Art programme earns community award

An art and culture programme in North West London helping more than 150 local people has earned Notting Hill Genesis a Community Partner of the Year award.

The project, carried out in partnership between NHG, the college, RAF Museum and Colindale Communities Trust, was honoured at Barnet and Southgate College’s annual student award ceremony.

As part of our ongoing regeneration of Grahame Park in Colindale, which will create more than 3,500 new homes over a 20 year programme, we are also carrying out an extensive Neighbourhood Change programme with the aim of increasing opportunities for existing residents.

Arts and culture programmes can help change attitudes and improve wellbeing overall as well as improving levels of engagement with hard to reach groups such as vulnerable young people. The partners joined forces to create a year-long offer of a wide variety of courses including Art for Wellbeing, training in face-painting and henna, ceramics and mural painting. Regular “history walks” to understand the estate’s past and significance have also been held.

Courses were targeted at Colindale residents but open to anyone from Barnet. So far take up has been enthusiastic; more than 150 residents have already participated with more courses due to start in the spring.

Local people have also had the chance to develop their teaching skills by completing a community teaching award, which has seen them progress to paid employment.

Some of the work will be displayed in an exhibition at the RAF Museum in February which will be open to the public and run for several months.

Sherine McFarlane, head of social and economic regeneration for Notting Hill Genesis, said: “The success of his project has meant we have been able to try out different approaches to see what residents really enjoy and what they are passionate about. The partnership has maximised resources and opportunities for people in the area by engaging with a range of agencies. We are aiming to find funding so the activities can be enjoyed over the long term.

“Being named Community Partner of the Year was a huge honour for us all and shows how important this project has been to the community. We would like to thank all partners for sharing our desire to help improve the lives of those living in and around Grahame Park.”

If you live in Barnet and are interested in future courses, please visit or email