee meetings, either to raise a particular concern or to find out first-hand what subjects and issues are dealt with by the NHRA.