Wiltshire Close Residents' Association is going places. Re-started in 2016 thanks to the vision of its chair Nina Lincoln, it's accomplished a lot in a short time.
Chief amongst the association's many achievements is regaining the use of the community centre on the estate with the help of The Chelsea Champions and buying an attractive and prominent new noticeboard on which to publicise all their activities.
Nina has a team of four on her committee: Beth Fisher, Jean Mercer, Margaret Poulden and Simon McAndrew; they've all known each other for many years. Nina first came to live on the estate in 1980 and is Chelsea born and bred. The residents' association (RA) has become known and admired for putting on a whole series of attractive events and activities, from exercise classes and health fairs to coffee mornings, community days and day trips. Their latest achievement was in September, when a coffee morning for Macmillan Cancer Relief - part of the World's Biggest Coffee Morning fundraising push by the charity - raised £200.
Nina says: "We're encouraging estate residents to join the association and let us know what they want for their estate. This is a way of identifying those who haven't previously engaged with the RA. Our new noticeboard is key to this, but we've also sent newsletters, fliers and posters to every home on the estate, as well as visited the elderly and isolated. If we make a difference to just one neighbour, then that's what matters.
"We've already secured £100 from the Community Gardening Team for our new gardening club, £840 from the Council's City Living, Local Life fund for a new noticeboard, £300 for community outings and £200 for community lunches", she adds.
Critical to their success has been their close working relationship with the Chelsea Champions Community Project, which is a bi-borough (Kensington and Chelsea Council and Westminster City Council) Public Health Department funded project started at the end of 2017.
Community Champions Development Officer Linda Thomas explains: "I first met Nina when I did a walkabout on the estate to introduce myself. The RA was already in existence with Nina as the Chair, but it had nowhere to meet without access to its centre, which was let out. I vowed then that I would help them get proper access to this community space before the end of my pilot project. They were sceptical, but we succeeded and the Macmillan Coffee Morning is the latest of many activities and events the RA has held."